Using Tablet Applications as Assistive Tools in Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Using Tablet Applications as Assistive Tools in Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Tami Seifert (Kibutzim College of Education, Israel) and Veronika Zimon (Kibbutzim College of Education, Israel)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8106-2.ch013

Abstract

A case study examined the contribution of tablet applications for English language acquisition and improvement of reading and reading comprehension skills among pupils diagnosed with learning disabilities and those not diagnosed with learning disabilities. Participants were Grade 4 pupils from a public school in central Israel in two groups. Group 1 included two boys and two girls diagnosed with learning disabilities; Group 2 included two boys and two girls not diagnosed with learning disabilities. English learning applications were used with the intent of improving the abilities of letter recognition, reading, reading comprehension, listening comprehension, and oral expression in English in a fun way relevant to the pupils' lives. Findings indicated a more pronounced improvement in English reading and reading comprehension skills among pupils who were diagnosed with learning disabilities. The research also confirms that the use of tablet applications resulted in increased motivation for learning.
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Introduction

Those who teach English, often encounter pupils that find it difficult to cope with the acquisition of this language and with the development of English comprehension skills. This is especially evident in pupils diagnosed with learning disabilities. Because of the large number of these pupils, it is important to discover teaching means for this language that could assist their learning, create a successful experience for pupils, and improve their motivation for learning English. Research that examined the contribution of tablet-assisted interventions found that they were able to provide positive contributions (Seifert, 2015). However comprehensive review in this field reveals that a large proportion of these studies lacked methodological rigor in group design studies (Kim, Park & Coleman, 2017).

The present study examined the contribution of tablet applications for the acquisition of the English language and improvement of reading and comprehension skills in two groups of Grade 4 pupils: a group diagnosed with learning disabilities in comparison with a group who were not diagnosed with such disabilities. In order to examine the effectiveness of the tablet applications, use was made of applications in the area of English language studies. These applications are intended to improve the level of pupils' motivation for learning, and have been proven to influence the pupils' decision-making processes and determine their level of progress, and the extent of guidance and effort that will be invested in the learning activities (Cole, Field & Harris, 2004).

In order to examine the effectiveness of tablet applications, lesson plans were prepared combining applications for recital, recording and listening in English, games to exercise vocabulary etc.

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