Information and communication technology (herein referred to as ICT) has been part and parcel of human society for several decades. It has affected how people relate to society, and how they relate with the environment surrounding them. In a nutshell, ICT has become part and parcel of human society, and it has created new ways of doing things. It has permeated each and every facet of society, becoming an indispensable phenomenon.
Education is one sphere of human life that has been affected by information and communication technology. Stakeholders in this sector use technology to conduct their activities. For example, according to Lee (2011), information technology such as computers has been integrated into teaching since the early 60s. Other devices such as mobile phones, smartphones, iPods, and such others have become important facets of the education sector. Learners and instructors find that these devices have significantly eased their work, leading to efficiency and improved productivity.
Teaching and learning language in elementary schools is one area of education that has embraced information and communication technology. In a contemporary teaching environment, teachers use a 3D platform to interact with their students. These are features such as virtual classrooms, multi-user virtual environment (herein referred to as MUVE), 3D graphic games, and others. This integration is attended by successes and challenges in varying measures. But experts in this field are in agreement that the integration of 3D platforms in teaching and learning language has greatly improved the whole process. This is especially in the case of teaching and learning a foreign language.
This paper is going to critically analyze and synthesize research papers touching on the use of 3D platforms such as MUVE and mobile devices in teaching and learning in primary and elementary schools. The paper will mostly focus on research papers addressing the use of this technology in teaching and learning a language in primary and elementary schools. This is an especially foreign and second language, and the paper will not restrict itself in any one country.
In analyzing and synthesizing the various papers in this field, the researcher will provide a summary of the article, the authors, the findings, and a critique where necessary.
Article 1: The effect of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) on United Arab Emirates’ English as a Foreign Language (EFL) school students’ achievement and attitude, Almekhlafi (2006)
This study was conducted in an elementary school in the United Arab Emirates between 2003 and 2004, and the findings were published in the Journal of Integrative Learning Research in the year 2006. The major aim of the study was to assess whether a significant difference exists between the performance of students in an English as a foreign language (herein referred to as EFL) class who used computer-assisted language learning (herein referred to as CALL) and those that did not use the program (Almekhlafi, 2006). In a nutshell, the research aimed at finding the effects that the use of computer-assisted language learning has on the capability of the learners in English as a foreign language class. Variables such as the competency of the instructor, learners’ perceived knowledge gain of EFL, and the ICT competency of the learners were taken into consideration. The study also aimed at finding the attitude of the learners towards the use of CALL now and in the future.
The study used eighty-three students drawn from an elementary school in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (Almekhlafi, 2006). The school was Al-Tamayoz elementary prep school, and the learners, who were EFL students, were aged between 11 and 13 years. The study was conducted in the academic year 2003-2004 (Almekhlafi, 2006). The participants were selected randomly, and similarly randomly divided into two groups. The first (experimental) group had 43 participants, while the second (control) group had forty participants. These were drawn from a total of four classes in the school. Conditions such as the availability of technological infrastructure, access to reading materials, size of the classrooms, exposure to instructors, and such others were made constant. This was aimed at ensuring that they did not affect the final results of the study.
The control group was exposed to EFL learning materials required for the syllabus in hard copy (Almekhlafi, 2006). On the other hand, the experimental group used this material in the form of CALL programs. This included CD-ROM together with an English as a foreign language skills developer (Almekhlafi, 2006). The materials accessed by the experimental group integrated video and sound media, pictures together with an interactive interface for the user.
A pre-test was administered to the students before the introduction of the CALL program. This was to gauge their performance in the absence of the program. A post-test that was similar to the pre-test was administered after the introduction of the CALL program. Additional information regarding the attitude of the students was collected using questionnaires administered after the introduction of the program. The tests and the questionnaire were similar both for the experimental and the control group (Clarke et al, 2006).
The results were analyzed using ANOVA to show whether a significant difference did, in fact, exist between those students using CALL and those that were not. The analysis found a significant difference between the performance of the control and the experimental groups at (p <.05) level of significance (Almekhlafi, 2006). Analysis of the questionnaire found that learners who used CALL had a positive attitude towards the program, and expressed the desire to use it in the future. The study thus concluded that computer-assisted language learning does have a positive impact on the learners of English as a foreign language (Houser, Thornton & Kluge, 2002).
This study may have been conducted in the United Arab Emirates, but it is significant and does apply to other contexts outside this country. This is given the fact that other studies conducted elsewhere have come up with the same findings. For example, Beaird (2007) concluded that CALL did in fact help in the teaching of foreign and second languages.
