About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1550-1558
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain

THE EFFECTS OF IMPLEMENTING 'SKYPE' INTO EAP CLASSES TO DEVELOP ORAL SKILLS

C. Soganci

Eastern Mediterranean University (North Cyprus) (TURKEY)
What is one the main obstacles all language learners face? Needless to say, among other language skills speaking is one of the most desired to achieve by most learners. How can today’s educators achieve this through an innovative approach? Numerous approaches have been developed over the years for language learning and teaching. The Communicative approach can be considered the longest living of all, considering most of the more recent approaches such as the Blended Learning Approach and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) have evolved from this approach. Technology is an inevitable and vastly developing concept in today’s world which is shifting into every field including education. Synchronous Computer Mediated Communication (SCMC) was first applied to students with hearing difficulties at Gallaudet University (Batson, 1988) and has evolved ever since. The new generations are experts of these technologies and therefore seek opportunities to display their knowledge and skills in this area. Yet, one of the main problems that English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers experience is not being able to increase the chances of students using the target language within the classroom context. As Rance and Judith (2010, p.23) suggest, “Generally, it is prevailing wisdom to group learners together who do not share a native language since this fosters maximum communication in English.” However, this is not feasible in the context where I teach due to the environmental constraints, such as the majority of students sharing the common L1 (Turkish) and this being the native language of North Cyprus. In this respect, this article seeks to explore the improvements in oral proficiency of language learners in an environment with language constrains through the integration of a video conferencing element (Skype) into the learning process of university freshman students. A case study, where seven volunteers from the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course from the Eastern Mediterranean University were paired with seven volunteers from the Zhejiang Gongshang University in China, was carried out. Pairing was established in collaboration with the assisting researcher by having all participants take a standardized spoken examination. Participants met twice a week and were assigned with semi-structured speaking tasks throughout the duration of one semester. Data was collated through a variety of methods, such as observations, pre/post speaking exams, interviews and student journals. The first part of the paper will outline the methods, procedures and participant profiles employed in the research while the second part will discuss the findings. The findings show significant effects of the implementation of Synchronous Computer Mediated Communication (SCMC) into the language learning process of both the Eastern Mediterranean University EAP participants as well as the Chinese participants. In addition to the post speaking test scores showing an increase in language proficiency, the interviews held with the participants and the assisting researcher (the teacher of the Chinese participants) provided substantial evidence that the implementation was an effective supplement for face to face communication.

References:
Rance, R., & Judith, A. (2010). Reconceptualizing international groups: Grouping schemes for maximizing language learning. English Teaching Forum, 48(1), 20-26.
@InProceedings{SOGANCI2014EFF,
author = {Soganci, C.},
title = {THE EFFECTS OF IMPLEMENTING 'SKYPE' INTO EAP CLASSES TO DEVELOP ORAL SKILLS},
series = {8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-8412-0},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {10-12 March, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {1550-1558}}
TY - CONF
AU - C. Soganci
TI - THE EFFECTS OF IMPLEMENTING 'SKYPE' INTO EAP CLASSES TO DEVELOP ORAL SKILLS
SN - 978-84-616-8412-0/2340-1079
PY - 2014
Y1 - 10-12 March, 2014
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2014 Proceedings
SP - 1550
EP - 1558
ER -
C. Soganci (2014) THE EFFECTS OF IMPLEMENTING 'SKYPE' INTO EAP CLASSES TO DEVELOP ORAL SKILLS, INTED2014 Proceedings, pp. 1550-1558.
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