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Integrating Arts in EFL Curricula: A Focus on Language Listening Skills
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Author : Metin Timuçin   - Hogai ARYOUBI  
Printing Year : 2016
Number : Volume 4 Issue 2
Page : 233-256
DOI Number: : 10.18298/ijlet.589
Cite : Metin Timuçin - Hogai ARYOUBI, (2016). Integrating Arts in EFL Curricula: A Focus on Language Listening Skills. International Journal of Languages' Education and Teaching, Volume 4 Issue 2, p. 233-256. Doi: 10.18298/ijlet.589.
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Summary
Arts are commonly used in primary and secondary classrooms for learning purposes, but arts integration in higher education curricula could benefit university-level students academically and emotionally as well. Integrating arts into an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) curriculum could benefit students who experience foreign language anxiety, which hinders them from being socially and linguistically successful in the classroom according to multiple studies outlined in the literature section. The focus for students in this study was on listening skills because it is a major element in foreign language development that is explored to a lesser degree than reading, writing and speaking skills. The eight introductory-level classes were split between control and experimental classes. During the first part of the arts implementation, the experimental classes began with drama theatre for 30 minutes. This consisted of students taking a theme in English, such as home and directions, then creating a creative performance for their peers involving relevant vocabulary and phrases. The second part consisted of a 15 minute music cloze section, where students were filling in lyrics for a song that they were actively listening to. Two academic assessments were given as department-wide mid-term and final academic assessments, two subjective surveys and the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) were given at the beginning and end of the school semester. The FLCAS determined that students’ anxieties lowered on 15 questions and increased on 18 questions, so the arts integration has not notably altered foreign language anxiety. The arts-integrated classes received average scores of 80.5%, while the control classes received 74%. Students have performed higher academically with an arts integrated curriculum. It is therefore recommended that arts in the form of music cloze and drama theatre should be included in EFL curricula to increase academic achievement in foreign language listening skills.
Keywords
Arts in EFL; Listening Skills in EFL; Listening through Arts; Foreign Language Anxiety

Abstract
Arts are commonly used in primary and secondary classrooms for learning purposes, but arts integration in higher education curricula could benefit university-level students academically and emotionally as well. Integrating arts into an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) curriculum could benefit students who experience foreign language anxiety, which hinders them from being socially and linguistically successful in the classroom according to multiple studies outlined in the literature section. The focus for students in this study was on listening skills because it is a major element in foreign language development that is explored to a lesser degree than reading, writing and speaking skills. The eight introductory-level classes were split between control and experimental classes. During the first part of the arts implementation, the experimental classes began with drama theatre for 30 minutes. This consisted of students taking a theme in English, such as home and directions, then creating a creative performance for their peers involving relevant vocabulary and phrases. The second part consisted of a 15 minute music cloze section, where students were filling in lyrics for a song that they were actively listening to. Two academic assessments were given as department-wide mid-term and final academic assessments, two subjective surveys and the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) were given at the beginning and end of the school semester. The FLCAS determined that students’ anxieties lowered on 15 questions and increased on 18 questions, so the arts integration has not notably altered foreign language anxiety. The arts-integrated classes received average scores of 80.5%, while the control classes received 74%. Students have performed higher academically with an arts integrated curriculum. It is therefore recommended that arts in the form of music cloze and drama theatre should be included in EFL curricula to increase academic achievement in foreign language listening skills.
Keywords
Arts in EFL; Listening Skills in EFL; Listening through Arts; Foreign Language Anxiety

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