THE EFFECT OF MEDIA ANNOTATION TECHNOLOGY ON ENHANCING THE USE OF DISCOURSE MARKERS WITHIN COMMUNICATIVE SPEECH
University of Kansas
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
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ABSTRACT Language learners need to understand and apply appropriate discourse as part of the process of attaining “communicative competence” (Canale, 1983) needed to fulfill academic and social-adaptive functions. Students who are able to apply discourse strategies within the classroom demonstrate higher levels of metacognition and critical thinking (Reznitskaya et al, 2001; Kramarski and Mevarech, 2003; Mercer, 2004). Given the opportunity to reflect upon their own learning, students often become more engaged (Lattuca and Stark, 2011, p. 221). Language educators may better serve contemporary students, who are motivated by effective integration of technology in the curriculum (Knight, 2008) by using this technology to increase opportunities for communication, reflection (metacognition) and overall engagement. This study used a between-subject design involving 68 international students at a university English language program divided between treatment group 1 (n =37) and treatment group 2 (n = 31). The research examined the effect of annotation functionality within VoiceThread, a popular web-based multimedia platform, as a means to promote participants’ acquisition and appropriate use of discourse markers through the process reflecting upon recorded speaking performances. Although the effectiveness of digital annotation technology was not revealed via a significant interaction effect, a significant main effect provides evidence of the effectiveness of more basic VoiceThread functions in promoting communicative language. Follow-up qualitative interviews were used to gain insight into students’ experiences with the technology. Keywords: communicative competence, discourse markers, ePortfolios, media annotations, metacognition, VoiceThread
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