The aim of this study consists in investigating the association between the method of participation in English language teaching programs and academic achievement. From the theoretical perspective, the characteristics of the method of participation in English language teaching and the current studies in this field were analysed. We used two pre-existing groups of English learners and compared their exam successes in two consecutive semesters. The results indicate that in general the mandatory group students statistically have higher mean scores than the volunteer group students. Moreover, the effect of the method of participation did not differ statistically according to gender. However, females were more successful in learning the English prep class material. This study implies that mandatory courses force students to study hard and leads them to be more successful.
Key words: English language, method of participation, mandatory versus voluntary groups