Examining the impact of technology-mediated oral communicative tasks on students’ willingness to communicate and communicative performance

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Jaramillo Cherrez, Nadia
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Larysa Nadolny
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This study examines the impact of technology-mediated pedagogical tasks on students’ willingness to communicate and communicative performance in the intermediate level of Spanish at Iowa State University. Drawing from the framework on technology-mediated tasks by Gonzalez-Lloret & Ortega, 2014, and the World-Readiness Standards for communicative performance of the American Council on the Teaching for Foreign Languages, the technology-mediated pedagogical tasks were designed and implemented over the course a semester on the video platform Flipgrid. A quasi-experimental mixed-methods research with two groups of participants: (1) technology-mediated tasks (FG), and comparison group (CG) was conducted. Quantitative data sources included a pre-post survey on learners’ willingness to communicate, scores on speaking quizzes, scores on final oral presentation, scores and analytic data from the Flipgrid tasks. The qualitative data included learners’ reflections on their participation in the technology-mediated oral (FG group only), learners’ midterm and final survey, focus-group interviews with students, and semi-structured interviews with instructors. Results of this study indicated that the implementation of the technology-mediated pedagogical tasks facilitated students’ increase in their willingness to communicate and communicative performance, as well as in the use of Spanish in spontaneous ways. In addition, the findings suggest that students in the FG group perceived increased confidence in their speaking skills while participating in the tasks within a safe and free-from judgment learning environment. The findings also showed the instructor’s mixed perceptions while facilitating the technology-mediated tasks. The course instructor believed that students’ apparent growth in their communicative performance responded more from students’ interest and motivation than from extended practice. Contrastively, students in the CG had statistically significantly higher scores in the post-survey than students in the FG, specifically for the variable international posture. In addition, the CG group’s instructor perceived that students’ speaking skills related mostly to the learning environment and the support provided.

This dissertation shows that the design of the pedagogical tasks is closely connected to the affordances of the technology applications, therefore, placing greater emphasis on evaluating how the technology can leverage language learning. This study has pedagogical as well as theoretical implications regarding the design of technology-mediated pedagogical tasks and the conditions of the learning environment that can foster or hinder students’ willingness to participate and communicative performance.

Wed May 01 00:00:00 UTC 2019