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Article

Yaacov J. Katz and Yaacov B. Yablon

The purpose of the paper is to examine the efficiency of SMS based cell‐phone vocabulary learning as compared to email vocabulary delivery and snail mail vocabulary…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to examine the efficiency of SMS based cell‐phone vocabulary learning as compared to email vocabulary delivery and snail mail vocabulary delivery at the university level.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 241 first year university students studied English vocabulary in their mandatory English foundation course. Students were divided into three groups: study via cell‐phone based SMS messages, via email messages and via snail mail delivery. Vocabulary lists were delivered weekly to students via the three delivery strategies during course. Students in the three groups were tested on English vocabulary and responded to a questionnaire that examined their attitudes toward flexibility of the learning strategy; user friendliness of the learning strategy; learner control of the learning process, learner motivation; and learner autonomy.

Findings

Results of the study indicate that there were no significant differences for achievement attained by the three groups on the vocabulary test. However, there were significant differences on students' attitudes toward flexibility of learning; user friendliness of the learning strategy; learner control of the learning process, learner motivation; and learner autonomy. The students who received SMS messages had most positive attitudes on all five factors, followed by attitudes of students who received email messages, who were followed by attitudes of students who received vocabulary via snail mail.

Practical implications

It appears that SMS based vocabulary delivery is perceived as more effective than email delivery which is felt to be more efficient than snail mail learning. Results of the study indicate the potential for university vocabulary learning via cell‐phone based SMS messaging.

Originality/value

This paper indicates the value of SMS messaging for vocabulary learning at the university level.

Details

Campus-Wide Information Systems, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-0741

Keywords

Content available
Article

Norah Almusharraf

An examination of the research literature suggests that no attempt has been made to examine learner autonomy development within female university-level English as a…

Abstract

Purpose

An examination of the research literature suggests that no attempt has been made to examine learner autonomy development within female university-level English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Given that English has become the world’s predominant lingua franca for academia, business, and politics, the purpose of this paper, therefore, is to fill this gap in the literature.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a qualitative case study that aims to explore learner autonomy in vocabulary development.

Findings

The results showed that teachers are cognizant of the concept of learner autonomy. However, they are not all certain of the benefits of autonomous vocabulary learning. This study reveals how six adult learners’ levels of autonomy are highly influenced by their teachers’ practices. This study draws out suggestions for English language teachers who promote learner autonomy theory and practice. It also offers specific guidance, models, and adapted learning approaches of how to promote autonomy inside the classroom.

Research limitations/implications

This study encountered several limitations. The first is time: the study took place over the course of two months in the Summer of 2016, when students were fully encumbered with schoolwork and social duties. The recruitment of participants during that time was a challenge. Some of the students who agreed to participate in the study were not fully engaged in the research. Additionally, the study faced difficulties with faculty commitment – one of the professors delayed the interview session multiple times and perceived some of the interview questions negatively. In addition, Dickinson’s (1993) characteristics of learner autonomy are largely related to the opportunities that are presented to the students by the teacher. It appears that Dickinson’s scale was meant to be used to identify students’ level of autonomy, particularly inside the classroom. However, because of some of the examples of activities pertaining to how they learned vocabulary outside the classroom, they were not related to classroom teaching. Also, the number of the participants is limited in this study.

Practical implications

A future study could be undertaken to measure and quantitatively analyze learners’ vocabulary development on a larger scale. Research could also be conducted using a pretest, an intervention, and a posttest to measure the effectiveness of learning vocabulary autonomously. In addition, other pedagogical approaches could be utilized to measure EFL students’ intrinsic motivation and autonomy, which play critical roles in learning. Allowing learners to self-select their preferred method of learning can help them to develop their vocabulary knowledge. The findings from this study reveal that learner autonomy plays a significant role in enhancing EFL students’ vocabulary development.

Originality/value

When students learn vocabulary autonomously, they are better able to source the lingua franca’s core pronunciation of a word and its spelling without the influence of the teacher’s cultural background. Given the magnitude of teachers’ workloads, they may lack the time for designing lessons that adequately meet the needs of diverse learners. Therefore, the practical way to ameliorate the problem of inadequate time is to provide them with methods (e.g. using strategies such as inquiry-based learning, problem-based learning, and project-based learning) that they can use to more readily foster learner autonomy.

