Title

Role of technology in the enhancement of English language speaking skills of high school students of Gojal, Gilgit Baltistan

Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

English language, the ‘lingua franca’ of the globalized world necessitates (Jenkins, 2009) even countries where it is not spoken as the first language to institute it as a second language (Caine 2008). Pakistan is also amongst one of the countries where English language is given much importance and is being taught as a compulsory subject from Early Childhood Development (ECD) to graduation level. Literature (Ahmed, 2011; Noreen, Ahmed & Esmail, 2015) says that in Pakistani English as a Second Language (ESL) classrooms, reading and writing are the two main skills that are focused on more, while the two other language sub-skills: speaking and listening are ignored. Experiential data, specifically relating to the rural and far-flung areas of Pakistan, like Gojal, traditional method teaching and learning practices are also prevalent there: due to which the learners of (English language) EL lack in speaking skills. As a result of the growing numbers of ESL learners, there is an ongoing search for new, effective and efficient instructional methods for the improvement of the teaching and learning processes in English language. In the 21st century, technology has gained substantial attention due it offering an abundance of devices and tools that make authentic language input accessible to EL learners (Frenik, 2013). Technology and its usefulness in developing language sub-skills is being explored as an option in formal and informal settings in many parts of the developing world where access to authentic language input is limited due to the areas in question being relatively remote (Hsu, 2013). However, there seems to be a dearth of descriptive data on the role technology plays or is seen as playing for EL learning in the remote areas of Pakistan. Accordingly, a sequential mixed methods design was employed to explore the role of technology in the enhancement of high school students’ English language speaking skills. The data was collected in two phases. In the first phase, semi-structured-interviews were used to collect data from English language teachers. Two Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were also conducted to obtain data from the students. In the second phase, a mixture of open-ended, 4 and 5 point rating scale questionnaire was developed based on the emerging themes of the first phase and was administered to 116 high school ESL learners. The study findings revealed that technology is perceived as a tool that supports students in the enhancement of their speaking skills. Technologies such as television, mobile phone and laptop were identified as being the most available and frequently used tools and resources that help learners in building their vocabulary, enhancing their pronunciation and accent. Key Terms: Technology, Lingua Franca, English as Second Language, Authentic Language Input, Enhancement, Gojal, Pakistan

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