Exploring technology integration approaches and practices of preservice and in-service english language teachers


Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Turkey

Approval Date: 2008

Thesis Language: English

Student: Mete Akcaoğlu

Supervisor: BETİL ERÖZ TUĞA

Abstract:

In this study, three aspects of technology integration in English Language Teaching within the context of private universities in Ankara, Turkey were investigated. Firstly, preservice and in-service teachers’ computer usage frequencies/types, computer competence levels, perceived barriers to technology integration and attitudes toward computers were explored. Then, factors (age, gender, work experience, institutional factors being preservice or in-service) that might potentially affect the findings of the first research question were examined. Finally, the educational value preservice and in-service teachers assigned to technology usage in their language teaching practices and their ideas on effective technology integration were scrutinized. In order to reach aforementioned goals, both qualitative and quantitative data were collected with the help of a questionnaire and semi-structured face-to-face interviews. The institutions sampled in this study were all private universities, the infrastructure of which varied drastically. A total of 182 questionnaires collected from the teachers (in-service N=120, preservice N=62), as well as eight in-service and four preservice teachers were interviewed. The findings indicated that teachers used computers at their schools at limited frequency. It was also found that they indicated high levels of instructional computer usage outside the school and technology competence. It was also seen that age, gender and the institutions the teachers worked at affected their technology usage and competence levels. As for the educational value assigned to technology usage in their language teaching, the teachers indicated that technology would help make their lessons more student centered. However, the teachers mainly mentioned using technology as teacher tools rather student tools which help foster higher order thinking skills and learner autonomy. Keeping the usage statistics in mind, it was concluded that the schools, even though all of them were private, lacked computer infrastructure to the point that the teachers had difficulty even to use computers for their personal purposes. It was also concluded that the schools in Turkey were still at the stage of fighting with first-order barriers, even at private institutions, indicating that a vision towards technology integration lacks. As for the educational value assigned to computer usage in ELT, it was concluded that institutional barriers were more of a concern for the teachers as they did not have a chance to delve into actual instructional usage and the ICT courses at college were not preparing the teachers for effective technology integration due to lack of proper training activities.