Technology has provided the means for the creation of many tools to facilitate the teaching and learning of foreign languages. These tools include computer programs designed to aid language learning by providing various levels of control to the language learner. This control allows the learner to make decisions regarding some or all of the elements of a program such as the pace, sequence, and content to name but a few. Because the amount of learner control can be varied, many research efforts have sought to determine the optimal level of control for learning. These efforts have produced mixed results, with some research suggesting that learners perform better with less control while other findings suggest the opposite. The purpose of this research was to investigate the use of remediation, a computer-adaptive control, in Swahili 101 university level courses and its effect on achievement and time. Participants included Swahili language learners from two universities, three colleges, and one student not affiliated with any school. The study required that participants complete a pretest, a background survey, the Swahili 101 online lesson materials, and an opinion survey. “Gate pages," or webpage-based assessments, were used throughout the online course to assess participant progress. The participants were randomly assigned to control and experimental groups. Those in the control group completed the online component at their own discretion, working through assigned tasks with review as desired. Those in the experimental group were required to obtain a minimum score on each lesson's gate page in order to advance in the lesson and thus in the course. If that score was not met, then the software assigned a series of remediation or review pages. Scores from the gate pages and time spent on the gate pages were stored and analyzed for both groups. The results from this study suggest that language learners benefit from computer intervention and guidance (remediation). The participants in the experimental group learned more Swahili than the control group, despite spending the same amount of time on the gate pages as the control group. Therefore, remediation, as defined and implemented in this study, can increase language learning while at the same time not requiring the learners to significantly increase the initial time they spend responding to questions presented on the gate pages.



College and Department

Humanities; Center for Language Studies



Date Submitted


Document Type





Computer-Adaptive Control, Program Control, Learner Control, Remediation, Foreign Language Learning, Achievement, Time On Task, Gate Pages, Swahili, Technology