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This study reports student reaction to a instructional design in which an American native speaker of English spoke "live" via Internet videoconference with EFL classes in Taiwan. Using Person-correlation coefficient, Exploratory Factor Analysis, and Structural Equation Modeling, the study found that the three variables correlated directly, and that motivation, confidence, and ability increased with more videoconferencing sessions, and that confidence was the direct result of motivation to engage in intercultural learning, ability to speak accurate English, and ability to understand English conversations. Confidence was the direct result of enjoyment, ability to speak accurate English, and ability to understand English conversations. Long-term changes in ability are predicted by enjoyment of the learning experience. Therefore, EFL instructors should strive to use student-centered active learning and to offer their students interactions with native speakers, including via distance technology. The data shows that even a small amount of authentic interaction in English made students more comfortable in applying their skills, more confident in what they learned, and more inspired to make global, cross-cultural connections.
Key words: Videoconferencing, EFL, Motivation, Confidence, Ability
Understanding the Interaction of Confidence, Motivation, and Ability
in EFL Students
Immediacy of communication is one of the hallmarks of the global society of the 21st Century. Business, politics, and the media all demand and expect seamless international exchange of information and ideas, and English is often the language of this international interaction. When two people interact who are not native speakers of the same language, be it in person, via telephone, email, or "live" Internet technologies, they are likely to find common ground in English. The result is that instruction of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) is now a priority for economic development, science, interaction among governments.
But in spite of the emphasis in many countries on producing college graduates with English skills, instructional methodologies have not always kept pace with the requirements of the marketplace. In countries where there is not a surrounding population using English actively, the language is still often taught as a traditional classroom subject, similar to math or geography, with students rarely interacting outside of class with anyone except their teachers and classmates - far from an authentic learning environment. Technology, however, today provides a global infrastructure that, in many ways, mirrors and serves global business, political, social, and entertainment endeavors. This provides many new potential channels for interaction among people who speak different languages, live in different countries, and reside in different cultures, if only educators are willing to take advantage of the potential to use such interaction as a learning tool.
In Taiwan, the setting of this study, people have minimal need to speak English on a daily basis, so English learning happens only in certain locations or places, like schools or cram (special tutoring) schools (Hammerly, 1994). These settings rarely include meaningful interaction with native speakers of English or authentic materials that relate to the target culture (Huan, 1989; Kwon, Shih, Renandya, & Koike, 2000; You, 2003). Indeed, Wu & Marek (2007) have shown that students place little value on speaking English with each other because they understand that they may be practicing mistakes. Similarly, the students know that even the most skilled Taiwanese instructor is likely to speak with an accent, or to have gaps in knowledge about American culture. The negatives of this learning environment are reflected in the results of a 2005 Wall Street Institute random survey of 16,000 working people in seven Asian EFL countries, including 2,000 in Taiwan, investigating the participants' confidence in their own English use and ability. The researchers found that Taiwanese students had the lowest confidence - behind mainland China, Thailand, Japan, and South Korea, which all utilize methodologies simulating native ESL environments (Wall Street Institute, 2005).
However, there are demonstrated benefits to be gained from authentic experiences related to the target language, especially conversation with native speakers (Parker, Heitzman, Fjerstad, Babbs, & Cohen, 1995; Snow, 1987; Spolsky, 1989). Creative teachers attempt to replicate the target language's environment, usually through bilingual curricula, technology-assisted teaching, and immersion programs (Lapkin, Swain, & Shapson, 1990), thus injecting authenticity and shifting the focus of the classroom from lecture and memorization to active learning. Savignon (1998) pointed out that the classroom context is always different from a natural learning environment; nevertheless, reliance on lecture and rote memorization by instructors makes this difference even more pronounced. Institutional culture, technology choices, characteristics of teachers and students, instructional design, and pedagogic criteria, however, can all affect the success of such efforts to foster active learning (Fresen, 2007). The "state of the art" of incorporation of such resources into pedagologically-sound instructional methodologies, however, if often not as advanced as the technology itself.
The context of this authentic learning environment
This paper reports on a project that used student-centered, active learning, instructional materials that students viewed as highly authentic, and live interaction with a native English speaker on topics of American culture. The first researcher is a Taiwanese female university faculty member teaching Taiwan. She holds a master and doctoral degree from American universities, where she was a doctoral classmate with the second researcher, a native-born American who is now a faculty member at an American liberal arts college.
