Effects of the Vaughan Method in Comparison with the Audio-lingual Method and the Communicative Language Teaching on Iranian Advanced EFL Students



Studies on the application of English teaching methods continue to follow various concepts which aim at developing various communication skills for language learners. With reference to the topic at hand, it is observed that various methods to teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) are devised to work with varying classes of English Learners. However, for Iranian Students, this research aims to compare the Vaughan Method’s effectiveness with two other alternative methods namely, Audio-Lingual and communicative language teaching. However, with keen analysis of the available literature, there are various studies such as Zeinivand, Azizifar, and Gowhary (2015) which showcase how Iranian students learn English as a Foreign Language. However, while the application of each method is unique to certain criteria of application, the main aim of applying the Vaughan is to generate positive student attitudes to writing and speaking. In this regard, the research aims at serving the interests of reliability and validity in the application within a learning environment. If Vaughan Method is more engaging in delivering speaking and writing skills needs to EFL students, then it is recommendable for use within the teaching environment as the only method considering the other two. 

Previous research shows that attitudes, orientations, motivations, and anxiety are among factors that influence language learning. In this study, focus is drawn on the application of the Vaughan Method in teaching advanced Iranian students. The selection criterion for the Iranian sample is based on the fact that the method for teaching accounts for a foreign sample learning English as a totally new language. However, students considered for the study are not expected to have no speaking or writing skills within the English test and therefore, the study considered a QOPT test which is undertaken to place each student in the right category as influenced by writing and speaking knowhow already established from sources or input, other than a language class.

Research Questions

In order to achieve the desired outcomes of cultivating the right language skills, several research questions are developed to provide a basis of focus and to guide the comparison of selected methods. The research questions are as indicated below:

  1. Does applying the Vaughan method in comparison with the Audio-lingual method and the communicative language teaching have a significant influence on Iranian advanced EFL learners’ speaking skill?
  2. Does applying the Vaughan method in comparison with the Audio-lingual method and the communicative language teaching have a significant influence on Iranian advanced EFL learners’ writing skill?
  3. Does conducting a panel discussion indicate the usefulness of the Vaughan method for improving the learners’ speaking skill?
  4. Does conducting a panel discussion indicate the usefulness of the Vaughan method for improving the learners’ writing skill?
  5. Does administering a questionnaire at the end of the course demonstrate learner attitudes towards the successfulness of the Vaughan method for improving learners’ speaking skill?
  6. Does administering a questionnaire at the end of the course demonstrate learner attitudes towards the successfulness of the Vaughan method for improving learners’ writing skill?

Literature Review


The improvement of English language speaking and writing skills of foreign students has been subject to research for decades. Instructions on reading, writing and speaking strategies have had a dramatic effect on students learning English as a foreign language (EFL). The teaching systems used in different characteristics and outcomes. Consequently, the effects on the learning and writing skills of an individual are purely based on the approach taken (Intarampanich, 2013). Teaching EFL among students relies majorly on three different approaches (Fumani, Nemati and Adelian, 2015). The methodologies have had significant effects on a student’s proficiency in English as a foreign language and include the Audio lingual teaching method, the communicative language teaching method and the Vaughan method of teaching. Each approach has 

Vaughan Method

English as a foreign language, is hardly learned from hours of studying its grammatical theory, rather it is learned by spending hours putting its theory into oral practice, hence the source of the Vaughan Method of teaching (Intarampanich, 2013). The Vaughan Method is a teaching method that insists on language orals rather than grammatical theory. The method is founded on the basis that when English is taught as a foreign language, it is properly and efficiently learned not only by acquiring grammatical knowledge but also oral knowledge (Akincilar, 2010).

In conventional classes that do not use the Vaughan method, language is taught as theory rather than in a practice form. As a result, learning English among students becomes theoretical and difficult to understand. However, the Vaughan method of teaching aims to increase a student’s agility in EFL as well as train them to communicate in the intended language (Rabani and Khoshsima, 2014).

The Vaughan Method of teaching is based on three fundamental models. The concepts include; oral-based classes, motivation and correction (Akincilar, 2010). To begin with, the most important aspect of the Vaughan Method is the oral-based classes. The Vaughan teaching method is based on a belief that grammar knowledge is not enough to master the English language. Thus, classes that use the Vaughan method are oral based. The oral-based class technique gives learning the EFL in class, a more practical and easier approach as compared to classes that do not embrace the technique. Vaughan method therefore makes it easier to learn English as a foreign language, as compared to the theoretical method of teaching grammar. For instance, a student who is new to the English language would have to memorize a structure like, “simple past + future + verb = second conditional, using the grammatical theory method of teaching, which would be very difficult to understand or refer back in a real life situation (Rabani and Khoshsima, 2014). However, in the Vaughan method, the structure is easier to learn when students are given oral examples. Therefore, the student learns how to use past participle, present simple and any other tense or grammatical formula in any sentence orally, without having to refer to any formula. The Vaughan method hence makes the student use correct English without having to think (Sadoughvanini, 2012).

