فناوری و «یادگیری زبان به کمک رایانه» (CALL) بهطور
کلی در آموزش و بهطور ویژه در آموزش
زبان مؤثر بودهاند. یکی از مهارتهای
زبانی که بهطور مؤثری میتواند
از فناوری بهره ببرد، مهارت خواندن است. هدف پژوهش حاضر بررسی تأثیر استفاده از وبسایتهای
یادگیری برخط و ابزار یادگیری الکترونیکی در کلاسهای
آموزش زبان انگلیسی روی درک مطلب خواندن زبانآموزان
سطح متوسط ایرانی است. یک گروه 96 نفری از دانشآموزان
همگن (64 زن و 32 مرد) سه کلاس سوم دبیرستان در سه مدرسه در تهران، در دوره آموزشی
سیزده هفتهای شرکت کردند. این
تصادفی به دو گروه تجربی (وبسایتهای
یادگیری برخط و یادگیری الکترونیکی) و یک گروه کنترل تقسیم شدند. نتایج تجزیه و
تحلیل آماری نشان داد که استفاده از وبسایتهای
یادگیری برخط و ابزار یادگیری الکترونیکی در کلاسهای
درسی، تأثیر چشمگیری روی درک مطلب خواندن زبانآموزان
developments and computer assisted language learning (CALL) have significantly
affected education in general and language education in particular. One of the
language skills which can benefit from the use of educational technology is
reading. The goal of this study was to investigate the effect of integrating
online learning websites and e-learning tools in EFL classrooms on reading
comprehension of Iranian intermediate level learners. A group of 96 homogenized
third-grader students (64 females and 32 males) were observed during thirteen
weeks courses at three schools in Tehran. The classes were randomly assigned to
two experimental (online learning websites and e-learning) and one control
groups. The results of statistical analyses revealed that applying both online
learning websites and e-learning tools in the classes significantly affected
the reading comprehension of the learners.
Keywords: online learning websites, e-learning
tools, reading comprehension, technology, language learners
Reading is one
of the four necessary important language skills for English as a second and/or
foreign language (ESL/EFL) learners to achieve both academic success and
professional development (Anderson, 1999; Carrell, 1993; Sims, 1996).
Similarly, Iranian EFL students have become overwhelmingly concerned about the
necessity of being able to read English textbooks, articles, or journals so
that they could gather information required for both their academic and
e-learning tools allow learners to learn at their own pace, without live
interaction with the instructor. E-Books, smartboards, blogs, video
conferencing, screencasts and podcasts are some of the successful e-learning
tools that have changed the way a language is taught. According to Khan (2001),
e-learning encompasses web-based learning (WBL), Internet-based training (IBT),
advanced distributing learning (ADL), and online learning. E-learning can be
realized by integrating a computer-based educational tool to enable students to
learn anywhere and at any time. Nowadays, many teachers are finding that using
e-learning tools in the classroom are extremely beneficial for their students
in as much as they make learning more interesting, interactive, meaningful, and
stimulating for the learners. The present action research illustrates how
online and e-learning tools could assist both teachers and learners improve
their performance. The main purpose is to explore and compare the effectiveness
of various kinds of online learning websites, e-learning tools, and
conventional teaching methods in supporting and improving the reading
comprehension of Iranian intermediate EFL learners.
In order to
conduct the present study, 96 Iranian intermediate level EFL students were chosen
as the participants. The study was conducted at three high schools in Tehran.
Students were of both genders within an age range of 16 to 17. Participants
were assigned to two experimental groups, one with 32 students (working with
online learning websites) and the other with 30 students (using e-learning
tools). The control group comprised 34 participants who received conventional
instruction. The study lasted for thirteen weeks during the summer semester.
The duration of each session was 90 minutes half of which was devoted to
Figure 1. A
screenshot of an online reading passage at www.agendaweb.org
The students in
the experimental group I were exposed to the online websites consisting of
reading materials and texts retrieved from www.agendaweb.org,
www.myenglishpages.com, and www.readtheory.org. Generating immediate feedback
was one of the most important features of these websites. The researcher
created e-books and screencasts with similar reading texts and quizzes for the
experimental group II. The students in this group were provided with relevant
e-books or screencasts based on the lesson plans and topics already specified
for each session. They could read the passages two or three times, based on
their difficulty, and also had the chance to repeatedly play the screencasts.