The researchers collaborated on a project in which the American researcher spoke repeatedly via Internet videoconference to English conversation classes taught by the Taiwanese researcher. After short presentations by the American, the students each talked briefly with the American to ask questions or make comments about the subject of the presentation. This project was based on an extensive review of the relevant academic literature on the learning dimensions of motivation, confidence, and ability.
Types of motivation
Motivation, confidence, and ability are interrelated and interact with each other (Clèment & Kruidenier, 1985). Confidence grows as student anxiety decreases, thus stimulating both motivation and ability. All three learning variables are the result of the cumulative experiences of the student, both in and out of the classroom. All three variables improve or decline as the consequence of positive or negative experiences. Many researchers have found that the primary cause of lower proficiency among students in Taiwan is weak learning motivation stemming from passive learning environments (Lescano, 1995; Reynold & Wang, 1993; Yang, 1996).
Intrinsically motivated learners have long been considered to be more successful because their learning goal is to achieve satisfaction and enjoyment (Deci & Ryan, 1985). Learners driven by extrinsic motivation tend to make the minimum effort required to avoid punishment or to gain rewards. Gardner's framework of Instrumental and Integrative motivation (2001) is commonly cited. EFL students who are instrumentally motivated are extrinsically driven, studying English only enough to complete a required class, to acquire minimum required job skills, or to earn a degree - all of them external, utilitarian goals (Wu, 2006). Gardner considered integrative motivation to be more desirable and effective because it stems from the learner's intrinsic desire to be engaged with the target language and culture. Gardner concluded that integrative motivation is a strong predictor of success in learning a foreign language. Furthermore, Wen (1997) concluded that this is true because the learner wants to be competent in the language as well as to achieve "psychological integration" with the language's native speakers.
Changing realities of the 21st Century, however have led to the understanding that EFL learners today do not only use their language skills to communicate with native speakers. They may, as often, be called on to communicate with other non-native speakers in English (Kormos & Csizér, 2008; Lamb, 2004). Dörnyei (2005) offered a more complex understanding of motivation in which the foreign language learner envisions an idealized English-speaking self, based in part on real-life encounters (or lack thereof) with speakers of the target language and in part on the way the students imagine themselves functioning in a cosmopolitan international society. It is a key to imagining this international society that the students will not necessarily interact only with representatives of native English speaking cultures. Yashima, et al. also found that social interaction with other cultures (Yashima, Zenuk-Nishide, Shimizu, 2004) promotes intrinsic motivation of students. However, even though learners in Taiwan are constantly exposure to a wide range of daily products and artifacts such as American films, music, books, and videos, however, direct contact with native speakers on the daily basis is often minimal (Cheung, 2001). Even so, interaction with the Taiwanese instructor and peers can build the habit of continual use of English as an active language .
Thus, motivation, confidence, and ability are interrelated and impact each other (Clèment & Kruidenier, 1985). Motivation can increase rapidly, given a positive stimulus, but ability may take significant time and study. In addition, confidence is a reflection of the other two factors because confidence grows as student anxiety decreases. All three learning variables - motivation, confidence, and ability - are the result of the cumulative experiences of the student, both in and out of the classroom. All three variables improve or decline as the consequence of positive or negative experiences that motivate or demotivate the students (Sakai & Kikuchi, 2009). As a result, EFL teachers have the unique opportunity to improve student motivation through fostering desirable student goals, stimulating active learning, and leading dialogue about the purposes of learning.
Motivation factors and perceived English ability and confidence
Researchers have understood for years that a relationship exists between perceived ability and intrinsic motivation (Hashimota, 2002; Ryan & Grolnick, 1986). Ryan & Deci (2000) proposed that people persistently perform tasks only if they are internally motivated. Their study indicated that intrinsic motivation is associated with social and environmental factors and that the perceived level of the individual's autonomy, competency, and relatedness to the environment facilitates or undermines intrinsic motivation. This compliments with Clèment and Kruidenier's (1985) finding that report motivation was the main factor promoting English ability.
In a study related to intercultural learning, more frequent intercultural contacts increased self-confidence in the use of foreign languages (Clèment, Noels, & Deneault, 2001). When the contacts were positive and pleasant, the experience led students to interact more frequently in the foreign language both outside and inside the language classroom. Because the experience was enjoyable, the increased self-confidence of the students, in turn, affected the students' motivation in a positive way.