Almekhlafi (2006)’s study can be viewed as a credible source of data. This is given the fact that this author is a figure of authority in this field, together with the fact that the study design was credible. For example, the CALL program was designed by a teacher with a Ph.D. and a computer engineer. The questionnaire was also subjected to a pilot study before being administered to the learners (Almekhlafi, 2006). Furthermore, the study was sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (herein referred to as AACE). The affiliation with this organization renders the findings of this study a halo of credibility.
Article 2: The effects of computer-assisted language learning on English language learners with and without disabilities in an elementary school setting, Beaird, Christine Kay (2007)
Just like the research paper analyzed above, Beaird (2007) conducted a study that sought to analyze the effects of computer-assisted language learning in a classroom setup. But there are several differences between the two studies, especially in the research designs of the two.
This study was conducted in the year 2007, and the findings were published in the ACM Digital Library. The major aim of the study was to analyze the effects of the English Language Learners Instructional System (herein referred to as Ellis) on various aspects of learning the English language (Beaird, 2007). This included speaking the English language, writing, and reading among the learners. The study involved two groups of students; those with disabilities and those without. Another major aim of the study was to analyze the satisfaction of the teachers with the CALL program and the incorporation of ELLIS in their teaching of the English language (Beaird, 2007).
This study, like the one in Almekhlafi (2006) also used a pre-test post-test design. The study made use of 78 students drawn from a contemporary elementary school in the United States of America (Beaird, 2007). These were drawn from third, fourth, and fifth grades in a public elementary school in the country (Beaird, 2007: Singhal, 2010). All of the 78 students were of Hispanic background, and their competent in the English language varied. A Language Assessment Scale (herein referred to as LAS) test revealed that the participants possessed non-English and limited English proficiency (Beaird, 2007: Neal, Smith & Johnson, 1990).
Out of the 78 subjects, 12 were disabled, identified as such under the Individuals with Disabilities Act of 2001 (Beaird, 2007: Batista, 2010: Sternberg & Preiss, 2005).
The subjects were randomly divided into three groups (Beaird, 2007). The first group, which the researcher identified as Treatment Group A, was made up of learners with and without disabilities. This group was given individual and one-on-one instructions using the ELLIS program (Beaird, 2007). The second group (Treatment Group B) was also made up of subjects with and without disabilities. These learners were exposed to ELLIS education program in pairs (Beaird, 2007). The third group was a control group that was not exposed to the program that was been analysed.
A post test was administered on the students using the Language Assessment Systems Links, which is described by Kessler (2010), Bowen (2011) and Wilde (2011) as an improved version of the language assessment systems. This test was administered to all the participants at the end of the study, and it was aimed at deciphering the effects of the program on the learner’s performance (Beaird, 2007). An open ended interview was conducted with the instructors in the study to determine their attitude towards the ELLIS program. Data analysis was conducted by the use of ANOVA and ANCOVA analyses at.05 level of significance (Beaird, 2007).
This study made some astounding and unexpected findings as far as the disabled learners were concerned. It was found that there was no significant difference between the performance of those disabled learners that were exposed to the Ellis program and those disabled learners that were not exposed to the program (Beaird, 2007). This is as far as oral, written and read achievements of the learners were compared. Also, the learners without disabilities and who were exposed to the Ellis program performed equally with those without disabilities that were not exposed to the program (Beaird, 2007: Katie, 2011). Further, it was found that there was no significance difference between the performance of those learners that were exposed to the Ellis program individually and those that were paired as they received instructions using the program (Beaird, 2007). Despite these findings, it was found that the teachers were highly satisfied with the use of this program in their classes.
In conclusion, this research is of the view that the Ellis software program does not significantly impact the various aspects of English learning (Gajnakova, Vaculik & Vasko, 2010). This is as far as the learner’s achievements in oral, written and read language are concerned. The program fails to significantly improve the performance of those students with or without disabilities.
These findings are significant and unexpected at the same time given the fact that it is generally assumed that technology does improve the teaching and learning of languages. This is for example the CALL program that was analysed in article one above. It can then be concluded that the benefits accrued from the technology will depend on how it is utilised. However, as far as this study is concerned, there is need to conduct further research on the ELLIS field, especially in order to conclusively establish the relationship between this program and disability in learners.
