ICT and Language Learning at Secondary School

ICT and Language Learning at Secondary School

Diane Huot (Université Laval, Québec, Canada), France H. Lemonnier (Université Laval, Québec, Canada) and Josiane Hamers (Université Laval, Québec, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-895-6.ch006
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This chapter presents the key findings of a longitudinal study conducted with secondary school students over a period of five years to determine whether the use of ICT has an influence on the learning of L1 French and L2 English, on students’ motivation and attitudes, and on the quality of their written work. Three research questions were framed to provide (i) a description of the process of integrating ICT; (ii) measurements of student attitudes and motivation in relation to school, to learning and to ICT; and (iii) a systematic assessment of written work in French and English. Students in four learning environments were observed. Results include indications that, for students in the experimental environment, ICT use is closely linked to the pedagogical context; motivation and attitudes remain more stable than in the control groups; the texts they produce are significantly longer and contain more complex clauses.

Key Terms in this Chapter

ICT: Information and Communication Technologies.

Environment 2: ICT without PBTA: refers to a class without PBTA, in which students were taking an informatics class in a computer laboratory.

Attitudes: Defined as a certain predisposition to react in a given way.

PBTA: Project-Based Teaching Approach.

Variable: In Question 3 the term “variables” is used in a particular sense, namely as measurable units of analysis or elements that were identified in the student written products. 59 variables were identified falling into four broad categories: general (six variables), syntactic (19 variables), lexico-grammatical (21 variables) and textual (13 variables).

LSD: LSD (least significant differences) test refers to a multiple comparison test used in order to assess the significance between the means when a significant main effect was obtained in an ANOVA.

Environment 3: PBTA without ICT: refers to a class in which students had no access to ICT and where they were learning through a PBTA.

Environment 1: ICT with PBTA: refers to a class using a project-based teaching approach (PBTA) as a main pedagogical feature, where students (and teachers) worked within networked classrooms with laptop computers and had home Internet access.

Motivation: Defined as the amount of effort one is willing to put in a given task.

Environment 4: Neither ICT neither PBTA: refers to a class using neither ICT nor PBTA.

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