Users’ Perceptions of The Pedagogical Use of iPads in Second Language Education (Amira Shouma & Walcir Cardoso, Concordia University, Canada)

What:
Talk
When:
1:00 PM, Thursday 29 Apr 2021 EDT (30 minutes)
Where:
  Virtual session
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Discussion:
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Amira Shouma & Walcir Cardoso, Concordia University, Canada

Title: Users’ Perceptions of The Pedagogical Use of iPads in Second Language Education

Keywords: tablets; ESL learners; ESL teachers

Abstract:

This study explores the perceptions of 45 young adult English as Second Language (ESL) learners and 11 teachers on using tablets (iPads) in their language classrooms, focusing on the device’s four inherent affordances: learnability, usability, motivation, and willingness to use the technology. These four themes that guided our study are commonly found in most Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) perception studies. For instance, it has been acknowledged that the use of MALL-based pedagogy has the potential to enhance learning by: (1) improving the overall learning experience, i.e., learnability (e.g., Obari & Lambacher, 2015); (2) increasing learners’ level of comfort, i.e., usability (e.g., Altena, 2015); (3) boosting motivation (e.g., Huang, 2013), and (4) increasing students’ willingness to use the technology (e.g., Cumming & Rodriguez, 2013).

Based on quantitative and qualitative research paradigms, a mixed-methods approach was used to collect and analyze the data. Learners’ and teachers’ surveys were adapted from Rossing, Miller, Cecil, and Stamper (2012) and Young (2016) respectively. A 5-point Likert scale (ranging from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree”) was used to probe the users’ perceptions of the four themes. To measure the themes quantitatively, the survey results were analyzed via descriptive statistics. Qualitative data were obtained through face-to-face interviews, which were subjected to a thematic analysis following Saldaña (2009). Our findings reveal positive perceptions from both ESL learners and their teachers on all four measures adopted (all above 3.4/5); these results were also corroborated by our thematic analysis of the interviews. The discussion will focus on the affordances of tablet-based technology, specifically its ability to enhance L2 pedagogy by increasing learning outcomes (learnability), improving ease of use (usability), motivating students to learn (motivation) and promoting the continuous use of the technology (willingness to use the technology).