Supporting Online Conversations for Students of English as a Foreign Language

Demirci, Fatma (2012) Supporting Online Conversations for Students of English as a Foreign Language. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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The purpose of this study is to empirically examine how pictures are used to initiate and support spoken English conversations and how ownership influences these conversations within a Synchronous Computer Mediated Communication environment(SCMC).

The participants were ten adult English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners who had audio conversations around familiar and anonymous pictures in pairs within a SCMC

environment. Nine different pictures were presented by the researcher in varying order during each online meeting with each participating pair of learners and they were

asked to practice their EFL spoken skills online as they were supported by pictures. The analysis of the results showed that the ownership of the pictures had positive

influence on the level and total amount of participation in oral conversations. It can also be concluded that ownership influenced the interactions around pictures by

increasing the amount and variety of talk. Moreover, it was revealed that familiar pictures promoted more interactions and attracted different kind of talk compared to

the anonymous pictures. In addition, the findings regarding the features of pictures employed in conversations revealed that learners used the pictures in many different

ways such as telling stories, making associations, giving personal or factual information etc. Thus, the study revealed that pictures were used effectively as they

helped to yield rich online EFL conversations by providing a common stimulus to learners.

This study is believed to be an initial step for enhancing the practice of EFL speaking skills online for those who otherwise have limited or no opportunity to practice their

speaking skills.This research thus suggests that the use of pictures to practice EFL speaking skills in SCMC environments can be an effective way of constructing an

interactive learning environment in which learners can communicate with each other in the target language and generate meaning negotiation.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Keywords: Supporting, Online Conversations, Students, English, Foreign Language
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2012 15:40
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2017 13:20

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