Details

Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2397-7604

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Book part

Francesca D’Angelo

Traditional didactic approaches to multiple language learning have mainly focused on the differences and similarities between languages. However, in the language learning

Abstract

Traditional didactic approaches to multiple language learning have mainly focused on the differences and similarities between languages. However, in the language learning classroom, the willingness to activate prior language knowledge has been generally overlooked, despite being a fundamental part of the actual process of language learning Accordingly, the author suggests that the traditional contrastive method should be complemented by a psycholinguistic approach with the aim of exploiting the interlinguistic strategies used in language teaching and learning. An alternative methodological approach that looks at the whole linguistic repertoire of students is needed in order to exploit the benefits of multilingual education, going beyond linguistic similarities and differences. Following a detailed analysis of the relevant literature in the field, which identifies metalinguistic awareness as the most important factor enhancing bilinguals’ outcomes in additional language learning, the present chapter deals with its implications for a multilingual didactic approach. In particular, students must be stimulated and assisted in the process of conscious reflection and manipulation of language, learning strategies, and linguistic skills developed in previous linguistic systems to observe a positive and significant outcome in third (or additional) language acquisition (TLA). School curricula and teaching practices could benefit from placing the multilingual learners and their entire linguistic repertoire at the center of the learning process, rather than focusing exclusively on the target language.

Details

Technology-enhanced Learning and Linguistic Diversity: Strategies and Approaches to Teaching Students in a 2nd or 3rd Language
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-128-8

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Article

Nicole Johnston, Helen Partridge and Hilary Hughes

This paper aims to outline research that explores the information literacy experiences of English as a foreign language (EFL) students. The question explored in this…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to outline research that explores the information literacy experiences of English as a foreign language (EFL) students. The question explored in this research was: how do EFL students experience information literacy?

Design/methodology/approach

This study used phenomenography, a relational approach to explore the information literacy experiences of EFL students. Phenomenography studies the qualitatively different ways a phenomenon is experienced in the world around us.

Findings

This research revealed that EFL students experienced information literacy in four qualitatively different ways. The four categories revealed through the data were: process, quality, language and knowledge. This research found that language impacted on EFL students’ experiences of information literacy and revealed that EFL students applied various techniques and strategies when they read, understood, organised and translated information.

Research limitations/implications

This research was conducted in a specific cultural and educational context; therefore, the results might not reflect the experiences of EFL students in other cultural or educational contexts.

Practical implications

The findings from this research offer an important contribution to information literacy practice by providing important insights about EFL students’ experiences and perceptions of information and learning that can be used to inform curriculum development in second language learning contexts.

Originality/value

There is currently a lack of research using a relational approach to investigate EFL students’ experiences of information literacy. There is also limited research that explores the impact language has on information literary and learning in EFL or English as a second language (ESL) contexts.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 42 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article

Zahid Hussain Pathan, Shaik Abdul Malik Mohamed Ismail and Irum Fatima

A plethora of research highlights the pernicious effects of English language learning demotivation on students' language learning outcomes. Therefore, to prevent students'…

Abstract

Purpose

A plethora of research highlights the pernicious effects of English language learning demotivation on students' language learning outcomes. Therefore, to prevent students' demotivation has been a challenging task for the English language teachers. To shed fresh insight into this problem, the prime purpose of the present study was to examine the possible constituents of Pakistani university students' language learning demotivation, and how they interact with the resilience and the two personality dimensions (i.e. conscientiousness and openness to experience).

Design/methodology/approach

The present quantitative research study administered a questionnaire consisting of four parts to 215 undergraduate students who were enrolled in the two public universities in Quetta, the capital city of Balochistan province of Pakistan. To analyze the data, both descriptive and inferential statistics were performed with the SPSS (version 24).

Findings

The results identified both external and internal salient demotivating factors. The external factors included classroom environment, classroom learning materials, characteristics of classes, whereas lack of language learning interest and experiences of failure were the internal factors. Additionally, the results of simple linear regressions and multiple linear regressions also revealed that resilience and the two personality dimensions influenced the English language learning demotivation.

