Impact of Language Software on Language Learning
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Published: Mon, 02 Oct 2017
In today’s world, using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and its influence on various aspects of human life, caused great development
on society and human relations, whichis referred to as the information revolution. The increasing development of Information Technology (IT) in human life especially in educational environment and the use of it who can adapt themselves with such progression. The first step in this regard is the issue of how to make optimal use of ICT applications in general education curriculum.
Because of the arrival of technology in human life, all individuals, institutions and systems in countries should be prepare for a variety of changes that are vital to progression. To be specific in education, it is not more than some decades which Educational Technology (ET) started to appear in educational system around the world. Nowadays neither students nor instructors can be regard as the traditional ones who had simple facilities available. According to Thorne and Reinhardt (2008), “emerging literacies associated with digital media are highly relevant to their current and future lives as language users” (p. 560).Before considering the application of ET with its new concept, instructors and teachers supplied audiovisual products to improve the result of their teaching and learning materials in education. However,recent developments in the computer industry and information, multi-media, communication technologies and the[E2] emergence of local and regional information networks especially the internet put new methods and tools for designers, managers, executives, and curriculum trainers.Plenty of technologies and tools in learning and teaching process such as educational software, Personal Data Assistance (PDA), mobile and etc. requires the instructors to lead their learners toward using technology in their life at least their education.
According to Bruce and Hogan (1998), “As technologies embed themselves in everyday discourse and activity, a curious thing happens. The more we look, the more they slip into the background. Despite our attention, we lose sight of the way they shape our daily lives” (p. 270).
As technology becomes the normal and expected means of communication and education, Bruce and Hogan (1998) point out, important changes occur in expectations about the abilities students have to acquire to be successful language users. The interaction between instructors and learners should be so close in order to get a good and reasonable result. The more teachers update and are familiar with new technologies in teaching, the more knowledgeable and update students will be. In general, the influence of new information technologies in educational institutions (from schools to higher education) and even homes has changed the relationship between student and teacher. Thus, traditional learning paradigms are changed and users are faced with vast amounts of information and knowledge.
- Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL)
It is obvious that in these days everybody, especially school and university students, tends to use computer in their daily activities specially explosion of interest in using computers for language teaching and learning which is an interest of both language instructors and language learners. The development of CALL brought about a revolution in teaching process, as the teaching tools offered through CALL were gradually becoming more reliable. Today CALL has popularity in education specially in learning a foreign language so that language learners support it and use it as an essential part of their language learning process. However, applying CALL in teaching and learning has some weaknesses.
Nowadays both English language teachers and English learners are tend to utilize computer in their methods especially its very important for English instructors to use CALL because English course book of secondary school changed from the current educational year that CALL is one of important part of it. Schools and their school districts would benefit from a the current program that assesses the English teachers’ use of technology and readiness for use of technology in their classroom, as well as their ability to utilize technology in an engaging and meaningful way for the English learners specific to their content area. One such example is the Teacher Education and Technology Planning Guide created by Learning Point Associates in November of 2004. It looks at eight key categories for the implementation of technology by pre-service teachers and colleges of education (Fulton, Glenn & Valdez, 2004).
- Statement of the problem
Informatics and computer-based communication have created a collection that originated arevolution thatis based on information industry: a revolution
that its focus is on accessing information, that is, searching and retrieval of information in limited time with a reasonable cost. Ultimately, it results in creating global village and the information society.In this regard, a related terminology Information Technology (IT)would be mentioned that is a key point in the revolution. According to Wikipedia, free encyclopedia, IT is the application of computers and telecommunications equipment to store, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data, often in the context of a business or other enterprise. As its name indicates, in such society each organization and its staffs should be inform of what are going on in the world around and should possess the technology and be able to apply it to get such information. To remain in such society, change is essential, so as a result every organization changed. Education in general and teaching English in particular is one of the many fields thathas been affected by IT and changed.
At present, any society needs educated people who have the power of decision-making, people who should be able to act and communicate based on their abilities in a world of widely changing. It means knowledgeable people who are flexible and can adopt themselves to any conditions in their job that are dealing with IT. In addition, each society needs teachers who are able to apply technology in their classes.Regarding to development of technology in human life and man’s move toward technology, teachers need to adapt themselves with technology, too.
