EXPLORING INDONESIAN EFL STUDENTS' PERSPECTIVES ON ENHANCING SPEAKING SKILLS THROUGH A PUBLIC SPEAKING COURSE: A STUDY AT IAIN PALOPO
This study explores the perception and impact of the Public Speaking course on the improvement of English-speaking skills among Indonesian EFL students at IAIN Palopo using a mixed-method approach. Data were collected through virtual Zoom interviews and Likert-5 surveys administered via Google Forms. Qualitative data analysis involved coding, organizing, and interpreting the data from the interviews, while quantitative data from the surveys was analyzed using descriptive statistics to summarize and interpret numerical data. This involved 56 participating students. The results from the interviews found that students generally perceived the course as challenging but highly beneficial. They recognized its role in pushing them out of their comfort zones and reducing their fear of public speaking. Furthermore, students reported substantial boosts in their confidence when speaking in English, crediting practical exercises and course materials for this improvement. Constructive feedback included suggestions for diversifying topics and incorporating more engaging activities. Survey results validated these qualitative findings, with students expressing agreement regarding the teaching methods used in the course, instructor quality learning experiences. Overall, the impact the Public Speaking course on the students’ speaking skills was positive. 80.4% of students agreed or strongly agreed that the course content was appropriate and relevant to their expectations. Additionally, 81.3% of students agreed or strongly agreed that the course objectives were clear. This means that most students had a good understanding of the course. Participants were also satisfied with the course materials, with 84% of students finding them helpful. The provided resources met the needs of most students. However, there are some areas where the course could be improved. 28.6% of students were neutral about the course activities, additionally, 37.5% of students were neutral about the course organization, indicating that further refinements may be beneficial. The findings find that the course is generally well-received by students and has a positive impact on their speaking skills.
Public Speaking course, English as a Foreign Language (EFL), language proficiency, mixed-method design.