Using Instructional Software to Improve Oral Performance of Taiwanese Speakers of English in Higher Education

Yen-Tzu Chen, Hsiao-Wen Huang, Che-Hung Liu


The global society perceives English as an important skill; most people expend significant efforts and resources to learn English. However, as in the other Asian countries, Taiwanese education focuses exclusively on traditional teaching in language courses, overlooking interactions and cultural concepts. Thus, students’ ability to communicate orally in English remains relatively low. Existing literature indicates that Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) can enrich language learning as computers provide many functions to enhance lectures in a meaningful and effective manner. In particular, CALL can incorporate speech recognition software to help develop oral language and practice pronunciation. Integrating CALL technology into traditional language courses may improve Taiwanese students’ oral performance. The current study utilized learner-centered design and second language acquisition theories as guidelines to identify relevant software; the SECTIONS model and evaluation criteria were used to select the most suitable program for integration into a traditional course. The experimental design was administered to two sophomore English classes whose students were not majoring in English at a private university in Taiwan over an eight-week period. Pre- and posttests were used to identify language achievement during the study. Changes in the Spoken English Test (SET) resulting from the treatment were found to have no statistically significant difference, but the experimental group demonstrated greater improvement on the sentence mastery section and vocabulary. The research results shed some light to reinforce the literature exploring the application of computer software in language education, and also provide language learners implications and recommendations.

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International Journal of English Language Teaching ISSN 2329-7913 (Print) ISSN 2329-7921 (Online)

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