Development and Evaluation of a Web-based College English Outside Reading System for EFL Freshmen
Associate Professor of Institute of Education, Tzu Chi University No. 701, Sec. 3, Zhoungyang Rd., Hualien, 97004, Taiwan
011-886-3-856-5301 ext. 2930
English teacher, Taipei County Hai-San High School
215, Han-San East Rd., Ban Chiau City, Taipei County, Taiwan Peggy516@hshs.tpc.edu.tw
About the authors
Dr. Ching-Ying Pan is an Associate Professor in the Institute of Education, Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan. Dr. Pan focuses her study on the field of English learning and instruction.
Pei-Ching Huang is a graduate of the Institute of Education, Tzu Chi University. She is an English teacher at Hai-San Junior High School, Ban Chiau City, Taipei County, Taiwan. Development and Evaluation of a Web-based College English Outside Reading System for EFL Freshmen
The main purpose of this study was to design a web-based English outside reading learning system for college students to study English reading outside the classroom by themselves. In addition to the main purpose, we explored the web-based learning system’s effects on students by comparing it with the reading of traditional printed materials. This web-based learning system included nine units whose topics were the life stories of nine contemporary celebrities. This study adopted the pretest-posttest nonequivalent group design. Control group students studied English outside reading by studying paper materials on their own. Experimental group students studied the same materials in an asynchronous web-based learning system. The results of this research found that the group using the web-based learning system had significantly better English reading comprehension, higher English learning motivation, and greater learner satisfaction. Furthermore, most of the web-based learning students held very positive views of the design, presentation and functions of this web-based learning system.
Key words: web-based learning, EFL English reading, English learning motivation
Experts consider reading ability one of the most important components of performance in a second language, especially in academic settings (Huckin, Haynes, & Coady; 1993). As such, good English reading skills have become essential to Taiwanese college students. In Taiwan, every university offers some form of English as a foreign language (EFL) course for their students, with English Reading as the most common EFL course, nearly always a requirement. The traditional instruction method for English Reading comprises lectures focusing on students’ syntax and semantic competence, but often neglecting students’ synthesis comprehension (Wu, 2004). In addition, in-class instruction time for an English Reading course usually has a limit of two or three hours per week, and instructors spend most of the time teaching from textbooks. Therefore, it leaves little room in the schedule for extensive topic-related reading. Moreover, in larger English classes, teachers have difficulty addressing variations in students’ learning tempos, and necessarily forego promoting self-directed study. Overcoming these drawbacks to broaden students’ reading areas and improve their English reading ability constitute monumental challenges for university English teachers in Taiwan.
Assigning English reading homework for students to study outside the classroom seems like an efficient approach to extend students’ reading areas. In traditional English outside reading assignments, teachers usually give students paper materials, and ask them to study by themselves. In doing so, both teachers and students avoid the restriction to available class time. However, the available learning materials, that likely offer limited information, and which developers cannot easily adapt to every student’s ability, impose other...
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