The oral-based concept in the Vaughan method of teaching can be assumed to be of having conversations in class, rather than actual learning. That is however not the case, for the oral-based concept, puts the grammar into practice, not by conversations but by using drills that provoke responses from the students. The drills and responses then assimilate the students to learning EFL consequently making them more swift and responsive to English (Intarampanich, 2013).

The second element of the Vaughan method is the Correction concept. A teacher using the method, corrects a grammatical mistake on the spot, and makes the students repeat it to boost their understanding and assist them to remember. The method is a vital step in boosting a student’s assimilation to the EFL. Learning the English language for foreign students, is a difficult task, hence the Vaughan method uses positive correction and repetition, until the students become conversant and agile to the correct grammatical use of English (Abedi, Latifi, and Moinzadeh, 2010).

The correction method is carried out for a number of reasons. To begin with, after being corrected, a student gains confidence in the language, for he or she is able to see his/her progress, especially when the teacher’s corrections become less as time progresses. Secondly, students also get to learn from each other’s mistakes, hence boosting their knowledge of English. Furthermore, correction of mistakes creates a positive kind of anxiety in students. The positive anxiety makes them more eager to speak correctly (Sepehri, 2015). Likewise, if a grammatical error is made and not corrected, it can be reinforced in the student’s mind making the students prone to making more grammatical mistakes. Therefore, correction is key. Lastly, correction makes the students trust their teacher, for when they are not corrected, they tend to associate the gesture as a confirmation that their skills are fully developed in the tested areas. If a teacher doesn’t correct their mistakes, students can never be sure whether or not they are making mistakes or are using the correct grammar. Therefore, correction has fundamental effects in helping students in learning, speaking and writing skills of the EFL and should constantly be promoted (Abedi, Latifi, and Moinzadeh, 2010).

Repetition after correction is also a vital concept in the Vaughan method of teaching. Repetition is important for it not only aids a student undo the grammatical error made, but also makes that correction in his or her mind permanent (Akincilar, 2010). Similarly, repetition creates confidence as it lessens the doubt of whether or not the student is speaking in the correct English language. Thirdly, correcting a student and moving on with the class creates a negative energy toward the corrective strategy. Consequently, getting the students to repeat the correction made and praising the students when they adjust positively creates affirmative energy in the class towards learning (Abedi, Latifi, and Moinzadeh, 2010).

The last aspect of the Vaughan teaching method is motivation. The teaching method ensures that the students are motivated to use English in and out of class. The main ways in which the Vaughan method keeps the students motivated is by unveiling their progress to ensure they understand how they fair on in the respective areas, within the learning environment. The method keeps track of the mistakes made by a student as well as the progress the student has made working on the error until it becomes a strength in understanding and communicating in English. The progress reports make the students realize they are making fundamental progress, hence motivating them to work even harder on areas they have individual challenges in (Abedi, Latifi, and Moinzadeh, 2010).

The teacher is an essential tool in the Vaughan method. He or she makes the techniques adaptable in any level or any class setting. The instructor explains how to pronounce and practice grammatical formulas orally, while correcting any mistakes made. The teacher gives the class positive energy and boosts participation in the class (Boran, 2010). Classes that use the Vaughan method of teaching are more active and full of energy. Students in classes that implement the learning method barely get bored or switch off in class. They tend to be very attentive, due to the active drills which they may be prompted by the teacher at any moment. The instructor therefore makes the students keen and at per with what is being taught. Consequently, a student’s progress in an EFL is enhanced significantly. A teacher is therefore the motor that keeps the Vaughan method of teaching up and running (Sepehri, 2015).

Audio-Lingual Method 

The Audio Lingual method is an oral language teaching approach which is based on the Skinners Behaviorism theory.  The theory assumed that a human being could learn a particular language in a short period and with proficiency using a system of reinforcement. Thus the audio lingual method of teaching focuses on a conditioning technique on training English as a foreign language. The technique uses reinforcements and shaping to assist the learner to respond appropriately using English (Rabani and Khoshsima, 2014). 

