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Students' perceptions of the use of peer-to-peer ESL text chat: An introductory study

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/21037

Students' perceptions of the use of peer-to-peer ESL text chat: An introductory study

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Title: Students' perceptions of the use of peer-to-peer ESL text chat: An introductory study
Author: Garratt, Dale Arthur
Advisor(s): Mahn, Holbrook
Committee Member(s): Boverie, Patricia
Edmunds, Paul
Mitchell, Rose
Noll, Elizabeth
Department: University of New Mexico. Division of Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies
Subject(s): ESL
text chat
students' perceptions
Vygotsky
transmission model
constructivist model
sociocultural theory
Livemocha
LC Subject(s): English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers
Instant messaging -- Psychological aspects
Instant messaging -- Social aspects
Educational psychology
Degree Level: Doctoral
Abstract: Thousands of international ESL students come to the United States every year to learn English for the purpose of matriculating into an American university. Teaching these diverse students can be a challenge for educators and despite the students’ significant investment of time and money, many of them are inadequately prepared for the demands of university work. Text chat has been studied by some scholars as a means of assisting ESL students to write more effectively. However, greater understanding is needed of the affective experiences and perceptions of students toward peer-to-peer ESL text chat. That is the thrust of this study, which utilized Livemocha, a free international text chat program. Several striking findings were made, two of which were that all students reported enjoyment of the text chat experience and all students reported increased confidence to write in English as a result of their participation in the research. This study draws heavily on the sociocultural theory of Lev Vygotsky, especially his theories of the zone of proximal development and perezhivanie. His work illuminates the findings of this study and the study also demonstrates the vitality of Vygotsky’s thought in the 21 st century. In addition to providing insight into students’ perspectives on peer-to-peer ESL text chat, a valuable tool to increase students’ confidence to write in English has been made known.
Graduation Date: July 2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/21037

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