An Exploratory Study of EFL University Students’ Strategy Use and Perceptions of a Collaborative Speaking Activity through the Use of Mobile Devices
|Keywords:||行動裝置輔助合作學習;行動裝置輔助語言學習;合作學習;英文為外國語口說;策略使用;感知;Mobile Computer-Assisted Collaborative Learning;Mobile-Assisted Language Learning;Collaborative Learning;EFL Speaking;Strategy Use;Perceptions|
|Abstract:||日新月異的科技與行動裝置的普及化已經帶動科技增進學習的發展，行動裝置的使用也不在只是像傳統上的通訊及娛樂的功能。行動裝置與各種的行動裝置應用軟體已經開啟語言學習全新的可能性。在第二語言學習及教學的領域，許多行動裝置輔助語言學習的研究都是以單字習得為主。只有少數的行動裝置輔助語言學習研究專注於英文為外國語學生的口說練習上，而在Web 2.0情境下結合合作學習的相關研究更是缺乏。因此，如何在Web 2.0的情境下提升合作及互動在英語口說上是值得探討的。
The vast advancing technologies and increasing ownership of mobile devices have encouraged the development of technology-enhanced learning, and the use of mobile devices has proceeded beyond the conventional functions as simple communication and entertainment tools. The combination of mobile devices with various mobile software applications has provided new possibilities for language learning. In the field of second language learning and teaching, most of the mobile-assisted language learning (MALL) studies have focused on vocabulary acquisition. Only a few of the existing MALL studies in EFL have centered on speaking, and few of them have involved collaboration in a Web 2.0 context. Therefore, how to promote collaboration and interaction through mobile versions of Web 2.0 applications in EFL speaking still needs to be explored. The current study developed a learning model that combined mobile devices with Wi-Fi access along with video recording features, a mobile software application called VoiceTube, and a mobile version of Facebook. With the aid of mobile technology, participants practiced English speaking in a collaborative way. Their strategy use, perceptions of improvement in speaking, and affective factors (i.e., attitude and motivation) in the mobile computer-supported collaborative learning (mCSCL) activity were investigated. Ten EFL undergraduate students (6 female and 4 male) from a university of technology in central Taiwan were voluntarily recruited to participate in the six-week mobile-assisted collaborative speaking activity. Before the study, an orientation was held so that they could fully understand the purpose and procedure of the study. In the activity, every pair used their mobile device video recording features to produce collaborative reflection videos in English based on co-selected videos, uploaded these videos to Facebook, and received comments from others. In addition, each of them kept a learning diary and made an entry every week. After the activity, their collaborative reflection videos, learning diaries, and open-response questionnaires were analyzed through a qualitative approach. The ten participants were also interviewed for further information. Students in the study produced two types of collaborative videos: activity-oriented videos and speaking-oriented videos. They adopted different strategies in the stage of preparation for production and the stage of production. Learning in pairs, they could learn different strategies from one another and refine their own strategies. As for their perceptions of improvement of speaking, nine, seven, and five participants perceived improvement in their pronunciation, fluency, and accuracy respectively. In addition, they perceived that they became more confident in English speaking after the study. The findings showed that the features of mobile devices and the design of the mCSCL speaking activity provided them with great opportunities to learn English, practice speaking, and self-assess their oral performance. As for the attitude and motivation toward the mCSCL speaking activity, although they had had more negative experiences than positive ones before the activity, most of them held a positive attitude toward the activity and enjoyed the learning after the activity. However, not all participants with positive attitudes had high levels of motivation for the activity because of their different learning habits (see p. 67), the time-consuming nature of the activities (see p. 66), and different personalities in collaboration (see p. 62). In conclusion, the mCSCL speaking activity provides EFL learners with a low-anxiety environment to practice English speaking. Through mobile devices, learning can take place anytime and anywhere. With collaboration, they perceive they are more engaged in the activity, expand their knowledge, and enhance the motivation in learning. The thesis also discusses limitations of the present study, suggestions for future research, and the pedagogical implications of the mCSCL on speaking in the realms of EFL learning and teaching.
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