There were six people who chose 2. On the next scale, where students rated their level at present, there was nobody who chose 1 or 2. Option four, which indicated 'very good' was chosen by 14 people before the BA program and 20 students chose that one when they rated their present level. Before the program, only one student chose 'extremely good' and on the 'at present' scale, there were nine students who gave 5 for themselves. I summarized these numbers and I found that six students thought that their skills did not improve. Fifteen respondents judged their speaking skills one level better. There were eleven people who felt that their skills improved by two levels and the remaining three informants reported that their skills got one level worse.
In the nineteenth question, the participants could rate the BA program according to how satisfied they are with it. Out of the 35 students, 16 said that they are very satisfied with the program. Fourteen respondents were moderately satisfied, and three students were slightly satisfied. There was one person who was not satisfied at all and another one who was extremely satisfied. Finally, I gave the respondents the chance to make suggestions and share their own ideas about the ways in which the teaching of speaking skills could be improved. Based on what the participants listed here, students thought that they would need more opportunities to speak and the lessons should be more interactive, more group work would be useful and there should be more classes or seminars focusing on speaking skills. They also stated that there should be better texts to discuss and students should be forced out of their comfort zones. I think this means that those students, who are too shy and less willing to communicate should be asked more regularly and frequently because they often try to stay quiet and invisible. Other recommendations highlighted that speaking skills should be balanced with listening skills, and regularity would be important in terms of revision.
My short interviews were conducted with three students, who started their academic studies the same year as I did, in 2008. I asked them to choose pseudonyms, so they are called Diána, Chris and Taylor in my thesis. I selected my questions according to the topics; I was interested in the most. Namely; an overall view on the importance of speaking skills, the advantages of acquiring speaking skills in the BA program, most important fields of development, future plans, suggestions to improve the program and the benefits they have at job interviews.
The interviewees agreed on the significance of proper speaking skills. They emphasized that it is crucial to be able to communicate with foreigners as well. Diána highlighted that for her, all four linguistics skills are equally important. In terms of development, Taylor stated that his vocabulary, fluency, pronunciation and grammar improved remarkably. Chris learned to form sentences faster, and his accent...