Volume 28 Number 1, 2024

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    English L2 vocabulary learning with clickers: Investigating pedagogical effectiveness
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2024-05-20) Sénécal, Anne-Marie ; Cardoso, Walcir
    A growing body of literature on the pedagogical effectiveness of clickers in a second language (L2) context has revealed that clickers can promote learning. However, the extent to which clickers play a role in L2 acquisition compared to other pedagogical approaches lacks consensus; in addition, most research has focused on adult learners and has taken place in large classrooms. To address these limitations, the current research investigated the effects of clickers on L2 vocabulary acquisition in a K-12 educational setting. Two intact groups of Grade 8 students learning L2 English were assigned to a treatment: while the Clicker Group (n = 31) received instruction via clickers, the Non-Clicker Group (n = 30) was treated via hand-raising without the target technology. The pedagogical effectiveness of clickers on participants’ acquisition of the target vocabulary was measured via pretests, posttests and delayed posttests. Overall, the results indicate that vocabulary acquisition was comparable in both groups. The discussion of the findings explores the role of individual differences among users (i.e., some participants improved significantly more than others) and highlights the implications of the study for L2 teaching/learning.
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    Computer-Assisted Pronunciation Training (CAPT): An empirical evaluation of EPSS Multimedia Lab
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2024-05-13) Gómez González, María de los Ángeles ; Lago Ferreiro, Alfonso
    Previous research has established that phonetics has been marginalized within language teaching, proving to be particularly challenging for learners in EFL contexts. This paper presents EPSSML (https://www.usc.gal/multimlab/), an e-learning platform designed within Mayer’s (2008, 2009) Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning to instruct English phonetics and phonology in an EFL context. Inspired by prior work (e.g., Clark, 2009; Godwin-Jones, 2009; Hansen Edwards et al., 2021), we examined the efficiency of EPSSML as a Computer Assisted Pronunciation Training (CAPT) resource alongside the students’ perceptions of it including gender differences. The scores obtained by 504 Spanish EFL learners in an English phonetics undergraduate course were analyzed comparing performance before and after EPSSML-assisted instruction. The analysis of rated results shows that there is a significant difference between the means of scores of those learners that used and those that did not use the platform, as well as between male and female students. Additionally, 127 students that used EPSSML responded to an online questionnaire on the tool and course methodology. Responses reveal that 91.3% of the learners enjoyed and were very interested in EPSSML and web-mediated phonetic training. The findings demonstrate the importance of CAPT-based instruction and suggestions are also made for additional resources and approaches for its implementation, thereby contributing to the educational shift from traditional, teacher-centered learning methods to blended instructional methodologies in formal and informal settings.
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    Review of Technology-assisted language assessment in diverse contexts: Lessons from the transition to online testing during COVID-19
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2024-05-06) Hashemi, Mina ; Kristin Rock
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    Multimodal interactive alignment: Language learners’ interaction in CMC tasks through Instagram
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2024-05-06) Muntaha, Muntaha ; Chen, Julian ; Dobinson, Toni
    Technological advancement has enabled language learners to employ verbal and nonverbal cues in computer-mediated communication (CMC). These cues can support language use for learners wishing to communicate more effectively in English. Interactive alignment is one phenomenon that shows how humans tend to collaborate in their language use by adapting, priming, and reusing verbal and nonverbal cues to achieve mutual understanding. Informed by a sociocognitive framework, this study explored and documented English language learners’ multimodal interactive alignment during their CMC task engagement through Instagram. We collected data from 30 first-year Indonesian business school learners who participated in seven online CMC tasks using Instagram chat features: text chat, voice chat, and video chat. To examine various interactive alignments (e.g., how interlocutors adapt, prime, and reuse verbal and nonverbal cues to achieve mutual understanding) that occurred during multimodal task communication, we employed multimodal (inter)action analysis. Findings revealed that learners adapted and reused various nonverbal features (e.g., emojis, GIFs, facial expressions, gestures) and verbal cues (e.g., expression, lexical) to convey and comprehend meaning during CMC task completion. Caveats about using various nonverbal alignment patterns for supporting better English online communication were also noted. The study highlights how language learners use the full repertoire of semiotic resources in CMC to maximize their online language learning.
