Abstract

Language students today have grown up with a plethora of technology tools at their fingertips, which has in some cases earned them the title of "digital native". 'Students' high use of technology outside the classroom has led teachers and researchers to believe that technology could be highly effective for language learners when used appropriately. Yet little is known about how students actually react to technology-based tools for language learning purposes. This study seeks to not only understand student attitudes toward technology in general, but also to see how those attitudes might affect student attitudes toward online language learning tools in a social media context. Using a design-based research approach, we implemented a curriculum that utilizes a social networking environment in which students could consume authentic language samples and practice using the language in a controlled environment. Through the analysis of pre and post surveys, it was discovered that age was the most significant predictor of student attitudes toward technology, but that the extent to which students use technology proves to be a more significant predictor when other variables are factored in. Furthermore, it was discovered that general attitudes toward technology do affect the ways in which students will react to a technology-based curriculum. Nevertheless, the way in which a curriculum is presented can be a stronger factor in predicting how the curriculum will be received.

Degree

MA

College and Department

Humanities; Center for Language Studies

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2013-03-18

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd6082

Keywords

technology, digital literacy, language-learning, digital native, curriculum development, social networking, computer-mediated communication

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