The method is based on two fundamental concepts which include the behavioral theory and the structural view of the English language. To begin with, the structural view of the English language in the bilingual method focuses on how language elements relate to each other synchronically. It emphasizes mainly on the performance of the EFL rather than its observable part. The behavioral theory in the teaching method is based on a theory that learning of an EFL occurs through reinforcements, habit formation and associations (Hedayati, & Marandi, 2014; Dashtestani, 2014). The behavioral theory is based on the belief that if correct use of grammar is used, and positively reinforced, it is more likely that a student would become more agile to the English language (Sepehri, 2015).

Audio lingual method of teaching and the Vaughan method share similar objectives. For instance, both the Vaughan and Audio Lingual method share the core objective of being able to equip a learner with the correct grammar and articulation to students learning English as a foreign language. In addition, the audio lingual method assists students to respond accurately and quickly while engaging in conversations both in and out of the classroom setting. Teachers, who use the audio lingual method to teach, intend for their students to use the English language communicatively in any scenario. Furthermore, its final objective is that the technique aims to provide sufficient knowledge of vocabulary to be used in correct grammar patterns (Mousapour, 2011).

The audio lingual method of teaching has a number of characteristics. Some of the characteristics include; the method of teaching which is based on the basis that learning English is habit formation, meanings of words can only be learned in a cultural or linguistic context and as compared to analysis, analogies are a better basis for learning English. Additionally, in the audio lingual method of teaching, grammatical errors are considered bad and should be avoided. Unfortunately, unlike the Vaughan method of teaching where upon a wrong response, a student is corrected positively, in the audio lingual method, wrong responses lead to negative feedbacks. Moreover, the audio lingual method is based on the belief that oral learning of the English language is more effective than writing it. Dialogue is also a significant feature in the Audio lingual teaching method. Dialogue in the learning of English as a foreign language provide students with an opportunity to memorize, mimic and practice English. Consequently, dialogue develops a student’s fluency and agility of the English language (Rabani and Khoshsima, 2014).

Classroom lessons using the audio lingual technique participate in a variety of activities. Some of the activities include repetition of sentences, reading of dialogues aloud and intense practice drilling. The learners focus on an accurate imitation of a teacher’s utterance of the English language. Repetition is embarked on in order to produce the precise output and pronunciation. The teacher using the method acts as an imitation while the students are imitators (Namvar, 2012). In addition, another classroom activity used in the technique is practice drilling. Practice drilling is a teaching technique whereby the student is expected to elicit an automatic response. Through the language teaching technique, a student is required to practice a particular line or construct of grammar repeatedly until they can use it without having to think or refer. Classes that use the audio lingual technique in teaching EFT are majorly built on the drills up until a student’s responses are involuntary and spontaneous. The drilling makes the student have little or no control of his or her own response, consequently, improving a student’s agility in English (Rabani and Khoshsima, 2014).

In conclusion, both the Vaughan and the audio lingual method are considered as an outcome of the limitations of the grammar theory method. Both of the teaching methods prefer and insist on speaking and learning skills, rather than reading and writing skills. However, unlike the Vaughan method, in the audio language teaching method, more emphasis was made on the mastering of the building blocks of the teaching of English as a foreign language, while learning the rules of combining them with a student’s learned oral language skills (Mousapour, 2011).

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Communicative Language Method

Communicative language teaching technique is a method that is based on the idea that successful knowledge of English as a foreign language is achieved through communicating it. The approach therefore relies on interaction as the main method of study of English as a foreign language. The communicative language teaching technique uses no textbook series in the teaching of English, for it is a non-methodical teaching system. Students get to learn the EFL using the method, by having interactions between themselves and the teacher (Taylor, 2014).  Having learners get involved in actual communication using English, boosts their knowledge of it as well as their agility in the EFL. The communicative language teaching method was developed as a result of the shortcomings of the Audio lingual method. It focuses on the functional and notional English language categories rather than the structural theory of the language. Thus, the communicative language teaching method works fundamentally on developing a student’s speaking skills rather than his or her writing skills (Namvar, 2012).

The fundamental basis of the communicative language teaching method is made up of three key aspects. The components include; communication, tasks and meaning. Tasks include the activities in which the English language is used to car ry out meaningful assignments which support the process of learning. The tasks are carried out in different setting and circumstances in order to give the students a wide view of use of the language. Moreover, communication is also an important aspect of the EFL approach, for activities that involve actual interactions promote learning. Finally, meaning is also a vital aspect to students learning the English language, for a language that is meaningful to a student, improves his or her learning (Taylor, 2014).  

