Globalisation of the world as time shifts has seen the remarkable use of technology. Technology has become important and marks its existence in almost everyone lives. It has become part of everyday life. With the enhanced use of technology, comes into frame the Information and Communication Technology (ICT). In this globalised world, everything is now ICT related. The use of ICT is utilized in almost every single thing that we do. For example, the use of mobile phone, or for more advanced user, the smart phone or computer tablet. The use of this technology shows how closely related we are with the use of ICT. ICT has also bridges people with the Internet. Now, almost everyone uses the Internet to find information or to connect with the world.
With the rapid changes in the world of technologies and the enhanced use of ICT in our everyday lives, it is not surprising when the use of ICT in education has captured the attention of the educators and the world. The use of technology in education can be divided into three time zones namely, the pre-microcomputer era, microcomputer era and Internet era (Robyler, 2006 in Abdulellah Abdullah, 2010). Table 1.1 shows the development of technology use in education.
Table 1.1: ICT Timelines in Education
First computer used for instruction
First computer used with schoolchildren
Computer-assisted instruction (CAI) emerges
Mainframe and minicomputer applications dominate
CAI movement declines, computer literacy movement begins
First microcomputer in schools
Microcomputer applications proliferate
Mid 1980s - 1990s
Integrated learning systems emerge
World Wide Web appears
International society for technology in education creates standard
Internet use propagates across higher education, then into schools (online and distance learning)
The changing world requires educators as well as curriculum makers to integrate ICT in education. Exposure to ICT should be given to the students. Students need to be given the exposure to make sure they can adapt to the risen of the new technology. Students have to be given chances to explore and experience the world of ICT. Previous studies have shown that integration of ICT will be beneficial for the students, teachers and the country itself. As outlined by Peck and Dorricott (1994) in Al-Zaidiyeen, Leong & Fong (2010), there are ten reasons for the integration of technologies in schools which are; (i) Individualised instruction for teachers thus permits students to learn and develop at their own momentum in a secured environment, (ii) Students have to be competent at accessing, evaluating and communicating, and information, (iii) The use of word processor can enhance the quantity and quality of students' thinking and writing, (iv) Technology can help develop students' critical thinking and enable them to plan, analyse, interpret, establish and assess their own work, (v) Students' artistic expression can be encouraged, (vi) Students will have chances to experience new and exciting learning experience, (vii) Students will be able to access resources outside the school, (viii) Students need to be computer literate as it will be part of the students' world, (ix) Students can have the possibility to do meaningful work, (x) Productivity and efficiency of the students need to be increased, and (xi) ICT integration in education will improve the quality of education.
ICT can provide enormous opportunities for the students to expand themselves. According to UNESCO (2004), ICT will provide learners the access to vast stores of knowledge beyond the school including the multimedia tools (in Anderson, 2005). When everything is ICT related, it is impossible for us to continue educating our students in the traditional environment. As stated by Yelland (2001 in Bingimlas 2009), traditional educational environment is no longer practical to equip learners in functioning well and mbe productive in the workplace of today's society. The current situation needs the students to be able to blend in with the technologies. Failure to do so will only cause the students to be at loss and left behind. Becta (2003) stated that ICT give fast and accurate feedback to students, and speed up computations and graphing, thus give students more opportunity to focus on strategies and interpretation. A study by Look (2005), revealed that a review of 219 studies on the use of technology in education consistently found that positive effects on achievement in all subject areas are recorded by students experienced technology rich environment. As ICT integration could provide students with more benefits, it is seen as vital for schools and institution to provide best ICT integrated education to their students. It is not a surprise anymore when ICT could actually improve students' performance and boost their achievement.
Background of study
With the power of ICT in enhancing the depth of education and improving the education system, our government has taken another step forward. Vision 2020 was formulated where Malaysia is hoped to be a fully developed country by the year 2020. The importance of technology is addressed in the sixth challenge;
The challenge of establishing a scientific and progressive society, a society that is innovative and forward looking, one that is not only a consumer of technology but also a contributor to the scientific and technological civilization of the future.
With great attention is given on technology, Malaysian government is trying to change Malaysia from production-based economy to knowledge-based economy. This is in line with Vision 2020, where the title of fully developed nation is hoped to be grabbed by 2020.
Figure 1.1: Transformation towards knowledge economy
In 1996, Malaysia has identified ICT as one of the key foundations for its project transition from a production-based economy to a knowledge-based economy by 2020 (Multimedia Development Corporation, 2005). With ICT recognized as one of the key foundations, Malaysian government has launched the Smart School Flagship Application in 1997.
