Enhancing Metacognitive Language Learning Strategy Use and Business Language Proficiency in Technology-Enhanced Collaborative Learning Environment

Enhancing Metacognitive Language Learning Strategy Use and Business Language Proficiency in Technology-Enhanced Collaborative Learning Environment

Ke Zhao (Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Shanghai, China)
DOI: 10.4018/IJCALLT.2016070105
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Abstract

This study addresses the key issues in CALL literature concerning how to design, evaluate and examine a technology-enhanced collaborative inquiry learning environment for EFL students to enhance language learning processes and language proficiency. Participants were four intact business English classes at a Chinese university with 102 Year 1 students in a 12-week project learning in English for International Business in two different learning environments, namely computer-supported collaborative inquiry learning (CSCIL) and regular project-based learning environment (PBL). Data from multiple sources were obtained including learning strategy surveys, pre-and post- business language proficiency tests, and online interactions. Pre- and post-questionnaire surveys were administered to measure effect of the design on language learning strategy use. Positive design effect was observed on metacognitive strategy use and language proficiency development. Quantitative online discourse analyses were conducted to examine relations among online Knowledge Forum participation and language strategy use as well as business language proficiency. Theoretical and practical implications of this study were also discussed in particular relation to a theory-informed and technology-enhanced EFL business English pedagogy.
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2. Literature Review

The computer has been used in ELT instruction since 1960s, both as an instructional and learning tool (Warschauer & Healey, 1998). Due to the pedagogically different use of computer technology in ELT teaching, Warschauer et al. (1998) divides the development of computer-assisted language learning into three stages: behaviourist CALL, communicative CALL, and integrative CALL. While behaviourist CALL is based on behaviourist learning theory with a drill-and–practice approach, communicative CALL adopted cognitive/ constructivist approaches provides learners with more opportunities to construct new knowledge and language based on their existing knowledge through exploring, solving problems, and testing hypothesis of the software (Kern & Warschauer, 2000). With the development of Information and Communication technology, researchers have shifted the attention from using communicative language teaching to a socio-cognitive view which emphasized language learning and language use in an authentic and meaningful social setting (Warschauer & Healey, 1998) through interaction and collaboration. The context-based integrative CALL is aimed to combine metacognitive and social metacogntive learning as well as language development with the use of information technology.

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