Date of Award

2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

First Advisor

Dr Jeremy Pagram

Second Advisor

Dr Alistair Campbell

Field of Research Code

130207, 130306

Abstract

The development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has changed most aspects of life, and its diffusion into education was inevitable. Vietnam is a developing country where English and ICT are highly valued as two of the most important instruments of industrialisation and modernisation. These instruments help facilitate the country’s integration into the globalised world. Thus, the use of ICT in English language teaching and learning has received much attention from both policy makers and researchers.

In this study, the possibilities of using ICT in fostering English as a Foreign Language (EFL) university students’ collaborative writing in a Vietnamese context were examined. Teachers’ and students’ readiness for ICT-supported collaborative writing as well as their attitudes and perceptions toward this learning mode were investigated. Pedagogical implications for ICT-supported collaborative writing are also discussed.

A case study methodology using both quantitative and qualitative data was employed. The study consisted of two phases. Phase 1 was a preliminary investigation in which online surveys were distributed to 16 English language teachers and 315 first year students at FPT University. The results of the surveys suggested that it was feasible to implement ICT-supported collaborative writing in this university and that the most suitable ICT applications to use were Facebook and Google Docs. In Phase 2, an intervention, in which Facebook and Google Docs were used as ICT platforms for collaborative writing was conducted with three EFL classes of three English levels: elementary, pre-intermediate and intermediate. During Phase 2, methods of data collection such as observations, focus group interviews and experience-of-change interviews were employed.

This study found that successful ICT integration in English language teaching and learning required not only the readiness of teachers and students to engage with technology, but also the pedagogy to use that technology informed by an understanding of the cultural characteristics of the learners. Based on the main findings, a number of recommendations have been suggested in relation to policies, teacher training, curriculum design, and future research.

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