Students learning English as a foreign language, practice the language through conversing. They converse about their personal experiences with their instructors and fellow students. Unlike the audio lingual method where the students imitate what the teacher says, the communicative technique uses only conversations (Jalali, & Khodabandehlou, 2016; Baghaei, & Riasati, 2015). Additionally, a teacher using the communicative method teaches topics outside that of grammar. He or she teaches language skills that touch on different situations and circumstances. Focusing on the language skills in different situations instead of grammar theory, encourages students to be able to incorporate their personal experiences into their class environment consequently making learning English more relatable (Fumani, Nemati and Adelian, 2015).

In comparison to the Audio Lingual teaching method that uses grammar drills in teaching EFT, the communicative language teaching technique uses oral activities in teaching. Oral activities in the teaching method include active real life conversations as well as creative and unpredictable responses from the learners. The oral activities in the class setting, have a significant effect on the progress of the students in learning the language. Moreover, the oral activities also improve collaboration, comfort and fluency in speaking English (Taylor, 2014).  

There are a variety of the oral activities used in communicative language teaching technique. Some of the activities include; use of interviews, role play, group work, opinion sharing, information gap and scavenger hunt. Interviews are used to boost and develop the students’ interpersonal skills as they are carried out in pairs (Richards, & Schmidt, 2014; Candlin, 2016; Larsen-Freeman & Anderson, 2013). Role play is carried out in different settings as students act out different roles. It assists in the development of a student’s communication abilities in any setting. Opinion sharing on the other hand, is a topic based oral activity, where the students share and engage in a topic that affects them all. It improves a student’s ability to air out his or her opinion confidently and with correct grammar. Another oral based activity is the scavenger hunt. The activity enables students to mingle as well as promote open interactions among the students. Finally, group work is also an oral activity, whereby the students engage in activities where they get to work together. Their collaboration in the activity helps the students develop speaking skills even in a large group setting. The communicative language teaching method, engages students learning the EFT as a result, having significant impact in their learning (Fumani, Nemati and Adelian, 2015).

Communicative language teaching method has a range of effects. For instance, the method of teaching is considered as a more holistic approach to learning, for it focuses on the communicative dimension of English rather than the structural form of the language. Similar to the Vaughan method of teaching, the communicative language approach provides motivation and attention in the class. In addition, communicative language teaching is considered advantageous for it is a learner centered approach that insists on the needs and interests of the student (Taylor, 2014). 

The communicative language of teaching can be assumed to have less emphasis on grammar. However, that is not the case, for the interactions in and out of class are made within a grammatical context. Therefore, the communicative teaching language method puts emphasis on the natural patterns students acquire during actual communication rather than the rigid rules of the English grammar (Fumani, Nemati and Adelian, 2015).


Participants and Setting

With reference to the participants, the teaching of English as EFL is for the administration to Iranian advanced English learners. The application of advanced learners indicates that the language classes are not administered to individuals without prior language skills in either writing or speaking. However, the intention of choosing advanced learners is to apply the selected method to enhance target students’ English language skills. The desired sample size is 200 students to ensure that representation can be validly considered to represent the applicability of the teaching method in the entire Iranian EFL students’ population.



In order to inform the applicability of the Vaughan method as it compared to the other two methods, the World Link textbook is considered the desired resource. The applicability of the World Link textbook is based on the previous use in EFL teaching environments as well as its focus on the development of language skills in speaking and writing makes it applicable for this study. The World Link offers a combination of skill enhancing protocols among them the use of vocabulary, engagement in listening and speaking tasks, reading and writing tasks, and connection between student’s knowledge with learning objectives. Visual aid is also incorporated in this resource ensuring a connection between theory and real situations is made.


Tests are created to ensure that various levels of EFL student learning progress are assessed and necessary conclusions made. Conclusions are made based on the effectiveness of the methods applied and the observations made. As a result, two tests, writing and speaking, are administered in collaboration with panel discussion and belief survey.

The Speaking Test 

For the speaking test, this study selects the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) which is internationally standardized English test that aims to assess communication proficiency in English Language (Morrow et al, 2012). The speaking test involves a face-to-face approach between the student and a teacher engages in a three-section assessment. An introduction and interview are considered the components of the first section of the test and it takes 4-5 minutes. Test takers can respond to general or specific type of questions. Secondly, the takers are engaged with the long run section which requires 3-4 minutes requiring the taker to acquire and prepare a story from a set of cards outlining a topic. Lastly, the IELTS test for speaking considered discussion section that takes 4 to 5 minutes.

