Suggestions to Increase Oral Participation in an at-risk Chilean Public Primary EFL Classroom

Author: Tulio Barrios Bulling

Keywords: Chilean Public Primary school, EFL classroom, learning, motivation, oral participation


The current study inquires about the students’ perception regarding their English classes at Escuela Dra Eloísa Díaz, an at-risk public school in Santiago de Chile. How do students value their English classes? What are the difficulties they have to face, and how can teachers increase students’ participation are the research question that lead this investigation. Accordingly, the main objectives are to determine the students’ perception regarding their English classes, to comprehend the main difficulties they have to face and to provide recommendations to enhance the weaker areas. To achieve the intended aims, the researchers use a mixed-method data collection procedure  o gain meaningful information. A quantitative survey to obtain a broad vision regarding several aspects of the English classes at the targeted school, complemented by a focus group and a series of interviews aiming to get more in-depth knowledge qualitatively. After the analysis process, the authors conclude that oral participation is one of the main obstacles students have to overcome in their English language learning processes. Students are conscious of the importance of learning English and the difficulties they have to face. Among them, they recognize a low level in oral participation and the lack of personal effort. Reading is for them the easiest skill to develop, while speaking appears to be the most difficult one. Their perception of the English language learning process seems to be limited, and students clearly associate learning with having fun.