B. Glick

The Pennsylvania State University/Hazleton (UNITED STATES)
This investigation uses Technology Assisted Language Learning in order to determine 1. If there are relations between learning styles and language learning 2. if the use of various technological activities aid all learning style learners, 3. if there are areas in which technology might help Convergers and Assimilators become more successful language learners and if so, 4. how best to implement this technology. Due to the emphasis in language learning in a technology assisted classroom, it is important to determine how technology affects learning styles in order to make changes in the classroom environment to fully support all language styles using technology in the most effective manner.
The distribution of students’ learning styles in four two semester college classes of Technology Assisted Language Learning in Intermediate Spanish was determined. Similarly to the research published by Castro and Peck (2005), the Intermediate Spanish classes in this study were mostly comprised of Assimilators and Convergers. Convergers comprised 26% of the student body and Assimilators 40%. A comparison of learning styles and classroom achievement showed that Convergers scored significantly lower ( p value 0.05) than Assimilators, Accommodators, and Divergers in final grade point average. Final grade point average was determined on the basis of a final exam, four written partial exams, participation, online exercises, and written compositions. When further statistical analysis was performed on each of these categories to determine grade point difference there were two areas in which there was statistical differences between Convergers and the other learner styles. The online exercises’ score was statistically lower in Convergers when compared to Assimilators and the participation grade was statistically lower between Convergers and all of the other learning styles (p value 0.05). Although both Convergers and Assimilators perceive information as abstract conceptualizations, Convergers process this information through active experimentation while Assimilators process information in a reflective manner which involves visual stimuli. In a technology assisted classroom, where there were many visually stimulating tasks such as watching and analyzing movies, answering questions about online youtube songs, and chatting online. Convergers, who process information through practical experiences ,may not have been able to process the information actively and might benefit from asynchronous interactions with online communities such as penpal exchanges, podcasts, and Voicethread activities.