Volume 26 Number 1, 2022

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 23
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    Impact of mobile virtual reality on EFL learners’ listening comprehension
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2022-09-19) Tai, Tzu-Yu
    Virtual reality (VR) has received increasing attention from researchers and practitioners in EFL listening. However, prior studies are primarily concerned with non-immersive desktop-based VR. Few studies examined the effects of VR via mobile-rendered head-mounted displays (mobile VR). Therefore, this study investigates the impact of mobile VR on EFL learners’ listening comprehension. Participants were 49 Taiwanese seventh-graders, randomly assigned to either the VR group or video group. The VR group played with a language learning VR app using mobile VR while the video group watched the walkthrough video of the VR app on personal computers. The effects of mobile VR were analyzed based on listening comprehension post-tests, recalls, and interviews. The results revealed the VR group’s listening comprehension and recall were significantly better than that of the video group. The interview data indicated that, for most VR players, mobile VR-mediated EFL listening was motivating, beneficial, and convenient. They felt more engaged in the listening tasks. Simulated real-life scenarios and interactivity, particularly the interaction with virtual characters, led to a stronger sense of presence and a higher degree of immersion, which enabled them to listen as a participant rather than overhearer. Interaction in an authentically fully-immersive context facilitated listening comprehension. The findings suggest that mobile VR may be a useful tool to promote EFL listening and underscore the necessity for additional research on the emerging technology for language learning.
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    Different effects of machine translation on L2 revisions across students’ L2 writing proficiency levels
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2022-09-05) Lee, Sangmin-Michelle
    In recent years, machine translation (MT) has been gaining popularity, both in academic settings and in everyday life among foreign language students. However, insufficient research has been conducted in this field. Moreover, the findings of extant literature are often contradictory, and there are few empirical studies based on students’ actual outcomes. Therefore, the present study investigates the effectiveness of using MT in English-as-a-Foreign-Language (EFL) writing classes. It particularly examines whether students’ L2 writing proficiency levels influence their revisions when using MT. According to the results, using MT helped all levels of students improve their revisions, but to a different extent depending on their L2 writing proficiency levels. Compared to the higher-level students, the lower-level students made fewer changes per error, resulting in less improvement in the revised versions. Furthermore, this study found that the lowest- level students benefited the least from MT, mainly due to their limited L2 knowledge. Conversely, the higher-level students benefited more from MT by critically selecting better options between their own translations and those produced by MT. Overall, this study includes several pedagogical implications for using MT in L2 writing classrooms.
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    Investigating the influence of video-dubbing tasks on EFL learning
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2022-08-29) Huang, Heng-Tsung Danny
    This study investigates the effects of completing video-dubbing tasks on English speaking proficiency, English public speaking anxiety (EPSA), and group cohesion (GC). Two classes of EFL college students were assigned to either the dubbing group or the comparison group. Both groups began by responding to the EPSA scale, the GC scale, and a standardized English speaking test. Next, the dubbing group completed two video-dubbing tasks, for each of which they worked in groups to select a video clip, remove the original soundtrack, rehearse the monologues and dialogues, create a new soundtrack, combine the video clip with the new soundtrack, submit the dubbed video clip, and perform the live dubbing in class. In contrast, during the weeks when the dubbing group performed live dubbing, the comparison group watched and discussed movies in English. Finally, both groups took the post-test comprising the two scales and a second set of the standardized English speaking test. The synthesis of quantitative and qualitative findings revealed that, firstly, video-dubbing tasks constituted an entertaining task that could enhance English speaking proficiency. Second, completing video-dubbing tasks reduced foreign language anxiety but not English public speaking anxiety. Third, group cohesion increased substantially as a result of accomplishing video- dubbing tasks.
