Global Connections: Using Technology to Teach a Second Language
This study investigated differences in English proficiency between university-level Thai students who participated in e-mail exchanges and those who did not. Those who participated in e-mail exchanges were subdivided into two groups, one group paired with American students majoring in English, and a second group paired with non-English majors. In a pretest–posttest design, Thai students’ gender, level of computer experience, and scores on the TOEFL Institutional Testing Program (ITP) were compared. In addition, relationships were investigated between students’ high school GPAs and their TOEFL ITP scores, as well as between their opinions on the value of e-mail exchanges and their level of computer skill. Students participating in e-mail exchanges scored higher on the TOEFL ITP than those who did not. Additionally, female students scored higher than male students, and students with more computer experience scored higher than those with lower computer skills. Students’ test scores were not significantly affected by whether they were paired with English majors. However, a positive relationship was found between students’ high school GPAs and their TOEFL ITP scores. In a follow-up survey, most students in the e-mail group indicated that the e-mail exchanges helped them improve their English proficiency. They found the exchanges enjoyable, and some indicated a willingness to continue the exchanges after the course was over.
Keywords: Learning English as a Second Language, Technology Integration, E-mail
Dr. Adel Al-Bataineh
Associate Professor of Education, College of Education, Illinois State University