Investigating the ICT Use and Needs of ‘Digital Natives' In Learning English at a Taiwanese University

Investigating the ICT Use and Needs of ‘Digital Natives' In Learning English at a Taiwanese University

Chao- Jung Ko (National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan), Siew Ming Thang (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia) and Shu-chen Ou (National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan)
DOI: 10.4018/ijwltt.2014040103
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Abstract

This article reports key findings of a study which investigated the use of technology by 569 ‘digital natives' students for English Language learning and recreational purposes. Their views on the applicability of technological tools such as facebook, blogging and skype for English Language teaching and learning were also investigated. The findings showed that although the students expressed positive views with regard to the use of technologies for language learning, they seemed to use less technological tools for academic learning than for recreational purposes. Discipline differences were not a determining factor. In addition, they appeared to use similar well-established technologies rather than new and emerging technologies for both learning and recreation. Finally, they also appeared satisfied with their English instructors' teaching approaches.
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Literature

An optimistic and promising image of the digital natives has been painted in some existing literature which describes them as innovative users of available technology and eager adopters of new technology from an earlier age. It is further claimed that their digital experiences have changed not only in terms of how they communicate, socialize, and entertain, but also the way they learn (NetDay, 2006; Prensky, 2001a; Rainie, 2006; Rideout, Foehr, & Roberts, 2010). Such belief was evinced in a study by Conole et al. (2008) who found students using technologies to support all aspects of their learning processes. It appeared that central to the organization and origination of their learning, the technologies provided them with a rich variety of interaction and communication options in terms of learning which led to their usage of different types of e-learning strategies and e-tools to meet their own learning needs.

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