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    Dialogue systems for language learning: A meta-analysis
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2022-08-15) Bibauw, Serge ; Van den Noortgate, Wim ; François, Thomas ; Desmet, Piet
    The present study offers a meta-analysis of effectiveness studies on dialogue-based CALL, systems affording a learner practice in a foreign language (L2) by interacting with a conversational agent (“bot”). Through a systematic inclusion and exclusion process, we identified 17 relevant meta-analyzable studies. We made use of Morris and DeShon’s (2002) formulas to compute comparable effect sizes across designs, including k = 100 individual effect sizes, which were analyzed through a multilevel random-effects model. Results confirm that dialogue-based CALL practice had a significant medium effect size on L2 proficiency development (d = 0.58). We performed extensive moderator analyses to explore the relative effectiveness on several learning outcomes of different types and features of dialogue-based CALL (type of interaction, modality, constraints, feedback, agent embodiment, gamification). Our study confirms the effectiveness of form-focused and goal-oriented systems, system-guided interactions, corrective feedback provision, and gamification features. Effects for lower proficiency learners, and on vocabulary, morphosyntax, holistic proficiency, and accuracy are established. Finally, we discuss expected evolutions in dialogue-based CALL and the language learning opportunities it offers.
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    Social media as an e-portfolio platform: Effects on L2 learners’ speaking performance
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2022-08-08) Zheng, Yan ; Barrot, Jessie S.
    In the past few years, there has been an increase in the use of social media for language pedagogy. While some high-profile social media platforms have been extensively studied, their potential as an electronic portfolio (e-portfolio) is under-researched, particularly in the area of L2 (i.e., English) speaking. Thus, this study fills in the vacuum by investigating the effects of social media as an e-portfolio platform for the speaking performance of L2 students whose L1 is Chinese. Using a quasi-experimental design, the findings demonstrate the viability of a social media-based e-portfolio for significantly improving college students’ speaking performances. These results were linked to three factors, namely the (a) social pressure from high visibility, (b) sense of captive audience, and (c) increased level of engagement due to the interactive features of the platform. Some technical and learner/learning-related challenges were also reported by students. Implications for L2 speaking pedagogy, assessment, and future studies are discussed.
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    The interplay between metalanguage, feedback, and meaning negotiation in oral interaction
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2022-08-03) Canals, Laia
    The present article explores the affordances virtual exchanges provide to foster a focus on form, interactional feedback, and meaning negotiation in language related episodes (LREs) occurring in interaction between learners of English and learners of Spanish as a foreign language. The participants, 36 students enrolled in language courses at two universities in two different countries, took part in a virtual exchange which involved carrying out three 40-minute video calls in pairs. These calls were video recorded and constituted the data from which different types of LREs were extracted. The recordings from the first and the last video calls, which took place two and a half months apart, were transcribed and analyzed. Data analyses revealed that learners gave significantly more feedback during the last interactive task, and that only in the case of LREs initiated by L2 speakers did this lead to more repairs and a higher resolution rate of the episodes. The data also showed that the presence of metalinguistic information led to an increased number of repairs, and that reactive LREs initiated by L1 speakers and preemptive LREs initiated by L2 speakers displayed different rates of interactional feedback, meaning negotiation, modified output, and repairs.
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    Association between the characteristics of out-of-class technology-mediated language experience and L2 vocabulary knowledge
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2022-07-18) Lai, Chun ; Liu, Yang ; Hu, Jingjing ; Benson, Phil ; Lyu, Boning
    Out-of-class autonomous language learning with technology is positively associated with learners’ L2 vocabulary knowledge (Lee, 2019; Webb, 2015). An understanding of how out-of-class technology-mediated language experiences relate to L2 vocabulary development is essential to discussions about the quality of out-of-class language learning experiences. This study examined 46 Chinese EFL learners’ self-directed out-of-class language learning experiences with technology in order to develop a framework of the defining characteristics of out-of-class technological experiences that are associated with L2 English vocabulary knowledge. Analysis of the learners’ one-month-long diaries recording their daily technology activities in English, semi-structured interviews, and performance in a vocabulary knowledge assessment revealed several characteristic indicators that were positively associated with L2 English vocabulary scores. It was found that accessing multimodal materials, dual attention to meaning and form, the depth of lexical information attended to and the levels of engagement with words when engaging in technology activities were significantly associated with L2 English vocabulary scores. The findings suggest these dimensions as potential directions for future research and as core aspects of learner support for out-of-class language learning.
