Holistic Approach and Language Teaching: Listening-speaking Development and Self-efficacy in Focus

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of English Language, Kerman Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kerman, Iran


The purpose of holistic language teaching is the development of the learners’ ability to handle both their language oral skills as well as maximizing their life skills. This study aimed to fulfill these objectives through a mixed-methods design, using holistic teaching procedures. The participants of the study comprised 60 Iranian EFL pre-intermediate learners homogenized through Cambridge Placement Test, from a population of 78 students who had been selected by simple random sampling. They were divided into two experimental and control groups (30 students in each group) who received the treatment--a holistic and sequenced series of listening-speaking activities, and traditional teaching instruction, respectively. Four instruments were used to collect the data for analysis: Cambridge Placement Test, a comprehensive test of speaking and listening used as pretest and posttest, a questionnaire to estimate the learners’ self-efficacy and finally, an unstructured interview. The findings of the study proved that the experimental group that was exposed to the holistic teaching procedures outperformed the control group, meaning that the participants in this group performed more satisfactorily in both listening and speaking. Moreover, their self-efficacy improved to an acceptable level as they expressed in the interview their satisfaction with the use of holistic teaching procedures. These findings have some implications for both teachers and students concerning the enhancement of language interaction in and outside the English classes.