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Investigating Saudi English language teachers' use and perceptions of the interactive whiteboard for teaching vocabulary in English as a foreign language in Saudi primary schools

Alshaikhi, M. A. (2019) Investigating Saudi English language teachers' use and perceptions of the interactive whiteboard for teaching vocabulary in English as a foreign language in Saudi primary schools. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

Teaching vocabulary is a fundamental factor in English language teaching, as breadth of vocabulary is closely related to success in other areas of language learning such as reading, writing, speaking and listening. ICT has a potentially important role in teaching vocabulary within English as a foreign language, including through such media as the Interactive WhiteBoard (IWB), offering as it does a range of presentation formats that may facilitate the deeper and more effective processing of language. Despite this, relatively little is known about how teachers actually use the IWB, or indeed how they perceive it as a teaching tool. Understanding these issues is important in terms of informing the future development of the training offered to teachers in the use of the IWB. The current study includes the use of mixed methods, including a survey (319 responses). Six teachers participated in the qualitative part of the research, with four classroom observations of six teachers at three private and three state primary schools, followed by interviews with these same teachers. For the quantitative research, frequencies and descriptive statistics were computed to give an overview of teachers' reported use of the IWB and their attitudes towards it. Spearman Rank Order correlations and Mann-Whitney U-tests were employed in order to explore the relationships between key variables and whether different groups of respondents reported different perceptions and uses of the IWB. Teachers' perceptions and uses of the IWB were then further explored through a qualitative analysis of the interviews and classroom observations. Three complementary theoretical frameworks underpinned the study design and data analysis: Borg's (2003) work exploring language teachers' cognition and mental lives; the "Levels of Processing Hypothesis" (Craik & Lockhart, 1972) that outlines principles for vocabulary acquisition and retention; and Social-Cultural theory (Vygotsky, 1978), which guided the exploration of the classroom environment and how teachers scaffold learning from a low level to a high level through the IWB. The findings of this present study suggest a positive relationship between teachers' levels of skill/training in ICT and the frequency with which they make use of the IWB and the range of strategies for teaching vocabulary. The observations revealed that teachers who were trained in III ICT tended to use more varied teaching methods than those with less developed ICT skills. The interview analysis suggests that the majority of teachers believed that the use of the IWB in lessons assisted them in improving their students' new vocabulary retention. These findings make an important contribution to the field of educational technology for language learning by emphasising the link between training in ICT and the development of language teaching pedagogy.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Graham, S.
Thesis/Report Department:Institute of Education
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education
ID Code:88956

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