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    Teachers’ technology-related self-images and roles: Exploring CALL teachers’ professional identity
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2022-06-20) Shafiee, Zahra ; Marandi, S. Susan ; Mirzaeian, Vahid Reza
    Despite the surge of interest in language teachers’ professional identity (TPI) as an integral component of their professional growth (Barkhuizen, 2017; Clarke, 2018) and the increasing interest in the field of computer assisted language learning (CALL) (Nami et al., 2015), there is still a paucity of research on the professional identity of language teachers who integrate technology with language instruction (CALL teachers). To bridge this gap, the present study explored the components that construct CALL teachers’ professional identity (CALLTPI). The data were collected from a set of in-depth, semi-structured interviews investigating perceptions of 24 CALL informants (educators, experts, professors, and teachers) from different contexts and countries about CALL teachers’ roles in technology integration in English language teaching (ELT). Fifteen sub-components were inferred from the thematic analysis of the interview transcripts as compared against the available literature on CALL teacher education and language teachers’ professional identity. These sub-components corresponded to three major components, namely, CALL teachers’ individual identity, classroom-based identity, and agentive identity. The results can provide CALL teacher educators with implications for designing professional development programs with the aim of developing teachers’ professional identity and enhancing the effectiveness of technology integration in ELT.
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    Computing curriculum time and input for incidentally learning academic vocabulary
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2022-06-08) Green, Clarence
    This paper computes estimates of the potential for Extensive Reading (ER) and Extensive Viewing (EV) to support the academic and discipline-specific vocabulary needs of students. While research into ER/EV for general vocabulary is well-established, only recently has academic vocabulary begun to be researched. Given curriculum time constraints, information on which academic vocabulary items might be learnable incidentally is useful, and this study provides teachers with information on which specific academic vocabulary items from multiple academic wordlists have a reasonable chance of being learned incidentally. It operationalizes ER/EV through corpora representing general fiction, television programs, and movies. It estimates the pedagogical time it would take to meet target vocabulary at different possible thresholds for incidental learning (6, 12, 20 times) with estimates for each computed for multiple possible reading rates (100, 260, 350 wpm) and viewing rates (80, 140, 200 wpm). Results report individual curriculum time/input estimates for over 2000 academic vocabulary targets across multiple subjects. Findings indicate ER/EV are pedagogies that could substantially support academic vocabulary development. A tool is released for teachers to compute personalized estimates using the reading rates of their students.
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    Integrating the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals: Developing content for virtual exchanges
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2022-05-02) Lenkaitis, Chesla Ann
    The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were adopted in 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, “provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet” (United Nations, 2020a). The SDGs, which include gender equality, quality education, and ending poverty, are those objectives that must be met by all countries “in a global partnership” (United Nations, 2020a). With the 2030 Agenda in mind, this Virtual Exchange (VE) study reveals learners in different geographical locations who are partnered with one another via technology can benefit from the embedding of SDG content into their VE (Dooly, 2017; Forward et al., 2020). This article focuses on two parallel, but separate, Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication (SCMC) six-week VEs. Teacher trainees from a university in the United States were partnered with other teacher trainees from a university in Poland and/or Colombia. In another cohort, second language (L2) learners of Spanish from a university in the United States were partnered with those from a university in Poland. In each of these groupings, participants completed SCMC sessions via Zoom and discussed the SDGs. Qualitative and quantitative data reveal that awareness of these universal objectives increased and afforded them new perspectives. By using a culturally sensitive lens, teacher trainees developed teaching strategies and L2 learners increased their intercultural competence. These results suggest that integrating SDG content into virtual exchange can support the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and can make a contribution to the field of VE.