Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Technology use in California community college ESL classrooms
by Maclean, Heather, Ed.D., Pepperdine University, 2016, 237; 10244713
Abstract (Summary)

The California community college system is the largest in the country and is a crucial part of the higher education system. The ESL population within that system is a significant one in terms of size and needs. In order to successfully educate this population, the language-learning instruction must be appropriate, current, and effective. In today’s technological world, that means it must incorporate the technologies of the modern world in which these community college ESL students live and work. While technology use in language learning and teaching has been the subject of many studies, the use of technologies by community college ESL faculty in credit courses has been less investigated.

The purpose of this study was to investigate technology use within community college credit ESL classes in three areas: (a) the best and most frequently used technologies, (b) the way technologies are used, and (c) the barriers to technology use. The methodology for the study was a modified electronic Delphi survey. Two rounds of the survey were conducted with a panel of experts in order to reach consensus on the areas under investigation.

The study revealed that: (a) the most frequently used technologies in the community college ESL classroom are desktop computers, ESL websites, the Internet, and smartphones; (b) technologies are being used in traditional ways; (c) technologies are being used to teach independent learning and collaboration, and to teach technological skills; (d) technologies are being used to support and enhance the learning environment; (e) the primary barriers to technology use in community college credit ESL courses are training, funding, and time, the State, students’ language abilities, and students’ technology abilities. These findings add to Dobransky’s (2015) recent research on ESL in community colleges and the broader work of Kessler (2013) and Fuchs and Akbar (2013).

The findings of this study may be utilized as a call to further investigation on the practical applications of technology use that is or is not happening in community college ESL classrooms. It may also be utilized to inform and inspire new leadership at all levels within the community college system to set priorities and policies to eliminate barriers to technology use and to broaden technology use to go beyond on-site traditional uses.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sparks, Paul
Commitee: Acosta, Claudia, Goodale, Monica
School: Pepperdine University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 78/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Community college education, English as a Second Language, Educational technology
Keywords: California, College, ESL, Generation 1.5, Leadership, Technology, Training
Publication Number: 10244713
ISBN: 978-1-369-47447-3
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