The Smart School Flagship is driven by Smart School Roadmap. The development of Smart School is broken into four stages known as "Wave".
Figure 1.2: Stages of Smart School implementation
Source: Multimedia Development Corporation, 2005
The first stage is Wave 1 (1999 - 2002), also called as the Pilot Phase. In this stage, Smart School has been implemented on 88 schools. In Wave 2 (2003 - 2005), the post-pilot, initiatives for the implementation of ICT in education were carried out. Among the initiatives were computer lab, teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI), SchoolNet, courseware, and e-material. Wave 3 (2005 - 2010), the aim was to make all school smart with the introduction of Qualification Standard (SSQS), EduWebTV and access centre. The last wave which is Wave 4 (2010 - 2020) is the stage called "Consolidate & Stabilize". Technology becomes an integral part of the nation's learning process (Multimedia Development Corporation, 2005).
The government has also formulated the National Policy of ICT in Education. As ICT have great potential in enhancing the quality of education, a policy about it has to be made.
Recognizing the importance of ICT is not sufficient to ensure the desired outcome of education is achieved. To ensure sustainable practice of integrating ICT in education, a policy must be crafted to form the framework that guides the implementation of ICT initiatives. The comprehensive choice of ICT for holistic development of education can be built only on a sound policy.
(Frost & Sullivan, 2010)
There are four policies outlined in the Policy on ICT in Education;
The first policy for ICT in education is based on the Government's recognition of knowledge as a necessary basis for sustainable human capital development. The policy therefore seeks to define the roles of all parties in the new partnerships of the public, private and community sectors required to drive the far-reaching changes needed to achieve knowledge for all in the new Information and Digital Age.
The second policy for ICT in education focuses on deploying ICT as an enabler for education through four main pillars of delivery - human capital, budget, digital learning resources and infrastructure.
The third policy for ICT in education focuses on the adoption of value-added management tools and advanced concepts from global best practices such as total cost of ownership, public private partnership, lifecycle approach and central programme management.
The fourth policy for ICT in education focuses on the special education group including juveniles, aborigines, and students with special needs to give them equal opportunity as Malaysia progresses towards a high-income nation.
In the latest early report of Malaysian Educational Development Plan 2013 - 2025, there are eleven shifts highlighted by the government in order to transforming the national education system. The seventh shift focuses on the use of ICT to enhance the quality of education in Malaysia. Through this shift, government plans to enhance the internet access and learning environment through 1BestariNet for all 10,000 schools by 2013, add more online content for the sharing of best teaching by establishing a library of teaching videos by best teachers of critical subjects in 2013, to utilize the use of ICT for distance learning and self-directed learning to enhance the capacity and more specific learning (Ministry of Education, 2012).
With the implementation of ICT in the education, Malaysian government is trying to reinforce the quality of education in Malaysia. Every student in Malaysia is given hope to get the best education to cater their needs to compete in the current world. However, in the rapid movement of ICT integration in education, there are students who are still left behind. Majority of them are Orang Asli students (Abdull Sukor et. al, 2011). According to Nicholas (2007 in Abdull Shukor et al., 2011), from 100 of Orang Asli students who enter Standard 1, only 6 of them will finish in Form 5. The level of education for Orang Asli students is still considered as low compared to other students. According to Mohd Fauzi (2006), percentage shown that Orang Asli students are far behind and can be considered as dropout students (cited in Abdull Shukor et. al, 2011). There are many reasons that lead to the dropping out among Orang Asli students. According to Nicholas (2006 in Mohd Asri, 2012), there are several structural reasons that lead to the dropping out among Orang Asli students; 1) Factors related to poverty; 2) Non-delivery of educational assistance; 3) Contrast in the pedagogy and the culture; 4) Gaps in attendance; 5) Imperfections in the system.
The steps taken by the Ministry of Education Malaysia in empowering the education in Malaysia is seen as vital as we are now living in the world of technology and digital era. However, it is also important to take note that in empowering the education, minority group such as Orang Asli should not be put aside. Their education is as important as other Malaysian citizens. As the government is trying to improve the ICT integration in our education system, it is also important to remember that technology inequity might exist especially for the Orang Asli population.
