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I have worked at Newcastle University since 1989 and was head of the Applied Linguistics and TESOL Section in the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences from 2003 to 2009. I teach the Computer-Assisted Language Learning and TESOL Theory and Practice modules on the MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL, and contribute to the Research Methods module. I also supervise PhD students on topics that include Computer-Assisted Language Learning, teacher-training, teaching methodology, materials design, and language testing.

I am co-author of The Internet and Computer-Assisted Language Learning (in the OUP Resource books for language teachers series) and Communicative Grammar, a series of workbooks. I have published chapters and articles on course, syllabus and materials design, classroom practice and observation, task-based learning, computer-assisted language learning, teacher training, computer-based language testing, and self-access learning.

Scott WindeattMy first degree is in French from the University of Birmingham, and I have a Postgraduate Teaching Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from the Institute of Education in London, and a Masters' degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh. Before moving to Newcastle I taught at the University of Lancaster, and worked as a Research Associate at the Institute of Education in London. I have also taught in Finland, at the University of Bucharest in Romania, and at Klagenfurt University in Austria, as well as in a comprehensive school in London. I have given lectures, run workshops and carried out consultancies in a number of countries including Austria, Croatia, Denmark, the Emirates, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Korea, Malaysia, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Spain, Tanzania, Thailand, the USA and Vietnam.

These are the PhD or IPhD topics I am currently supervising, or have supervised, as main or joint supervisor:

RESEARCH PHDs - In progress

Rola Naeb
Using User-Behaviour Tracking Technology to Investigate Focus on Form(s) and Meaning in a Technology- Enhanced Language Learning Environment

INTEGRATED PHDs - In progress

Chia-Lin Kuo
A Quasi-Experimental Research Study of Formative Peer Assessment in an EFL Writing Classroomt
Ahmed Alghamdi
The Academic and Professional Language Needs of Saudi undergraduate students in an English Language Programme: A Cyclical Evaluation Model (CEM)
Zahra Amir
Do Hypermedia Annotations Facilitate Vocabulary Learning and Reading Comprehension for Young Learners?
Mamdouh Alswayegh
The Effective of Integrating Computer Based Feedback (CBF) into a University-Level ESL Writing Curriculum
Sandra Morales Rios
Teacher training for CALL in the 'digital native' era: Examining L2 teachers' transformation for effective online facilitation
Jaber Maslamani
Collaborative reading tasks on the tabletop computer
Haifa Albadry
 Can a well-designed teacher-guided EFL course, delivered via the iPad device, enhance learners’ autonomous language learning?
Xueting Ma
The application of Self-Organized Learning Environments (SOLEs) in a junior high school in China
Hadeel Awad
The impact of integrated and split-attention online reading formats on building adult RSL learners' vocabulary knowledge

RESEARCH PHDs - Completed

Dr. Laila Rumsey - 2013
Shedding Light on the Predictive Validity of an Institutional Placement Test in Predicting Success in Subject Areas other than English Language
Dr. Fred Wu - 2011
A study of the construction and validation of rating scales simultaneous interpretation assessment: what raters really pay attention to.
Dr. Josephine Pei-Lun Kao - 2010
Fostering Foreign Language Learning Among Less Successful Learners: Exploring The Role Of Self-Directed Multimedia Learning Environment
Dr. Kelly Cheng-yi Chang - 2008
The relationship between individual learning styles and learning strategies in electronic materials for practicing EFL listening
Dr. Mihye Harker - 2004
The Linguistic Proficiency of Korean English Teachers: an investigation of self-assessment procedures and self-directed learning tasks using video
Dr. Eddy Moran - 2003
The Relationship Between Metacognitive Knowledge Of Learning English As A Foreign Language And Learning Behaviour In A Vocabulary Learning Call Program
Dr. Wafa Al-Muzaiel - 2002
Using computers in the language classroom: The effects of computer-based exercises on students' strategies and attitudes, and the effects of computer-based training on teachers' attitudes
Dr. Koichi Kusama - 2002
The Bilingual Method in CALL Software: the Role of L1 in CALL Software for Reading
Dr. Chung-Hyun Lee - 1997
The Use of Media Technology in Foreign Language Teaching and Learning at University Level: A Study of teachers' attitudes in Korea
RESEARCH PHDs - Missing, presumed having a good time
Porntip Bodeepongse
A reflective approach to training Thai teachers to use computer-assisted language learning

INTEGRATED PHDs - Completed

Dr. Suliman Alnasser - 2013
A New Form of Peer Feedback Technique: An Investigation into the Impact of Focusing Saudi ESL Learners on Macro Level Writing Features
Dr. Heejin Chang - 2012
The development of collaborative learning practices in an online language course
Dr. Ali Alshahrani - 2011
Preparing ESL students for university level writing: The influence of using an electronic portfolio as a learning tool on ESL students' writing motivational constructs and performance
Dr. Erin Bidlake - 2010
Going solo: case-studies of learners grappling with self-instructed CALL
Dr. Khaled El-Ebyary - 2010
Computer-Based Feedback On Students' Written Work: The Washback Impact On Students And On Formative Assessment Practices
Dr. Navaporn Sanprasert - 2009
Using a computer-based content management system to encourage autonomous learning in an English language course
Dr. Ali Elmojahed - 2007
The Impact of Using Authentic Written Texts on Teaching Reading in EFL at English Departments in Libyan Universities
Dr. Dongyue Liu - 2005
An investigation of self-reported EFL learning strategy use and six factors affecting their use among a group of Chinese Technological Institute English majors
ABSTRACTS : RESEARCH PHDs - In progress
Rola Naeb
Using User-Behaviour Tracking Technology to Investigate Focus on Form(s) and Meaning in a Technology- Enhanced Language Learning Environment

Despite decades of Instructed Second Language Acquisiton research, there is still a dearth of research on the applicability of findings in different learning environments, particularly self-accessed technology-enhanced environments (TELL). In ISLA, types of input available in the classroom can be categorized as Focus on Meaning (FoM), Focus on Form (FoF) and Focus on FormS (FoS), (Doughty & Williams 1998). In traditional classrooms, research indicates superiority of FoF and FoS (Spada & Tomita 2008, 2010). The question still remains, though, of which type of input is most effective in TELL. One assumption about TELL is that it enhances input quantity and quality. That is, input is delivered in greater quantity and when the learner can make best use of it, better quality. Moreover, the type of interaction in TELL (human-software) is different to classroom interaction (human-human). Such differences are likely to affect both the learner’s output (product) and the learner’s behaviour during learning (process). A study of 71 ESL learners, divided into three groups, was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of FOM, FOF, and FoS in a TELL

Learner performance on a construction selected for its difficulty for L2 learners of English (indirect speech) was taken as a measure of intake. Data on patterns of behaviour were obtained through log files to gauge participants’ awareness of form during task completion.

Results revealed that all learners improved their performance on the construction selected after the treatment. However, the FoF group outperformed the other two groups. In terms of the contributing factors, task type, modality of input, processing time and number of trials were identified as effective factors. Contrary to what studies of classroom learners have shown, learners in the FoF and FoS groups chose not to focus on form even when they were stuck. They mostly behaved instead like FoM learners. This behaviour vitiates the effectiveness of FoF or FoS in a TELL environment. The behaviour of one learner from each group was examined to arrive at a more nuanced picture of these differences. These three learners exhibited flip-flop behaviour where they kept switching between items. However, the FoS learner showed a more confident route which, however, resulted in lower attainment. The FoM learner displayed a more confused route. Finally the FoF learner showed a mixed pattern that ultimately led to better attainment on the target construction.

