Empirical Evidence on the Effectiveness of the Learning by Teaching Technique among University-level English as a Foreign Language Students

Keywords: learning by teaching;, workshop;, content knowledge;, language testing;, statistical evidence


Learning via teaching has been accepted as one of the best ways to achieve a deep understanding of a topic. This research was aimed at seeking scientific evidence to support this claim by comparing the scores the university-level EFL students obtained through the learning by teaching technique and those obtained by students who were taught traditionally using a teacher-centered approach. The experimental group consisted of 22 students who were taught pedagogical content knowledge, i.e. English Language Testing, traditionally for half of the semester and then teaching students at another university afterward. The control group consisted of 24 students who were taught language testing traditionally by the same instructor for the whole semester. Both groups were given a test to measure their content knowledge achievement; one test at the beginning of the semester and one at the end of the semester. Two-way ANOVA was used to compare the two groups’ scores, and find out how the differences in the scores was affected by the type of instruction. The results showed that there was significant evidence that the students’ scores improved significantly in both groups. However, the difference in test scores between pre-test and post-test did not depend on the type of instruction. Because the experimental group could achieve the same performance as those of the control group regardless of the shorter instruction period, it can be concluded that learning by teaching has potential as an effective method for teaching pedagogical content knowledge. Suggestions for possible modifications of this technique are discussed in this paper.


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Author Biographies

Usman Kasim, Universitas Syiah Kuala

Usman Kasim graduated from Leeds University in 1991, majoring in TESOL, and earned his PhD in English Education at the State University of Malang in 2003. He is now a professor in the Department of English Education and is the Director of the Language Center, Syiah Kuala University, Indonesia. His research interest covers teaching methodology and language acquisition.

Asnawi Muslem, Universitas Syiah Kuala

Asnawi Muslem completed his master’s degree at National University of Malaysia in 2006 in the field of Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), and a doctoral degree at the University of Science Malaysia in the field of Instructional Strategies and Design in 2015. He is currently a lecturer in the English Education Department of Syiah Kuala University. His research interest covers language teaching and learning.

Faisal Mustafa, Universitas Syiah Kuala

Faisal Mustafa is a lecturer at the Department of English Education, Syiah Kuala University, Indonesia. His research interests include linguistics, language pedagogy, language testing and assessment, statistics in language teaching and testing, translation, and vocabulary.

How to Cite
KasimU., MuslemA., & MustafaF. (2020). Empirical Evidence on the Effectiveness of the Learning by Teaching Technique among University-level English as a Foreign Language Students. Journal of Language and Education, 6(3), 69-79. https://doi.org/10.17323/jle.2020.10846