The emerging trend of ICT in education has brought the level of education in Malaysia to a higher stage. As ICT are deemed as important and crucial in the development of knowledge-based society, its integration has taken part in our education system. However, to extend the digital transformation to all students is not an easy task. The existence of digital divide has worsened the initiative of Ministry of Education (MOE) to expand the digital literacy to all. Anderson (2010) has highlighted the definition of "digital divide" where it is concerned with the gap between those who have the access to ICT and those who have limited or no access to ICT at all. While ICT is said to improve education and help teaching and learning process, it is vital to look at the use of ICT in learning English among Orang Asli students. Majority of Orang Asli live in rural areas where the access to ICT may be limited. The digital divide may be wider as many of them could not benefit from the integration of ICT in education. While other students could experience the use of ICT in their English teaching and learning process, Orang Asli students might not have the equal chance to experience it. Hence the current study intends to investigate the level of ICT competence of Orang Asli students, the differences that may exist in the competence of ICT between male and female Orang Asli students, the level of ICT use in English classroom, as well as the view of Orang Asli students toward the importance of ICT in learning English.
Rationale of study
In realizing the aim of the government to become a fully developed nation, fair education should be given to all. It is important to address the problems faced by the society in rural areas, specifically, Orang Asli community. Many studies have been conducted to investigate the problems faced by Orang Asli students in their learning. However, limited studies are found which focus on the issue of ICT integration in English learning among Orang Asli students. Thus, this study is expected to bring extensive view of the perceived importance of ICT in learning English among Orang Asli students.
To measure the level of ICT competence of Orang Asli students
To distinguish the difference in the competence of ICT between the male and female Orang Asli students
To investigate the attitudes of Orang Asli students toward ICT
To distinguish the difference in ICT attitudes between the male and female Orang Asli students
To investigate the level of ICT use in English classroom
To explore the view of Orang Asli students on the importance of ICT in learning English
What is the level of ICT competence of Orang Asli students?
Is there any difference in the competence of ICT between male and female Orang Asli students?
What are the attitudes of Orang Asli students toward ICT?
Is there any difference in the attitudes toward ICT between male and female Orang Asli students?
What is the level of ICT use in English classroom?
How do Orang Asli students perceive the importance of ICT in learning English?
Significance of study
The extensive use of technologies in today's daily live is unquestionable. ICT mainly has become part of the education in order to produce knowledgeable society who is able to compete in the real world. Thus, the issue of ICT among Orang Asli students should not be taken lightly. As Orang Asli is also part of the education system, they deserve the same treatment and benefits from the ICT integration in education as other students do. Orang Asli has always been labelled with poverty and low education. As the world is now using English language as the medium of instruction, Orang Asli should have this language skill too if they want to compete with others. The use of ICT may help in improving their English education level. However, it is important to look at the awareness of Orang Asli students of the importance of ICT. It is a need to explore deeper on the perceived importance of ICT in learning English among Orang Asli students. It will give broader view on how well ICT is integrated in their education process and how Orang Asli students adapt to this digital transformation. By identifying this issue, effective measurements could be taken to enhance and improve the use of ICT in the English learning process of Orang Asli students.
This study will only involve 100 respondents. As the sample size is small, it is not appropriate to generalize the finding of this study. The respondents for this study will be from schools in Pahang only. Constraints of resources such as time, facilities and funding limit the location covered for this study.
1.8.1 Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
ICT is deemed as important in today's world. ICT use be seen in almost every aspect of human lives. According to Tinio (2003), ICT is a term defined as "diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate, and to create, disseminate, store, and manage information". Computers, internet, telephone, and broadcasting technologies are included in this technology. UNESCO has also defined the term Information and Communication Technologies (ICT);
The tools and the processes to access, retrieve, store, organise, manipulate, produce, present and exchange information by electronic and other automated means. These include hardware, software and telecommunications in the forms of personal computers, scanners, digital cameras, phones, faxes, modems, CD and DVD players and recorders, digitised video, radio and TV programmes, database programmes and multimedia programmes.
(UNESCO Bangkok, 2003, p.75)
According to Anderson (2010), ICT is a term which includes the full range of electronic tools including how we gather, record and store information as well as how we exchange and distribute information. For the purpose of this study, ICT is defined as electronic tools and technologies facilities that support the activities of teaching and learning in education.
1.8.2 Orang Asli
Orang Asli is a term given to the indigenous people in Peninsular Malaysia. Nicholas (1999) gives the definition of Orang Asli as follow:
"The Orang Asli are the indigenous minority peoples of Peninsular Malaysia. The name is a Malay term which transliterates as 'original peoples' or 'first peoples.' It is a collective term introduced by anthropologists and administrators for the 18 sub-ethnic groups generally classified for official purposes under Negrito, Senoi and Proto-Malay."
Orang Asli is not to be associated with Malays or the indigenous people in Sabah and Sarawak. However, together with the Malays and the indigenous people of Sabah and Sarawak, they are known as Bumiputeras. For the purpose of this study, Orang Asli is defined as the native people who live in the Peninsular Malaysia.