Article 3: Computer assisted language learning in Spanish elementary school foreign language classrooms: The role of CD-ROMs, Hlas, A. C., & Vuksanovich (2007)
Hlas & Vuksanovich (2007) introduce their study by giving the story of one Mrs. Erikson, a Spanish foreign language in elementary school (herein referred to as FLES) teacher. These scholars are of the view that, as a FLES teacher, this lady makes use of various forms of resources in the class on a daily basis. These are for example hand-crafted signs and symbols, songs, stories among others. She also makes use of technology related learning resources in her teaching.
Mrs. Erikson is doing what many teachers in FLES programs are doing nowadays. They are making efforts to integrate technology and media that are relevant to the younger generation that is mostly their clients (Cooney & Keogh, 2009).
It is against this backdrop that Hlas & Vuksanovich (2007) conducted their study. They analysed the role of CD-ROMs in computer assisted language learning in Spanish elementary school foreign language classrooms. Like the two studies that were analysed above, it is evident that Hlas & Vuksanovich (2007) also looked at the integration of computers in teaching and learning of a foreign language.
Hlas & Vuksanovich (2007)’s study is relevant for the topic been reviewed in this paper (use of 3D platforms in teaching and learning of language) for several reasons. One of the reasons is the fact that the two authors are affiliated to reputable organisations, making their study to be credible. Hlas is affiliated to University of Wisconsin while Vuksanovich is affiliated to the University of Iowa. The findings of the study were published in the journal of American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, a reputable journal in the field of teaching and learning languages. The article was then archived in the JSTOR database, a significant development given the fact that this database is recognised for the professionalism of the articles that are archived there.
The CALL program such as the ones discussed in the two articles above can be considered as 3D platforms in teaching and learning (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005: Sternberg & Preiss, 2005). This is especially so given the fact that these programs are virtual and computer based in nature.
However, unlike the two previous studies discussed in this paper, Hlas & Vuksanovich (2007)’s study did not take an experimental design. Rather, the authors used a comparative survey design. The findings of the study were published in the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese journal in 2007.
The major aim of the comparative study was first to review Spanish language learning software, a recent development in the teaching of Spanish as a foreign language. This review is then compared with views of a study conducted in the year 1992 by Schrier and Fast (Hlas & Vuksanovich, 2007). The study addressed the use of Compact Disc Read Only Memory (also referred to as CD-ROMs) within the context of FLES classroom (Hlas & Vuksanovich, 2007).
The study looked at the utilisation of technology in Spanish foreign language in elementary school (FLES) setting through surveys and classroom observations. The comparison of the review and the 1992 study raised issues surrounding the topic, issues that are seminal to the stakeholders in the field today. This includes the form of technology that Spanish instructors make use of in their teaching, as well as those facets of technology that they do avoid from using for various reasons (Lieberman, 2009).
The study found that apart from the teachers, text book manufacturers as well as educational learning corporations have embraced technology in their operations, supporting the role that the teachers and instructors play in the education sector. For example, it was found that these the book manufacturers also produce learning software such as electronic versions of their publications.
However, the study also made some astounding findings concerning the use of CD-ROMs in teaching of Spanish language. Hlas & Vuksanovich (2007) found that Spanish FLES instructors report that these CD-ROMs have no significant use in their teaching, given that they do not improve the performance of the students as well as the procedures used by the teachers.
These findings are similar to those made by Beaird (2007) in the second article analysed above. Beaird (2007) found that the use of CALL programs such as Ellis had no significant effect on the performance of the learners. Similarly, Hlas & Vuksanovich (2007) found that the use of CDROMs had no impact on the teacher’s ability to teach Spanish.
From the above discourse, it can be concluded that not all computer applications help in teaching and learning of languages in elementary and primary schools. This being the case, it is important then to conduct further studies to determine how technology can be integrated effectively in the learning process.
Hlas & Vuksanovich (2007) study, however, cannot be used alone to come into conclusions regarding the use of computers and other 3D applications in teaching and learning languages. This is especially so given that the study was limited to Spanish teachers alone. As such, more studies need to be conducted to this end to determine whether this can be generalised to the teaching of other languages such as Chinese and English.
Article 4: Use of mobile phones for language learning and assessment for learning, a pilot project, Cooney, G., & Keogh, K. A (2009)
This study was a pilot project that was aimed at finding out how mobile phones can affect language learning, and how they can be used as assessment tools for the same language learning. This study was similar to the other three that were analysed above. This is given the fact that it aimed to analyse the interaction between technology and language learning. However, there are subtle differences between this study and the other three. Whereas the previous studies looked at the interaction between computer based programs and language learning, Cooney & Keogh (2009) were more interested in mobile phones and how they affected language learning. Other differences between this study and the other three are their purpose. Whereas the other three were academic in nature, Cooney & Keogh (2009)’s study was more of a project.