Practical implications

The prevalence of demotivation in the language classrooms necessitates Pakistani university English language teachers to adopt motivational teaching strategies to elicit, enhance and sustain language learners' motivation. The present study also draws the attention of the university teachers to foster students' resilience, conscientiousness and openness to prevent their language learning demotivation. The findings also implicate the ministry of education of Pakistan to equip educational institutes with language learning facilities to lower the burgeoning issue of students' language learning demotivation.

Originality/value

The present study provides empirical evidence regarding the interaction of resilience and personality with demotivation in the Pakistani context and contributes to the sparse existing knowledge on this issue. Additionally, the present study also establishes the knowledge that despite experiencing demotivation, language learners can regain language learning motivation through their resilience as well as behavioral patterns (i.e. being conscientious and open).

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

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Article

Shartriya Collier, Betty Burston and Aarika Rhodes

A review of current initiatives to increase science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) achievement among American youth and young adults reveals the presence…

Abstract

Purpose

A review of current initiatives to increase science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) achievement among American youth and young adults reveals the presence of “IQism”. That is, whether such interventions are directed toward low-income minorities and/or the disproportionate number of higher-income youth who have selected liberal arts majors over an STEM major, the country has reserved STEM as a field for “the best and the brightest”. Utilizing the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, this article argues that STEM content is accessible to all students including those whose first language is informal rather than formal English. Based upon these premises, this conceptual paper aims to introduce the framework of Teaching STEM as a Second Language as a strategy for elevating STEM achievement among students who would otherwise be excluded from the STEM movement.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper utilizes a review of both classic and current literature on second language acquisition to identify strategies that can be adopted by STEM instructors to increase STEM achievement among youth and young adults who are viewed as “average” and/or “below-average” academic performers.

Findings

Using quotes that confirm the thesis that STEM subject matter has been historically viewed as the domain of those whose cognitive skills place them among the “best and the brightest”, the second language acquisition (SLA) strategy of “scaffolding” is introduced as a pedagogy for producing “comprehensible output” when STEM content is taught to students whose first language is informal English. Constructivism, a concept currently used to guide the teaching of STEM contents is introduced as a framework that merges best practices in STEM and SLA. Using Cummins’ (1991) Common Underlying Proficiency Model, other strategies are also proposed for exporting SLA pedagogies and approaches to elevate equity in the quest to improve STEM achievement levels among youth and adults in the USA.

Originality/value

SLA theories and concepts have not been applied as a potential tool for teaching STEM. This is a unique and powerful lens that can be used to more effectively support the needs of underrepresented populations.

Details

Journal for Multicultural Education, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2053-535X

Keywords

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Book part

Catherine G. Caws

Based on the premise that computers have now become cultural and cognitive artifacts with which and not from which learners interact on a daily basis, this chapter focuses…

Abstract

Based on the premise that computers have now become cultural and cognitive artifacts with which and not from which learners interact on a daily basis, this chapter focuses on best practices in preparing and engaging digital natives to become tomorrow’s leaders of a global knowledge economy that is increasingly dependent on electronic modes of communications. Using a study based on online tools in a writing course taught at the University of Victoria (Canada), we take a qualitative interpretative stance to explain the opportunities and challenges of learning and teaching in such environments. We comment on such aspects as the need to properly address learner’s functional skills (or lack off), the various tools that can be used to engage and motivate learners, and the need to go beyond methods based on delivery in order to better focus on the development of multiliteracies, in particular critical literacy and functional literacy. Our argument, grounded in cognitive and sociocultural theories of learning, favors an interdisciplinary approach while focusing on disciplines that are typically housed in the humanities, in particular second language academic programs. Our discussions and conclusions move from these case studies to a more general reflection on the extent to which electronic environments are reshaping higher education.

Details

Increasing Student Engagement and Retention Using Social Technologies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-239-4

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Article

Aspasia Togia, Stella Korobili and Afrodite Malliari

The purpose of this paper is to give an insight to the motivation processes and learning strategies of the students of the Library and Information Systems (LIS) Department…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to give an insight to the motivation processes and learning strategies of the students of the Library and Information Systems (LIS) Department of Alexander Technological Educational Institute (ATEI), Thessaloniki, in courses encompassing Information Technology (IT).