According to Culbertson (1968), attitude is concerned with at least three things; an attitude object, a set of beliefs and tendency to behave. In simpler words, attitude deals with the attitude object which is defined by the attitude holder. The object may be people, situations or belief. Attitude holder will have a set of belief towards the attitude object whether positive or negative. The set of belief will affect how the attitude holder behaves towards the attitude object. Thus, a person will have a certain attitude based on what he or she thinks or believes. For the purpose of this study, attitude is defined as how the Orang Asli students behave towards ICT as measured by the instrument of this study.
This chapter has provided information on the issue of ICT in education and the ICT movement taken by the Malaysian government in enhancing the education system. The research objectives and questions which will guide this study were also presented in this chapter. Apart from that, this chapter has outlined the significance of this study to show the relevance of this study. Operational definitions were also provided to give information on the terms used in this study and limitations of study will enlighten readers on the focus of this study. Next chapter will review the relevant literature as well as previous studies related to this particular study.
This chapter will review relevant literature as well as previous studies related to variables of interest in this study. There are five areas which will be briefly discussed and explained. The areas are; Orang Asli, attitudes towards ICT, ICT in ESL, English language learning among Orang Asli and the conceptual framework for this study.
Indigenous people are also known as aboriginal people. They are approximately 370 million of this population worldwide, live in 90 countries and majority of them, about 70% resides in Asia (Cultural Survival, 2012).
Indigenous populations are communities that live within, or are attached to, geographically distinct traditional habitats or ancestral territories, and who identify themselves as being part of a distinct cultural group, descended from groups present in the area before modern states were created and current borders defined. They generally maintain cultural and social identities, and social, economic, cultural and political institutions, separate from the mainstream or dominant society or culture.
(World Health Organisation, 2012)
In Malaysia, the indigenous people are referred as Orang Asli. It is a term given to the aboriginal people of Peninsular Malaysia. According to the Aboriginal Peoples Act 1954, an aborigine is;
any person whose male parent is or was, a member of an aboriginal ethnic group, who speaks an aboriginal language and habitually follows an aboriginal way of life and aboriginal customs and beliefs, and includes a descendant through males of such persons;
any person of any race adopted when an infant by aborigines who has been brought up as an aborigine, habitually speaks an aboriginal language, habitually follows an aboriginal way of life and aboriginal customs and beliefs and is a member of an aboriginal community; or
the child of any union between an aboriginal female and a male of another race, provided that the child habitually speaks an aboriginal language, habitually follows an aboriginal way of life and aboriginal customs and beliefs and remains a member of an aboriginal community.
(Aboriginal Peoples Act 1954, 2006)
According to Jabatan Kemajuan Orang Asli Malaysia (JAKOA) (2011), Orang Asli population has increased from 141,230 in 2006 to 178,197 in 2010. However, they are still the minority who made up only 0.7% of the country's population. There are three main groups of Orang Asli known as Senoi, Negritos and Traditional Malay/ Proto- Malay. Between these three groups, Negrito made up the smallest population followed by Traditional Malay/Proto Malay. According to the information from JAKOA, Senoi group favours to live in the uphill area and build big hut occupied by several families. For the Traditional Malay/ Proto- Malay group, majority of them live in the Southern part of Peninsular Malaysia. Negrito population lives in the remote area and practices the nomad life style.
Table 2.1 : Orang Asli population according to states
Traditional Malay / Proto Malay
The three main groups of Orang Asli population are made of 18 sub-ethnic groups. Each group is made of 6 sub-ethnic groups.
Table 2.2: Ethnic groups of Orang Asli
Traditional Malay/ Proto-Malay
Majority of Orang Asli community live in the rural areas. They have limited access to facilities and development. Poverty has always been associated with Orang Asli community. They are said to live in poverty and are left behind from the modernization of the world. According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (2010), 76.9% of the Orang Asli population still lives below the poverty line while 35.2% is said to live in hard-core poverty compared to 1.4% nationally. During the English colonization era, through the Aboriginal People Ordinance 1954, Orang Asli was excluded from development with the excuse of forbidding exploitation and retaining their traditional lifestyle (Laporan Kajian Pengesanan Graduan, 2009). This however led to the underdevelopment of Orang Asli population. They were forced to live in the traditional way and stay away from development. Things started to change after the independence of Malaysia in 1957. Attention and consideration on the needs and rights of Orang Asli population were taken into account. Jabatan Hal Ehwal Orang Asli (JHEOA) formerly known as Jabatan Orang Asli (JOA) is given the responsibility to manage the development and welfare of Orang Asli. On 15th January 2011, Jabatan Hal Ehwal Orang Asli (JHEOA) was officially changed to Jabatan Kemajuan Orang Asli (JKOA) (Utusan Online, January 2011).
