ERIC Number: ED409851
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
Electronic Mail in Foreign Language Learning: Communication and Culture.
Leh, Amy Sheng-Chieh
National standards published in 1995 addressed the importance of foreign language education and identified five goal areas: communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities. This study incorporated these five goals and examined the potential of electronic mail in foreign language learning. In addition, it looked at cultural aspects of computer mediated communication. Subjects were students in a fifth-semester Spanish class at a large public university in the United States. Two classes (a total of 35 students) were involved in the project. One class used e-mail to communicate with native Spanish speakers in Mexico, while the other did not use e-mail. Data collection included a close test, class writing reports, oral examinations, attitude surveys, questionnaires, and interviews. Analysis of quantitative data revealed that the students' performance and confidence did not differ significantly between the two groups. For the qualitative analysis, the content of the e-mail messages was categorized into eight topics: culture, language, course management, social activity, books, class assignments, desire to communicate, and personal sharing. Findings indicated that e-mail motivated students, helped in learning culture, enhanced social presence, and assisted foreign language learning. A follow-up study conducted 1 year after the original study revealed that one fourth of the e-mail participants continued the electronic communication after the class was completed. Appendices include the attitude survey, the Cloze Test and the questionnaire on e-mail use. (Contains 29 references.) (AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Proceedings of Selected Research and Development Presentations at the 1997 National Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (19th, Albuquerque, NM, February 14-18, 1997); see IR 018 421.