Departmental Bulletin Paper Computer vs. Paper: Which works best for language learning?

LEIS, Adrian  ,  ERMANOV, Davron

 In this study, we investigate the benefits of using computer technology to assist language learning in a Japanese university English as a foreign language (EFL) classroom. Lessons were conducted introducing the conditional forms of English grammar (i.e., if clauses) to two groups: one taught using the traditional paper and the chalkboard and the other using computer presentation software without the use of any paper. Statistical analyses were conducted in order to discover whether there were any salient advantages to using paper-based materials in the lesson. Although statistically significant differences were observed between the pre-and posttests for both the group being taught in the traditional manner (t(22) = 2.25, p = .04, d = .62) and the group being taught using presentation software (t(15) = 3.15, p < .01, d = 1.07), no significant differences were observed between the two groups at the posttest stage, t(37) = .45, p = .65. The authors conclude that there seem to be no clear advantages to using paper-based materials in language instruction, and the use of computer presentation software allows more interaction between teachers and students, creating a morepersonalized learning atmosphere, which may lead to greater improvements in such environments over a longer period of time.

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