VIREALTY PLICS

VIREALTY PLICS: A MULTIMEDIA INSTRUCTION IN ALLEVIATING ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS’ PUBLIC SPEAKING APPREHENSION

Aguilar, Judith Mae O., Ong, Elizabeth E., Reyes, Jenelly J., Ruiz, Cheryl C.

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Adviser:
Santos, Albert C.

Bulacan State University – Bustos Campus

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to analyze the reasons behind the anxiety level of undergraduate students and to make an intervention called “Virealty Plics” or the Virtual Reality for Public Speaking. This study was a quantitative method research paradigm on 54 random third year English major students of Bulacan State University – Bustos Campus during the second semester of the school year 2017-2018 for the testing. The findings of this study show that there are students who are having greater level of public speaking apprehension than the other students. Research revealed that exposure to virtual environment can facilitate student confidence and enables them to face audience irrespective of the size. Based on the responses of the subjects to the study the innovation of Virealty Plics can be tool and therapy with variables to be considered.

The researchers used pre-test – post-test design under randomized experimental design. The pre-assessment was conducted using the questionnaire of Kriangkrai Yaikhong of the School of Foreign Language Institute of Social Technology, Suranaree University of Technology, Thailand to determine the students who have public speaking apprehension.

Six teachers in two different fields evaluated the Virealty Plics made by the researchers, three of them are language teachers and the other three are computer teachers. In terms of its technical quality, it has a rating of 3.76; in ease of use, it has a rating of 3.60; in documentation and support, it has a rating of 3.47; in content and ability levels, it has a rating of 3.45; and in assessment it has a rating of 3.35 which are all interpreted as “strongly agree”. Over all, the Virealty Plics has a grand mean of 3.51 and interpreted as “strongly agree”. It shows that the product is suitable to be an aid of the subjects of this study. The pre-test results revealed that 10 English major students have public speaking apprehension but after using the Virealty Plics, the students’ public speaking apprehension lessens. The computed t-value is 1.578 which is lower than the t-critical, 2.26. The researchers decided to use the p-value to help in determining the significance of the results of the hypothesis test in statistics. The p-value resulted as 0.00156 which is lower than the alpha or the level of significance that is 0.05. The result suggests the rejection of null hypothesis and the acceptance of the alternative hypothesis.

Keywords: Public Speaking Apprehension, Virtual Reality, Virtual Reality Glasses

INTRODUCTION

Expressing one’s message may be in the form of communication; verbal or non- verbal. Everyone could convey messages through the use of speaking or communication skills but not everyone could speak what is ought to deliver in front of public. Speaking in private is different from speaking in front of many eyes watching over you. As Korpella, 2011 pointed out that the presence of other people monitoring one’s speech is a potential cause for communication apprehension. There is a sudden strong feeling inside the heart that makes someone feel uneasy and nervous. When speaking in public, there is a tension that makes the heart raced in an abnormal rate which causes stuttering or speaking anxiety. Public speaking anxiety does not merely felt when delivering a speech in front of people but also even on simple situations. According to Sheldon Metcalfe in the study Building Speech Wadsworth (2010), public speaking anxiety even outranked such fears as going to the dentist, heights, mice and flying. It can be felt even if you are just communicating on a normal and simple conversation but with people that surround you.

Moreover, English is the universal language where many countries in the world are eager to learn as if it is their native language. English as a foreign language is difficult to deal with, especially when it will be using as a medium for communication. English learners are likely to adapt the appropriate diction, pronunciation and proper communication using the foreign language. But this is not as easy as it is when communication apprehension barge in. According to National Association of Software and Services Company (NASSCOM) President Karnik (2007), only 25 percent of technical graduates are suitable for employment in the outsourcing because of their lack of abilities to speak or write well in English. Most students are not “industry ready” because they lack communication skills. (Infosys, 2008). Through this, we could say that learning English and be able to speak the language has a big impact not just on the learners but also to the society.

On the other hand, this research will figure out the driving forces that trigger one’s ability to communicate and deliver message in public using the target language which is English. It will show the possible sources of public speaking anxiety and communication apprehension that hinders English learners to convey messages using the English language in the public. However, the possible and potential treatment is still to be investigated and studied by the researchers. The relationship between communication apprehension and public speaking anxiety are complementary to each other.