According to Ministry of Education (2006 in Kamarulzaman & Osman, 2008), in the context of modernization, Orang Asli children can be regarded as at-risk children and face serious problems. Their level of education is still low. Government is trying hard to improve the level of education among Orang Asli students. More schools are built to provide Orang Asli students with the way of coming out from poverty by at least mastering the three R; reading, writing and arithmetic (Abdul Razaq & Zalizan Mohd Jelas, 2009 in Mohd Nur-Al hafiz, 2011). Improving the level of education of Orang Asli students is considered as crucial as majority of them are classified as drop out. Nicholas (2010) has highlighted several structural reasons for dropping out among Orang Asli students; i) factors related to poverty; ii) non-delivery of educational assistance; iii) contrast in the pedagogy and culture; iv) gaps in the attendance; and v) imperfections in the system. However, continuous efforts by the government have shown positive result where the dropout rate of Orang Asli students has been reduced from 29% in 2011 to 26% in 2012 said the Rural andÂ Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (The Star Online, May 2012).
On 21st June 2012, Ministry of Education Malaysia has announced the new Orang Asli Transformation Programme. This transformation programme outlines seven initiatives to improve the performance of Orang Asli in education (as shown in Appendix 1). One of the initiatives is to improve the infrastructure for Orang Asli education (Ministry of Education, 2012 in Abdul Razak, 2012). Infrastructure includes the access to technology. As Orang Asli settlements are mostly in the remote area, they have limited access to the technology. Thus, integration of ICT in their education might be in a slow pace. Thus, improvement on the infrastructure of their education will help in the integration of ICT in their teaching and learning process. Focusing on the education of Orang Asli is one of the ways to improve their life and social status. According to Mohd Tap (1990 in Mohd Nor, 2012), in the Orang Asli development programmes, education is fundamental as to improve their quality of life.
Education is one of the key in achieving success. As education is important, it is vital for everyone to have the equal quality of education. Orang Asli students are not excluded from receiving the same education as the other students in Malaysia. They might be the minority population in Malaysia. However, they have the same right and needs to have a quality education which will promise them a better future.
Attitudes towards ICT
Attitude reflects how we behave and think. Positive and negative attitude are influenced by what we think and how we perceive related things or information. Attitude is word mentioned almost every day by everyone. However, the definition of attitude tends to vary among people. The most common definition of attitude points to how we behave.
Attitude is defined as tendency to behave positively or negatively towards an object, situation, institution, concept or a person (Aiken, 1976 as cited in Muthusamy, 2011). Ajzen (1988 in Larbi-Apau & Moseley, 2012) claimed "attitude as dispositions to respond favorably or unfavorably to an object, person, institution or event." Allport (1935) defined it as "a mental and neural state of readiness, organized through experience, exerting a directive or dynamic influence upon the individual's response to all objects and situations with which it is related" (p.810, Al-Zaidiyeen, Leong, & Fong 2010). Generally, "attitudes can be divided into three components, affect, cognitive and behavior" (Zimbardo, 1969 in Liu, 2009). Affective component is the feelings to a particular object or person, cognitive component is the belief or factual knowledge of the object or person and behavioral component is the intentional behavior towards a particular object or person (Liu, 2009).
Students' attitude towards ICT will influence their behavior towards it. The attitudes will shape the intention and behavior of the students in using and utilizing ICT. According to Rogers (1995), peoples' attitudes towards a new technology are a key element in its diffusion (in Albirini, 2006). Cultivating positive attitudes towards ICT can be challenging especially for students in rural area. This is highlighted by Musa et al. (2011), where negative attitudes towards ICT are always concerned with community in rural area compared to the one in urban areas. Rural community has limited access to technology, thus they might not see the importance of technology towards them. Zhang (2007 in Musa et al. 2011) mentions that in order to cultivate positive attitudes towards ICT among the rural community, continuous usage and exposure towards it must be emphasized.