ABSTRACTS : RESEARCH PHDs - Completed
Laila Rumsey - 2013
Shedding Light on the Predictive Validity of an Institutional Placement Test in Predicting Success in Subject Areas other than English Language.

This study aims at shedding light on the use of English proficiency exams as placement tests and their viability as predictors of future academic performance. Most predictive validity studies achieve correlation coefficients in the range of 0.20-0.30 (In 1988, Davies suggested that 0.30 was an acceptable correlation for predictive validity studies.) when such exam results are compared with final course marks and/or GPAs, meaning that the results of language proficiency exams tend to have limited usefulness in admissions decisions. The Common Educational Proficiency Assessment (CEPA) is the focus of this research project. The results of the CEPA form a major part of admissions criteria for tertiary institutions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The CEPA has been reported to have achieved very high correlations (i.e. 0.699 in 2007) when compared to final first semester marks. This study examined this phenomenon at a large, vocational college. In addition, it identified factors which may also contribute to the success of the UAE CEPA as a placement instrument. The efficacy of using regionally-produced exams rather than internationally produced ones to not only gauge linguistic competence, but also to predict future success in an English readiness programme (required before matriculating) is considered. It is hoped that the results of the study may lead to improved predictive validity for regionally or locally produced placement tests at other institutions.

Dr. Fred Wu - 2011
A study of the construction and validation of rating scales simultaneous interpretation assessment: what raters really pay attention to.

A substantial amount of research work has been done on the quality assurance of conference interpreting, yielding useful guidelines for the selection and training of interpreters. However, the field of assessment in interpreter training within the educational context is still under-researched. Many interpreter trainers and researchers have pointed out some urgent issues to be addressed in the assessment of interpreting. Among them, the issues surrounding the test validity and reliability are most in need of clarification. There are observed fluctuations among the judgements of interpreter examiners that cause concerns. This study tackled this complex subject by firstly exploring what the examiners are really paying attentions to when assessing student interpreters, in the hope that better test instrument can be developed to improve the assessment of interpreting.

Thirty examiners, who are mostly based in Taiwan -- some with substantial interpreting experience and some with less, were invited as study subjects to participate in a simulation of simultaneous interpreting exam. Thurstone's Paired Comparison Method was employed to monitor the consistency level of the subject examiners' judgements. Cluster analysis was used to explore and identify patterns of the examiners' judgement results, which is used as a framework for qualitative analysis on the examiners' verbal comments when they were comparing the student interpreters' performances. By using the Open Coding principle, examiners' comments were scrutinised line by line to identify concepts that relate to the examiners' use of assessment criteria.

Five judgement patterns emerged and seven categories of concepts in judging interpreting performances were identified. The judgement results, i.e. rankings of student interpreters, vary from patter to pattern. In this study, examiners with less interpreting experiences appear to be more consistent in their judgements than those with more experiences in interpreting. The examiners may be using the same assessment criteria, but there are variations in the way how the criteria are used, such as attaching different weightings to a criterion. Factors like professional backgrounds and personal preferences in the delivery style, etc. will affect the way the examiners weigh the assessment criteria. Market-oriented interpreters tend to emphasise more on the importance of delivery style, whereas interpreter trainers in universities tend to consider more criteria before they can make a decision. In the conclusion chapter, some prototype norms of interpreting examiners' judgements are proposed based on the findings. At the end, implications of the study method are discussed and suggestions are made for future studies in this area.

Dr. Josephine Pei-Lun Kao - 2010
Fostering Foreign Language Learning Among Less Successful Learners: Exploring The Role Of Self-Directed Multimedia Learning Environment
Multimedia CD-ROM based materials are widely used for self-directed language learning purposes, but their use remains an under-researched topic in the field of computer-assisted language learning (CALL). Previous research on successful foreign language learners shows a significant correlation between success in learning a foreign language and individual traits. This study therefore examines the learning processes of less successful learners in self-directed multimedia language learning environments and the impact on individual traits.

Viewing self-directed multi-media language learning as a social practice, rather than an instructional tool for learning a foreign language, this exploratory study attempts to understand how participants are involved with human-computer and human-human interaction and how the processes reconstruct individual traits in self-directed multimedia learning environments. Factors such as multi-media features, non-multi-media settings (e.g. peers, the instructor, and reflective activities) learners' beliefs and affective status are considered.

The study recruited twelve university students in northern Taiwan, who were low achievers in foreign language (FL) learning and who displayed foreign language anxiety symptoms such as low self-confidence, high FL anxiety and lack of intrinsic motivation. The self-study course lasted for one academic year and the data collection period lasted for two years. The research approach is qualitative, combining intensive interviews, learning diaries, observation, debriefings and inductive data analysis.

The focus of this study is an exploration of the participants' initial perceptions of multi-media environments and non-multi-media factors and their impact, an investigation of problems and challenges encountered and how the participants' coped with these, as well as an examination of the perceived impact of the multimedia learning experience on the learning of English and other subjects. The findings suggest that, in addition to the mixed but mostly positive impression and attitudes at the initial stages, there were major challenges associated with technical aspects, managing learning and coping with language learning tasks, as the participants strived to learn the target language using various methods and strategies they developed through the interaction with computers and other participants. The results reveal active, struggling, complex and rewarding processes that were constantly affected by a variety of factors: multimedia features, peers, the instructor, and learners' individual traits, especially motivation, self-confidence, strategy use and beliefs about learning.

Specifically, the unique feature of this study is that it documents the learning processes at different stages and the multi-layered and changing nature of factors when learners were faced with different tasks. The results also demonstrate the essential and complex role of peers and the instructor in helping the learners reconstruct their individual traits and in providing scaffolding to reach the ZPD. The process appeared to have a profound impact on the participants in this study and has implications for language researchers or practitioners who intend to employ multimedia for individual use. They should find it useful to consider the problems and challenges learners encountered at the different stages in this study, and the importance of offering both a reflective and social language learning context to facilitate self-directed learning.
Dr. Kelly Cheng-yi Chang - 2008
The relationship between individual learning styles and learning strategies in electronic materials for practicing EFL listening

The aim of this research was to test the matching hypothesis in terms of whether learners who learn English as a foreign language (EFL) would produce better results in their EFL listening when they were provided with computer-assisted language learning (CALL) listening materials which were thought to be suitable for their learning styles, compared to when they were provided with CALL listening materials which were thought to be not suitable for their learning styles. Three consecutive studies were designed for the research with a follow-up interview, which was conducted to seek in-depth clarifications of and possible explanations for the findings from the last study.

The first study involved quantitative research which employed two questionnaires, a learning style questionnaire (Cognitive Style Index (CSI)) and a learning strategy questionnaire (Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL)). Both of the questionnaires were adapted and revised to ensure their reliability and validity with 62 subjects in the pilot study. In the main study, the questionnaires were collected from 118 subjects. The subjects' learning styles were categorised as 'intuitive', 'neutral' and 'analytical', and the listening strategies were categorised as 'metacognitive', 'memory', 'cognitive', 'learning reinforcement' and 'elaborating and contextualising'. The results indicated that the learners' learning styles were significantly related to their 'metacognitive' strategy use.

