Upgrading students’ oral performance via the utilisation of positive self-talk and personal goal-setting.
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Positive self-talk (P.S.T) and personal goal-setting (P.G.S) are currently considered among the most potent self-management learning strategies, and as major factors within educational psychology that can fully be exploited by university students in order to bolster up their performance (achievements), in general, and their oral performance (speaking skill), in particular. The present study is an attempt towards sensitizing learners about the importance and usefulness of these learning strategies in aiding them produce more natural proficient English conversations, and demonstrating that such types of cognitive-motivational strategies (P.S.T and P.G.S) have generally been found to be effective in enhancing students’ performance in a variety of skills (such as the conversational skill). Specifically, the main aim in writing this thesis is to explore the potential effects of P.S.T and P.G.S. on students’ oral performance. Another equally significant aspect of this research is to investigate whether and to what extent these cognitive-motivational strategies are used by students as well as the utility of instructing a selected range of self-management learning strategies in order to improve students’ conversational skills, and thereby facilitating the teaching/learning operation. We hypothesize that if learners are sensitized about the significance and the usefulness of utilizing P.S.T and P.G.S as effective ‘self-management’ learning strategies, they would guide themselves to enhance positively their oral performance. For this purpose, a pre-test; a fourmonth follow-up study of one group (an intervention on building students awareness for utilizing P.S.T and P.G.S) and a post-test have been established, in addition to a series of questionnaires administered to first year students and to instructors at the English Department of the Teaching Training School, Constantine. Findings suggest that P.S.T and P.G.S truly have a potent cognitive-motivational role (positive significant effect) on students’ conversational skill, a fact which all the instructors in the questionnaire agree upon. Furthermore, as students’ questionnaires have revealed, more than half the students have been found unaware of the potential effects of self-management learning strategies (P.S.T and P.G.S). On the basis of our results, we confirm the importance, the usefulness and the effectiveness of self-talking positively and self-setting goals from the part of students for more fluent natural conversational English. Moreover, research findings revealed interesting implications and suggested recommendations for language learners to use these cognitivemotivational strategies, and for Oral Expression teachers it is worthwhile to assign considerable significance to the instruction of these potential self-management learning strategies.