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Two Stay Two Stray on Business English speaking outcomes, interpersonal communication competence, and perceptions between high- and low-achieving EFL learners

Daniel Hutapea1, Hsieh-Jun Chen2
1Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, Asia University, Taichung, Taiwan. 2Graduate Institute of Children’s English, National Changhua University of Education, Changhua, Taiwan


While collaborative learning has shown its contrition to English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) learning contexts, the grouping and sharing mechanisms have revealed mixed effects with the use of peer collaboration. Relatively fewer studies have examined how Two Stay Two Stray (TSTS)—a collaborative learning approach—affected language learning, let alone its probe into English for business purposes and interpersonal communication competence (ICC). Consequently, this study mixed-methods research focused on Business English speaking outcomes, ICC, and learning perceptions between high- and low-achieving learners with the integration of TSTS. The participants were 52 English-major sophomores in a private university in central Taiwan. The students were engaged in two business case projects. The first project used conventional grouping where students formed a group of 4 for peer collaboration for 3 weeks. Their speaking performance of Project 1 was taken as the pre-test and the students were then divided into high and low achievers, respectively including 26 students. Project 2 incorporated TSTS for 3-week peer collaboration with each group purposefully including 2 high achievers and 2 low achievers, with two students staying in the original group interacting with two peers from other groups while two students got stray to other groups for opinion sharing. The results from the two business case presentation performances, responses to ICC and reflective journals revealed that the low achievers made significant improvement in their speaking outcomes, while the high achiever group did not significantly enhance their speaking outcomes when comparing the two business case presentations. Such a finding suggested the benefit of TSTS for low achievers. Responses to ICC showed that significant differences were not found between the two groups, since both groups were positive about the use of TSTS in terms of interpersonal communication such as opinion sharing and feedback giving and receiving.


Two Stay Two Stray, speaking performance, high achiever, low achiever, Business English

International Joint Conference of APLX, ETRA40, and TESPA 2023