The Relationship between Iranian EFL Learners’ Ambiguity Tolerance and the Accuracy of Their Task-based Oral Speech

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of English, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran


Various individual differences, including ambiguity tolerance (AT), have gained momentum because of the influence they can exert on the process and product of learning, and thereby, on various aspects of the learner’s interlanguage system such as accuracy of oral speech. The present study was undertaken to examine the extent to which Iranian EFL learners’ AT was significantly correlated with the accuracy of their task-based speech. To serve the purpose, a random sample of 60 Iranian EFL learners studying English at New Pegah Institute in Tabriz were selected from a population of 150. The Second Language Tolerance of Ambiguity Scale (Ely, 1995) was employed to quantify the participants’ AT while the accuracy of their speech, based on a picture description task, was measured based on the ratio of the grammatical errors to the total number of t-units produced. Correlational analyses of the research data revealed that the participants were highly inaccurate in their oral performance and that there was a significant moderate relationship between the two research variables. The findings underscore the need to determine and promote Iranian EFL learners’ AT and offer a number of pedagogical implications.


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