The second study involved qualitative research for which a computer listening program - Mimi 1 was designed with embedded tracking codes, which recorded the participants' using behaviours and their entered data. In order to provide more reliable and valid data, the data were also collected from another two sources, the observations and the retrospective interviews, which were used to triangulate the findings. The results indicated that the metacognitive strategies applied in the CALL context were similar to those applied in the traditional EFL contexts. Furthermore, the results also indicated that the neutral learners were better metacognitive strategy users because of their better listening performance, compared to those of the analytical learners and the intuitive learners.

The third study investigated learners' listening progress after using CALL listening materials which were thought to be suitable and not suitable for their learning styles. 90 subjects (30 analytical, 30 neutral and 30 intuitive learners) were recruited following a Latin Square Sequence experimental design. The CALL listening materials comprised three kinds of treatments - various CALL functions, different question types and the metacognitive listening strategy guidance. The results showed that in the matching cases, the intuitive learners made the most progress using the materials which were thought to be suitable for them and, on the contrary, the analytical learners made the least progress; and in the mismatching cases, the intuitive learners made the most progress even with materials which were thought to be not suitable for their learning styles and, on the contrary, the analytical learners and the neutral learners did not made progress as much as the intuitive learners.

Dr. Mihye Harker - 2004
The Linguistic Proficiency of Korean English Teachers: an investigation of self-assessment procedures and self-directed learning tasks using video

The issue of non-native speaker language teachers' linguistic proficiency has been of interest to many parties concerned with language teaching and learning. Nevertheless, very little research has been carried out into teachers' linguistic proficiency in general, and into their spoken proficiency in particular.

The current study is intended to answer the question 'how proficient do Korean English teachers perceive themselves to be in English, and is there a way of helping these teachers improve their English without having to attend classes?'. First of all, teachers' linguistic proficiency was measured principally by self-assessment tests, since self-assessment is less threatening to teachers and useful in that it can help teachers become aware of their own weaknesses and eventually lead them to try to overcome those weaknesses. Data was gathered on the teachers' self-assessed linguistic proficiency, their confidence in using English, the proportion of time they spent using English in class, and the major factors influencing these. The major focus was on spoken proficiency, and so data was gathered by means of language tests, which was then compared with teachers' self-assessment results. The need and motivation for improvements in linguistic proficiency were confirmed. Techniques for improving linguistic proficiency were investigated, including teachers' reactions to various techniques.

Materials based on video were prepared for use in case studies for the purpose of improving teachers' spoken language proficiency. Video materials were judged to be a practical alternative to stays in an English speaking country because they can expose teachers to recorded instances of the target language usage. The video materials were used over a semester to improve the teachers' language either directly, or indirectly through their preparing the materials for use in class. The effect of the video materials on the teachers' English was then investigated by comparing self-assessment and other test scores for spoken proficiency, before beginning to use the video materials, and after they had finished using the materials.

The survey results showed that most teachers rated their English proficiency as not high with more than half of the respondents showing their lack of confidence in using English, and about 70% stating that they used English less than 50% of the time in class. The results of using video materials indicated that video materials could help improve the teachers' proficiency in the spoken language with higher post-test scores than pre-test scores.

This study has implications for practical applications in language teaching and learning, and teacher training. The results also suggest that video materials can be effective in language classes, for self-study, and on teacher training courses. In addition, the results suggest that further larger scale investigations into teachers' language improvement will be worth carrying out. Further investigation into the importance of improving the linguistic proficiency of trainee teachers in teacher training will also be worthwhile.

Dr. Eddy Moran - 2003
The Relationship Between Metacognitive Knowledge Of Learning English As A Foreign Language And Learning Behaviour In A Vocabulary Learning Call Program

This investigation comprised two studies aimed at identifying the relationship, if any, between beliefs about the formal or functional nature of learning English as a foreign language and learning behaviour in a CALL vocabulary learning hypertext program. Two measurement tools were developed. A questionnaire was developed to measure beliefs of a general nature about the task of learning a foreign language, definition of the formal-functional components of language learning activities, and beliefs about the efficacy of the same language activities. This was done to observe the correlations, if any, between formal-functional bias in general beliefs and preferences for specific activities which respondents have previously defined in formal-functional terms. A hypertext program was also developed. This program consisted of vocabulary learning materials with code built into the programming which recorded user interaction in log files. Using the logged data, general beliefs and beliefs about the efficacy of language learning activities could then be compared with preference for inductive and deductive learning, passive and productive practice, and effort invested in the task as measured by the number of screens accessed and time spent on the task.

The two studies making up the investigation consisted of a pilot study to test the questionnaire and a main study, combining the questionnaire and software. The Main Study was done in four stages with the first three stages being used to pilot the software and the final stage functioning as the source of data on subject behaviour. Questionnaire data was compared with the logged data and post-hoc interviews served to triangulate the logged data. A qualitative analysis of subject behaviour in the CALL program was also carried out.

Main findings for questionnaire data were that formal-functional bias in general beliefs may be related to preference for formal or functional activities. Beliefs regarding knowledge of target language culture or learning context may be more closely related to formal-functional preferences than beliefs regarding grammar or vocabulary. Regarding correlational relationships with logged data, beliefs appeared to be less important than prior knowledge of target vocabulary. Subjects showed a consistent pattern of variation of preferences according to level of prior knowledge while effort invested showed a bell-shaped curve with increasing prior knowledge. Formal-Functional biases in general beliefs had correlational relationships with effort invested, but the direction of the relationships varied according to the belief.

The main conclusions were that the pattern of interaction suggested subjects were acting autonomously. In exercising this autonomy, they were influenced by their beliefs, but level of prior knowledge of the task was more important in determining how they learned or practised the target vocabulary. Regarding pedagogical implications, it was argued that the formal-functional distinction has little pedagogical value in terms of understanding language learners. Finally, it was concluded that this research has shown that language learners' metacognitive knowledge of the task of language learning is a resource which teachers ignore at their peril.

Dr. Wafa Al-Muzaiel - 2002
Using computers in the language classroom: The effects of computer-based exercises on students' strategies and attitudes, and the effects of computer-based training on teachers' attitudes

This thesis investigates the integration of computers into the curriculum. The research questions focus on the effectiveness of using computer-based materials in a university language course; on changes in students' and teachers' attitudes as a result of using this new medium; and on the identification of students' learning strategies when computers are used. The effects of training teachers to use computers are also investigated. 

The context of the study is an attempt to encourage the use of computers in English language teaching and learning at the University of Kuwait. This involved introducing computer-based exercises to the students and teachers in the English Language Unit (ELU) in the Faculty of Science. Among the issues that needed to be addressed was first, how computer-based exercises could help the learners to overcome the difficulties they have in L2 writing. To investigate this, computerised materials were adapted from an ELU writing course. These were then used to explore students' cognitive, metacognitive and social strategies when learning with the computer. The second main area of investigation was the students' attitudes towards computers and computer-based exercises, and how their attitudes affected the strategies they used.  And, finally, the study investigated how teachers could be trained to use computers, as well as their attitudes towards the use of computers, towards the training courses, and towards writing their own materials using available authoring programs. 

