Document Type : research paper


University of Qom


The upsurge of interest in the employment of instructional technologies in learning English has coincided with a growing interest in Online Informal Learning of English (OILE). Considering the under-explored area of speaking skill, the present study investigated the participants’ microgenetic development of speaking ability in terms of accuracy and fluency through informal participation in online activities. Through a stratified purposive sample selection, three adult male and female intermediate-level participants were selected and agreed to engage in some online informal activities such as emailing, watching online videos like TED Talks, participating in webinars, reading online news, etc. The participants’ microgenetic development were tested throughout the study in two-week-time intervals. The results of the audio recorded data highlighted the positive impact of the OILE activities on the development of the spoken accuracy and fluency. The results also suggested that each individual participant was on his/her own unique developmental trajectory and that accuracy and fluency development was not a linear process, and there was a trade-off between accuracy and fluency. The overall findings of the study suggested that learners’ speaking ability, particularly fluency and accuracy, can be enriched by interacting with online informal contexts. This study also confirmed that each learner is on his/ her own developmental trajectory. Learners’ developmental trends are various due to differing categorizations and entrenchments in their lives considering Usage-Based (UB) approach.


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