Cooney & Keogh (2009) introduce their study by stating that the use of mobile learning (herein referred to as mlearning) in language education has been widely addressed by scholars in this field. Their observation is supported by arguments that are made by other scholars such as Kim, Miranda & Olaciregui (2010), Parsons & Ryu (2006) and Pressley (2002). All of these scholars go further to acknowledge the benefits that mlearning has on language learning within the context of the classroom.
However, Cooney & Keogh (2009) admits that there have been knowledge gaps in the study of the use of mlearning in language education. Most studies and projects that have been conducted in the past looked at the use of mobile devices in language learning from third level language education (Cooney & Keogh, 2009: Pea & Maldonado, 2006). They claim that the utilisation of mlearning in second level education has not been adequately addressed.
Their current study is set against this background. The major objective of their study was to analyse the use of mlearning in second level education, an effort to address the apparent knowledge lacuna that they had identified (Cooney & Keogh, 2009).
The study was carried out within the context of teaching and learning Irish in Ireland. The scholars were contracted by the government, through the ministry of education, and other stakeholders in the country. Learnosity was the company that was contracted to provide the mobile technology that the researchers were to use in their study (Cooney & Keogh, 2009).
The pilot project that is reported in Cooney & Keogh (2009) was carried out for five weeks. The setting of the study was a school in rural Ireland, in the County of Meath (Cooney & Keogh, 2009). Mlearning system was introduced in the school, and the researchers aimed at finding the impacts that the system had on several aspects of learning Irish. This included oral assessment of the language, enhancement of learners’ self-assessment as well as enhancement of the communicative competence of the learners in the school (Cooney & Keogh, 2009). The project also aimed at motivating the learners by enhancing their interaction with props of a mobile phone as well as web-chat, making the learning experience to be fun (Cooney & Keogh, 2009).
The pilot project involved sixty nine second year learners of the Irish language, together with their three instructors (Cooney & Keogh, 2009). The student participants were aged between 14 and 15 years, and they were randomly selected for the study. Technological devices such as mobile phones, laptops, internet and web based chat programs were introduced in the project. All the learners participating in the study were given mobile phones, which they used throughout the five week period. The aim of the study was to find out whether mobile technology can be used to promote language teaching and learning in a school with poor or no technology infrastructure (Cooney & Keogh, 2009).
Data was collected using questionnaires, reflective diaries, unstructured feedback from the participants as well as observation (Cooney & Keogh, 2009). 67 percent of the participants were of the view that there was progress made in the students’ oral skills in Irish language as a result of the use of the technology in the project. 95 percent of the learners also reported that they had enjoyed using the technology in learning, observing that it was far better than the traditional and conventional methods of learning Irish language in the classroom. 93 percent of the participants were of the view that mlearning should be introduced in the whole school, and Irish language learning should take place within the context of such technology (Cooney & Keogh, 2009).
The findings of this pilot project points to the fact that mobile technology can be integrated in language learning with positive results. Mlearning is especially effective given the fact that, unlike computers, there is no need for an extensive technological infrastructure such as computer laboratories and internet (Roschelle, 2003: Genee & Milne, 2008). The findings go further to indicate that the use of 3D platforms (in this case mobile phone application) can go a long way in enhancing language learning in primary and elementary schools.
Article 5: Attitude and self-efficacy change: English language learning in virtual environments, Zheng, D., Brewer, R., Young, M., Wagner, M., & Seo, J. H (2006)
Zheng et al (2006) conducted this study and published it in a paper that was presented in the meeting of the American Educational Research Association. This is a meeting that takes place annually, and in 2006, when Zheng et al (2006) presented their findings, the meeting was taking place in San Francisco, California.
The aim of this study was to analyse the learning of the English language in a multiuser virtual environment (MUVE). Zheng et al (2006) analysed factors that affect the learning of English as a foreign or second language in a MUVE setting. The researchers used a 3D game-like MUVE on the internet, using Quest Atlantis (herein referred to as QA) as the platform website (Zheng et al, 2006). Communication tools such as online chats, bulletin board were used by the learners taking part in the study to solve content related problems (Zheng et al, 2006: Fallahkhair, Pamberton & Griffiths, 2005: Wong, 2005). The communication tools were used in conjunction with other applications such as 3D avatar and 2D web page navigation applications in virtual space (Zheng et al, 2006: p. 2). Non native English speakers interacted with native speakers of the language in the virtual environment to solve the content related problems on a 3D platform.
