The Impact of Digital Tools on Motivating Young Arab EFL Learners to Improve Their Speaking Skills
Arab World English Journal , April 2018
116 Pages Posted: 27 May 2018
Date Written: May 13, 2018
Kuwait has a very low rate of English proficiency and ranks 65 out of 70 in the global English foreign language proficiency index for schools. A number of factors account for this including the amount of time allocated to spoken English in the curriculum and the lack of students' interest and subject confidence by the time they reach Grade 5. This study uses the Research Onion methodology to explore the potential for using digital tools (Apps and tablets) to increase the motivation and engagement of 5th grade young Arab EFL learners in Kuwait, improve their levels of spoken English and expand their learning space beyond the classroom into the home and everyday activities. It adopts the mixed methods approach and uses sample groups of students, parents and teachers from one school in Kuwait, including an online quantitative survey and semi-structured qualitative oral interviews, to gain insights into the topic. The results showed that the digital tools can have a positive impact on EFL learners speaking proficiency, and the increase of their sense of motivation to communicate but the newness of the idea in the Kuwaiti context raises questions for some parents and teachers in relation to their expectations based on the traditional teaching methods and curriculum.
Keywords: Arab EFL learners, digital tools, English proficiency, Kuwait, motivation, speaking skill, TELL
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