The study made use of quantitative and qualitative research instruments including case studies, observations, questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, and was based mainly on Action Research techniques. These were used to carry out 11 case studies at the University of Newcastle and the University of Kuwait. Among the topics investigated were how writing and reading strategies are affected by the use of computers for learning, and how the learner controls his/her own learning. Other case studies focused on identifying the learners' opinions on the advantages and limitations of computer-based activities as a learning tool. The teachers' case studies focused on their attitudes towards participating in a computer-training course, and towards writing computer materials and using them in class.

The investigation found evidence that a number of the cognitive strategies used were the same in both paper- and computer-based exercises. However, one was identified that appeared to be unique to computer-based exercises, and was given the name of a 'screen effects strategy', because it was related to the way in which learners made use of the help facilities that were available on-screen while they were completing the computer-based exercises. The investigation of teachers' and learners' attitudes showed evidence of generally favourable attitudes towards using computer-based exercises. The wide variety of learning strategies suggests evidence of an autonomous approach to learning. The findings also have implications for the conversion of materials from a paper-based to a computer-based form.

The results suggest that computer-based exercises can create a positive learning environment, and that it is practical for teachers to develop the skills necessary to prepare their own computer-based materials using authoring programs. However, sufficient training must be provided, including the time needed for the teachers to prepare the materials, and co-operation is needed among the authorities involved in administering teaching programs and resources. Recommendations are made concerning possible practical applications of the findings.

Dr. Koichi Kusama - 2002
The Bilingual Method in CALL Software: the Role of L1 in CALL Software for Reading

At most Japanese secondary schools English is taught as a foreign language using the 'Yakudoku Method', in which English is taught by translating reading texts and the learner's L1 is used almost exclusively as the medium of instruction. This study aimed to investigate the effect of using the L1 as a medium of instruction on how well English was learnt by students using CALL reading software which simulates the typical classroom instruction situation.

This study used two types of software: a reading program with an on-line dictionary and explanations of grammar and so on, which the learners can access when they want, and a cloze exercise program with on-line hints to fill in the blanks. To investigate the role of the L1, both types of program have an English (L2) only version and a bilingual version, in which the learner can select Japanese (L1) or English messages. In addition, in order to investigate the influence of learning styles upon CALL, this study partly replicated Chapelle's and Green's (1992) study by investigating the influence of the two learning styles, field-dependence/independence and tolerance of ambiguity, on learning English on the computer.

Two main studies were conducted: a one-year-long longitudinal study with two high school students, and a quantitative study with 186 students. In the longitudinal study think-aloud protocols and log-files were used to identify how they were using the software and why. In the quantitative study, based on a two (languages) x two (program types) design, subjects were divided into four groups.

The results tend to suggest that using reading type software and allowing the use of the L1 is more effective in promoting vocabulary learning and comprehending the reading texts than using cloze type software and restricting the use of the L2.

Dr. Chung-Hyun Lee - 1997
The Use of Media Technology in Foreign Language Teaching and Learning at University Level: A Study of teachers' attitudes in Korea

Despite the potential and increased availability of media technology, including advanced technologies such as computers and CD‑ROM multimedia, teachers' actual use of technology, and particularly of the advanced technologies, in FLT/L in higher education in Korea still tends to be limited. The purposes of this study were, therefore: 1) to investigate the current patterns and contexts of teachers' (and for reference, students') use of media technology and their attitudes towards its use in FLT/L at university level in Korea; 2) to examine the cause of problems and the possibilities of improvement in its use in FLT/L; and 3) based on these findings, to suggest some solutions and strategies for applying them to the Korean context.

Quantitative and qualitative research methods were adopted, i.e. questionnaires, interviews, and classroom observations were used to collect the data required for this study. The subjects consisted of forty‑eight teachers who teach English (and 535 students) at twelve universities in the central districts in Korea . In addition, workshop based experiments were carried out to gather additional data on teachers' opinions and to evaluate the implications of the study.

This study shows that the majority of Korean teachers (and students) have positive attitudes towards the use of media technology in FLT/L, with generally no significant gender and years of teaching experience (and academic years) differences, although they make little use of it. The study suggests that the availability of media technology equipment and appropriate materials in particular, teachers' knowledge of it, and proper teacher training have a positive impact on teachers' attitudes towards its use, and are, in addition to their positive attitudes, the other main factors influencing its successful implementation in FLT/L. It is concluded that to provide the teachers with sufficient knowledge of the capabilities of media technology and to encourage wider use, more access to hardware and software is necessary, and training to familiarise teachers with the hardware and software and its potential for language teaching is essential. Therefore, suggestions are made for the effective use of existing facilities, and for a model that could be adopted for teacher training courses.

ABSTRACTS : INTEGRATED PHDs - In progress

Chia-Lin Kuo
The Effectiveness of Integrating Computer Based Feedback (CBF) into a University-Level ESL Writing Curriculum

Formative peer assessment isa practice with great potential in the context of EFL English writing teaching. However, the difficulty of applying peer assessment in teaching has attracted the attention of several researchers (e.g. Min, 2005; Hu, 2005; Zhu, 1998) who have proposed different training methods to improve the effectiveness of peer assessment in classroom. The author reviewed the literatures along with her empirical experiments to identify the gap between the current research and the ideal practice. First, the theoretical basis of the effectiveness of these peer assessment training methods is not clearly explained. Secondly, the effective training results are mainly supported by quantitative results, details of interaction in the training was not presented. Last but not least, there is a lack of investigation on the student’s opinions, perceptions and attitudes towards the peer assessment training.
Bernstein’s (1996) socio-cultural learning theory was reviewed and used as the basis of theoretical framework of this research. The peer assessment training process is then analysed with socio-cultural factors such as classification and framing. The author carried out a quasi-experimental study of peer assessment training using two college EFL writing classes from a Taiwanese university to examine the effectiveness of a training method proposed by Min (2005). Quantitative results of student’s written work and peer feedback quality confirmed the findings by Min (2005). However, a detailed analysis of the interaction between teachers and students provided the author with complex indications according to the socio-cultural theory. Moreover, the analysis of student’s opinions, perceptions and attitudes towards the peer assessment training also showed a new perspective on the training results, painting a much more sophisticated picture of formative peer assessment than expected.
Based on an analysis of the results, the author identified deficiencies in Min’s training method. and in work by Hu, (2005) and Zhu, (1998). Due to the complexity of the peer assessment training, it was concluded that no single approach to peer assessment training is likely to be universally effective. Any approach to training has to flexible and capable of modification to meet the needs of any particular group of students. In order to maximise the likelihood that training in peer-assessment will be effective, socio-cultural factors such as framing and classificationshould be carefully considered when the training is being planned, in order to improve the quality of classroom interaction and student’s identity construction. Ideally, the training should be able to prepare the students with the skills, strategies and motivation to perform a peer assessment task. The students would be highly autonomous as a peer reviewer in peer assessment.