The Writing Test 

On the writing test, the IELTS test applies in the current study focus as it delivers reliable and valid assessment criterion. Since the test is divided into Academic and General Training categories, only the academic category is considered which requires takes to describe through written format a table, a graph, or a diagram in two tasks (Green, 2005). The first task requires the taker to write 150 words in a specified duration of 20 minutes and a subsequent task of writing 250 words in 40 minutes is administered. Task 2 requires for the takers to discuss in writing their views on selected topic such as arguing out solution to a problem, justification of an opinion, or the evaluation of an outcome (Green, 2005).

The Panel Discussion

The panel discussion method is closely related to the Vaughan method as it involved the interaction between the teacher and students in the development of a conversation, deployment of solutions, and agreement on the best solutions to identified or generated problems. Through panel discussion, the teacher is able to identify the students with comprehension difficulties and at the same time, the provocation for responses to determine student progress. Through this discussion, students are also able to acquire language skills by listening to mistakes made by colleagues and corrections offered by those with more knowledge or the teacher.

The Belief Survey

The belief survey was developed in accordance to the objectives of the teaching methods analyzed. The survey aims to text the attitudes in reading and writings for students taught using the three methods.  Each of the methods has its advantages and disadvantages. However, based on the overall objectives to enhance student speaking and writing skills, the belief theory aimed at testing whether the Vaughan method was preferred based on its approach to integrate repetitions, teacher’s corrections, self-expression, and association of experiences.

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Teaching English as a foreign language using the Vaughan technique is carried out in a particular procedure. The initial process begins at home where the learner is required to take an online test. The online test contains multiple choice questions in English, which help in grading each student’s level of the English language. It is a basic test that mainly focuses on grammatical issues, speaking expressions and vocabularies. Students are required to have minimum knowledge of the English language in order to be admitted into the Vaughan systems course (Richards and Rodgers, 2014).

On the first day of the Vaughan course, an oral interview is carried out by the instructor. The interview is, however, similar to the online test carried out earlier, for is used to verify and confirm that the student’s oral knowledge of English, checks in with the online written test carried out before admission. The oral interview is a question-answer model that is similar to having a conversation. Nevertheless, the questions in the interview are out of context, therefore help in verifying whether or not a student is able to restructure and reconstruct sentences by modifying verbs and changing key words. Although the main objective of the Vaughan Teaching Method is considered to be improving the oral skills of a learner, the first two steps, concentrate on the grammar and structure of the English language (Romero, 2013).

On successful completion of both tests, learners are finally grouped into small classes according to their earlier assessed level of English knowledge. The classes are small in order to give each student the necessary attention he or she needs as well as provoke student talk. In each of the classes, the instructor introduces the grammatical topics to be learned using oral based techniques such as repetition. Additionally, activities that involve grammar translation are also introduced in the classes. For instance, a teacher provides a sentence, in the students’ native language, while the student tries to translate it into the English language (Richards and Rodgers, 2014).

The audio lingual method of teaching is also procedural. The technique is carried out in five chronological steps. To begin with, the English teacher gives a summary of the content of the dialogue to be used. The dialogue being introduced is however not translated into their native language. Nonetheless, some key words or phrases are translated in order for the students to understand part of the dialogue. It is therefore necessary for the students learning English using the Audio Lingual technique to have some knowledge of the it (Romero, 2013).

The students are then required to listen attentively as the instructor reads the dialogue. The dialogue is read out loud several times in order to boost a students’ understanding.  Facial expressions, gestures, dramatized actions and other non-verbal ques are necessary in the presentation of the dialogue. The non-verbal ques make a student more attentive as well as improve his or her knowledge and comprehension of the dialogue (Richards and Rodgers, 2014).

After reading and listening of the intended dialogue, the learners are then required to recite the dialogue. Each sentence is read in chorus by the students and repeated according to the length of the sentence. In addition, if a student makes an error, he or she is corrected and made to repeat the sentence out loud. Nevertheless, if many learners make the error, drills and chorus repletion are used till the mistake is corrected. Finally, for the students are required to have memorized the dialogue, a pair of students then go to the front of the class to act out and present their dialogue (Richards and Rodgers, 2014).

The communicative language teaching method is based on two main steps; approach and design. Approach is the initial procedure, which includes learning and teaching of English theory. It involves the learning of communicative, sociolinguistic and grammatical aspects of the English language. The step includes the use of native language as well as being eclectic (Pustaka, 2014).

The design of the communicative language technique is the second step involved in the use of communicative language teaching.  Design involves the student and instructor, engaging in weak and strong conversations. The teacher and the students switch roles as they use role-play in their particular characters as communicators. The design step is important as it boosts a learner’s agility in English (Richards and Rodgers, 2014).