Students' confidence in language use is a product of whether they are willing to communicate (Yashima, 2002; Yashima, Zenuk-Nishide, Shimizu, 2004). Students often decline to use English because they are embarrassed about their lack of fluency (Shamsudin, & Nesi, 2006), or because of conflicts and misunderstanding of the language and the culture (Muller-Hartmann, 2000). Successful interaction with native speakers can relieve student hesitancy to express themselves and increase their confidence in using the language.
Davis & Thiede (2000) found that students perceived their level of confidence using English was promoted in a computer-mediated communication (CMC) environment. Research has been conducted using asynchronous and synchronous CMC for L2 language learning (Payne & Ross, 2005; Payne & Whitney, 2002; Tudini, 2003), or everyday decision-making (Smith, 2003, 2004). Asynchronous CMC in particular might be of benefit students with permitted delayed response which the structure of their messages and grammatical correction could be improved (Hudson & Bruckman, 2002). In terms of L2 practice, the ideal synchronous CMC would be for a learner to speak to a native speaker who provides good target language input.
Most college students experience online real-time interaction as part of their personal social networking and text messaging. Naturally enough, interest is growing in using such social networking tools for EFL instruction. The adaptation of social networking structures already in use to the EFL environment is a natural step (Campbell, 2004), but teachers usually lag well behind their students in use of technology, particularly Internet social networking systems.
Using a foreign language communicating with a native speaker is uneasy and stressful. When interacting with foreigners, EFL learners often happen to feel some degree of difficulty understanding others and making themselves understood. But studies show that CMC might reduce EFL communication fear or anxiety because it provides an unusual social and communicative space, where EFL learners' confidence may gradually grow (Beauvois, 1998; Freiermuth, 1998). Thus, the Internet has the potential to offer EFL students authentic, real-life experiences using the language they are learning, focusing on everyday subjects, materials, and situations, all elements that are typically missing from the traditional learning environment in Taiwan.
Videoconferencing for language instruction
Developing these online opportunities for language instruction poses important and difficult challenges (Wu & Bright, 2006). In American education, videoconferencing technology has been available for close to 35 years and online collaborative learning has become increasingly common and valuable (Juell, Brekke, & Vetteri, 1996; Tiene & Ingram, 2001; Wheeler, Valacich, Alavi, & Vogel, 1999). Once available to only at considerable expense, videoconferencing is now possible via the Internet with minimal expense and standard home consumer equipment. In Taiwan, however, few EFL faculty members are familiar enough with the technology to employ it in the classroom. Yet, Taiwan's growing demand for contextually based English learning suggests that videoconferencing via the Internet is an opportunity that should be pursued.
This literature review led the researchers to the conclusion that online learning, used well, and properly scaffolded by the teacher, providing authentic interaction with native English speakers, is particularly well-suited to move learners from passivity into active, highly motivated learning. Therefore, further empirical research appeared to be desirable into how videoconferencing is best employed in the EFL classroom. The main goals of this study were to determine (1) the degree to which motivation, confidence and ability changed, as a result of the number of videoconference sessions and (2) the relationships among the three learning variables, motivation, confidence and ability.
The subjects of this study were 227 EFL learners at a technical university in central Taiwan who enrolled in five sections of a required English conversation class taught by the Taiwanese researcher. The learners included both day- and night-school students, and the classes lasted for the entire academic year. Data were collected at the conclusion of both the fall and spring semester.
The Taiwanese researcher administered the survey, in Chinese, to the students at the end of each of the five classes. The survey consisted of four major sections and was developed by the researchers based on the review of the literature, including items taken from Gardner and Lambert's questionnaire (1972). The overall internal reliability was .92, with each section also scoring above .85, which is considered to have high reliability compared with the minimum Cronbach Î± of .75, which is considered reliable.
The 13 items in the section A asked about the degree of change in student interest and motivation in studying both the English language and the culture of the target language. The 10 items in the section B explored the students' perceptions of change in their English-proficiency levels. The 11 questions in the section C asked about change in student confidence in using the language. The final section, D, asked for demographic information -- gender, age, program type, years of English study, type of high school attended (technology- or academically-oriented), and experience with online learning and using technology. Each question used a five-point scale. The low end of the scale was labeled "significantly reduced" (= 1.00) and the high end of the scale was labeled "significantly increased" (= 5.00). The midpoint of the scale (=3.00) was labeled "no change."