To get a good and acceptable result of instruction at the end of semesters, English teachers need to update themselves by using CALL. The goal of all language teachers is to teach their students in a way that the students acquire language component and language skills. For vocabulary learning, teachers have applied and employed so many methods and ways such as; memorizing long lists of words, translating texts, making sentences with new words, and so many other ways that are known for the experts in language teaching.
In Iran, English teachers have been trying several methods to teach their students English but despite great effort in teaching, they probably have not achieved success.Nowadays there are great amounts of high school students and even university students who cannot use English even a simple introduction while they past at least seven years of English instruction in guidance and high school.English language teaching experts have different beliefs about it. One of the main problems may be if for the purpose of the books that are not communicative based. [E3]In both guidance schools and high schools, English teachers require the students to memorize long list of vocabulary that were at the end of each lessons. Although the words were retained, it was not last for long time. The other main reason may be is its way of teaching grammar. English teachers teach grammar like mathematics. It means first they wrote a formula on the board and then wrote some examples and wanted the students to do following examples that were on their books. Usually the grammar applied on the lesson reading text but it was not clear enough to make the students understand. There were so many problems that the bottom line was failing to learn English language well.
After some years of graduating their high school and nowadays during the school, the students who are poor in learning English language referred to English language institutes to start to learn it better and also in a new method. Experience has shown that the students who participate in English institutes learn and apply English better than those who do not participate in such classes. Unlike schools, the way of teaching English in English institutes are totally different. First, the book which are taught in English institutes are completely different from school. Although there are different kinds of books, all of them are designed with the aim of communication and all of them are following same goal.The books which are using in English institutes are include: Happy House, Happy writing, Potato pals, Pocketsand some others for kids and beginning in starter levels.Let’s go, First friend, Family and friends which are usually forjunior levels and intermediate levels.Interchange, Touchstone, Top notch, Summit, American English file and English resultthatis usually for senior levels adult learning. It should be mentionthat all of the series have different stages.Regardless of the variety of books, in English institutes students are expected to be able to communicate at the end of each semester according to the level of the related book.
The remarkable thing in such book is that these books have given considerable attention on learning words with different ways and in some casesfor better understanding of a word, presents a word with its pictures. In all kinds of books, they used kind of CALL. In most of the books, especially for kids, the publisher provides additional software according to the book for better understand of the contents. For kids, it provides some moving pictures and famous cartoon characters to teach them English alphabet or some simple words like dog, cat, ant etc. For junior, intermediate, upper intermediate and senior levels the publisher usually provide demo of the book and additional tests. Even some publishers enlist some English software and attach the software to the book. These publishersmight be believe that such technology is more attractive for language learners and it help to sell their product more.
Recently, English teachers have tried to incorporate technology and the old methods of teaching English that have taught in schools, which usually was based on grammar translation method (GTM). As the researcher is going to do his research on vocabulary learning aspect of English language, he has tried to search for some software and CALL programs that their focus is on vocabulary.
One of the most important parts of language learning and language usage is vocabulary and the ability of using it. English teachers have used so many different ways to teach vocabulary to English learners but they were not much success. Nowadays English teachers usemany English software to teach vocabulary, learning vocabulary in learners is better than far past but seemingly they have not achieved as success as they expected. They use some software like Oxford Picture Dictionary (OPD), Longman Children Picture dictionary,Nosrat English language teaching, demo of some English books and such software that contains language components specially vocabulary learning.
Some of such English software were good at the beginning and attracted learners’ satisfaction even sometimes learners thought it was the best software that they could use but it did not last. One of the most important reasons is because the method they (English software) worked onis not like learners’ real life. Foreign language learners need to learn a newlanguage as much as their first language, which refers to acquiring it rather than learning. It means to teach vocabulary to English language learners so that they internalize in their mind and they could apply it. English language learners need to learn English the same way they leant their first language it means they should be completely surrounded by the language they are going to learn not see a translation of words or instructing. In other words, they should be in a natural immersion of language.
With regard to above mentioned characteristics of teaching a language, the researcher choose an English software that does not have the above mentioned problems. This study is going to examine teaching vocabulary through the Rosetta Stone English software. Due to above mentioned problems of Iranian EFL learners on vocabulary learning, the researcher is going to demonstrate some words and sentences by related pictures. It is considered that the learners can mix both their auditory and visual sense in their mind so that the word would be learned. Other features of this software will explain in detail in following chapters.This research intends to investigate the impact of Rosetta Stone English software vocabulary learning in a way that the learnt material be last for long time like everybody’s first language.
