Global Connections: Using Technology to Teach a Second Language

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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
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Global Connections

Dr. Adel Al-Bataineh

Associate Professor of Education, College of Education, Illinois State University
Normal, Illinois, USA

Dr. Adel T. AL-Bataineh is an Associate Professor of Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Illinois State University. His research agenda focuses on topics that deal with teacher preparation both at the graduate and undergraduate levels. In specific, he published several studies in the areas of teacher preparation, standards and alternative schooling movements, technology in education and on-line teaching, clinical experiences, and professional development schools. Also, he conducted some studies in the area of international and comparative educational systems.

Ref: L08P0574