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World Link Procedure

Vaughan Method

The Vaughan method is mostly concerned with listening and interpretation of instructions. Through the application of World Link to the method, it applies a different set of instructions as compared to the other methods discussed. Since students are not asked to follow a specific set of course instructions, they are given three listening task in which they describe prompts such as describing where people live where they live, how they perceive their learning strategies, description of things that are valuable too personal and other people, enter the reporting of what another student may have said.

With reference to the writing instructions in students are asked to describe in one paragraph specific things such as a city, personal experience, or their interpretation of a news article. In addition, the method also benefits from the use of creativity in communicating one’s ideas. Yeah students are asked to write about an excuse that you would consider relevant for a sick student description of a life transitional event. By examination of the students’ arguments, the teacher can correct their grammar while at the same time contributing to vocabulary alternatives or synonyms to improve a student’s grammar.

Audio Lingual Method

With reference to the audio lingual teaching method, the application of the world link requires the teacher to various types of information that the students can repeat over and over. Application of an interview, conversations, and focused listening such as discussions. The teacher is required to insure that students construct and mimic specific patterns in spoken communication that’s given to them by the teacher. 

On the other hand, the application of the world link book series in writing teaching, require students to write opinions as well as to respond to question prompts provided to them by the teacher. However, in the writing, specific grammar patterns and sentence construction approaches are taken into account. These grammar patterns include proper use of simple present tense for specific sentences such as ‘I seek friendship’ expecting ‘I sought friendship’.

Communicative Language Teaching

Communicative language teaching is taught through the World Link by the use of videos and interactive media. Through the selection of authentic videos from channels such as Google’s YouTube and the National Geographic. The application of the Word Link helps advanced learners to incorporate fluency and confidence in spoken English. English speaking skills are developed through the application of dynamic vocabulary, application of grammar patterns, consideration of engaging topics, and the use of fascinating images to associate real life with theory. Students are allowed to make connections between interactive media experiences with real life events.

Some of the links to real-life events involved include the engagement of students to topics such as social media as well as urban art. These and more topics provide relevant and motivating environment for natural English Communication. Prior to the engagement with students, teachers use interactive media like video and images that are considered warm-up practical for students. Although World Link is suitable for in-class teaching, an online version exists to insure that students can practice on their own while at home or public libraries.

Preparing the Guided Interview

The guided interview is associated with communicative language teaching method in which students engage in conversations with their teacher.  Based on the objectives of this method, students are assessed on how well they can communicate with their colleagues as well as interpret things and communicate accurately. Based on the learning objectives of this method, the guided interview was prepared as an assessment tool for the teacher to assess whether each student is capable of achieving reliable level of communicative English.

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Scoring Procedures

The Speaking Test 

The speaking test is the initial test in the scoring procedure. It consists of six tasks. The first two tasks of the test are independent tasks, while the other four tasks are integrated tasks. In the independent tasks, a student is given a familiar topic which they learned in class or is relatable. He or she is then expected to air out his or her opinion in 45 seconds using accurate grammar and pronunciations (Muniz, 2017). In the integrated tasks, a student is given 60 seconds to speak about an academic course content. Furthermore, for task 3 and 4, a student is expected to read a passage, then respond to a prompt on it. In task 5 and 6, the learner is expected to listen to an audio clip and respond to the prompt about the clip. Each task is assigned a score from 0 to 4. The raw scores for each task are then averaged together and converted to a final speaking score that ranges from 0 to 30 (Bridgeman, Powers and Stone, 2012).

The Writing Test 

The writing test section involves two tasks. The first section involves the evaluation of the students writing for grammar, vocabulary, organization development and accuracy. The second task in the test involves rating the writing essay on writing quality and skills. Each of the tasks is rated from 0 to 5. The sum of the tasks is then converted to a total score of 0 to 30 (Lee and Kantor, 2005).  

The Panel Discussion analysis

Assessment of the panel discussion contributes to 45% of a student’s grade. It is based on two tasks that require prior preparation. The tasks include a two group debate and a researched pair presentation. The debate is based on a familiar topic centered on themes covered in class sessions. It contributes to 10% of the total grade. The formal and researched presentation in pairs, contributes to 25% of the grade. The last 10% of the grade relies purely on a student’s participation in class and group discussions (Khatibi and Zakeri, 2014).

