Abstract




Science Students’ Responses to an Oral Communication Skills Development Initiative: Attitude and Motivation

Ingrid McLaren
University of the West Indies
(ingridmclaren@gmail.com)


Abstract:
Situated within the CID (Communication in the Disciplines) theoretical framework that promotes the focus of communication instruction on the oral genre standards of effectiveness, and employing a transdisciplinary approach, the current study explores science students’ attitudes and motivation concerning an oral skills development (OSD) intervention. The cross-disciplinary based intervention involved the delivery of an oral skills development module over a ten-week period to thirty-four chemistry students in which staff from the English language section partnered with lecturers in chemistry to enhance these students’ oral presentation of chemistry-based content. The performance of students participating in the module was compared with that of non-OSD chemistry students to verify whether there was a significant difference in performance. Surveys were also undertaken on OSD Chemistry students to see whether or not there was a significant change in attitude after the intervention. Results revealed a significant difference between OSD and non OSD students on a similar oral presentation task with OSD students attaining a higher level of performance. OSD students also demonstrated a positive, significant change in attitude post intervention. Implications of the findings, as well as possible areas for further research, are discussed.






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