2017 年 1 巻 p. 37-
The purpose of this pilot study is to explore the use of computer conferencing to improve speaking skills of Japanese EFL learners, giving particular attention to learner-specific affective factors, such as anxiety, self-efficacy and motivation. Data were collected using a 68-item questionnaire which was developed based on Horwitz et al. (1986), Pintrich & DeGroot (1990), and Tanaka & Yamauchi (2000). The questionnaire was administered to 13 undergraduate students before and after three online group learning (OGL) sessions. The participants' speaking ability was tested twice (pre- and post-tests) using picture storytelling tests and assessed by an experienced English language teacher. Results show that all participants were scored significantly higher on the post-speaking test (t(10)=5.88, p<.01) and that their anxiety was significantly reduced after the OGL sessions (𝜒2(4)=55.89, p<.01). In addition, motivation and self-efficacy beliefs for EFL learning were slightly but insignificantly improved. The results suggest that OGL can improve not only EFL learners' speaking skills but also their affective variables, mainly EFL speaking anxiety.