Explicit Back-channel Strategy Training and Speaking Skill: Does Gender Matter?Download PDF
This study explores explicit Back-channel strategy training and effect of sex on Iranian EFL intermediate learners’ success in speaking skill. In Yngve’s (1970) view, Back Channel refers to short messages such as ‘yes’ and ‘uh huh’ which the person who has the turn receives without relinquishing his/her turn. Twenty homogenous learners (10 male, 10 female), who were at intermediate level in terms of general English proficiency based on the results of Oxford Placement Test (OPT) and pre-test oral Proficiency Interview, were selected as the participants of this research. After 18 sessions of treatment of back-channels that were based on the methodological theory of English language teaching suggested by Doff (1990) and Harmer (1991), post- test oral proficiency test was administered for both groups. The researchers recorded all of them in order to transcribe and analyze them. The findings of pretest and posttest oral exams revealed that EFL language learners’ oral performance (speaking) in both groups improved. The Chi-square (x²) formula was then conducted to find out whether there were any significant differences in performing back-channels among male and female EFL language learners. The result revealed that females employed back-channels more often than males when they were participating in a conversation.
Keywords: Back Channel Strategy; Explicit Training; Sex; Iran