The impact of pushed output on accuracy and fluency of Iranian EFL learners’ speaking

Focus of the study : The study explores the effects of pushed output on accuracy and fluency in the domain of speaking. This study is especially important for its contribution to the research investigating the output hypothesis as it focuses oral production rather than written production. The study addresses two research questions. First question is whether pushed output leads to significant impact on Iranian EFL learners’ accuracy. And the second question is concerned with the role of pushed output on Iranian EFL learners’ fluency.  
Instructional settings and participants : 30 upper-intermediate female English language learners who are aged between 18 and 22 participated in the study. Students were selected based on IELTS speaking scores. Students were placed in two groups: experimental and control groups. These two groups were not found to be significantly different from each other in terms of speaking scores on IELTS. All participants were college students enrolled at Jihad Language Institute in Iran.   

Instrumentation and procedure: The study took place included twelve 30-minute sessions spread over a four-week semester. Prior to the treatment, students were given an IELTS interview as a pretest in order to assess their level of accuracy and fluency in English. A week later, participants were assigned into either experimental or treatment groups. The experimental group was engaged in pushed out activities such as picture description and storytelling. On the contrary, the control group received none pushed output activities during 12 sessions. One week after the 12th treatment session, participants were given a posttest. Both the posttest and pretest interviews were recorded, transcribed and coded for accuracy and fluency. Accuracy was measured as the percentage of error-free AS-unit. Fluency was measured by the ratio of disfluency markers to AS-units.   

Results and discussion:  In regards to the impact of pushed output on accuracy in speaking, the study did find a statistically significant difference between output and non-output group. This finding emphasizes that pushed output enhances EFL learners’ accuracy in speech. However, the study shows no significant difference between experiment and control group on fluency in speech. In other words, pushed output did not seem to boost EFL learners’ fluency in speaking.