Document Type : Research Paper


1 Bu Ali Sina University

2 English Department,, Humanities Faculty, Bu Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran


This study aimed at investigating the comparative effects of cooperative and competitive learning on English as Foreign Language (EFL) learners’ speaking ability and self-confidence. Moreover, EFL learners’ attitude towards cooperative and competitive learning procedures were explored. To these ends 90 learners were selected on the basis of a sample PET results and were assigned into three 30-learner cooperative, competitive and control groups. The speaking section of a sample PET test and Academic Confidence Scale were administered to the three groups before the treatment. As the treatment, the first experimental group members were engaged in cooperative learning, the second experimental group members were engaged in competitive learning, and the control group received regular teacher-fronted instruction. At the end of the treatment, the speaking section of another sample PET and Academic Confidence Scale were re-administered as the posttests.10 EFL learners were randomly selected from each experimental group and seated for a semi-structured interview. The analyses revealed that while both cooperative and competitive learning procedures had significant within-group effects on the learners' speaking ability, the impact on academic self-confidence was significant only for cooperative learning procedure. Moreover, analyses verified that the impact of cooperative learning on speaking ability and self-confidence of EFL learners was statistically superior to the other procedures. Content analysis of the interview data showed that the majority of EFL learners believed that cooperative learning helps them develop their own ideas in greater depth, enhance their participation and creativity in speaking, improve self-confidence and reduce anxiety.


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