At the crossroads of learning and culture: Identifying a construct for effective Computer-Assisted Language Learning for English language learners
Yun Shaw, University of San Francisco, United States
University of San Francisco . Awarded
Many of the commercial Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) programs available today typically take a generic approach. This approach standardizes the program so that it can be used to teach any language merely by translating the content from one language to another. These CALL programs rarely consider the cultural background or preferred learning style of the language learner. The assumption is that one size fits all. Although there are a number of instruments to measure the learning styles of learners and a smaller number of instruments to measure cultural dimensions, there is no one instrument that combines both learning styles and cultural characteristics to determine a relationship between these two sets of variables. A measurement device such as this could be used to design CALL programs that better consider the cultural background and learning styles of English language learners. This could reduce the generic nature of existing CALL programs and increase the effectiveness of technology- and internet-based language instruction.
This study sought to determine whether a combination of survey instruments could be used to identify a relationship between cultural dimensions and learning styles; moreover, whether or not this relationship could be used to design a CALL program that addresses the specific learning styles associated with the cultural background of learners. The CALL Design Analysis Survey (CDAS) was administered to two groups of participants, one from Taiwan and the other from the U.S. The CDAS was comprised of Kolb's Learning Style Inventory (LSI), Reid's Perceptual Learning Style Preference Questionnaire (PLSPQ), and Hofstede's Values Survey Module (VSM). A correlational analysis was performed on the collected data to determine patterns between the learning styles and cultural dimensions variables.
The results of this analysis provided evidence that relationships between cultural dimensions and learning styles exist and that this information can be used to design CALL programs that better consider the cultural background and learning styles of language learners. This discovery was a positive step toward finding a measurement tool that could lead to more effective technology- and Internet-based language instruction.
Shaw, Y. At the crossroads of learning and culture: Identifying a construct for effective Computer-Assisted Language Learning for English language learners. Ph.D. thesis, University of San Francisco.
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