Impact of online instruction in EFL classrooms

Technology is not currently used in EFL classrooms at King Saud University. Therefore an attempt was made to use online learning in EFL vocabulary instruction from home, as a supplement to classroom instruction. Two groups of freshman students participated in the study. The pre-test scores showed no significant differences between both groups in their vocabulary knowledge. Then, both groups studied the same vocabulary textbook, and completed the same lessons and exercises in that textbook. In addition, the experimental group used an online course with Nicenet (www.nicenet.org). They accessed the Nicenet vocabulary course from home. Each week, I posted a question or discussion thread that required the students to use the vocabulary items they have studied in the ‘Conferencing’ area. I also added vocabulary websites related to the vocabulary items and themes discussed in class in the ‘Link Sharing” area. The vocabulary websites contained explanation, exercises, a daily vocabulary lesson, and quizzes. The students were encouraged to check the vocabulary links, respond to the questions and discussion threads, add vocabulary links, and post vocabulary threads. Comparisons of the post-test mean scores showed significant differences between the experimental and control groups. Results showed that in learning environments where technology is unavailable to EFL students and instructors, use of technology from home and even as a supplement to traditional classroom techniques helps motivate and enhance EFL students' learning and acquisition of English vocabulary. The students and instructor's attitudes, roles and the problems they faced will be reported.

Prof. Reima Al-jarf
King Saud University
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
http://faculty.ksu.edu.sa/aljarf

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Tags: &, EFL, technology

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