UNIVERSITY STUDENT ACCESS TO AND USE OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES: A LATENT ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING POTENTIAL
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This study investigates the potential, in relation to learning and using English, which exists in the current access to and use of new technological devices by university students who are not native speakers of English. As an example case, the availability of a range of devices to 138 Saudi English and Business students at a Saudi university was ascertained through a survey, along with their current use both in general, and specifically involving English, both on and off campus. Students and teachers were also interviewed in order to illuminate the further enhancement of student use of their devices for English improvement. The findings indicate that a range of electronic devices, especially smart phones and laptops, are owned by, or to a lesser extent accessible in other ways to, students. English majors however far outstrip Business majors in access to and use of devices. A considerable proportion of use of devices, especially by English majors, is already English-related. On two measures, it is the smart phone which has the greatest potential for further exploitation in relation to English, followed by the laptop and tablet, and for English majors the TV. Based on teacher and student comments, recommendations are made for such English as a foreign language contexts as to how best to move forward to exploit this potential for both groups of students.
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