Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Instructor Views about the Use of Technology in Teaching ESL Writing at the University Level
by Stefano, Ivan, Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2013, 256; 10891758
Abstract (Summary)

The presence of technology in education has affected how the process of teaching and learning of ESL writing occurs. In ESL composition courses at the university level, technology as a pedagogical tool has become common among instructors and the use of technology in ESL composition instruction seems to be becoming the norm. The purposes of the present study were to examine how instructors of university-level ESL composition courses described their regular use of technology as a pedagogical tool and to investigate the participating instructors' self-reported views about the use of technology in their teaching practices. This qualitative dominant mixed methods research study was conducted in a post-admission ESL composition program at a large Midwestern U.S. university. In one ten-week academic quarter, data for the study were collected from instructors teaching in the program via the distribution of questionnaires (n=18), one-on-one interviews (n=5), classrooms observations (n=4), and document analyses (n=4).

The present study found that all instructors who participated in this study reported the use of technology in their ESL composition classrooms regardless of their gender, employment position in the program, number of years of teaching experience, and other categories that classified the instructors' demography, but the degree to which technology was used differed from instructor to instructor. The study also found that the instructors' responses regarding their use of technology can be classified into two broad categories: unidirectional tool and bidirectional tool. Moreover, in the present study, most of the participating instructors reported having positive viewpoints about the use technology in teaching ESL composition at the university level. Their positive views were expressed in terms of the usability of technology, the perceived advantages for students, and the instructors' assessment about technology. However, in discussing the effects on their ESL writing students, the instructors reported that the results of their use of technology in their teaching practices had both positive and negative effects. Instructors in the study reported that the positive effects of using technology included students' ability to become more independent learners, and the negative effects included distractions caused by the use of technology. The study implies that while technology can be a useful tool in teaching ESL composition, instructors' decisions about using technology in their courses might be influenced by their comfort levels, their knowledge about technology, and external factors; that technology use affects both instructors and students; that technology as a tool is a dominant view; and that pedagogical use of technology varies from instructor to instructor.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Moore, Leslie
Commitee: Blackburn, Mollie, Samimy, Keiko
School: The Ohio State University
Department: EDU Teaching and Learning
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 79/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: English as a Second Language, Education
Keywords: ESL composition, ESL writing, Education, Instructor views, Technology, University
Publication Number: 10891758
ISBN: 978-0-438-09721-6
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