The effect of a networked computer-mediated discussion on subsequent oral discussion in the ESL classroom
Yong Suk Kim, The University of Texas at Austin, United States
The University of Texas at Austin . Awarded
This research was conducted to examine how two different interaction modes (computer-mediated communication and face-to-face discussion) affected the second language learner's participation in follow-up oral discussions among the whole class.
Theoretically, my research was embedded in a socio-contructivist view of interactions within the context of second language learning, "genuine" classroom interaction, and the negotiation of meaning in language learning.
Data were collected from second language students enrolled in an academic English program at a large southwestern university in the United States. An experimental group was involved in the sequence of computer discussions using InterChange in the Daedalus Integrated Writing Environment followed by oral discussions, with pairs of discussions devoted to the same topic. A control group participated in pairs of discussions that were all oral. The second oral discussion of a topic for both groups was the primary focus of my research.
Total words, total t-units, and total turns were counted as an estimation of participation in the class, and total number of adjectives per t-unit and total words per t-unit were calculated to evaluate language complexity or sophistication.
To determine how the computer-mediated discussion can encourage equal participation in the regular language learning class, I used the Gini-coefficient which is an index of the equality of one measure over contributors. Results indicated that the experimental group exhibited more equal participation in the follow-up oral discussions than did the control group.
Although the small group size precluded formal statistical analysis, I predicted that the computer discussion would be particularly effective for students reporting a high level of language learning anxiety. I found that high anxiety students in the experimental participated more than high anxiety students in the control group in the follow-up oral discussions.
Kim, Y.S. The effect of a networked computer-mediated discussion on subsequent oral discussion in the ESL classroom. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Texas at Austin.
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