After reading or playing each reading passage, the students completed a task or
quiz in order to assess their comprehension of the material presented in the
e-books or screencasts. In the control group, the students received printed
forms of the online texts.
Figure 2. A
screenshot of a one of the screencasts
The students in
the experimental groups had access to the reading texts only during the class
time. As a result, they had to pay their utmost attention while reading the
texts and working on the activities (see Figure 1 & 2). The experimental
groups attended a classroom well-equipped by computers and a video projector.
They worked individually on their personal computers. Doing the exercises and
working on their reading activities, the teacher helped the students and
commented on their works if needed. During every session, a quiz was
administered and students received the score.
A posttest was
administered to the students in the three groups at the end of the courses to
explore the effectiveness of the treatments. After ten weeks of instruction (90
minutes per week), the participants in each of the three groups had read ten
passages. Of these, for experimental group II, four passages were played in the
form of screencasts and the remaining six were in e-book format. The posttests
were scored and compared with the pretest results. The pretest was administered
at the onset of the study and aimed at assessing participants' reading
comprehension proficiency to ensure the homogeneity of the students in these
groups. The pretest and posttests comprised a reading passage each which was
followed by 35 multiple choice items. One point was allotted to each question.
Forty five minutes were dedicated to the administration of the pre and
posttests each. The readability index of these passages was calculated by Fog's
readability formula. The reading texts were selected from taught online
improvement in terms of reading skill was also investigated through observation
made throughout the courses. The weekly quizzes provided a good criterion for
comparing the students’ performance across the three classes.
The results of
data analysis determined that online learning websites had a significant effect
on reading comprehension of Iranian intermediate EFL learners as the experimental
group members who received the online instructional materials significantly
outperformed the control group in the posttest. The findings also revealed that
e-books and screencasts had a significant effect on reading comprehension of
Iranian intermediate EFL Learners given that the experimental group II
significantly outperformed the control group in the posttest. However, there
was no statistically significant difference in the performance of the two
experimental groups in the posttests. The same results are reported in Busch’s
(2003) research on the effective role of online learning websites and
e-learning tools in developing the reading skill.
application of online materials contributed to students’ reading comprehension
skills can be attributed to the presence of visual features such as images,
audio-files, and graphics in the online passages compared to the conventional
course books. The same observation has been made by different scholars who have
explored the potential of hypermedia features or links to text, data, graphics,
audio, or video on student learning (e.g., Anderson-Inman & Horney, 2008;
Anderson-Inman, Horney, Chin, & Lewis, 2004; Hillinger, 2002; Hillinger
& Leu, 2004; Leu & Hillinger, 2004). Additionally, students have access
to online glossaries when using such content.
It is suggested
that the application of online language learning websites and e-learning tools
can enhance learners’ reading comprehension skill. The findings offer support
for the combining effect of face-to-face instruction and technology-enhanced
learning to reinforce the teaching/learning outcomes. It should be noted that
the successful implementation of online learning materials largely depends on
whether or not the students are willing to adopt and accept the technology.
Thus, it is an imperative for teachers and policy makers to understand the
factors affecting user acceptance of web-based learning systems in order to
enhance the students’ learning experience (Tarhini, 2014). The feedback received
from the participants also revealed that they found the experience enjoyable
with a dynamic ambiance.
learning websites could supply the classroom with various authentic materials
for reading practices. It is can concluded that e-learning tools in EFL
classrooms can contribute to students’ knowledge of different language skills,
namely their reading comprehension, by combining text with visual presentation
features that might not be available in conventional textbooks. Computer
assisted language learning which was practiced through the integration of
online learning websites and e-learning tools provided the researcher with an
opportunity to use different kinds of media, including graphic images, colored
pictures, sound files, animation and texts to enhance learners' reading
The findings of
the present study entail pedagogical implications for language education
profession and the practitioners of the field. Pedagogical implications are
applicable to classroom practices including teaching, learning, and curriculum
development. The conclusions of this study may assist teachers, learners, and
course designers to consider the potential of online learning materials for
improving the learning outcome. For teachers, e-books, screencasts, online
learning websites and other CALL tools can be productive for making instruction
and conveying the topics and concepts more simple compared to the conventional
teaching strategies. For the learners, using online and E-learning tools could
increase the reading comprehension ability and make the learning process more
interesting, interactive, meaningful, and stimulating. Course designers can
also take the advantages of these tools in planning for and preparing suitable
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