Examining the effectiveness of extensive speaking practice via voice blogs in a foreign language learning context

Yu-Chih Sun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Educational blogs have drawn the growing interest of researchers and language teachers due to the user-friendly interfaces as well as the powerful archiving features. The purpose of the current study is two-fold: (1) to examine the effectiveness of extensive speaking practice on speaking performance in voice blogs, and (2) to examine learners’ perceived gains in extensive speaking practice via voice blogs. The participants of the study were 46 college students learning English as a foreign language in Taiwan. They were taking a one-semester English speech class that lasted for 18 weeks. The participants were required to post voice blog entries during out-of-class time on a class blog as a supplement to the insufficient speaking practice in the class. The participants’ gains in speaking skill were evaluated by two raters who examined the learners’ first three and last three voice blog entries. Participants’ perceived gains in speaking skills were collected through questionnaires. The results indicate that students generally perceived gains in their speaking proficiency. However, there was no significant improvement in their pronunciation, language complexity, fluency, or accuracy. The results corroborate previous studies that the personal and authentic nature of blogging might encourage students to focus more on meaning expression, rather than accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494-506
Number of pages13
JournalCALICO Journal
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012

Keywords

  • Blogging
  • Computer-assisted language learning
  • English as a foreign language
  • Speaking
  • Voice blog

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