AhmedAlghamdi
The Academic and Professional Language Needs of Saudi undergraduate students in an English Language Programme: A Cyclical Evaluation Model (CEM)

The main purpose of this study was to investigate an English language course which did not seem to be achieving the results which the stakeholders expected of it. The impetus for the research was therefore the need to find ways of identifying the deficiencies in the course and to suggest possible solutions that might rectify those deficiencies. Existing approaches to language programme evaluation were considered, including Kiely and Rea-Dickins’ (2005) programme evaluation model, Lynch’s (1996) context-adaptive model and Nunan’s (2001) course evaluation framework. However, some models did not include features that were considered essential for this study, such as needs analysis, whereas other models focused too specifically on individual skills. The current model was created by combining and adapting features from a number of different models; in addition, a cyclical iterative element was introduced, allowing various stages in the evaluation process to be revisited in order to refine the evaluation. This study set out to use the resulting cyclical evaluation model (CEM) to examine an English language programme at a university in Saudi Arabia. A mixed-methods approach was employed, involving both quantitative and qualitative (naturalistic) data and data analysis. Participants included business students (n = 254), language teachers (n = 20), business lecturers (n = 3) and private sector representatives (n = 5). Analysis of data from numerous sources (questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and classroom observations) indicated differences among the stakeholders in relation to perceptions of academic and professional needs, but in general it was clear that the English language programme in its current form is not meeting the stakeholders’ language needs. The CEM provided the means of identifying those needs and the failure of the programme to meet those needs. It also provided a mechanism whereby possible solutions could be identified and applied, and the changes evaluated using the iterative process built into the model.

Zahra Amir
The Effects of Hypermedia Annotations on Young Kuwaiti EFL Learners’ Vocabulary Recall and Reading Comprehension

Although there is a wealth of literature exploring the benefits of annotations on vocabulary learning and reading comprehension, very little exists on whether this tool is useful to young learners.  Research with adults suggests that annotations can be problematic for those with lower cognitive abilities.  Since children’s working memory capacity is naturally lower than adults’, one cannot extrapolate the positive research findings to young learners.  It is, therefore, necessary to examine the effects of annotations using a theoretical framework and research design suitable for this age group. 

This study investigates the impact of annotations on young learners’ immediate vocabulary recall and reading comprehension.  The research was conducted on 112 Kuwaiti EFL learners studying in public schools at year 4.  An experimental research approach was adopted using two treatment groups and one control.  A within-subjects design was set in place with a counterbalance method whereby all participants sat for three reading conditions: Treatment A (Picture + L2 audio), Treatment B (Picture + L1 translation) and control (no annotations).  Quantitative data were gathered using pre-tests, post-tests and software log files.  Qualitative data were gathered through focus groups which took place during the last week of the experiment.

The findings suggest that reading with annotations promotes immediate vocabulary recall but does not affect reading comprehension either positively or negatively.  Results also showed that participants’ performance improved in the control condition and a deeper investigation into this revealed that inferencing strategies were used in the absence of annotations.  These strategies were only successful, however, for the groups of participants who read in the control condition after being exposed to one or two treatment conditions.  This demonstrates an awareness of task and the adoption of a change in strategy.  Qualitative data from the focus group indicated that the participants may have experienced some disorientation while reading with annotations, but quantitative data from pre-tests and post-tests did not substantiate these claims.  It was, therefore, hypothesised that participants exerted an extra mental effort which compensated for any disorientation.  Further research is needed to verify whether this is the case.

Mamdouh Alswayegh
The Effective of Integrating Computer Based Feedback (CBF) into a University-Level ESL Writing Curriculum

Writing seems to be a difficult task, and numerous people seem to have concern in expressing ideas (Widdowson, 1983). Particularly if English is not the first language of the writer (Widdowson, 1983). Carlson et al (1985) argue that a definition of the writing construct will differ from one context to another. Therefore, it is “defined by the specific task demand within the particular situation in which, and for which, writing ability is being assessed.”
Feedback on writing has long been regarded as crucial for the development of second language (L2) writing skills, both for its expectations for learning and for student motivation (Hyland & Hyland, 2006). There is extensive research on means of providing effective feedback. Several L2 research show that teacher feedback is not effective for learners in their later writings (Kepner, 1991; Rob, Ross, & Shortreed, 1986; Semke, 1984; Truscott, 1996, 1999). Yet, some research have revealed conflicting findings establishing the usefulness of feedback (Cohen & Cavalcanti, 1990; Ferris, 1995, 1997; Ferris & Roberts, 2001; Goldstein, 2004; Hyland, 1998). Developments in writing teaching and understandings added from research studies have changed feedback norms, with teacher based feedback (TBF) now frequently joined with other forms such as computer based feedback (CBF).
Earlier research have examined different features of feedback and its usefulness in L2 writing, features such as explicit versus implicit feedback, positive versus negative feedback and form versus content feedback (Ferris & Robert, 2001; Hyland & Hyland, 2001; Ferris, 1999; Hyland, 2003; Truscott, 1996; 1999; 2007). Other research on feedback and revision go over students’ preferences and their reactions to teacher feedback (Cohen, 1987; Dheram, 1995; Hedgcock & Lefkowitz, 1994, 1996; Leki, 1991), the focus of teacher feedback (Cohen & Cavalcanti, 1990; Fathman & Whalley, 1990), the effects of written feedback on revisions (Chaudron, 1984; Truscott, 1996), and the types of responses to student writing (Goldstein & Conrad, 1990; Patthey-Chavez & Ferris, 1997).
ESL research on the efficiency of computer based feedback (CBF) on student writing are few, and then there are inconsistent findings. One of the ways of CBF is the development of sophisticated software capable of scanning student texts and generating immediate evaluative comments on them. Different types of feedback are offered by such programmes, ranging from individual reports on grammatical errors (Liou, 1994; Warden & Chen, 1995), to holistic assessments of content, organization, and mechanics (Burstein, 2010).
Such programmes are fairly new and their role on the development of L2 writing has yet to be evaluated, some CBF programmes have been criticized for being unreliable (Krishnamurthy, 2005) and realising poor pedagogic principles (Chapelle, 2001), so whether the statistical techniques they use can provide useful feedback on L2 writing is an open question (Hearst, 2000). While some studies present favourable results with favourable outcomes for both teachers and students (El Ebyary & Windeatt, 2010; Coniam, 2009; Hutchison, 2007).
With the technological advances, studies on CBF in writing have expanded lately (Burstein, 2009; El ebyary & Windeatt, 2010; Denton et al, 2008; Huang, 1995; Li, 2002; Warschauer &Ware, 2006) and have exerted an increasing influence on the writing instruction. However, to the best of my knowledge, no research has been conducted on the effect of using CBF along with TBF inside the classroom while looking at the nature of comments that CBF provides, the perceptions of students about the use of CBF before and after its implementation and the results achieved with such use. This study will try to fill this gap in the research. The research was conducted on 46 Saudi Arabian undergraduate students in their second year of an English degree course. This project involved both quantitative and qualitative methods to analyse the data. The data were gathered over 15 weeks and an experimental design was used with two groups each had 23 students. The study investigated the similarities and differences between TBF and CBF through analysis of students’ written text. Also, the experimental group students were asked, in a pre- and post-questionnaire about their perceptions of a range of issues all related to feedback in an ESL writing session, particularly towards teacher and computer based feedback (TBF & CBF). The research used a pre- and post-test to measure the effects of introducing CBF to an experimental group, as opposed to a control group whose members are exposed only to TBF to see if the performance will differ as a result of the type of feedback students will receive. At the end semi-structured individual interviews with randomly selected members of the experiment group were conducted to complement the findings.