Zheng et al (2006) conducted their research in a middle school in Mainland China. A random sample of 61 participants was picked from a population of one hundred individuals that had volunteered for the study (Zheng et al, 2006). All of the participants were drawn from two 7th grade classes in the school. The two classes were under the tutorage of the same instructors.
The study assumed a pre-test/ post test experimental design. The participants were randomly divided into two groups; the experimental and the control group. However, the random allocation ensured that each of the two groups contained learners from each of the two classes.
As earlier indicated, Quest Atlantis was the MUVE that was used for this study. It is an ActiveWorlds metaverse that makes it possible for the learners to access virtual locations (Wang et al, 2009: Alam et al, 2010: Yeh & Nason, 2010). The study was conducted on Chinese elementary school learners who were learning the English language as their second and foreign language.
It was found that the experimental group which was exposed to the MUVE learning environment rated themselves higher in several aspects of learning English language as compared to the control group (Zheng et al, 2006). For example, they rated themselves higher in self-efficacy as far as advanced use of the English language was concerned (Zheng et al, 2006). The findings of this study were similar to the arguments made by other scholars such as Dede et al (2004), Elliott (2005), Kafai (2006) and Riedl et al (2005). These scholars were of the view that MUVE improved the learning of a foreign or a second language.
The attitude of the MUVE learners towards the English language was also more positive than that of the control group. This is together with their self-efficacy as far as E-communication is concerned (Zheng et al, 2006). This was in line with arguments made by Barab & Plucker (2002) and Barab & Duffy (2000), who are of the view that MUVE improves the attitude of language learners.
The findings of this study points to the fact that virtual worlds, a facet of 3D platforms, may improve the conditions of English Language Learners (herein referred to as ELLs). MUVE can be used to increase the confidence and comfort of the learners in the classroom. It can also be used to shatter cultural barriers that make it hard to learn English as a foreign or second language (Bowen, 2011: Wilde, 2011: Runrer, 2002).
The findings of this study can be extended to apply to other contexts. For example, from the findings of this study, it can be argued that MUVE can be used to improve the learning of other languages apart from English. This goes further to support the argument that technology can be harnessed to improve learning and teaching of languages in elementary and primary schools. This is especially so in the case of foreign and second language teaching and learning in schools.
Article 6: Improving Chinese language competency of ethnic Chinese pupils with story building and multi-user virtual environment: A case study, Wong, Y. M. (2005)
This study is similar to the one reported in article 5 above (Zheng et al, 2006), given that they are all addressing the learning of language within a MUVE setting. Both studies are also carried out within the context of elementary schools in China. However, Wong (2005)’s study addresses the learning of the Chinese language by Singaporean ethnic groups while Zheng et al (2006) looked at learning of English as a second language among Chinese speakers.
Wong (2005)’s study assumes an exploratory case study design. The major objective of the study was to analyse the effects of a combination of story building and MUVE on elementary learners in a Chinese classroom (Wong, 2005). The researcher aimed at addressing the issue of how learning through “enter-the-story” (Wong, 2005: p. 558) affects the learners’ Chinese language competencies and their cognitive abilities.
Three case studies, each building upon another, were used to collect data over a period of two years (Wong, 2005). This is what the researcher refers to as qualitative logic case studies. The first case study did not involve the use of MUVE, and the major aim at this stage was to analyse various story building methods. MUVE was introduced in case study 2, where the researcher sought to find out whether the findings of storytelling methods in case study can be replicated within the context of MUVE (Wong, 2005: Zhang & Patel, 2006). The third case study was used to analyse cognition of Singaporean Chinese language learners within the context of MUVE.
All the subjects used in the study (in all the three case studies) were elementary learners in a neighbourhood primary school. It was found that weaker learners recorded improved performance in their language skills after participating in the study. The findings of this study are significant given the fact that, unlike other languages, learning of Chinese requires that the learners comprehend the characters that are sometimes very complex. Use of conventional teaching methods in such a case may not improve the condition of weak students. However, as the findings of this study indicate, the use of storytelling methods within the context of MUVE does improve the learning and teaching process of Chinese language (Wong, 2005: Hartel, 2000: Spalter et al, 2002).
However, there is need to conduct further studies to establish whether the findings of this study can be generalised to the teaching of other languages such as Spanish and English in different settings. This is especially so given that Wong (2005)’s study cannot be regarded as comprehensive given the small number of respondents used.