Furthermore, the researchers chose the third year English major students as their subjects because as a future educator, it can help them to overcome the fear they are feeling whenever they are speaking in front of the crowd. As a future educator, the researchers believe that this tool can also be a help to them because they can also use this in the future to their students who are experiencing anxiety when it comes to public speaking. It differs from the other study because there is no such existing study that will help the English language learners’ overcome their public speaking apprehension.

Statement of the problem
1. What is the level of public speaking apprehension of the selected respondents in terms of :
1.1 Pre-test; and
1.2 Post-test?

2. What are the perception of the students about the Virealty Plics in terms of:
3.1 content;
3.2 documentation and support;
3.3 ability levels;
3.4 assessment;
3.5 technical quality; and
3.6 ease of use?

3. Is there a significant difference in the level of public speaking apprehension of the respondents before and after the use of Virealty Plics?

Significance of the Study
The outcomes of this study are believed significant to the following:
Teachers. This study will provide information that would be a great help on how they should handle their students who have public speaking apprehension. Through this study, they could come up with different approaches they can use to teach their students on how to deal with their uneasiness when standing in front of the crowd. And, it would also help the teachers in determining the factors that may affect the students’ academic performance.

Students. They will become aware that public speaking apprehension has a great impact to their performance in English, and this can affect their studies. Through the use of multimedia, they will find learning enjoyable. They will be able to reduce their public speaking apprehension without them noticing it. It will lead them to gain the confidence they need when speaking in front of the public and help them in developing a positive perception in their abilities. In addition, this study will make them realize the importance of connecting themselves in the society and how harmonious relationship with other can boost and improve their communication skill.

Future Researchers. The researchers believed that this can serve as their guide in making similar studies. This will help them to be familiar with what a research like this includes and what the purpose of a study like this is. The researchers sincerely hope that this study will be a great aid to the educational system.

Conceptual Framework
The framework of the study can be conceptualized in the figure below.

INPUT PROCESS OUTPUT

Figure 1. Paradigm of the Study

The Frame 1 of the graphic representation shows the input of the study which is the level of public speaking apprehension of the randomly pick third year English major students of Bulacan State University – Bustos Campus. Frame 2 contains the pre-test to determine the level of public speaking apprehension, afterwards the researchers made a product and let the students used it and the post-test follows. Frame 3 shows the developed product “Virealty Plics” which is used as an intervention.

METHODOLOGY

The researchers used a quantitative method of gathering intrapersonal and interpersonal information about the person being test on the problem that ascends.

According to Matthews ; Ross (2010), “Quantitative research methods are basically applied to the collection of data that is structured and which could be represented numerically.” Quantitative data is collected when researcher has adopted the positivist epistemological approach which implies the cause-effect approach based on measurements.

Population of the study
The researchers used a randomized experimental research on choosing the subjects – people in the researchers’ experiment, usually applied in a quantitative method. The subjects of this study included fifty-four (54) third year students from the three sections of Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in English of Bulacan State University – Bustos Campus.

Research Instruments
The researchers used a 17-item revised and final standardized test by the Public Speaking Classroom Anxiety Scale (PSCAS) of the School of Foreign Language Institute of Social Technology, Suranaree University of Technology, Thailand in gathering personal information about the problem which is being investigated. The researchers also used Virtual Reality Glasses as a tool for investigation which includes a modified video for testing done by the researchers. Also, the researchers used rubrics adopted from the book of Educational Technology 2 by Shiela C. Vindollo, MA. Ed. and Maria Mercedes C. Buendia, MA. Ed.

Data Gathering Procedure
The researchers distributed the Standardized test using one of classifications of the Probability Sampling which is simple random sampling, and under this is the Lottery Method. The researchers draw the desired number of sample from the container. The researchers randomly pick half of the class of 3rd year English majors of the College of Education of Bulacan State University – Bustos Campus which can be assured that they answered each statement truthfully.

Data Processing and Statistical Treatment
The researchers used a Likert-Type Scale in gathering the responses of the subjects of the study. Likert-Type Scale is a five to seven point scale which is used to allow the individual to express how much they agree or disagree with a particular statement.