The findings suggest that both treatments can have a significant impact on the overall quality of learners’ writing, with the TBF resulting in significantly better quality. Despite these findings, the learners showed a strong preference for conventional TBF, suggesting they have difficulty in accepting the new treatment. It is likely that this transfer effect may be found in other contexts with a similar approach to teaching writing; further research is needed in order to test this hypothesis. In addition, in this study, the participants did not have the chance to see how much better they performed in their post-test, which raises the question of whether or not their views would have changed if they had.
Sandra Morales Rios
Teacher training for CALL in the 'digital native' era: Examining L2 teachers' transformation for effective online facilitation
TBA
Jaber Maslamani
Collaborative reading tasks on the tabletop computer

TBA

Haifa Albadry
Can a well-designed teacher-guided EFL course, delivered via the iPad device, enhance learners’ autonomous language learning?
TBA
Xueting Ma
The application of Self-Organized Learning Environments (SOLEs) in a junior high school in China

TBA

Hadeel Awad
The impact of integrated and split-attention online reading formats on building adult RSL learners' vocabulary knowledge

TBA

INTEGRATED PHDs-Completed

Dr. Suliman Alnasser - 2013
A New Form of Peer Feedback Technique: An Investigation into the Impact of Focusing Saudi ESL Learners on Macro Level Writing Features

Although many researchers have explored the use of Peer Feedback (PF) in writing (e.g., Hu & Lam, 2010), several have reported concerns with this technique, such as a tendency to shift most of the attention to micro features (e.g., mechanics, vocabulary) while giving little attention to macro features such as organisation and coherence (e.g., Van Steendam et al., 2010), even though macro features can be argued to be a highly important aspect of good writing (Truscott, 1996). This is one of the factors that have led researchers (e.g., Gielen et al., 2010b) to propose forms of this technique in which emphasis is placed on particular aspects of the PF process. This study introduces one such form of PF technique which requires learners to focus on macro features in writing and the teacher to focus on micro features, in order to give learners more time to critique essays at a macro level while receiving micro level FB from a reliable source. The study investigates the impact of the introduced form on: learners' motivation to use PF and to learn writing; learners' attitudes towards PF and towards writing; learners' linguistic progress, and learners' preference for giving and receiving macro and/or micro level feedback when practising PF technique. The research was conducted on 41 Saudi Arabian undergraduate students in their final year of an English degree course. An action research approach was adopted using a one-group design, with the PF activities divided into two consecutive phases. During the first phase, subjects practised the conventional use (i.e, providing PF on macro and micro features) of this technique (T1), while during the second phase they practised the new form of the technique (T2). The data were gathered over 15 weeks from pre-, mid- and post-tests; pre-, mid- and post-questionnaires; mid- and post-interviews; field notes; documentary evidence, and recording of several verbal protocol sessions.

The findings suggest that both treatments can have a significant impact on the overall quality of learners' writing, with the second treatment resulting in significantly better quality. Despite these findings, the learners showed a strong preference for conventional PF, suggesting they have difficulty in accepting the prohibition from providing PF on micro features owing to a negative transfer effect from their previous experience of approaches to teaching writing, which placed a great emphasis on the importance of micro features. It is likely that this transfer effect may be found in other contexts with a similar approach to teaching writing; further research is needed in order to test this hypothesis. In addition, in this study, the participants did not have the chance to see how much better they performed in their post-test, which raises the question of whether or not their views would have changed if they had.

Dr. Heejin Chang - 2012
The development of collaborative learning practices in an online language course

The success or failure of a course is dependent to a greater or lesser extent on the level of motivation and commitment of the learners, which can be difficult to establish and to maintain, especially in an on-line course. Social relations within a class, and the willingness of learners to collaborate with each other, have an important role to play, but the constraints of time and distance are obstacles to fostering such social relations among students enrolled in on-line courses. It is not easy to encourage students to be collaborative when they are accessing the course at different times, from different locations. This thesis, however, seeks to demonstrate that the variety and complexity of the technologies used to deliver an on-line learning experience can help to overcome these challenges. When introduced and used in appropriate ways, the software, internet tools, even the data collection program used for statistical analysis can actually encourage and enhance participants' motivation to interact and learn in collaborative ways.

This thesis is concerned with an on-line course created and delivered by the researcher, the aim of which was to foster a collaborative learning environment in which participants felt confident enough to share their work with others, and to offer and receive comments on their assignments. The primary aim was therefore not the direct teaching and learning of language, but the fostering of an environment in which the students felt comfortable working with the technology and with each other, as a pre-requisite for the acquisition of language through content-based activities. The study did not dwell on the effects of collaboration on language development but focused, rather, on how individual students collaborate in an online, e-learning course, what forms this collaboration takes, and how the pattern of collaboration changes as the course progresses. This focus allowed the researcher to look at ways collaboration affected the persistence and retention challenges of on-line learning experience.

The course was designed for students learning EFL at a university in Korea. It lasts one semester, and is delivered using a virtual learning environment (VLE) program developed by the university. The course consists of 15 units to be completed at the rate of one a week. Each unit focuses on a different topic and consists of a reading passage and a listening exercise. This is followed by some writing activities, including a weekly written report, and recording assignments. The researcher was the instructor for this course, and made special interventions using appropriate technology (sometimes e-mail, other times Skype to make it more personal) to encourage students to work in pairs, and in group discussions, and to post their work in the VLE so that others could read and comment on it.

The current study reports on the experience of running the course with one group of 47 Korean university students. Data was gathered from the learners' journals, their assignments, feedback and comments posted on the web board, and emails to the instructor. The VLE also recorded statistics showing the students‟ usage of the different components of the course, and how their use of these components changed and fluctuated as the course progressed.

The results showed that in the process of completing the course the majority of the learners reported a strong sense of “belonging” to a learning community, developing a close rapport with other learners by sharing their work, exchanging comments and taking part in discussions. Students felt proud of their work as well as of the process of working together with other learners. In particular, the results suggest that opportunities for social interaction and feedback play a crucial role in developing the emotional connection which helps to create a collaborative learning environment and support an effective learning community.

The evidence suggests that the appropriate use of technology when delivering an on-line course may, in fact, encourage collaboration because of two phenomena that are not always evident in a traditional, place-based classroom. These are anonymity and reciprocity. Anonymity makes it easier for students to share their work and ideas because, if a contribution is embarrassing, it may have less negative effect than in a face-to-face exchange. Reciprocity refers to the natural inclination of a student, having learned from others in the VLE, to give something back to the community.

Dr. Ali Alshahrani - 2011
Preparing ESL students for university level writing: The influence of using an electronic portfolio as a learning tool on ESL students' writing motivational constructs and performance

Thousands of English as a Second Language students in Western universities strive to meet the daily challenge of preparing written assignments. These texts need to comply with the demands and preferences of their university lecturers with regard to clarity of meaning, the logical flow of ideas and the use of an academic vocabulary. However, a characteristic of ESL students' written work is a weakness of content and a lack of logical organisation of their ideas (Roberts and Cimasko 2008). In many intensive English language programmes, students are taught to use the process-writing approach, the success of which is related to how it is perceived and introduced to the students (Lefkowitz 2009). Atkinson (2003) emphasised that the process-writing approach perceives writing to be a cognitive process that is highly private or individualistic, where writers use specific cognitive phases, such as pre-writing, drafting, and revising, to generate their text. However, writing has been increasingly recognized as a socially and culturally situated activity connecting people with each other in ways that carry particular social meanings (Hyland 2003). Despite this view of writing as a social act, Lefkowitz (2009) claimed that many English Language Programme Centres (ELPCs) superficially implement process-writing in class by aiding students in revising their essays to achieve grammatical accuracy; however the generation, formation and revision of ideas are considered to be of less importance.

