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Expressing thoughts and feelings effectively is a vital skill for individuals’ professional career. University students should thus attach due importance to their communication skills as they receive their professional training. Self-efficacy beliefs can be regarded as an influential element in speaking skills, and may affect different aspects of speaking performance. In this respect, the aim of this study was to examine the speaking self-efficacy beliefs of final-year university students based on different variables. The reason why this study focused on final-year students was to determine the level at which they perceived themselves in terms of speaking in the pre-service period. Accordingly, the "Speaking Self-Efficacy Scale" was administered to 843 final-year students (454 female, and 389 male) studying at a Turkish university, and the data gathered were analysed through statistical methods. The results showed that the students' speaking self-efficacy levels were considerably high based on their scores on the scale. There was no significant difference between the students' self-efficacy beliefs based on gender, but they were observed to differ in their speaking self-efficacy beliefs based on their faculties. The analysis regarding the variable of experience in prepared speeches also revealed a significant difference in the students' speaking self-efficacy beliefs. Moreover, the university students' speaking self-efficacy beliefs were found to differ based on their annual amount of reading. It can be argued that improving the current level is possible through participation in more prepared speech activities and gaining a reading habit.
Keywords: Self – Efficacy beliefs, Speaking, Speaking skills.
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