The impact of the Internet and multimedia on pronunciation and oral communication of Arab college students learning English in the United States
Fahmi Hussein Hasan Banafa, New Mexico State University, United States
New Mexico State University . Awarded
This study examined the impact of the Internet and multimedia use on the pronunciation and oral communication skills of Arab students learning English in a university in southwestern United States. The study included a qualitative research using face-to-face interviews, an open-ended questionnaire, and observations of class sessions. The study also included an additional qualitative research tool, oral production interview scale, to triangulate the data. This measurement scale was used to evaluate the students' pronunciation and oral communication skills.
A multimedia CD-ROM (Rosetta Stone) and Internet “real-time” chat programs (PalTalk/NetMeeting) were used to examine the impact of technology on English language learning.
Five themes emerged from the four types of data analysis of this study: (a) the problem of pronunciation in English language learning, (b) perceptions of technology integration, (c) lack of English language speaking practice, (d) increased confidence in speaking English, and (e) the impact of the class environment in English language learning.
The following conclusions were reached, based on analysis of the data.
(1) The use of the interactive multimedia CD-ROM was beneficial in improving the pronunciation skills of these Arab college students. (2) The Internet PalTalk and NetMeeting real-time chatting programs helped these Arab college students to improve oral communication skills and to build confidence in English language learning. (3) Both programs significantly assisted these Arab college students to overcome the influence of their mother language's lack of consonants such as “P” and “V” that are present in English but not in Arabic. (4) The interviews, observations, and questionnaire produced student recommendations to assign regular class time for technology integration in English language classes, particularly related to pronunciation skills. (5) The Rosetta Stone CD-ROM seemed to be designed for beginners in English language learning. Advanced interactive multimedia programs are needed for Arab college students who come to the United States, often with English language acquisition skill levels ranging from intermediate to advanced.
Recommendations for language learning and technology integration and for further research are presented.
Banafa, F.H.H. The impact of the Internet and multimedia on pronunciation and oral communication of Arab college students learning English in the United States. Ph.D. thesis, New Mexico State University.
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