This study investigates the use of an electronic portfolio (TaskStream e-portfolio) in an ESL writing course as a tool to support students as they work through the key phases of the writing process. The aim was to help them adopt a consistent approach to their writing practice (self-consistency), to encourage a positive view of the value and importance of writing (self-belief), to foster a realistic appraisal of their strengths and weaknesses as writers (self-judgement), and to examine the relationship between these characteristics and the students' overall writing performance. To that end, the study addressed four main questions:

  • Does utilising a web-based learning platform encourage a change in ESLlearners' writing self-belief?

  • Does utilising a web-based learning platform encourage a change in ESLstudents' writing self-efficacy?

  • Does utilising a web-based learning platform encourage ESL students to consistently apply a process approach to writing?

  • Does utilizing a web-based learning platform lead to a change in ESLstudents' overall writing performance?

Using a non-equivalent pre-/post-test quasi-experimental research design, 46 ESL students from the same English Language Centre were recruited. The students were divided into a control group and an experimental group and the study ran during the spring and summer terms of 2010. A mixed methodology was used, consisting of an online questionnaire, writing sampling, online tracking and interviews in order to collect relevant data.

The findings from the pre-test showed no significant differences between the participants in the two groups. The post-intervention results indicated no significant improvement among the control group's motivational constructs and performance in writing, whereas significant differences were found in the experimental group's writing performance and in the students' perceived value with regard to writing, writing self-concept, writing self-efficacy and writing process approach self-consistency, following the implementation of the web-based course. However, no significant differences in ESL students' anxiety about writing were observed.

These findings suggested that e-portfolio software has the potential to promote change in ESLstudents' writing self-belief and performance. Limitations of the study are discussed, implications of the findings explored, and recommendations for further research in this field are suggested.

Dr. Erin Bidlake - 2010
Going solo: case-studies of learners grappling with self-instructed CALL

This thesis reports on an investigation of the use of commercial computerassisted language learning (CALL) programs marketed for self-instruction (i.e. learners working with CALL programs alone, without teacher, classroom, or institutional support). To better understand learning in this context, I conducted 11 case-studies using a primarily qualitative, multi-method design, employing diaries, interviews, observations, and online tracking. Working with one of two commercial CALL programs in one of six languages, the participants logged a total of 96 learning sessions and approximately 75 hours of study between October 2007 and July 2008. Overwhelmingly, participants were disappointed with their CALL programs, and many chose to drop out of the study earlier than planned. Three research questions were proposed for the purposes of this study:

1. What are the experiences of learners working with commercial CALL programs marketed for self-instruction?
2. What common themes emerge as most relevant to shaping these experiences?
3. What are the pedagogical implications of the learners' experiences for CALL theory and program design?

In answer to research question 1, I created case files for the participants, bringing together all of the data collected through the various methods. These case files describe each individual participant's experience from inception to conclusion, highlighting the positive and negative aspects that had the greatest bearing on the final outcomes on a case by case basis. In answer to research question 2, I adopted a grounded theory approach to data analysis and identified five key themes as being most relevant across the entire group of 11 participants (i.e. need for increased selfdiscipline, dealing with technical problems, encountering ambiguity, working outside the program, and questioning the program's ability to teach). In answer to question 3, I used a framework of five criteria for evaluating CALL materials to discuss the key themes in terms of their impact on learner experience with self-instructed CALL and their pedagogical implications for CALL theory and program design. The framework, modified from Chapelle (2001b) addresses issues of learner fit, authenticity, practicality, construct validity, and impact. Pedagogical implications highlight suggestions for improvement and directions for future research and development

Dr. Khaled El-Ebyary - 2010
Computer-Based Feedback On Students' Written Work: The Washback Impact On Students And On Formative Assessment Practices

Several changes have been witnessed over the last few decades in the field of educational assessment in general and in second/foreign language assessment in particular. The change has primarily been caused by the move(s) towards a deeper understanding of how learning takes place which entailed, among other things, a re-conceptualization of the interrelationship between teaching/learning on the one side and assessment on the other. More recently, rigorous claims have maintained that formative assessment is for learning, learning is the characteristic washback of formative assessment. The power involved in such practice emerges from the ongoing student-teacher interactive feedback. However, the challenge of high student populations often entails impediment to instructor-feedback, especially in writing courses. Encouraged by the advance in computer applications to education assessment, various education institutions have devised or adopted certain computer-based feedback (CBF) systems which can be used to generate formative feedback on students' written work.

Writing courses in Alexandria University, in Egypt (the research context for this thesis) are intended to provide opportunities for students to develop their English writing skills including formal and informal style, essays, resumes, cover letters and others. While direct assessment of students' written work is carried out as part of formative assessment, students get very little feedback on their written work (mainly essays), primarily because there are large numbers of students, writing lots of essays, and not many teachers, with not much time. Hence, a general feeling of mistrust and doubt in formative assessment is obvious on the part of students despite the Assessment for Learning claims projected in some course description documents as well as the Student Handbook. In fact, the intended washback such practice should have on students' learning seems unattainable. One possible solution is to provide CBF, but the problem is that the kind of feedback a computer could provide is generally of little help above the word or sentence level. Criterion is a tool that claims to be able to provide automated feedback at word, sentence, paragraph and text level, but there has been little research into the effectiveness of this tool with L2 learners, and no research in the washback such computerized-feedback might enhance. Furthermore, if conventional feedback itself is claimed to be under-conceptualized and under-researched and evidence of how such practice might operate to enhance/impede positive washback (i.e. learning) is yet to be gathered empirically, the same is true of CBF. Thus, the aim of the research is to investigate whether CBF appears to be effective in helping Egyptian learners to improve their writing, and whether it might therefore be a solution to their need for regular and timely formative feedback and as a result would enhance positive washback on students' attitudes and learning behaviour.

However, although washback research has obviously been acknowledged as a strategy to produce improved learning, formative assessment appears not to attract the attention of washback research. The relatively short history of washback research has, in fact, linked such a phenomenon to Alderson and Wall's (1993) hypothesis which stated that 'tests that have important consequences will have washback and conversely tests that have no important consequences will have no washback'. Therefore, washback research attempts, whether those attempting to develop theory for the mechanism under which it operates or investigations of the washback of a particular exam, have always interpreted Alderson and Wall's (1993) important consequence in the light of summative assessment (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, school leaving examination). The paradox therefore between what AfL proponents seem to claim and what washback researchers focus on in practice urges an enquiry about what we mean by important consequences. In other words, do important consequences refer to learning or certification and accountability? Put another way, does learning formulate an important consequence, and if yes, why does formative assessment to which AfL is the characteristic washback have the washback it does have? It is claimed here that the answer to the above question is dependent on two fundamental issues: evaluating actual day-to-day formative feedback practices and understanding the mechanism under which washback is likely to operate in formative assessment.

