International School HCMC Trial Results – Nov-Dec 2016, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
In Nov-Dec 2016, YES! English assisted in conducting a structured trial of the YES! English oral skills mobile app with a group of 64 students drawn from both the Middle School and High School divisions of the International School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Participation in the trial was voluntary.
The participants were almost evenly split between a ‘YES! English User Group’ (31 students) and a “Control Group’ (33 students). Both groups were given the same oral skills test before the trial commenced. Every question required an oral answer in English. An independent assessor scored their responsiveness to each question, the accuracy of that response, and their pronunciation. The Control Group scored slightly better on the Pre-Test (87.23%) than the YES! English User Group (86.51%). All the students continued with their normal classroom activities during the trial period.
The YES! User Group was given access to the YES! English mobile app and asked to practise their spoken English with the help of the app for a total of ten hours over the next month. The Control Group was not given access to the YES! English app. Both groups were given the same oral Post-Test at the end of the trial period. This test was different to the Pre-Test, although similar. For a number of reasons, most of the students were unable to practise for ten hours as requested, and the average amount of time spent using YES! English was only 3.5 hours . Nevertheless, here are the summarised oral skills test results:
The average measured spoken English skill level of the YES!English User Group of students increased by almost six percentage points, from 86.51% to 92.48%. Given that the initial skill level was already very high, a 5.97% improvement in such a short time and with only very limited practise is significant.
All three skills criteria assessed – Responsiveness, Accuracy, and Pronunciation – individually improved in this group. The biggest improvement of 8.95% was in English pronunciation . The average measured oral skills level in the Control Group actually declined by one percentage point, particularly in response times. This could indicate that the Post-Test questions were slightly more difficult than the Pre-Test, which makes the YES!English User Group results even more impressive.