The engagement of the Virealty Plics was conducted to the students who were evidently found to have a public speaking apprehension. The researchers created a modified video which includes several activities or tasks that will alleviate the students’ public speaking apprehension and that will uplift their confidence.

To be able to analyze the students’ perception about the Virealty Plics, the researchers used rubrics adopted from the book Educational Technology 2 by Shiela C. Vindollo, MA. Ed. and Maria Mercedes C. Buendia, MA. Ed.
4 –Strongly Agree: Students understand the term, definition and the thought of the topic.
3 – Agree: Students are not familiar with the term and its definition but comprehensively understand the thought of the topic.
2 – Disagree: Students know the term and its definition but not comprehensively understand the thought of the topic.
1 – Strongly Disagree: No learning and no comprehension at the topic preposition at all.

The researchers also used t-test and p-value to know if there is any significant difference between the level of public speaking apprehension before and after watching of Virealty Plics.
P value > 0.05 critical, null hypothesis (accept)
P value < 0.05 critical, null hypothesis (reject)

Null Hypothesis: There is no significant difference in the level of public speaking apprehension of the respondents before and after the use of Virealty Plics.

Alternative Hypothesis: There is a significant difference in the level of public speaking apprehension of the respondents before and after the use of Virealty Plics.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The study focused on the use of multimedia instruction in alleviating English language learners’ public speaking apprehension before and after watching the Virealty Plics.

Table 1. The Result of the Pre-test
Statement Mean VI
I never feel quite sure of myself while I am speaking English. 3.39 U
I start to panic when I have to speak English without a preparation in advance. 3.65 U
In a speaking class, I can get so nervous I forget things I know. 3.67 U
I feel confident while I am speaking English. 3.30 U
I get nervous and confused when I am speaking English. 3.46 U
I am afraid that other students will laugh at me while I am speaking English. 3.63 U
I get nervous when the English teacher asks me to speak English which I have prepared in advance. 3.37 U
I have no fear of speaking English. 3.11 U
I can feel my heart pounding when I am going to be called on. 3.76 A
I feel relaxed while I am speaking English. 3.17 U
It embarrasses me to volunteer to go out first to speak English. 3.35 U
I face the prospect of speaking English with confidence. 3.28 U
Certain parts of my body feel very tense and rigid while I am speaking English. 3.46 U
I feel anxious while I am waiting to speak English. 3.31 U
I dislike using my voice and body expressively while I am speaking English. 3.15 U
I have trouble to coordinate my movements while I am speaking English. 3.30 U
Even if I am very well prepared, I feel anxious about speaking English. 3.44 U
Over-all Mean 3.40 U
Legend: 1.0-1.8= Strongly Disagree (SD); 1.9-2.7= Disagree (D);
2.8-3.6= Undecided (U); 3.7-4.5= Agree (A); 4.6-5.0= Strongly Agree (SA)

The table 1 shows the result of the pre-test that was conducted in order to test the public speaking apprehension of the students. The over-all mean result of pre-test on public speaking apprehension was 3.40 which was verbally interpreted as “undecided”. It clearly showed from the data that most of the students are undecided if they have a fear in speaking in front of the public. According to the study of Cornwell, Johnson, Berardi, ; Grillon (2006), many people experience low level distress prior to and at the beginning of a public oration, while others experience high levels throughout the speech and continue to be distressed well after it has concluded. Also, drawing on Tinto’s body of work in relation to social integration (Tinto, 1975, 2009) Strahan (2003) hypothesises that: “College students with high social anxiety may thus be adversely affected in the following ways. First, they experience the social isolation and lack of campus-life integration that follows from their social withdrawal. Second, they experience considerable discomfort from interacting with many groups of strangers (in classes, residence halls, and other settings), a discomfort which is a hallmark of social anxiety. Third, students with high levels of anxiety frequently find it difficult to interact with authority figures. They may find that interacting with teaching faculty and classmates is so overwhelming that it is preferable to muddle through when in doubt.” (p.349-350). This shows that there are several factors affecting the confidence of an individual when it comes to speaking in public.

