Date of Award

12-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Curtis Porter, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Gloria Park, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Daniel J. Weinstein, Ph.D.

Abstract

This study aimed at bringing administrators, teachers and students into the conversation of integrating TELL. By exploring their understanding and beliefs about using technology and by also making a connection to their actual practices, the study shed a light on the importance of considering all three groups into the planning and use of technology to enhance language learning. This study explored three different areas in relation to technology-enhanced English language learning within a Saudi EFL tertiary context. These three different areas included: The current state of technology use at this Saudi EFL Tertiary context; administrators’, teachers’, and students’ expectations of using technology compared to their actual use; and how teachers, administrators, and students were supported/provided support to meet these expectations.

A single-case exploratory qualitative design was used utilizing interviews, document analysis, and classroom and site observations. A class of intermediate level students was observed and interviewed, along with the group teachers, and the English language program administrators over a period of two months. Six students, five teachers, and two administrators participated in the study.

Findings pointed to a gap that existed between expectations and actual use of technology due to many factors as discussed in the study. One of the main issues for this was the absence of considering other stakeholders when planning, supporting, training, or using technology. There needs to be a comprehensive understanding of how TELL is used by considering all involved parties in the teaching, and learning of a language. This is first achieved by involving administrators, teachers, and students into the conversation about the planning and use of TELL. We cannot look at only one of these constituents in isolation, without considering all of them as they all play a role in the successful integration of technology into the learning and teaching of English. Even when considering all constituents, which is largely ignored in the field, other factors come into play as this study reveals. These include issues of power, dominant teacher methodologies, financial constraints, the power of self-learning over institutional learning, institutional administrators as a fourth dimension, and other factors within and beyond the institution.

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