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A Preliminary Study on Mobile-Assisted English Reading and Task-Based Instructions: A Case Study on Taiwanese EFL Adolescents in Senior High School
task-based language learning
Driven by limitations observed in current studies on mobile-assisted reading, the present study proposed and examined a ten-week mobile-assisted reading program supported with five group-based post-reading tasks. To investigate the effects of the program on EFL learners’ attitudes toward English reading, vocabulary acquisition, and reading comprehension, Stokmans’ (1999) reading attitude scale, the first five levels of Nation and Beglar’s (2007) Vocabulary Size Test, and the reading section of an intermediate-level test from Cambridge English Language Assessment were administered before and after the program. A control group was further included to make the test results more inferential. Questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were also employed to survey the participants’ perceptions of the post-reading tasks. Finally, learning journals were collected every two weeks as a way to triangulate the data gathered through tests and questionnaires. One-way ANCOVA was performed on the test results to examine the influence of the program on the participants. One-way–repeated measures ANOVA was run on the results of the questionnaire to see whether there were particularly favorable or unfavorable tasks. As for the participants’ preferred types of post-reading tasks, their choices were turned into descriptive statistics, and underwent the chi-square test to verify the existence of a particularly welcomed task type. Finally, journals and interviews were analyzed based on recurrent themes emerging from the data. It was found that the participants’ attitudes toward English reading, the utility and the escape aspects in particular, became significantly more positive after the intervening program. No significant effects, however, were observed on the participants’ vocabulary acquisition and reading comprehension. Results of the questionnaires and interviews indicated that the participants perceived the post-reading tasks quite positively, and that discussion and video-watching were the two most popular types of post-reading tasks. Based on the findings, pedagogical implications concerning shaping EFL learners’ reading attitudes, promoting language learning across formal and informal settings, and devising tasks for mobile-assisted reading were offered.
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