The Effects of Poster Presentations and Class Presentations on Low-Proficiency Learners



Presentation assignments for second language speakers can take several forms, such as a traditional class presentation or a poster presentation. Poster presentations, which are given repeatedly to small groups, seem to have several advantages, including increased speaking opportunities, more interaction between the speaker and the audience, and less anxiety for the speaker. However, these benefits have not been discussed critically in the literature, let alone researched in experimental studies. This article compares poster presentations and class presentations and their effects on 75 low-proficiency speakers of English at a Japanese college. Video-recorded data, two recall tests, and learner surveys were used to test the hypothesis that poster presentations would lead to an increased rate of speaking, more vocabulary retention, and better affective effects. The results confirm some of these hypotheses, and highlight several factors that second language instructors should consider when planning oral presentations.