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    Review of Individual differences in computer assisted language learning research
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2024-04-29) Bakla, Arif ; Kristin Rock
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    The impact of the pandemic on student Spanish language proficiency
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2024-04-29) Gleason, Jesse ; Cardone, Resha ; Bartlett, Andrew
    In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to take stock of student learning. Although the “crisis-context” (Gacs et al., 2020) move to fully online instruction may be over, a complete understanding of how student outcomes have been impacted remains. The present study focuses on how students’ Spanish language proficiency, as measured by the STAMP test, was affected by moving all on-ground language courses online in March 2020 at a small public university in the northeastern US. Comparing overall student Spanish language proficiency as well as reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills across 30 sections of a third-semester Spanish course before and during the pandemic, we examined student learning outcomes based upon the modality of instruction. Results revealed a significant increase in students' overall Spanish language proficiency and significant increases in sub-level proficiencies in three out of the four skills in the online modality. Thus, in spite of the many changes that took place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, students' Spanish language proficiencies were either positively impacted or unimpacted. We discuss the implications of these results and pose questions for on-ground and online language courses moving forward.
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    Review of Online world language instruction training and assessment: An ecological approach
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2024-04-22) Zhang, Yaqian ; Fan, Jason ; Kristin Rock
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    An innovative pictographic glosses design for East Asian EFL vocabulary learners: Effects on retention performance and situational interest
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2024-04-22) Pan, Liu-Cheng ; Sun, Jerry Chih-Yuan
    Taking into account the challenges of EFL vocabulary learning for East Asian learners, this study developed a set of experimental English vocabulary material with pictographic glosses which may stimulate students’ situational interest (with dimensions of exploration intention, instant enjoyment, novelty, attention demand, challenge, and total interest) in learning vocabulary and facilitate their vocabulary retention. To examine the effectiveness of the learning material, this study utilized a within-subjects quasi-experimental design. The participants were 108 graduate and college students who used the learning materials presented in text-only, text-with-picture, and pictographic formats in an online learning system. Results revealed that students’ retention performance on the pictographic materials was significantly higher than on the text-only materials, while no significant differences were found between the pictographic and text-with-picture materials. The perceived situational interest in the pictographic material was significantly higher than in the other two formats. The results suggest that the pictographic vocabulary material could trigger EFL learners’ situational interest and help to promote their English vocabulary learning. It could therefore serve as a novel approach to designing EFL vocabulary materials for multimedia environments.
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    Visual reinforcement through digital zoom technology in FL pronunciation instruction
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2024-04-15) Wang, Siqi ; Li, Jian ; Liang, Qian
    Drawing on skill acquisition theory (DeKeyser, 2017) and the Information Feedforward and Feedback Loop model (de Bot, 1980), this study aimed to explore the effects of digital zoom technology as a visual reinforcement tool (VRT) in foreign language (FL) pronunciation instruction on learners’ segmental production, and learners’ attitudes toward and experience with it. The study was conducted during a two-week introductory FL Spanish course with a cross-over design. In the experimental class, the teacher used a tablet to provide magnified visual feedforward for articulatory gestures during explicit instruction of target consonants that were new to Chinese learners, and the students used smartphone apps with digital zoom for augmented visual self-feedback during their practice. In the control class, the teacher adopted a traditional analytic-linguistic approach for explicit instruction and an audio-only intuitive-imitative approach for students’ practice. The results of the production test show that the experimental group performed significantly better in the production of the postvocalic /l/ and the dental fricatives /θ/ and /ð/, but not in the trill /r/. Interview data suggests that the VRT strategy was advantageous in directing the participants’ attention to articulatory gestures, and that most students showed positive attitudes toward this new method.
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    Using machine translation to support ESL pre-service teachers’ collaborative feedback for writing
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2024-04-15) Fu, Linling ; Gu, Michelle Mingyue ; Jin, Tan ; Mimi, Li
    The application of machine translation (MT) in ESL (English as a Second Language) writing has thrived over the past decade. However, how MT impacts pre-service teachers’ (PSTs) provision of collaborative feedback for writing remains an under-explored domain. Such knowledge will facilitate pre-service teacher education to be more scientific and practical. In this study, we investigated the effects of MT in assisting PSTs’ provision of feedback, drawing on six PSTs’ in-class discussions and the results of their revision. Additionally, we conducted interviews to learn their perception of MT. The findings revealed that MT assisted them in providing feedback on students’ L2 writing, especially in improving content, communicative achievement, and language issues. PSTs in the study held positive attitudes towards using MT in their collaborative revision for writing. The findings also suggest that applying MT to ESL pre-service teacher education is beneficial, especially in assisting their writing revision. It is also advisable to utilise MT with other tools. The implications of the findings are discussed.