Table 2. The Result of Post-Test
Statement Mean VI
Even if I am very well prepared, I feel anxious about speaking English. 3.50 U
I have trouble to coordinate my movements while I am speaking English. 3.40 U
I dislike using my voice and body expressively while I am speaking English. 2.70 D
I feel anxious while I am waiting to speak English. 3.50 U
Certain parts of my body feel very tense and rigid while I am speaking English. 3.30 U
I face the prospect of speaking English with confidence. 3.30 U
It embarrasses me to volunteer to go out first to speak English. 3.40 U
I feel relaxed while I am speaking English. 3.10 U
I have no fear of speaking English. 2.80 U
I can feel my heart pounding when I am going to be called on. 3.30 U
I get nervous when the English teacher asks me to speak English which I have prepared in advance. 3.00 U
I am afraid that other students will laugh at me while I am speaking English. 3.80 A
I get nervous and confused when I am speaking English. 3.30 U
I feel confident while I am speaking English. 2.70 D
In a speaking class, I can get so nervous I forget things I know. 3.40 U
I start to panic when I have to speak English without a preparation in advance. 3.40 U
I never feel quite sure of myself while I am speaking English. 3.10 U
Mean 3.24 U
Legend: 1.0-1.8= Strongly Disagree (SD); 1.9-2.7= Disagree (D);
2.8-3.6= Undecided (U); 3.7-4.5= Agree (A); 4.6-5.0= Strongly Agree (SA)

The table 2 shows the result of the post-test that was conducted after the use of Virealty Plics in order to know if there is a change in the level of public speaking apprehension of the students. The over-all mean result of post-test on public speaking apprehension was 3.24 which was verbally interpreted as “undecided”. The data shows that the students are still undecided if they have fear of public speaking but it shows that there is a change after having the intervention as the mean drops down from 3.40 to 3.24 with a difference of 0.16. According to Lucas (2011), “Many people who converse easily in all kinds of everyday situations become frightened at the idea of standing up before a group to make a speech”. Verderber, Sellnow and Verderber (2011) state, “Public speaking, a sustained formal presentation by a speaker to an audience, is simply one form of human communication. So learning to be an effective public speaker will help you to be more effective in other communication settings as well”. Weissman (2012) explains the reasons why some speakers speak faster when they face the audience. He writes that when a presenter comes in front of an audience, the pressure of the situation prompts adrenaline rush which produces time warp that causes the presenter to speak fast. He further says that this can be overcome by using pauses and lubricants, which allow more time to the audience to process the information and also gives the speaker enough time to phrase another sentence.

The table 3 shows the result of the evaluation on the software done by 2 language teachers from Bulacan State University – Bustos Campus and 1 from Bunsuran National High School, 1 computer teacher from the Bulacan State University – Bustos Campus, Banga High School and Bunsuran National High School and the 10 third year students of Bulacan State University – Bustos Campus.

It is shown in the table that only two verbal descriptions dominated in the results: agree and strongly agree.

The evaluation of the software in terms of content has a sub mean of 3.45 and which was interpreted as “strongly agree”. This clearly shows that the software’s content is factual and free of errors. It also meets the school’s standards and learning objectives. Riva (2002) stated that Virealty Plics can be considered “embodied technology” for its effects on body perceptions: it is possible to use VR to induce controlled changes to the experience of the body; furthermore, the virtual environment can be enriched to extent that it can become a plausible copy of the real world.

The evaluation of the software in terms of documentation and support has a sub mean which is 3.47 and was interpreted as “strongly agree”. This clearly shows that the teacher/instructor’s manual is clear and thorough and help tutorials are clear and easy to use. Virtual environments have been shown to be an effective distraction method for helping patients manage pain (Gold, Belmont, ; Thomas, 2007; Hoffman et al., 2008). With this, VR can be used to help students gain confidence to speak in front of the public.

The evaluation of the software in terms of ability levels has a sub mean of 3.45 and which was interpreted as “strongly agree”. This clearly shows that the software meets the standards of the teachers when it comes to the ability level of the software. If the association of a gesture to a word can enhance verbal memory, then VR offers privileged medium in which to implement the training. (Macedonia et al., 2011). It gives the users the opportunity to see themselves moving in the environment while being comfortably seated in a chair.

