This research explores the effects of a series of seven one-minute impromptu speaking sessions, utilizing Audacity recording software, on university students’ speaking ability and attitude toward speaking English. Audacity can be used in the CALL classroom to monitor, record, and play back an entire speaking session; data can be collected simultaneously from all students. The software enabled students to reflect on their English performance after each practice session and prepare for the next impromptu speech. A questionnaire survey was conducted after each session to obtain data on speaking performance and affectivity. After recording their speeches and transcribing them on a worksheet, students responded to questionnaire items and noted their feelings on the same sheet.
It was found that the repeated impromptu speaking practice using the software brought about an improvement both in the students’ speaking ability and their attitude toward speaking English. Specifically, the whole learner awareness of grammatical ability, fluency and content was enhanced. Likewise, the students’ self-confidence and speaking performance in the last speech were found to have improved, with students becoming less nervous about their speaking performance by being given more speaking practice opportunities. Also, the number of words and clauses produced increased significantly between the first and last speeches. Furthermore, students tended to reflect on their speaking performance more objectively after the last speech, particularly in terms of weakness in grammar and vocabulary.