An experimental research on blended learning in the development of listening and speaking skills in China
The experimental research conducted for this study is based on a blended learning
(BL) approach to the teaching of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in China. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effectiveness of a blended learning approach aimed at improving students’ listening and speaking skills. 59 students from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) represented the experimental group, and another 59 students from the Wuhan Institute of Physical Education (WIPE) made up the control group. Over a two-year period, the results of four standardised English language examinations were collected and statistically analysed by using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences 17.0 (SPSS1 17.0). The results of the research indicate that students’ listening and speaking skills did indeed improve. Compared to the traditional method of teaching, the blended learning approach appears to combine the best of face-to-face teaching with the best of online learning. The approach is effective in promoting teacher and student initiative and in enhancing learner autonomy.