An Investigation Of Communicative Competence Of Esl Students Using Electronic Discussion Boards

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A Research Critique of An Investigation of Communicative Competence of ESL Students Using Electronic Discussion Boards Summary of Research Study In the research article An Investigation of Communicative Competence of ESL Students Using Electronic Discussion Boards, Zha et.al. (2006) worked with 28 elementary-aged students who spoke English as a second language (ESL). Over the course of the six-week study 956 messages were posted to an electronic discussion board by the students and were analyzed. The researchers found that the students’ use of language changed depending on the social and cultural settings of the discussion. The topics of the discussion boards were developed by Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages…show more content…
Prior to student participation in the study, the researchers received signed parental consent forms that were approved by the IRB. The mixed method approach attempted to a) find improvements in communication skills while using the electronic discussion boards and b) look for patterns of improvements. Data Collection Procedures & Instruments The qualitative data captured the students’ messages that were posted on the discussion boards in rich text format. The messages were imported into a qualitative analysis software program in chronological order according to the posting date/time. The qualitative data was aligned to predetermined competency areas that were identified as National ESL standards when the study was performed. Analysis Procedures Reviewing the messages and using defined coding methods allowed the researchers to implement consistent interpretation while reducing individual bias while performing the analysis of the qualitative data. Inferential statistic analysis was used to give meaning to the range of data collected. This was accomplished by conducting paired sample t-tests of the coded messages to test for changes in communicative competence throughout the three activities. Three standards were used to identify changes in the students’ communicative competence. However, the t-test does not show clear effectual differences. Explanation of Adequacy The study appears to be adequate and the researchers stayed within

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