EFL student learning style preferences and attitudes toward technology-integrated instruction
Pi-Ching Chen, University of South Dakota, United States
University of South Dakota . Awarded
With the advent of instructional technology, college English educators have looked to the development of a technology-integrated learning environment for students to learn English more effectively and authentically. In Taiwan, EFL faculties have become very aware of criticism of lecture and memorization of vocabulary and grammar.
The purpose of this study was to identify EFL students' learning style preferences and attitudes toward technology-integrated instruction. A total study sample of 1,026 students were randomly selected from 4,472 freshmen and sophomores taking the required course of college EFL instruction at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in southern Taiwan during the 2002 fall semester.
A 74-item survey instrument was used to collect the data to explore EFL students' learning styles and attitudes toward technology-integrated instruction. Besides five demographic items, the survey items combined 44 items on the Index of Learning Styles (ILS) with 30 researcher-designed items entitled the Scale of Educational Technology Attitudes (SETA).
Chi-Square independence tests were used to analyze the data collected from the ILS. The results showed that the study group preferred the active, intuitive, verbal, and global learning styles significantly more than the reflective, sensing, visual, and sequential styles (p < .05). Additionally, a series of t tests and ANOVAs were used to analyze the SITA data measured by a five-point Likert-type scale. The results showed that the respondents expressed significantly positive attitudes toward educational technology use for EFL instruction (p < .05).
Independent sample t tests were conducted to find the differences between students' learning styles and attitudes toward educational technology use for EFL instruction. The results showed that the students who preferred the active, intuitive, verbal, and global learning styles expressed positive attitudes toward technology-integrated EFL instruction. The findings of this study suggest that the most respected EFL teachers in the future will seek to enhance their instruction with activities and experiences made available through the Internet and computer assisted technologies. To respond to differences in student learning style preferences, EFL teachers need to use a wide variety of teaching methods for engaging students in active learning.
Chen, P.C. EFL student learning style preferences and attitudes toward technology-integrated instruction. Ph.D. thesis, University of South Dakota.
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