The Future of Education

Edition 12

Accepted Abstracts

The Effect of Using Technology on Learning Autonomy of the Saudi Learner of English as a Foreign Language

Ghazi Alotaibi, College of Languages and Translation King Saud University (Saudi Arabia)

Abstract

The current study investigates the extent to which online discussion boards and personal online blogs help EFL learners to be more autonomous in their language learning. The study is currently underway, and the sample consists of two EFL classes of 25, and 28 students enrolled in a speaking course in the 6th level of the 10 levels studied in the college. One class serves as the control group and is taught traditionally following the same routine teaching procedures, and the other class serves as the experimental group in which the two online technological features will be used: online discussion boards and online personal blogs. Both groups were given a pre-test to ensure homogeneity in the study sample. Two criteria are used to measure learner autonomy: initiation of a language contribution (such as asking a question, giving a comment, reaching a conclusion or opening up a topic for discussion, etc.), and evaluating a language contribution (such as assessing of a language contribution in the classroom, explaining why a certain language contribution is correct or incorrect, reflecting on any language experience related to the course being taught or studied, etc.). It is hypothesized that the use of online discussion boards and personal online blogs increases learner autonomy of EFL students. 

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