In order to address the goals of this study, a correlation analysis was used to examine the relationships among three variables. An exploratory factor analysis, a confirmatory factor analysis, and a SEM analysis were also used to explore more detailed information related to path correlations among the components of each variable. After the data was collected, and for purposes of the SEM analysis, the researchers hypothesized that ability directly results from confidence and motivation and confidence directly results from motivation based on the past research findings (Clèment and Kruidenier's,1985; Clèment, Noels, & Deneault, 2001; Hashimota, 2002; Ryan & Grolnick 1986, Yashima, 2002; Yashima, Zenuk-Nishide, & Shimizu, 2004) The hypothesized model to be tested with Amos is presented in Figure 1.
Figure 1: The hypothesized model to be tested by SEM.
Changes in the three variables after more videoconferences
To determine the influence of the number of videoconferencing sessions on motivation, confidence, and ability, mean scores for each were computed at the end of each semester. Comparing student responses from the end of the first semester (after two videoconferencing sessions) with the end of the second semester (the same students in a total of six videoconferences over the two semesters), the participants perceived a moderate increase in motivation, with a mean score increasing from 3.80 to 4.09, with the mean scores for the other two factors increasing slightly in the second semester compared to the first semester. More videoconferencing sessions, therefore, improved student motivation at a significant level, because 4.09 is more than two standard deviations above 3.00. Additional videoconferencing sessions, however, did not change their perceived ability or confidence significantly, although the means scores for confidence (M = 3.41) and ability (M = 3.50) were also considered high.
Relationships among the motivation, ability, and confidence
To examine the relationships among the three variables, in answer to research question two, the Person-correlation coefficient was calculated. All three learning factors positively correlated with each other at the .01 level (see Table 1). Confidence had the strongest relationship with ability, with a coefficient of .679, indicating that confidence was a more reliable predictor of ability than motivation.
Summary of Intercorrelations among the Three Learning Variables
** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed)
As a result, the data shows that the three variables are each affected directly by the others. A change on in one predicts changes in the other two, as perceived by the students. However, these changes are not instantaneous. Rather, they exhibit themselves over time, with some taking longer to manifest themselves than others.
Exploratory Factor Analysis
The researchers used factor analysis to decrease the number of the components (factors) in each of three variables -- motivation, ability and confidence -- using a Maximum Likelihood method with varimax rotation. The analysis revealed an underlying pattern of relationships in each variable. A Kaiser-Meyer-Oklin (KMO) measure of the sample adequacy validated the fitness of the data for factor analysis, performed based on a factor loading of 0.5 or higher and an eigenvalue greater than 1. These findings are in line with Gorsuch (1983) who has noted that extracted variances of 40%-50% reflect an adequate factor structure for self-report scales.
Factor analysis of motivation and interest
The varimax rotation solution for Motivation in table 2 revealed that 37.54% of the variance was explained by the three factors, with component 1, Motivation to learn English through different channels (question items A10, A11, A12, A13), contributing 15.31%; component 2, enjoyment/interest (question items A1, A2, A3), contributing 12.02%; component 3, intercultural learning (question items A4, A5, A7, A8), contributing 10.21%. Analysis of internal consistency reliability of these four components yielded a Cronbach Î± of 0.85, and the KMO of this analysis was 0.877.
Factor Analysis with Percentage of Variance and Reliability Analysis of Motivation
of using Internet Videoconferencing for Learning English (N = 227)
Sample question item
% of Variance
Motivation to learn English through different channels
Item 11: Your motivation to watch or listen to TV or radio programs in English?
Item 1: Your interest in your EFL class?
Item 7: Your interest in making foreign friends?
Factor analysis of confidence
The two-component solution for Confidence explained 47.38% of the variance, with component 1, confidence in learning English and western culture through videoconferences (question items C2, C5, C6, C7, C8, C11, C12), contributing 31.04%; component 2, confidence in foreign contacts through videoconferences (question items C1, C3, C9), contributing 16.34%. Analysis of internal consistency reliability of these three components yielded a Cronbach Î± of 0.89, and the KMO of this data analysis was 0.807.
Factor Analysis with Percentage of Variance and Reliability Analysis of Confidence
of using Internet Videoconferencing for Learning English (N = 227)
Sample question item
% of Variance
Confidence in learning English and western culture through videoconferences
Item C11: Confidence in studying Western culture
Foreign contacts through videoconferences
Item C8: Confidence in learning English through distance learning
Factor analysis of ability
The two-component solution for English ability explained 44.36% of the variance, with component 1, speaking accurate English (question items B1, B6, B7, B8, B9, B10), contributing 24.32%; component 2, understanding of English conversations (question items B2, B3, B4), contributing 20.04%. Analysis of internal consistency reliability of these three components yielded a Cronbach Î± of 0.88, and the KMO of this data analysis was 0.900.