Article 7: Multi-user virtual environment platforms for English as a second language education: Literature review, Lieberman, 2009
Like the Zheng et al (2006) and Wong (2005) studies analysed in articles five and six above respectively, Lieberman (2009)’s study sought to analyse the effects of MUVE on learning and teaching of language. Like in Zheng et al (2006), Lieberman (2009) addressed the learning of the English language. However, whereas the previous two studies assumed a more experimental design, Lieberman (2009) made use of literature review. His study is a critical review of literature that is found within the setting of teaching English as a second language among younger learners within a MUVE context.
Lieberman (2009) introduces their study by acknowledging that there is a continuing growth in the interest in the utilisation of online virtual worlds in teaching and learning. This is evidenced by several studies that had been conducted before in the field, such as Zheng et al (2006) and Wong (2005) above.
However, Lieberman (2009) admits that there are various shortcomings in these studies. For example, the studies conducted before involve small-scale case studies, like Wong (2005)’s study. In this literature review, Lieberman is trying to analysed the findings of these studies and see the commonalities and points of divergence among them.
The major aim of Lieberman (2009)’s study is to interpret the results of various studies conducted in this field. This is in order to address the issues of competing virtual world technologies within the context of teaching and learning languages in primary and elementary schools. Specific objectives of this study include the analysis of whether there are discernible benefits common to all the virtual world technologies that are used in teaching English as a second language (Lieberman, 2009: Schlager et al, 2002: Squire & Jenkins, 2003). Lieberman also sought to find out whether there are programs that work better than others in teaching and learning of language. Most important, Lieberman (2009) sought to analyse whether learners respond positively and favourably to massively multiplayer online games (herein referred to as MMOGs) as compared to non-game MUVEs (Warschauer, 1996). Finally, the literature review sought to analyse whether there are best practices of incorporating virtual worlds to learning and teaching of languages identified by past studies in the field (Schlager et al, 2002).
Lieberman (2009) limited their study to learning of English as a second language. This does not mean that the findings of the literature review cannot be generalised to other contexts outside English as a second language. This is especially so given the fact that the researcher tries to incorporate supplementary materials on other aspects of virtual language teaching and learning.
Lieberman (2009) analysed several platforms as used in teaching and learning of English as a second language. They included Second Life, Active Worlds, and World of Witchcraft (Lieberman, 2009: Batista, 2010: Dean, 2010). It was found that these platforms can in fact support teaching of English as a second language if they are properly implemented and evaluated (Cho, Kim & Lee, 2004).
Lieberman (2009) also found that Second Life is more effective than Active Worlds. This is given the fact that the latter is based on an aging technology, and as such, not as effective as the former. However, Lieberman is of the view more conclusive and comparative studies to this end needs to be conducted before English teachers can be persuaded to abandon Active Worlds for Second Life in their teaching.
Article 8: Implementing computer-assisted language learning in the EFL classroom: Teachers’ perceptions and perspectives, Chan, N. M., & Jeong, B. S. (2010)
This study was like that of Almekhlafi (2006) and Beaird (2007) analysed in articles one and two respectively. This is given the fact that Chan & Jeong (2010) sought to analyse the interaction between CALL program and teaching and learning of EFL in elementary schools. However, this study is different from the others given the fact that the researchers used teachers as their respondents; there were no students involved (Lee, 2011: Katie, 2010).
The major aim of the study was to analyse the factors affecting EFL teachers’ utilisation of computers and other forms of technology in teaching (Chan & Jeong, 2010). Another objective was to analyse the attitudes of these teachers towards the use of CALL programs, together with coming up with strategies to enhance the use of these programs in schools (Neal, Smith & Johnson, 1990: Wu, 1999).
The study used a sample of twelve EFL teachers in Korean schools. These were teachers that were dealing with learners of Korean descent who were learning English as their second language. Data for the study was conducted using two methods. The first was a questionnaire administered on the teachers, which was followed by an in-depth interview session (Chan & Jeong, 2010: Cho, Kim & Lee, 2004).
It was found that the respondents had a positive attitude towards the use of CALL programs in their practice. They were of the view that computers and other technology improve the experience of both the teachers and the learners in the classroom. However, according to the findings by Chan & Jeong (2009), the implementation of CALL programs in schools is faced by various challenges, both from within and from without the school environment. These include lack of funds, limited ICT skills among the teachers and the students among other factors. The study recommends that school administrations should support the teachers who use CALL in their classrooms given the various benefits of the technology on the students and the teachers (Ray et al, 2001).
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