||The Effect of Cross-Cultural Distance Learning on EFL Learners' Self-perceived Speaking Competence
||Department of English
English as lingua franca (ELF)
Cross-cultural distance learning
Self-perceived communication competence
||English has a growing importance in connecting people who have different language backgrounds. Thus, there is a soaring number of world citizens who start learning English as second or foreign language (L2/FL). More English as a second language (ESL) and English as a foreign language (EFL) learners are becoming aware of the needs to use English as a lingua franca (ELF) to communicate with non-native English speakers (NNESs) from different countries. However, English learning and teaching (ELT) in Taiwan is test-oriented and the English classes mainly focus on reading and writing, so the English learners could not immerse in an English-friendly environment and seldom have opportunities to communicate with people from different countries in English. Therefore, those EFL learners may encounter oral difficulties because learners may have less opportunity to train for the real-time response skills.
The cross-cultural communication program of this study aims to provide the attendees an opportunity to use English as an international language to practice their language skills, to improve their communication skills, and to share the value of cultures by discussing the various world issues with attendees from other EFL countries through a personal computer (PC) based online communication system with voice and video synchronization called LiveOn. There are nineteen participants attended in the six-week cross-cultural communication experiment and thirteen of them were volunteered as the interviewees. Due to the present study is a mix methods study, which means the research data combine with qualitative data and quantitative data. The 21 items, quantitative data, with identical 5-point Likert scales were gathered from the English-speaking self-rating questionnaire (ESSQ) and the qualitative data were collected from interviews and the open-ended questions from ESSQ. The research data were collected on the week one and the week six of the experiment and the participants conducted the cross-cultural communication with the Japanese participants in the middle of four weeks and 50 minutes communication for each joint sessions.
The quantitative results from ESSQ showed that the participants’ communication competence did not improve significantly at .05 level after the joint sessions. However, in order to investigate the possibility of the improvement on certain English-speaking skills, the items which focus on the certain English-speaking skills were analyzed individually. The results showed that there is only one item, the usage of lexical resource, indicating the significant improvement at .05 level. According to the participants responses from interviews and the open-ended questions, the qualitative data, many participants reported that the project did help them in some extents. For instance, the project helped the participants to understand their actual communication competence, increase the learning motivation on English speaking, and become more willingness to communicate. Moreover, when the participants met difficulties while communicating with the Japanese participants; for example, the participants could not smoothly express the ideas, the Japanese participants misunderstood the Taiwanese participants’ ideas, and the Taiwanese participant did not comprehend the Japanese participants’ utterances. In order to flow the conversation, the strategies which the participants applied are looking up for the electronic dictionary, asking Taiwanese partners for translating in Mandarin, paraphrasing the ideas, asking the Japanese participants for reclarifying the ideas, and delivering the information by textbox, whiteboard, website sharing, and file sharing functions. Although the quantitative results did not elaborate the positive outcomes mostly, according to the participants responses from interviews and the open-ended questions, many participants reported that the project did help them in some extents.
||TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHINESE ABSTRACT III
TABLE OF CONTENTS VIII
LIST OF TABLES X
LIST OF FIGURES XI
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 Introduction 1
1.2 Purpose of the Study 5
1.3 Significance of the Study 6
1.4 Research Questions 7
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW 9
2.1 Introduction 9
2.2 English as Lingua Franca 9
2.3 Oral Difficulties of EFL Learners 13
2.4 Self-perceived Communication Competence 15
2.5 Computer-mediated Communication (CMC) 16
2.6 Cross-Cultural Communication Project 18
CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY 22
3.1 Research Design 22
3.2 Research Participants 22
3.3 Research Settings 24
3.3.1 LiveOn 27
3.4 Research Procedures 31
3.4.1 Questionnaires 33
3.4.2 Interviews 34
3.5 Data Collection and Data Analysis 35
CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 39
4.1 Introduction 39
4.2 Quantitative Results of the ESSQ of the Pre-test and the Post-test on English Language Skills and Proficiency 40
4.3 Qualitative Results of the Participants’ Self-perception on English-speaking Communication Competence before the Cross-cultural Communication Project 46
4.4 Qualitative results of the Participants’ Self-perception on English-speaking Communication Competence after the Cross-cultural Communication Project 50
4.5 The Difficulties which the Taiwanese Participants Encountered while Communicating with the Japanese Participants 58
4.6 The Extent which the Online Cross-cultural Experience Helps the Participants Improve English-speaking Communication Competence 69
4.7 Discussion 72
CHPTER FIVE: CONCLUSION 75
5.1 Introduction 75
5.2 Summary of the Study 75
5.3 Limitations of the Study and Suggestions for the Future Study 78
Appendix A General Background Questionnaire (GBQ) 91
Appendix B English Speaking Self-Rating Questionnaire (ESSQ) 92
Appendix C Interview Questions 96
LIST OF TABLES
Table 3.1 The Research schedule 31
Table 4.1 Descriptive statistics of the ESSQ 44
Table 4.2 Test statistics of Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-rank test 44
Table 4.3 Descriptive statistics of the participants’ self-perception of the current level of study in spoken English 46
Table 4.4 Test statistics of Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-rank test 46
Table 4.5 Descriptive statistics of the participants’ self-perceived to the official communication in spoken English 59
Table 4.6 Test statistics of Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-rank test 60
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 2.1 Kachru’s three circle model of World Englishes (Adapted from Kachru (1992)) 11
Figure 3.1 Screenshot of the group discussion list 26
Figure 3.2 Screenshot of LiveOn’s homepage 28
Figure 3.3 Screenshot of the chatroom list 28
Figure 3.4 Screenshot of the chatroom 29
Figure 3.5 Screenshot of the tool bar: whiteboard and textbox 29
Figure 3.6 Screenshot of the tool bar: website sharing 29
Figure 3.7 Screenshot of the whiteboard function 30
Figure 3.8 Screenshot of the textbox function 30
Figure 3.9 Research Procedures 33
Figure 3.10 Screenshot of the QuickTime Player 35
Figure 4.1 Statistics of item 12 from ESSQ 61
Figure 4.2 Statistics of item 14 from ESSQ 62
Figure 4.3 Statistics of item 15 from ESSQ 62
Figure 4.4 Statistics of item 16 from ESSQ 63
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