Factor Analysis with Percentage of Variance and Reliability Analysis of Ability of
using Internet Videoconferencing for Learning English (N = 227)
Sample question item
% of Variance
Speaking accurate English
Item B8: Ability in pronouncing English words more accurately?
Understanding of English conversations
Item B3: Ability in understanding English in conversations with Native speakers?
Structural Equation Modeling (SEM)
The researchers determined from the exploratory factor analysis that three components could be derived from the motivation factor, two components could be derived from the confidence factor, and two components could be derived from the ability factor; however, it was unclear whether the data fit with the CFA models related to the latent ability, confidence, and motivation variables. Therefore, a SEM with Amos 17.0 was used to test the CFA models for the three factors. Two latent variables consisting of the ability of speaking accurate English and the ability of understanding of English conversations were entered, with the result indicating that the model fitness to the data was good, Chi-Square = 38.77, GFI = .965, RMESA = .047. motivation to learn English through different channels, motivation in intercultural learning, and interest/enjoyment (question items 1, 2, question item 3 was deleted from the model) were found to define the latent variables related to motivation, and the model fitness to the data was good, Chi-Square = 43.69, GFI = .965, RMESA = .04. Confidence in learning English and western culture through videoconferences (question items 2, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, question item 6 was deleted from the model) and confidence in foreign contacts through videoconferences were found to define the latent variables related to confidence, and the result indicated that the model fitness to the data was good, Chi-Square = 26.40, GFI = .976, RMESA = .008.
All latent variables (ability to speak accurate English, ability to understand English conversations, confidence in foreign contacts through videoconferences, confidence in learning English and western culture through videoconferences, motivation to learn English through different channels, enjoyment, and motivation in intercultural learning) were included and tested in a sequence of models with standardized path coefficients using Amos. The result of the final model is shown in Figure 2. The model's fitness to the data was good: Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA) = .03, Goodness-of-Fit Index (GFI) = .94, Root Mean Square Residual (RMR) = .035, Chi-Square = 144.75, P >.05. The standardized regression weights in the figure 2 represent the amount of change in the dependent variable that is attributable to a single standard deviation unit worth of change in the predictor variable.Â
Our empirical findings indicated that confidence in interacting with foreigners through videoconferences is the direct result of motivation to engage in intercultural learning, ability to speak accurate English, and ability to understand English conversations. Confidence in learning English and western culture through videoconferences is the direct result of enjoyment, ability to speak accurate English, and ability to understand English conversations. Ability to understand English conversations is correlated to motivation to learn English through different channels, enjoyment, and motivation in intercultural learning. Ability to speak accurate English is correlated to enjoyment.
Figure 2 - SEM result of the latent variables motivation, confidence, and ability.
This study took place within a culture in which the daily use of English is rare, one of the two typical English-language contexts found in the Asia-Pacific region. Like in Japan and Korea, use of English is uncommon in social and business settings in Taiwan. On the other hand, on countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Philippines, a significant base of native English speakers leads to more frequent use of English in everyday life. This social use or non-use of English results in significantly different mindsets about the learning of English. This study, however, shows that traditional mindsets can be altered by programs stressing interactive learning. The result is that as students are drawn into using English as a real, communicative language, they become more proficient and develop a higher level of motivation. This positive experience, in turn, promotes the mental image that the student needs to be proficient in English in order to partake in international society (Dörnyei, 2005) .
Relationships among the three learning variables
Our findings with respect to research question two about the relationship among the three learning factors of motivation, confidence and ability show that there are multiple complex dimensions interlinking them. The Person-correlation coefficient showed that all three correlated at the statistically significant level. Factor analysis and multiple regression analysis made it clear that the Confidence factor interaction skills played a prominent role in the students' perceptions of their own ability. Meanwhile, SEM analysis showed that confidence in using English stems from multiple components of ability (ability to speak accurate English, enjoyment, and ability to understand English conversations), as well as foreign contacts, also a component of confidence. Ability to understanding English conversation correlated in both directions with Motivation to learn English through different channels, enjoyment, and motivation for intercultural learning, all components of motivation, and also influenced confidence in foreign contacts through videoconferencing. Changes in ability to speak English accurately, as perceived by the students, correlated in both directions with enjoyment, a component of motivation. Figure 3 shows a basic conceptual model of the various categories of correlation found in this study, with the arrow directions showing key SEM path directions and the width of the lines showing the relative Person statistically significant correlations.