Attitudes toward ICT are affected by many factors. Previous studies have shown that attitudes toward ICT are affected by a wide range of factors (Albirini, 2006). According to Rogers (1995 in Gulbahar & Guven, 2008), attribute of the technology is one of the main factors that affect people's attitudes toward ICT. He also identified the five main attributes of technology: relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, observability and trialibility. Albirini (2006) has highlighted that new technology can be widely used if users consider that the innovation: i) is more advantageous compared to the previous innovations, ii) is in accordance with the existing practices, iii) is easy to understand and use, iv) shows noticeable results, and v) can be tested before its utilization. Negative attitudes were usually formed when users find no interest in the use of the ICT and fail to see the benefits of using it thus lead them to the rejection of the technology. Positive attitudes toward ICT mark the acceptance of the users toward ICT. This was stressed by Koohang (1989 in Afshari et al. 2009), an important factor in computer's implementation is the users' acceptance and the acceptance is influenced by their attitudes. Positive attitudes play important role in shaping users' acceptance and utilization of it. However, positive attitudes toward ICT or technology are not something that can be developed in one night. As stated by Afshari et al. (2009), "positive attitudes are developed when users are sufficiently comfortable with technology and are knowledgeable on its use". Harrison & Rainer (1992) has also highlighted the same issue previously as their study found that negative attitudes were most likely possessed by participants who have limited computer skills and were reluctant to accept and adopt the technology compared to participants who possessed positive attitudes.
Differences in the attitudes toward technology between males and females have been studied for years. Males and females are said to have different attitudes toward ICT. A study by Houz & Gupta (2001 in Wong & Atan, 2007) reveals that there is significant difference in the way females and males rated themselves in their ability to learn new technology skills. Females are seen as having more negative attitudes towards ICT. Previous studies conducted have revealed that females have more negative attitudes towards computer compared to males (Krendl, 1989: Lloyd, 1987 in Bakr, 2011). Kay (1992) A study by Tengku Faekah (2005) indicates that male students are better in term of perceived ICT competency compared to female students. In a previous study on computer self-efficacy, Todman (2000 in Teo, 2008) states that computer self-efficacy is acquired faster by males than females. The finding is similar to Meelissen (2005 in Teck and Lai, 2011), where lower self-efficacy is more related to girls compared to boys in doing complicated computer tasks. Bandura (1977) defines self-efficacy as how a person perceives his or her ability in performing a task. Those studies showed that male students perceive themselves as better user of computer compared to females. However, the notion of males have better attitudes toward ICT is challenged by the findings of some studies. Tsai, Lin & Tsai (2001 in Wong & Hanafi, 2007) finds that there is no difference in perceived usefulness of the Internet between the male and female respondents. In a more recent study by Yildrims (2010), the attitudes towards computer of pre-service teachers involved in the study shows no gender gap. The gap between males and females in the attitudes toward computer may be minimized as they may have been exposed more to technology. Previously, the exposure to technology may not be equal as males are given more opportunity to use it compared to women. As stated by Kirkpatrick & Cuban (1998 in Teck & Lai, 2011) when both males and females are given the same exposure to computer and technology, the gender gap will be narrowed. North & Noyes (2002 in Teo et al., 2008) has also highlighted the same thing where they stressed that the greater use of computers in school has reduced gender gap in the attitudes towards computer. However, not all schools give equal opportunity to all the students for the computer experience. In Malaysian context, not all schools are equipped with the latest technology. Thus, not all students can have the same experience with technology.
ICT in ESL
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have become a new trend where it becomes a new force that has change the way we live. ICT has given access to almost everything. All sort of information are now reachable with the use of ICT. Thus, we have now entering the information age and become the information society. According to Annan (2002 in Ogbomo & Ogbomo, 2008), in order for human capacity to be expanded, developed, sustained and liberated, information society is the way as people are given access to tools and technologies. This is supported by TÄƒmaÅŸ (2009),
The informational society represents a new stage of the human civilization, a new way of life, qualitatively superior, which implies the intensive use of information in all spheres of human activities and existence, with major economic and social impact.
With the emerging trend of ICT use in all aspects of life, together with the evolvement of information society, integration of ICT in the teaching and learning process of English is vital. Integration of ICT in ESL classroom has been proven to bring positive impacts. This is highlighted by Zaree-Ee & Shekarey (2010), where they mention that ICT; i) offers lots of resources & information, ii) provides a sense of modernity and progress for teachers and learners, iii) offers multi-media capabilities, iv) enhances individualised learning, v) caters distance learning, iv) eases individualised feedback, vi) encourages communication, vii) interactive, gives endless repeatability and patience, viii) can be used anytime anywhere that suit the learners and teacher's availability, ix) is motivating and x) offers high face-validity. ICT can cater the needs of different students as they have different learning style with varied background. This is highlighted by Semenov (2005 as cited in Abdulellah Abdullah) where ICT is said to permit opportunities;
to facilitate learning for students who have different learning styles and abilities; make learning environments more useful, with more senses in a multimedia context and more connections in a hypermedia context; provide a broader international context for approaching problems, as well as being more sensitive to local needs. (p.161)
By integrating ICT in ESL classroom, ESL teachers can give students more lively learning process. The use of traditional teaching method in ESL classroom might not be the best solution in this era of globalised world. Teachers have to be prepared with the changes and transformation of the current scenario. Students need lesson which is related to their real world. Thus, pushing ICT away is not a good thing to be done in ESL classroom. Alessi & Trollip (2001 in Nair et al., 2012) has echoed that lots of findings from previous research have shown that the use of computer in teaching is better than the traditional method. Lemke & Coughlin (1998 in SaÄŸlam & Sert, 2012), have mentioned about the goodness of educational technology where it can affect students' achievement, give students possibility to accommodate information, increase integrative motivation, as well as enable learners in term of higher order thinking.