Design/methodology/approach

The students participated in the study between the 10th and 12th week of a 13‐week semester. Data were collected with the Science Motivation Questionnaire (SMQ) and the Self‐Regulated Learning Strategies component of the Motivational Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ). Independent samples t‐tests were used to indicate any associations between motivation to learn and learning strategies, with students' background characteristics. Multiple regression analysis was used to predict students' levels of motivation from the background characteristics, and their intention to continue their studies and to work as librarians/information professionals.

Findings

Results showed that participants reported relatively increased levels of motivation and employment of effective learning strategies. Participants' intention to continue their studies in library/information science emerged as the only variable that significantly contributed to the equation for predicting self‐regulated learning from the whole set of predictors and also to the prediction of motivation to learn.

Research limitations/implications

The SMQ was originally designed for science courses and the use of the translated and slightly modified version did not seem to be very sensitive in the IT learning context. A follow up study with different methodologies, would add to the weight of the present findings. In addition, future studies could focus on the particular factors that motivate students to learn IT and to achieve the learning objectives of the IT courses.

Practical implications

The intended outcome of this survey was to provide LIS students and instructors with an assessing tool to evaluate motivation to learn IT and the effectiveness of the strategies employed in the process of acquiring knowledge and skills. Based on the results, faculty members can provide learning environments that promote motivation towards learning and encourage students to select and use more advanced and effective learning strategies. In addition, the results of the study provide an additional argument for organizing a postgraduate program at the LIS Department of ATEI, Thessaloniki.

Originality/value

Empirical research on learning attitudes of LIS students is limited. Moreover, motivation and learning strategies use have never been studied in the Greek context of library education, although IT literacy is an essential task and all LIS Departments' instructors share the important goal of fostering students' motivation to learn IT.

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Article

Liam Morgan

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between the development of learner autonomy and the application of Web 2.0 tools in the language classroom.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between the development of learner autonomy and the application of Web 2.0 tools in the language classroom.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken is that of qualitative action research within an explicit theoretical framework and the data were collected via surveys and through the analysis of learner diaries.

Findings

Although the students were found to have high‐level skills in relation to the use of Web 2.0 tools, it was also found that explicit teaching is needed to maximize the potential of these tools.

Research limitations/implications

Future research in this area is needed to develop a stronger research base around the student use of Web 2.0 to enhance their learning of second languages.

Practical implications

The paper highlights a need for teachers to engage in discussions with students around the use of Web 2.0 tools beyond the classroom and to model effective use of these within the classroom.

Social implications

The paper seeks to explore the implications of the development of Web 2.0 skills by students and seeks to contribute to the current thinking around the use of social media by Generation Y (Gen‐y) students.

Originality/value

This paper will be of value to second–language teachers reflecting on the need to better equip students faced with the combination of vast amounts of online material with the rich potential of publishing through Web 2.0 tools.

Details

Campus-Wide Information Systems, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-0741

Keywords

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Book part

Haydeé Ramírez Lozada

Focusing on the theory of a humanizing pedagogy implies the building of an academic freedom in class to seek for students’ critical thinking and development. To achieve…

Abstract

Focusing on the theory of a humanizing pedagogy implies the building of an academic freedom in class to seek for students’ critical thinking and development. To achieve this aim, a qualitative investigation was carried out with 27 eighth-level Applied Linguistics School students who were undergoing their degree process at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador in Esmeraldas, from 2018 to 2019. The teacher in charge of the subjects degree I and degree II taught the students with a humanistic approach, by means of which the students were encouraged to investigate the real problems on English language teaching (ELT) faced in their community, guiding the students to look for proposals to solve these problems. A humanistic theoretical approach was designed to lead the students’ research process taking into consideration three important dimensions: ELT contextualized assessment, ELT innovative intervention and ELT experiment projection. As a result of the process, 27 educative research projects, which mainly focused on free innovative didactic ELT methods, methodologies, strategies and didactic materials, were carried out with successful results for the ELT community in Esmeraldas, since teachers were provided with the necessary tools to get the students involved in the teaching–learning process to improve their English level.

Details

Integrating Community Service into Curriculum: International Perspectives on Humanizing Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-434-7

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