Figure 3: Path coefficients and degrees of statistically significant correlation in learning factors.
As figure 3 makes clear, ability can be improved by activities that directly strengthen ability (or at least the student's perception of ability), but also by activities that strengthen motivation. Ability certainly takes longer to improve than it takes to effect a change in motivation. However, EFL instructors can take advantage of the more detailed SEM analysis by focusing on instructional activities that build both confidence and motivation, which in turn lead to a long term improvement in ability. The SEM analysis suggests that activities that foster student enjoyment of learning, i.e. make use of active learning techniques to make learning fun and engaging, improve motivation and therefore produce long-term improvements in English ability.
The current study has shown that videoconferencing for interaction with native speakers does increase confidence and improve motivation, which in turn have the effect of strengthening ability, over the long term. When matched with more conventional classroom activities that directly relate to ability, the instructional design in this project hits all three of the "bases" by addressing ability, confidence, and motivation.
The instructional design used in this study stressed multiple dimensions of interaction for the students, including with a native speaker, with their own teacher, and with their peers, both in and out of class, in formal and informal settings. Furthermore, the instructional design employed scaffolding, initially giving high levels of support during the interaction, and gradually withdrawing that support to make the students more and more independent in their interactions. It is clear from the data that active, successful interaction in the target language, be it with other students, teachers, or speakers of the language from outside the classroom, is the key to an instructional design that builds ability through strengthening motivation and confidence.
The findings of this study also showed that this application of CMC created a safe environment in which motivated students could engage in language learning. As Gardner's theory predicted, the more the learners felt connected to the target language and culture, the more likely they were to succeed in increasing their perceived confidence and ability.
The learning environment used in this study facilitated intercultural learning by, in effect, establishing international learning network. Young people are more exposed to elements of American culture than any other Taiwanese age group. They readily access American music, TV shows, computer games, and even American foods. However, the American culture itself is often poorly understood in Taiwan, because its elements are translated into the language which people use on the daily basis, or because the culture is not truly represented in the music, video and other elements exported to Taiwan. In this study, American culture was directly introduced through the videoconferencing interactions. In students' opinions, actual interactions with the American native speaker allowed students to experience American culture more intimately, providing a connection with their own lives.
This study suggests that interaction in English should always be part of the EFL curriculum in Taiwan, using both formal and informal interaction settings, and settings and resource materials that are as authentic as possible. This introduces learners to English as a usable, familiar medium for real communication and builds the "habit" of using English regularly. Scaffolding plays a vital part in this interaction, allowing teachers to lead the students to become more and more independent and thus more confident in their interactions. Furthermore, instructors should understand that motivations to study English for men and women and for students of different ages may be different and use appropriate approaches to trigger their respective motivations.
The data-based findings of this study indicate that the most fundamental factor in elevating all three learning variables is enjoyment. This is also intuitive, because students who are bored or who do not see the value in a course will not apply themselves. Because student-centered active learning improves enjoyment, EFL instructors must make this a priority in their instructional design. As part of this, the findings indicate that teachers should strive to offer their students successful interactions with native speakers, or excellent speakers of English from any other culture, on topics of particular interest to the students. Such successful, and therefore enjoyable, interaction builds student motivation and eventually leads to improvements in ability and confidence. The real benefit of such an instructional design is not just making students more willing to participate in videoconferences, but rather making them more confident in every kind of interaction in English, and also improving their English ability. Any type of communicative experience in the target language or with the target culture will ultimately strengthen the confidence of students, enhance their motivation, and in turn improve their ability.
One goal of any academic program should be to provide a foundation from which students can further develop their own ability to adapt and continue learning on their own. This study shows that in EFL realms, technology makes it possible to provide opportunities more commonly found only when there is a surrounding population of native speakers. The data shows that even a relatively small amount of authentic interaction in the target language made students more comfortable in applying their skills, more confident in what they learned, and more inspired them to make global, cross-cultural connections. Therefore, this instructional design positively influenced what Dörnyei called the vision of self of the students, promoting the idea of being able to function on the cosmopolitan 21st Century international culture and leading to stronger overall EFL motivation, confidence, and ability.