Intelligibility: The Goal of Language Learning and Teaching

Sayyed Rashid Shah, Abdullah Al-Bargi


This action research study investigates the intelligibility of Saudi EFL learners’ speeches in relation to the Lingua Franca Core (LFC). This study is carried out in an EFL class of 15 Saudi learners. One native and four non-native speakers of English performed the role of evaluators. A mixed-method approach was adopted to collect and analyze quantitative and qualitative data. The learners’ scores in their pre and post-intervention speeches led to the understanding of the impact of LFC on leaders’ speeches. The scores were awarded by five evaluators responding to a five-point Likert scale questionnaire while judging learners’ intelligibility. The results showed moderate improvement in the learners’ post-intervention speeches in terms of intelligibility. This procedure was followed by semi-structured interviews conducted with individual evaluators/listeners who rated post-intervention speeches as well-organized, lengthier and planned, delivered fluently and confidently in spite of insignificant improvement in the production of LFC features. Based on the findings, it can be recommended that LFC can have little or no impact on the learners’ pronunciation, thus intelligibility should be the goal of language teaching and learning in EFL settings.

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