When issue of educational technology use in language learning is brought up, it is often related to Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL). According to Chapelle (2001), the history of CALL can be traced back to the year of 1983 where the use of the term was agreed by early practitioners at the conference of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Language (TESOL). The use of CALL in the second language learning is said to bring many positive effects to the learning process and the students themselves. ESL teachers have been exposed to the use of CALL. However, the level of integration is varied among them. Some teachers are still in denial of what CALL can bring. The advantages of it are still shadowed by the attitude of the teachers themselves. They refuse to see CALL as a medium to "individualized instruction, exposure to more authentic materials and communicative opportunities, self-paced instruction, feedback as well as lower anxiety levels (Braul, 2006 in Zhang, 2011). Lai & Kristonis (2006) have also echoed the advantage of computer in second language learning where its language program could promote more independent learners and give them the option to work on their learning material at any time of the day.
With the positive effects of CALL, teachers should have been motivated to use it in class. However, the use of educational technology is not as easy as it sounds. Teachers' use of technology in class could be influenced by many factors. Baek, Jung & Kim (2008) has listed six important factors that lead to the use of technology in class; i) "adapting to external requests and others" expectations, ii) deriving attention, iii) using the basic functions of technology, iv) relieving physical fatigue, v) class preparation and management, and vi) using the enhanced functions of technology
Apart from the goodness of integrating ICT in ESL classroom, concerns have grown on the negative viewpoints of it. Some of the negative views on CALL as mentioned by Zhang (2011) are; i) educational cost and educational inequity will be increased, ii) basic technology knowledge is vital to utilize CALL, iii) function is limited thus inappropriate to improve speaking skill, iv) unable to deal with unexpected situations where computers cannot respond immediately to students' problems or questions. Negative views on CALL as well as the educational technology mainly come from the barriers faced by practitioners and the institutions. Integration of technology in teaching and learning process may promise many good benefits, however, the steps and process in utilizing it may be a problem for some teachers and institutions. Jones (2004) has written a review on the literature of the barriers towards the full use of ICT in school. The findings of the report are as follow;
Lack of teacher confidence and teachers' computer anxiety
Lack of teacher competence
Lack of time for training
Lack of pedagogical training
Lack of skills training
Lack of ICT focus in initial teacher training
Lack of access to resources
Lack of hardware
Poor organisation of resources
Poor quality hardware
Lack of personal access for teachers
Lack of time
Fear of things going wrong
Lack of technical support
Resistance to change & negative attitudes
No perception of benefits
Impact of public examinations
As ICT has now become the central part of lives, it is crucial for the society to be ICT literate so that they are able to utilize the ICT. ICT literacy is considered as important as everything is now ICT related. According to Katz et al. (2004 in Dinçer & Sahinkayasi, 2011), ICT is the knowledge to utilize technology as a tool to research, organize and communicate. Educational Testing Service (2007) defines ICT literacy as "using digital technology, communications tools, and/or networks to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information in order to function in a knowledge society". The panels of Educational Testing Service have also listed five critical components of ICT literacy. They are; i) Access; ii) Manage; iii) Integrate; iv) Evaluate; and v) Create.
ICT literacy which is also called ICT competence is a vital component of education that should be taught and instill in students. Students should be given opportunity to develop themselves and be competent in utilizing ICT. According to Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (2010), students develop ICT competence when they; i) Apply appropriate social and ethical protocols and practices in managing and operating ICT, ii) Manage and operate ICT, iii) Investigate with ICT, iv) Create with ICT, and v) Communicate with ICT. The need of the younger generation to have the ICT literacy and be competence in it has been addressed in a paper by European Computer Driving License (2010),
"â€¦in an information ageâ€¦it becomes essential to prepare students for these new (ICT-related) literacies because they are central to the use of information and the acquisition of knowledge. Traditional literacy and literacy instruction will be insufficient if we seek to provide students with the future they deserve"
The importance of ICT literacy for the young generation has also been noticed by the Malaysian Government. In 2007, Ministry of Education has announced the implementation of Information and Communication Technology Literacy (ICTL) for Secondary School Programme in the year 2007. The aim is to produce computer literate pupils in line with the aspiration of Ministry of Education to produce a holistic individual (Ministry of Education, 2007).