Measuring Students’ Beliefs

The measurement of a student’s beliefs assists in gauging a student’s performance and self-assessment. This method is carried out using the belief survey in form of a questionnaire. The method contains 30 questions regarding reading and writing and students are required to respond to questions tailored to assess whether a student’s involvement in the English learning class has results in positive outcomes. The expected outcomes include elevated motivation to write and express oneself as well as associating events and correlations. Teachers can use this method to assess whether students believed their learning progress was effective in covering the intended objectives (Khatibi and Zakeri, 2014).


Three existing advanced classes in a language institute will be selected using a quasi-experimental design. To rank students based on their prior language skills, a QOPT test is given to ensure the students are at the same advanced level. Three classes will be selected with Class A taught with the Vaughan method, class B with the Audiolingual method, and class C with the Communicative language teaching. At the beginning of the courses, two pretests are given to each class, a speaking pretest and a writing pretest and the classes will commence. At the end of the treatment, two posttests are given to confirm the language outcome of the students for both speaking and writing requirements. 

Through the use of statistical program, SPSS, two one-way ANOVAs will be used where interaction is not necessary. For the first ANOVA, an independent variable with three levels (the Vaughan method, the Audio-lingual method, and the Communicative language teaching) and a dependent variable (speaking skill) are considered. On the other hand, the second ANOVA, the same independent variable will be used considering the dependent variable to be the writing skill. However, for the validation of the data, a Cronbach’s Alpha is computed to indicate the reliability and this test is carried out in MS Excel to verify the application of the data collection instrument. 


Source of VariationSSdfMSFP-valueF crit
 Cronbach’s Alpha0.814184


Table 1: Reliability Test for the Data

Based on the table 1 above, the reliability of the data collection instrument is considered reliable as it provides a value of 0.814184 for Cronbach’s Alpha. For a value of 0.7, the test is referred as acceptable reliability while a 0.8 or more is considered good reliability value. In this case, it is observed that the instrument is reliable for the collection of the relevant data. In this regard, the reliability of the instrument can be observed to verify findings from the reviewed literature regarding the usefulness and application of the Vaughan Method of teaching EFL. For the validity of the data, it is observed that data cannot be valid unless it is reliable. With the application of the Cronbach Alpha in the calculation of reliability indicates data validity.

The Vaughan method is observed to carry a variety of benefits and assessment areas which contribute to its validity and reliability in instructing advanced English language learners. Table 1 below takes into account assessment areas considered by each other three methods to show case how various previous findings utilized the method at hand. With reference to the application of each method, only then can the validity of the method be determined using the selected Iranian Sample. The justification and shortcoming of each method is outlined below based on findings outlined in previous studies. 

The Vaughan method is credited for its use of repetitions as major learning point as students register grammatical speaking and writing while at the same time improving experience on acquiring knowledge by revisiting completed learning objectives. However, the other methods identified have advantages that make them also applicable in English learning situations. 

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Speaking Skills Attitudes

The three teaching methods outlines in this study indicate different levels of application for each of the considered variable. With reference to the teaching methods as the independent variable and the speaking & writing skills as the depend variables, it is observed that each of the studies has a varying level of emphasis in developing language skills to advanced EFL learners. For the speaking skills’ attitude, the application of the Vaughan method concentrates on the development of communicative and proper grammar (Ghofur et al. 2017; Mart, 2013). However, from the findings, it is observed that practice drills used in this method are not only aimed at developing the students’ experience in self-expression, they also register as strengths since the teacher provokes the establishment of permanent memory or association with real life situations. In this case, students with difficulties in expressing themselves develop interest through teacher motivation and use of corrective approaches. However, based on the frequency of practice drills, the method is observed to influence boredom to students as well as low-level of concentration. With reference to grammar-translation, the Vaughan method offers a memorable approach to English learning but fails to deliver language proficiency for communication (Rofiq, 2016; González-Fernández, & Schmitt, 2017; Berns, 2013). 

With reference to audio lingual approach in teaching, the method is observed to concentrate more on the delivery of conveyed meaning as it develops the students’ ability to use correct grammar in their communication. Unlike the focus of the Vaughan method in developing communication skills, the audio lingual targets the development of grammatical and meaningful language skills. This approach, is however, not very suitable for speaking skills as it influences students to focus on their ability to be right rather than to be understood in terms of meaning and context (Sifakis, 2017). For the communicative language teaching, the results show that the method is focused on speaking and aims to develop students without the engagement of an instructional plan. Since classes mostly apply interaction methods among them practice drills, speaking attitudes are more provoked than writing skills’ attitudes. Advantageous to the speaking skills, is the communicative language teaching since an environment for interaction stimulates the students’ association with the real life (Gomez, De Fina, & de León, 2017). Nonetheless, this approach does not influence written English skills and only impacts speaking skills only.

