TECHNOLOGY-SUPPORTED FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNING: THE INTEGRATION OF THE WEB AND BLOGS
University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU) (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Page: 6449 (abstract only)
Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:The widespread access to technologies has modified our way of living, interacting with each other, learning and searching for information in the way that being an agile user of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) has become one of the basic skills in our society, on a par with mastering foreign languages.
The internet and blogs’ integration in the FL (foreign language) classroom is thus a powerful tool when it comes to boosting learners’ digital and FL competence at the same time. Moreover, technology-supported activities may contribute to engaging students in their learning process and motivate them, as noted in a recent review of the studies in the field (Golonka et al., 2014).
Despite the fact that supporting the learning with the use of technologies in schools is nowadays a primary objective (Oblinger and Oblinger, 2005), it is not common in a FL classroom to learn with and through ICT, especially in high school, as the majority of ICT-related programmes have been focussed mainly on primary and secondary education (Eskola 2.0 project). The present study has been conducted particularly in this educational setting with the aim of drawing the attention to ICT’s benefits also for older learners.
The study aims at exploring the effect of ICT integration in the FL classroom on the development of learners’ written language skills, while it is focusing as well on the attitudinal factors regarding such action. The design of the study is based on a pre-test and a post-test measurement separated by an ICT treatment involving the use of the Web and blogs in classroom activities and a questionnaire on students’ attitudes, based on Ipiña (2012) and Kennedy et al. (2009).
The sample was comprised of 146 students of a public high school in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, divided into an experiment group, engaged in a project of ICT use in EFL (English as a foreign language) classes, and a control group.
Learners’ written skills were evaluated following the criteria based on ESL (English as a second language) Composition Profile assessment tool (Jacobs et al., 1981).
The preliminary analysis of the data reveals a slight improvement in learners’ written production skills, while the students’ attitudes towards the integration of ICT in the EFL classes seem quite positive, as shown by the mean scores obtained in the questionnaires.
 Eskola 2.0 project. Accessible at: http://www.eskola20.euskadi.net/web/guest/introduccion
 Golonka, E.M., A.R. Bowles, V.M. Frank, D.L. Richardson and S. Freynik (2014) Technologies for foreign language learning: a review of technology types and their effectiveness. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 27 (1) pp. 70-105.
 Ipiña Larrañaga, N. (2012) The Use of Wikis in a CLIL-POL Context as Tools for Collaborative Writing. Impact of Attitudes. PhD Thesis. Eskoriatza: Mondragon University.
 Jacobs, H.L., S.A. Zinkgraf, D.R. Wormuth, V.F. Hartfiel and J.B. Hughey (1981) Testing ESL Composition: A Practical Approach. Rowley: Newbury House Publishers.
 Kennedy G., B. Dalgarno, S. Bennett, K. Gray, J. Waycott, T. Judd, A. Bishop, K. Maton, K.L. Krause and R. Chang (2009) Educating the Net Generation. A Handbook of Findings for Practice and Policy. Australian Learning and Teaching Council Ltd.
 Oblinger, D. and J.L. Oblinger (2005) Educating the net generation. Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE.
Keywords: ICT in language learning, CALL, foreign language learning, e-learning, EFL.