The evaluation of the software in terms of assessment has a sub mean of 3.35 and which was interpreted as “strongly agree”. This clearly shows that assessment methods are appropriate and suited to learning objectives and the teachers can assess students' progress easily by evaluating progress reports. Hoyt, Blascovich, ; Swinth, (2003) and Okita, Bailenson, ; Schwartz (2008) stated that when people believe they are interacting with an avatar, their physiological responses and behaviors are more similar to how they would interact with a real person.
Table 3. The Results of the software evaluation as perceived
by students, English teachers and computer teachers
ITEM STATEMENTS STUDENT ENGLISH TEACHER COMPUTER TEACHER COMBINED MEAN
CONTENT MEAN VD MEAN VD MEAN VD MEAN VD
1. The content is accurate and factual. 3.70 SA 3.33 SA 3.00 A 3.34 SA
2. The content is educationally appropriate. 3.90 SA 3.67 SA 3.00 A 3.52 SA
3. The content is free of errors. 3.30 SA 3.33 SA 3.00 A 3.21 A
4. The content meets your learning goals and objectives. 3.60 SA 3.67 SA 3.67 SA 3.64 SA
5. The content is free of stereotypes and cultural bias. 3.50 SA 3.67 SA 3.67 SA 3.61 SA
6. The content meets the school's standards. 3.50 SA 3.67 SA 3.00 A 3.39 SA
Sub Mean 3.58 SA 3.56 SA 3.22 A 3.45 SA
DOCUMENTATION AND SUPPORT
1. The teacher/instructor manual is clear and thorough. 3.80 SA 3.67 SA 3.33 SA 3.60 SA
2. The software has a support number. 3.50 SA 3.67 SA 3.00 A 3.39 SA
3. Online technical support is available. 3.60 SA 3.33 SA 3.00 A 3.31 SA
4. Help tutorials are clear and easy to use. 3.70 SA 3.67 SA 3.33 SA 3.57 SA
Sub Mean 3.65 SA 3.59 SA 3.17 A 3.47 SA
ABILITY LEVELS
1. The ability level can be set by the teacher. 3.70 SA 3.67 SA 3.67 SA 3.68 SA
2. The ability level automatically advances. 3.50 SA 3.00 A 3.33 SA 3.28 SA
3. The software covers a variety of ability/skill levels. 3.50 SA 3.00 A 3.67 SA 3.39 SA
Sub Mean 3.57 SA 3.22 A 3.56 SA 3.45 SA
ASSESSMENT
1. Software has built-in assessment and reporting tools. 3.50 SA 3.00 A 3.33 SA 3.28 SA
2. Assessment methods are appropriate and suited to learning objectives. 3.80 SA 3.67 SA 3.33 SA 3.60 SA
3. Software documents and records student progress. 3.50 SA 3.00 A 3.00 A 3.17 A
4. Teachers can assess students' progress easily by evaluating progress reports. 3.70 SA 3.33 SA 3.00 A 3.34 SA
Sub Mean 3.63 SA 3.25 SA 3.17 A 3.35 SA
TECHNICAL QUALITY
1. Animation and graphics are used well. 3.90 SA 4.00 SA 3.67 SA 3.86 SA
2. Audio voice (input/output) is used well. 3.80 SA 4.00 SA 4.00 SA 3.93 SA
3. Feedback and prompts are appropriate. 3.60 SA 3.67 SA 3.67 SA 3.64 SA
4. The application allows branching and chunking. 3.50 SA 3.67 SA 3.67 SA 3.61 SA
Sub Mean 3.70 SA 3.84 SA 3.75 SA 3.76 SA
EASE OF USE
1. Direction is clear. 3.80 SA 4.00 SA 4.00 SA 3.93 SA
2. Students can exit the program at any time. 3.60 SA 3.33 SA 3.67 SA 3.53 SA
3. Students can restart the program where they stopped. 3.80 SA 3.67 SA 3.33 SA 3.60 SA
4. The software is reliable and free of disruption system errors. 3.30 SA 3.33 SA 3.33 SA 3.32 SA
Sub Mean 3.63 SA 3.58 SA 3.58 SA 3.60 SA
Grand Mean 3.63 SA 3.51 SA 3.41 SA 3.51 SA
Legend: 1.00-1.75= Strongly Disagree (SD); 1.76-2.50= Disagree (D);
2.51-3.25= Agree (A); 3.26-4.00= Strongly Agree (SA)
The evaluation of the software in terms of technical quality also has a sub mean of 3.76 and which was interpreted as “strongly agree”. This shows that the software’s animation, graphics and audio are utilized well. According to Mori (2012), the acceptability of a virtual character is not a linear function of its human likeness. In other words, the more a virtual agent resembles a human being, the more it is acceptable.

