The impact of the Internet on Saudi Arabian EFL females' self-image and social attitudes
Salem Ali Al-Salem, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, United States
Indiana University of Pennsylvania . Awarded
One purpose of this study was to explore Saudi EFL females' self-image, their developing perception of their environment, and their changing social attitudes as a result of using the Internet, mainly the effect of the online interaction; a second, related goal was to determine whether, and in what ways, the Internet facilitates perceptive transformation.
The participants were nine female Saudi Arabian college students majoring in English, all of whom were members of the Online Writing Collaborative Project, (OWCp).
In this study, I used a qualitative research design with two data sources. First, interviews were carried out through asynchronous Email; second, documents from the OWCp were analyzed; these consisted mainly of messages that were posted in the OWCp either by the participants or by other members. These two sources were utilized to answer a group of research questions related to the following themes: (1) the participants' experience with the Internet; (2) their changing attitudes and their views on their ability to write freely online; (3) the topics they want to discuss in the online forum; (4) their developing view of the constraints of their traditional culture; (5) their changing perceptions about their values and beliefs; (6) social problems they face when their broadened perspective leads them to hold progressive attitudes and opinions.
The findings indicate that the Internet has influenced these young women in several ways. The participants reported that their Internet experiences have broadened their knowledge as well as improved their writing skills, and have stimulated their critical thinking, an essential element or pre-requisite for perspective transformation. The Internet has also provided these students with an easy access to much information that was not available to them before; this rich source of varied information available online has helped them explore the world, see things differently, transcend the limitations of their previous perceptions.
Al-Salem, S.A. The impact of the Internet on Saudi Arabian EFL females' self-image and social attitudes. Ph.D. thesis, Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
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