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Exploring parliamentary debate as a pedagogical tool to development soft skills in the EFL/ESL classroom

Aclan, Eunice Miguel (2015) Exploring parliamentary debate as a pedagogical tool to development soft skills in the EFL/ESL classroom. PhD. thesis, Universiti Utara Malaysia.

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Abstract

Soft skills are considered equally essential as hard skills or even more important than hard/technical skills in the 21St century knowledge economy. However, a mismatch exists between graduates' acquired soft skills and the soft skills required by industries. Literature shows the scarcity of pedagogical tools to develop soft skills. Thus, this study explored how debate as a pedagogical tool with three stages, i.e. pre-debate, actual debate and post-debate can develop the soft skills prescribed in the Malaysian Soft Skills Development Module (MSSDM). The participants were five debate experts with debating experience and had taught All-Asians Parliamentary Debate for at least two years in the EFL/ESL contexts. A semi-structured one-on-one interview was used for data gathering. To triangulate the debate experts' perspective, a focus group interview was conducted with six classroom debate students from three ASEAN countries. The transcribed data were analysed using data analysis flow model where the data were reduced, sorted out, focused, organized and presented using participants' verbatim words. Template approach was also used to analyse the data. In the findings, the participants described how the pre-debate, the crucial foundation stage to outline the team's case and arguments supported by evidences from research, can develop the soft skills in MSSDM especially teamwork and critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The participants also described how the actual debate, the most challenging stage due to time limit in speech and Point-of-Information, can develop soft skills particularly quick critical thinking and effective communication skills. They also portrayed how the post-debate can develop various soft skills by highlighting lifelong learning and information management and communication skills. From the findings, a debate pedagogical model to teach soft skills was developed. Issues and challenges stakeholders might face if debate is introduced across the EFL/ESL curriculum were also identified by the participants.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD.)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Soft skills, Pedagogical tool, Malaysian Soft Skills Development Module, Parliamentary debate
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1025-1050.75 Teaching (Principles and practice)
Divisions: Awang Had Salleh Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Depositing User: Mr. Badrulsaman Hamid
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2016 00:36
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2016 01:26
URI: http://etd.uum.edu.my/id/eprint/5396

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