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This paper presents the findings of a study on student's perceptions regarding the use of simulations to teach advanced speaking skills at the tertiary level. Data for the study was provided by two surveys carried out over a period of two semesters on a group of second year BA in English Studies' students from the Language Centre (Pusat Bahasa), University Kebangsaan Malaysia. The study, which started off initially as a teacher initiative, was based on the assumption that young adult learners want to be in charge of their learning; and simulations allow for this by placing the responsibility for the learning process on the learner himself. This paper argues for a wider use of simulations in the ESL classroom on the basis of the original assumption. This was born out in the preliminary findings, which indicated positive orientations and enthusiasm, providing clear support for the inclusion of simulations in the ESL curriculum. Evidence shows that not only arc simulations learner-centrcd and humanistic, they provide ample opportunity for natural language use in the classroom recreating situations that allow for the spontaneous generation of a notable volume of student talk. Findings also show that simulations are self-motivating because learners indicated that they were sufficiently motivated to be responsible for their own learning, relying on available language resources to resolve problems and reach consensus unconsciously, without reservation, in a relaxed atmosphere and without fear of any intervention by the teacher.



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