- Significance of the study
The domain of CALL in Iran is in need of moreresearch. To the researcher’s best knowledge, studiesabout computer-based instruction in Iran are not somanyespecially for research through English language learning software.In addition, there is not any research through Rosetta Stone English software at all and this is the first research in this field using this software.In Mazandaran, Mahmoudabad, it is the first time that a CALL research is going to be done on English language learners so it is novel in this major. A few studies about using podcast and the use of CALLinteaching listening and grammar toIranian EFL learners have beenconducted. It is anticipated that this study encourages English language teachers to use computers in languagelearning in general, and in learning English vocabularyin particular. This study also attempts to bridge the gapbetween the theoretical and practical sides of usingCALL in teaching vocabulary.
Therefore, the findings of this study may befunctional for different categories of people; it mayhelp EFL curriculum designers and EFL methodologists develop teaching materials that suit various ways ofteaching and match students’ level of achievement inEnglish language in general and in vocabulary in particular. The finding of this research can be helpful for English language teachers whose students have problem with learning vocabulary and are bored by learning English vocabulary in traditional ways. Moreover, this study may helpEnglish teachersby facilitating their role as well as students byhelping them absorb and apply Englishvocabulary itemsquite easily and smoothly. There are many English learners who are looking for good English software that couldlearn English by themselves; conducting this research makes familiar the people with this software and its abilities.Even some English teachers do not know such software; it is hope that reading this thesis will familiarize them with the software.Finally, this study mayencourage other researchers to conduct further studieson the same topic, or maybe on other skills or sub skills of English, which will enrich both the local andinternational literature.
- Research question and hypothesis
This study is going to answer these questions:
- Does Rosetta Stone English software have any statistically significant impact on Iranian EFL learners’ vocabulary learning?
- Does Rosetta Stone English software have any statistically significant impact on Iranian EFL learners’ delay[E4] recall?
This study will focus on the following null hypotheses:
- Rosetta Stone English software has no statistically significant impact on Iranian EFL learners’ vocabulary learning.
- Rosetta Stone English software has no statistically significant impact on Iranian EFL learners’ long-term [E5]recall of vocabulary items.
- Definition of key terms
Computer-assisted language learning (CALL): It is succinctly defined in a seminal work by Levy (1997) as “the search for and study of applications of the computer in language teaching and learning”. CALL embraces a wide range of Information and communications technology applications and approaches to teaching and learning foreign languages, from the “traditional” drill-and-practice programs that characterized CALL in the 1960s and 1970s to more recent manifestations of CALL. Here by CALL it means using some software and CDs that learners use to strengthen their vocabulary skill and sometimes using some software such as English Rosetta Stone for practicing English vocabularies.
Rosetta Stone English software: It is proprietary CALL software published by Rosetta Stone Inc. The software uses images, text, sound, and video to teach words and grammar by spaced repetition, without translation. Rosetta Stone calls their approach Dynamic Immersion (a term which they have trademarked).
Information and Communication Technology (ICT): It is often used as an extended synonym for information technology (IT), but is a more specific term that stresses the role of unified communications and the integration of telecommunications (telephone lines and wireless signals), computers as well as necessary enterprise software, middleware, storage, and audio-visual systems, which enable users to access, store, transmit, and manipulate information.
In this study by ICT it means the ways and activities that are related to language learning and activities that learners can do by ICT as their language learning processes.
Educational Technology (ET): According to Richards and Schmidt (2010), it is 1. The use of machines and educational equipment of different stores (e.g. language and labrotaries, tape recorder, video, etc.) to assist teachers and learners. 2. A system of instruction which contains (a) an analysis of what learners need to know and be able to do (b) a description of these needs as behavioral objectives.
According to Richey (2008), sometimes termed EdTech, is the study and ethical practice of facilitating e-learning, which is the learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.
- Delimitations of the study
This study has the following limitations:
- This study limits its scope on lower intermediate institutes vocabulary learning. Therefore, other skills and sub skills are not concern of this study.
- This study will be done on Mahmoudabad lower intermediate institutes learners with their own ecological and cultural characteristics, so learners in other cities and provinces with different levels are not included.
- This research will study on both genders, so others researchers can limits their study on just one gender.
[E2]As you see in this page, you need a thorough proofreading of your thesis. I did it only for page 1. You continue with the rest.
[E4]does not match hypothesis 2
[E5] does not match question 2
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