The evaluation of the software in terms of ease of use has a sub mean of 3.60 and which was interpreted as “strongly agree”. This clearly shows that the software’s directions are clearly stated and that they can exit the game at any time that they want. Virtual environments are becoming increasingly user and creator-friendly (Bartle, 2004).

The evaluation of the software in terms of technical quality has the highest sub mean and the evaluation of the software in terms of assessment has the lowest sub mean.

The students rated and generated a grand mean of 3.63 and it was interpreted as “strongly agree”. The language teachers rated a grand mean of 3.51 and were interpreted as “strongly agree”. Lastly, the technical teachers rated and generated a grand mean of 3.41 and were interpreted as “strongly agree”. The combination of the three sets of evaluator gathered a grand mean of 3.51 which is interpreted as “strongly agree”.

Result of Significant Difference between the Pretest and Post test score
To get the results if there is significant difference between the levels of public speaking apprehension before and after the use of the Virealty Plics the researchers used t-test and p-value computation. The table below shows the result of t-test and p-value using Microsoft excel.

Table 4. The result of t – test and p-value
Variable Mean t-value t-critical ? p-value Decision
Pre-Test 4.04 1.578 2.26 0.5 0.00156 Reject
Post-Test 3.68

The computed t-value is 1.578 which is lower than the t-critical which is 2.26. The researchers decided to use the p-value to help in determining the significance of the results of the hypothesis test in statistics. The p -value resulted as 0.00156 which is lower than the alpha or the level of significance that is 0.05. The result suggests the rejection of null hypothesis and the acceptance of the alternative hypothesis. This means that there is a significant difference between the students’ level of public speaking apprehension before and after the intervention. The result implied that the intervention in the form of Virealty Plics is found to be an effective tool in aiding their public speaking apprehension. A study from Kirkwood and Melton (2002) states that anxiety disorders are among the most common mental disorders encountered by public speakers. Sjoberg (2006) suggests that learners, who lack confidence, need encouragement in the initial phase of learning so that they could be encouraged to participate in the class.

Conclusion
On the basis of the findings and tests applied in this study, the researchers’ therefore conclude that:
1. Most of the third year English language learners’ of Bulacan State University – Bustos Campus are having a hard time when it comes to public speaking, especially when using the English language.
2. Public speaking apprehension is one of the major problems that the English language learners encountered.
3. Based on the gathered data and results, the researchers could say that using the Virealty Plics as a tool cannot completely remove the public speaking apprehension but rather lessen with constant practice and gaining self-confidence with the use of Virealty Plics as a therapy.
4. Use of multimedia such as Virealty Plics in alleviating English language learners’ public speaking apprehension cannot eradicate without the accomplice of willingness, obedience and patience in overcoming such anxiety.
5. There is a significant difference in the level of public speaking apprehension of the respondents before and after the use of Virealty Plics.

Recommendations
Based on the results and data gathered, the researchers arrived with the following recommendations for the future assessment of alleviating English language learners’ public speaking apprehension.
1. Constant practice in using the English language in front of the people should be applied in lessening the public speaking apprehension.
2. Use Virealty Plics continuously as a tool for therapy.
3. Teachers should give exercises which will enhance the communication skills of the English language learners.
4. Use multimedia that will develop self-confidence, English speaking skills and Language proficiency such as Virealty Plics.
5. Performances such as Reporting, Acting Workshop, Drama and Play can also be applied to fully overcome such public speaking apprehension.
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