Writing Skills Attitudes

Writing skills attitudes cannot be efficiently observed through the three methods outlined in the study. However, while Audio Lingual approach emphasizes on the use of correct grammar to convey good communication skills in English for EFL learners, it is much suitable for writing skills. Audio lingual method is suitable for writing skills in that it requires students to master specific patterns of the English grammar. In the long run, the method aims to develop students who can use EFL as their communicative device to make associations and to convey meaning. While the Vaughan method is not the best for building writing skills’ attitudes, it accomplishes the objective of developing writing skills for EFL students in that the practice drills can be transferred from oral to written tasks. Through oral-based communication, students’ writing skills can be developed by the application of repetitive tasks to develop communication skills in both spoken and grammatical written English. Lastly, the use of communicative language teaching is suitable for spoken language but limited in application for the development of writing skills. While practice drills function like in the Vaughan method, this method disregards the focus on communication proficiency and concentrates on meaning and association developments. These approaches fail to address the aspects of grammatical pattern structures (Pitzl, & Ehrenreich, 2015).

Comparison of the Vaughan Method with others

There are several uses of the Vaughan method as well as some shortcomings. Among the positive applications of the method include taking into account oral-based teaching developing the conversational skills of the student, development of natural response to communication needs through the development of speaking skills and integration of awareness in providing feedback, based on conversation approach to cultivates students’ attention and participation in practice learning, tasks the teacher with the responsibility to correct grammar issues on the spot requiring students to repeat the correct responses severally, applying repetition method to enhance a student’s memory of the associated concepts or learning goals, and boosting of  the students’ motivation to speak fluently and in correct English. On the downside, the repetition method involved in the Vaughan approach is prone to boring students. Also, grammar-translation associated with the method prevents students from acquiring natural language input as it teaches language but does not effectively nurture communication skills using the language.

The Audio lingual method focuses on language agility through the use of reinforcements, habit formation, and associations. In addition, the method incorporates visual aid to enhance correlativity of theory and real life while provoking the student to express him/herself in the learning environment as a requirement to describe various associations. Unlike, the Vaughan Method relies on the use of grammatical communication in English and therefore creates habits but fails to offer students more practical ground for self-expression with consistent corrections. Focusing mainly on the teaching of grammar patterns and vocabulary to enhance the students’ language proficiency limits the students in terms of application connections with real life based on their perceptions of abstract entities. The method makes use of repetitions requiring students to accurately imitate their instructor in the articulation of sentences, dialogues, and responses to practice drill tasks; this approach is limiting especially for students with accents or teachers with.

The communicative language teaching, on the other hand, concentrates on interaction and does not involve a teaching plan and makes students’ learning unfocused. Additionally, the Vaughan method incorporates some features of this method that include speaking skills rather than writing and develops the communicative skills rather than written English and develops natural language rather than grammar and structural constructs (Pitzl, & Ehrenreich, 2015). However, the Vaughan method takes into account both natural language connection as well as association with different situations leading to language development and understanding of grammar structuring with the aid of focused instructions and grammar corrections.


By reflecting on the research questions outlined within the introduction section, it is observed that the application of the Vaughan method is more likely to produce the desired effect of teaching advanced Iranian EFL students. The method is comparably suitable for developing positive attitudes in both speaking and writing since its approaches considering oral-based tasks, repetition, and practice drills allow the teacher to identify, examine, and correct problems with understanding the learning objectives. Unlike the audio lingual method, the Vaughan method engages the teacher to make sure that individual problems are addressed taking in account benefit to other students having similar challenges. The Vaughan method includes interactive approaches where students and the teacher engage in communication either guided by instructional approach or a change in instructional approach to assess the students level of concentration. Unlike the other methods, Vaughan is observed to be the only method where distraction prompts are probed on the student to record the comprehension level. In comparison to the communicative language teaching, the Vaughan method is considered much superior as it aims to accomplish an academic goal that communicative language teaching does not. The interactive environment of the communicative method of teaching language limits the students’ ability to engage in meaningful communication. Hence, since audio lingual and the communication methods are only suitable for assessing one skill set at a time, the more universal method is considered appropriate for application in an advanced Iranian EFL class. Poor articulation of the aspects targeted for development affects the excessive focus on writing skills for the audio lingual method and the speaking skills for the communicative language teaching. Thus, the universal applicability in the teaching of both speaking and writing skills makes the Vaughan method reliable, valid and implementable using the IELTS tests with the application of the World Link ELF teaching book series as outlined in the methods’ section.

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