عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسنده [English]چکیده [English]
Nowadays learning English is one of the challenges of Iranian families. Most of them send their children to private language institutes to improve their communication skill in English. Despite the high demand for these institutes, there is some evidence showing that they are not that much successful. Technology-based self-study is also increasingly used by the new generation. However, as pointed out by Ghorbani and Golparvar (2019), despite the importance of autonomous language learning by means of educational technology beyond the classroom, there is little evidence on the learners’ perspectives towards its application. This study aims at finding an effective way for improving the new generation language learning by comparing the role of schools, private language institutes, and technology-oriented self- study in EFL Learning.
Sequential mixed-methods design was used to gather quantitative and qualitative data respectively. A panel of experts helped the researcher to establish the content and face validity of the instruments. In the quantitative part, the reliability of the 30-item researcher-made questionnaire was .87. In the qualitative part, the interview included four questions related to English learning in schools, private language institutes, and through technology-oriented self-study. Both the questionnaire and the interview were in Persian so that students can easily understand the content.
Data were gathered through questionnaire distribution in 17 three-unit general English classes for freshmen students and phone interview using whole population sampling and purposive sampling respectively at the University of Bojnord (UB) in the first quarter of 2017. All the students in the faculties of engineering, humanities, art, and sciences, who had enrolled in General English classes, participated in this study.
After gaining General English professors’ permission, students were asked to indicate their perspectives on learning English as a Foreign Language (EFL) at school, in private language institutes, and through technology-oriented self-study on the questionnaires. Based on the analysis of the students’ response on the questionnaires, 10 students who had spent longer times in private institutes were identified for the qualitative phase in which semi-structure interview was used to interview the informants.
The Statistical package for Social Sciences (SPSS 22) was used to analyze and describe the data. Repeated measure Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to compare the participants’ view on the three different learning conditions in the quantitative phase. The three research questions, which were formulated to compare the role of schools, private language institutes, and technology-oriented self- study in EFL learning based on undergraduate freshmen students’ perspectives are as follows:
Is there any difference between EFL learning in schools and private language institutes based on undergraduate freshmen students’ perspectives at the UB?
Is there any difference between EFL learning in schools and through technology-oriented self- study based on undergraduate freshmen students’ perspectives at the UB?
Is there any difference between EFL learning in private language institutes and through technology-oriented self- study based on undergraduate freshmen students’ perspectives at the UB?
To gain in-depth information regarding students’ perspectives in the qualitative phase, the following questions were formulated:
To what extent were schools helpful in your EFL learning? Elaborate on it.
To what extent were private language institutes helpful in your EFL learning? Elaborate on it.
To what extent was technology-oriented self- study helpful in your EFL learning? Elaborate on it.
Which of the above-mentioned conditions (schools, private language institutes, and technology-oriented self- study) were more helpful? Why?
The descriptive statistics and inferential statistics regarding the three different conditions are delineated in the following tables:
Descriptive statistics learning in three conditions (schools, private language institutes, and technology-oriented self- study)
Conditions N Mean SD Skewness Kurtosis
School (1) 106 30.95 9.02 .083 -.261
Institutes (2) 106 45.22 9.44 -.754 1.057
Self-study (3) 106 38.14 9.98 -.205 .167
Wilks’ Lambda for three conditions (schools, private language institutes, and technology-oriented self- study)
Statistic F hypothesis df error df P Eta
.501 51.692 2 104 .000 .499
Based on Table 2, the value for Wilks’ Lambda is .501, with a probability value of .000 (which really means p<.0005). The p value is less than .05; therefore, it can be concluded that there is a statistically significant difference in students’ scores (perspectives) across the three different conditions. Since the Eta value obtained in this study is .499, based on the guidelines proposed by Cohen (1988, pp. 284–7) (.01=small, .06=moderate, .14=large effect), this result suggests a very large effect size.
Summary of one-way ANOVA for three conditions (schools, private language institutes, and technology-oriented self- study)
Source N df SS MS F P PES
Between group 106 1 4617779.635 4617779.635 3968.792 0.000 0.974
Within group 106 1 10797.967 10797.967 93.450 0.000 0.471
**P < 0.05
A one-way repeated measures ANOVA was conducted to compare scores on the students' perspectives in condition 1 (learning English at schools), condition 2 (learning English in private language institutes), and condition 3 (learning English through self-study). There was a significant difference among the three conditions. Wilks’ Lambda = .51.692, F (2, 104) = 51.692, p < .001, multivariate partial eta squared = .499. That is, the best learning was in private institutes, technology-oriented self-study, and schools respectively.
Bonferroni post hoc test for three conditions (schools, private language institutes, and technology-oriented self- study)
Group (I) Group (J) Mean Difference (I-J) Std. Error Sig.
School Self-study *-7.189 1.204 0.000
School Institute *-14.274 1.477 0.000
Self-study School *7.189 1.204 0.000
Self-study Institute *-7.085 0.854 0.000
Institute School *14.274 1.477 0.000
Institute Self-study *7.085 0.854 0.000
**P < 0.05
Based on Bonferroni post hoc test, the most English learning happens in private language institutes, through technology-oriented self-study, and in schools respectively.
The interview results were in line with these findings. The interviewees explained the reasons for such findings in detail. All of the interviewees believed that English learning in private language institutes is faster because their textbooks are more attractive, conversational, and practical in real life. Most of them preferred self-study to school learning due to the attractiveness of digital devices and educational software. Learning English at school was the last priority of the interviewees because they thought that the focus in school teaching is on grammar and vocabulary while listening and speaking is neglected.
These findings have many theoretical and practical implications. The ministry of education has invested a lot in foreign language education but students are not satisfied with English teaching in schools. This implies that foreign language policy makers, language assessment authorities, EFL textbook developers, and English teachers need to make some amendments in their traditional methods and activities so that students are motivated to learn English at schools. It is hoped that the findings of this study and other similar studies lead to finding effective methods for improving the EFL teaching and reducing the cost, time, and energy needed for EFL learning.