With the empowerment of ICT in everything, it is vital for its integration in the ESL learning. As mentioned previously, there are lots of benefits offered by ICT in the context of ESL teaching and learning. However, there are still barriers that hinder the implementation of it. The barriers may come from the teachers, schools or the students themselves. Thus, it is important to give attention to the factors and barriers that affect ICT integration in ESL teaching and learning.
English language learning among Orang Asli
The history of English language in Malaysia begins during the era of British colonization. At that time, English language is used as medium of instruction. After independence, English was the language of administration. English was also employed as the medium of instruction in the education especially in the urban area. However, in 1967, Bahasa Malaysia has been announced as the national language. The importance of English language is still taken into account as it has been regarded as the official second language of Malaysia. Now, English is the international language and is used widely.
English is one of the compulsory subjects in Malaysian education system. Students are exposed to the language starting from kindergarten. Ministry of Education has implemented a national policy where Mathematics and Science are taught in English. This move shows the concern that the government has towards the importance of English language. Despite the early exposure to the language, majority of Malaysian students still have low proficiency in English. The issue of low proficiency among Malaysians students is not a new topic. It has been addressed many times. Low English proficiency has also been the reason why most of Malaysian graduates are unemployed. According to the executive director of Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF), Shamsuddin Bardan, the issue of English communication skill of Malaysians graduates is what employers concerned the most (Hariati & Lee in The Star Online, 2011).
In the context of Orang Asli education, English language proficiency is still considered as low. Their education is still lag behind. According to Kamarulzaman & Osman (2008), the awareness of Orang Asli students towards the importance of education is much likely to be influenced by their environment. Inability to mingle around with other students from various backgrounds lead to their dropout in education. Difficulty in placing themselves with the school environment will not help in their learning process. According to Nicholas (2006 in Mohd Asri, 2012), Orang Asli want to retain their identity in the context of education, however, it is sometimes in contrast with the nature, content and administration of the national school system. This is supported by Azizah (2008 in Kamarulzaman & Osman, 2008) where language and pedagogical as well as experiential problems are the factors that hinder Orang Asli students from the academic syllabus.
Issue of poor English among Malaysian students has been in the news for quite some times. Lack of English skill has always been the main concern among Malaysian educators and parents. However, the issue of poor English among Orang Asli students has always been overlooked. There is limited news on the improvement of English skill among Orang Asli students. Therefore, attention and initiatives should be carried out in order to enhance the English education among Orang Asli students.
The conceptual framework developed for this study is shown in Figure 2. The figure shows how the variables used in this study are related with each other. According to Miles & Huberman (1994 in Jabareen, 2009), a conceptual framework "lays out the key factors, constructs, or variables, and presume relationships among them."
Figure 2: Conceptual framework
In this study, the ICT competence of Orang Asli students, their attitudes toward ICT and the level of ICT use in their English classroom will be investigated in depth. These three variables will affect the perceived importance of ICT in learning English by the Orang Asli students. Attitude plays important role in how people judge and evaluate (Zhang, Shelly & Sun, 2008). This has been stressed by Abirini (2006), where attitudes toward ICT are related to the computer competence. Thus, this study intends to see the relationship between the ICT competence of Orang Asli students and their attitude. ICT competence and attitudes towards ICT will affect the ICT acceptance of the users. As shown in figure above, ICT competence and ICT attitudes will influence the way Orang Asli students perceive the importance of ICT in learning English. However, another variable is included in this study which is the level of ICT use in English classroom. Level of ICT use is also related to how people perceive the importance of ICT. In this study, the use of ICT in English classroom is believed to give impact on how the Orang Asli students perceive the importance of it in learning English. The integration of the technology in their English classroom will shape the way they view the importance of the technology.
The importance of ICT in today's world is vital. Integration of ICT in teaching and learning is seemed as the right move to prepare the students in facing the needs of the current world. With the policy of ICT in education, the integration of ICT in teaching and learning can be enhanced and sustained. It can guide and direct the movement of ICT integration in education. With the integration of ICT in education, the teaching and learning process of English could also be enhanced. As English language is considered as crucial in order to communicate with the world, it is important to pay attention to the English learning among Orang Asli students. There are still lack of studies related to the use of ICT in English teaching and learning process among Orang Asli students. Thus, this study is conducted in order to look at how Orang Asli student perceived the digital transformation in their English teaching and learning process.