This thesis therefore proposed a washback model that attempts to deconstruct the complexity of washback in order to explain how instructor-feedback affects formative assessment washback on students and their learning. To deconstruct the complexity of washback, it is important to expand the range of components involved in the washback process and to redefine current models of washback. The proposed model was used to examine and explain the relationship between washback on students and feedback practices in Alexandria University in Egypt. It was also used to investigate the washback that results from the changes in feedback practices through the use of CBF on students' written work. The relationship between the nature of feedback, conventional and computerized, and washback from formative assessment was also be examined and the data obtained was therefore be used to validate the proposed model.

Dr. Navaporn Sanprasert - 2009
Using a computer-based content management system to encourage autonomous learning in an English language course
The present study investigates whether learner autonomy can be realised in a blended learning situation with the integration of a course management system into a traditional face-to-face English class. The investigation is carried out in order to find out whether the intervention brings about changes in the students' perception and practice in relation to their autonomous learning. Methodologically, the research is conducted within both the quantitative and qualitative framework. This research adopts the case study design which employs triangulation and the integration of elements of a quasi-experimental design. The data from four research tools i.e. questionnaire, student learning journals, interviews, and classroom observation are triangulated and amalgamated to guarantee the validity and reliability of the findings. The findings reveal that the course management system plays a prominent role in the creation and development of four aspects of learner autonomy. The four aspects of learner autonomy as manifested in the data set are autonomous perception, autonomous behaviour, autonomous strategy and interdependence.
Dr. Ali Elmojahed - 2007
The Impact of Using Authentic Written Texts on Teaching Reading in EFL at English Departments in Libyan Universities

This thesis investigates the impact of using authentic written texts on teaching reading in an EFL setting, particularly in English departments at Libyan universities. The basic hypotheses underlying the thesis are: (1) The English reading proficiency level of Libyan university students at English departments is very low 2) One of the main reasons for this weakness is the materials currently used in teaching reading, which are inauthentic, old, modified and simplified texts (3) Students' level in English reading proficiency, their vocabulary and familiarity with native speakers' culture can be improved by using up-to-date, authentic texts, which expose students to real language.

The thesis, therefore, describes (1) how data were collected (using a pre-reading comprehension test, semi-structured interviews with teachers, and a pre-questionnaire with students) to investigate the first hypothesis (2) how a course of reading comprehension based on the use of authentic texts was devised, delivered and evaluated, using a post-test and a post questionnaire with students, to investigate the second and third hypotheses.

This study took place in the Department of English, Faculty of Arts, and Education, at Sebha University-Libya where 62 Third-Year Libyan University Students participated in the study. Moreover, seven Libyan University Teachers from the above-mentioned University and from other four Libyan Universities, including Al-Fateh, 7th April, Al-Jabel Algarbi and Al-mergb University participated in the study. Analysis of the obtained data confirmed all three of the hypotheses. The research findings were discussed in relation to similar studies, implications for EFL teachers and learners, and recommendations were made for further studies.

Dr. Dongyue Liu - 2005
An investigation of self-reported EFL learning strategy use and six factors affecting their use among a group of Chinese Technological Institute English majors

This study investigated self-reported EFL learning strategy use among a group of 428 technological institute English majors in China and 6 factors affecting their strategy choices. It focuses on four equally important aspects: range and frequency of self-reported EFL learning strategy use; the role of 6 factors (attitude toward EFL learning, motivational intensity toward EFL learning, age, gender, grade and EFL proficiency) on EFL learning strategy use; how the learners find out about the strategies they can use; and whether the learners change the strategy they use across the years of study in the institute.

Attitude and motivational intensity toward EFL learning were measured by 29 items adapted from Gardner's (1985) Attitude Motivation Test Battery (AMTB). EFL learning strategy use was measured by adapting Oxford's (1990) 50-item Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL, Version, 7.0) and one open-ended question regarding additional EFL learning strategy uses. Data on learners' EFL proficiency was collected by asking learners to provide their previous term's listening and speaking examination scores and self-evaluate their listening and speaking proficiency.

Based on the valid data collected from 379 subjects, it was found that:

(1) On average, the Chinese technological institute English majors reported using a wide range of EFL learning strategies (M=45.55). However, the mean statistic for the overall strategy use (M=3.25) indicates they were only moderately frequent strategy users. Out of the 6 strategy categories, Metacognitive strategies (M =3.74, SD=.64) were the most frequently used, and Memory Strategies (M=2.91, SD= .61) were the least frequently used.

(2) An independent sample t-test reveals statistically significant differences in the range and frequency of strategy use by learners' attitude, motivational intensity and EFL proficiency. Although males and females differ significantly in the range of strategy used, females were found statistically to surpassi males in Memory, Affective and the Overall strategy use. ANOVA and Post Hoc Tukey reveal that the relationship between grade and EFL learning strategy use was a complex one. Age does not seem to play a significant role regarding the range and frequency of strategy use apart from Affective strategies use where younger learners reported using them statistically more frequently than older learners. Stepwise Multiple regression shows that motivational intensity was the best single variable explaining each type of strategy use variance.

(3) The interview data shows that the learners find out about the strategies they can use mainly through their own self-summarization of previous learning experience (64%), from good language learners (61%), and from their high school English teachers (57%).

(4) 74% of the learners interviewed admitted that they change the strategies used as they progress at the institute, and the most obvious change is that they reported using Metacognitive strategies more frequently. The 26% of learners who reported no change in strategy use were all from Grade 3.

The researcher discusses the research findings in the light of the previous relevant empirical studies, and explores its implications for the EFL teachers at the institute. Recommendations for further study are highlighted.

ABSTRACTS : RESEARCH PHDs - Missing, presumed having a good time
Porntip Bodeepongse
A reflective approach to training Thai teachers to use computer-assisted language learning

In the past few decades there have been several changes in the English language teaching. These include the use of CALL (computer-assisted language learning) and other forms of information and communications technology (ICT). Many practitioners are in general agreement on the value or benefits of CALL and ICT in the teaching and learning process. However, they also agree that the teacher is the primary factor in the success or failure of the implementation of CALL and ICT in English language teaching and learning. As a result, there have been increasing attempts to provide teachers with training courses, both as short intensive teacher training courses and extensive postgraduate degree programs.

In Thailand the use of CALL in English language teaching is still in its infancy although teachers have been encouraged to incorporate computers in their teaching. The lack of adequate and appropriate teacher training courses and teachers' misconceptions about the integration of computer in their teaxhing are major causes of their reluctance to use CALL or ICT in their classes. The Western Languages Department, Thaksin University, where I am working has planned to offer a postgraduate degree program in the use of IT in English language teaching to teachers of English in Thailand , especially in the south. Therefore, there is a need to investigate into many aspects of teacher training which will affect the design of the CALL courses and this includes the exploration and recommendation of suitable models of teacher training for CALL which this study aims to focus on.

CALL Module Assignments: CALL 1

The assignments for Semester 1 involve the preparation of web-based language learning materials, accompanied by documentation.

Reading Mazes

Examples of reading mazes written by...

Note that these examples are, with one exception, class exercises, not serious, and not carefully proof-read.

Activity Resources

    Windeatt? What a funny name! I'd change it if I were him!  My wife has a page about the  Windeatt family history.

    For a long time my daughter did not have a Web page, presumably having followed her own advice to me and 'got a life' instead. Recently, however, she seems to have succumbed to the lure of the web as well.

    When I'm not working I like the cinema, music, traveling, walking, eating and drinking.