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This article describes a research study which investigates whether the teaching of specific communication strategies, namely, back-channels, pause fillers and hesitation devices, requests for clarification, and circumlocutions, will result in learners making greater use of these strategies and improving the effectiveness of their communication skills in English. The participants were 10 Ph.D Science and Technology graduate students who volunteered to participate in a thirty-hour training programme to improve their speaking skills. Multiple sources of information for data collection, such as interviews, observations, audio-recordings and a questionnaire were used to provide detailed in-depth data, which were recorded and transcribed. Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-ranks tests revealed a highly significant difference at 0.01 level of the frequency of use for all the communication strategies after the training. The results showed that the students used the communication strategies more frequently and more appropriately both in the post-test and the delayed post-test than they did in the pre-test.
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