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Impacts of an ICT-assisted Program on Attitudes and English Communicative Abilities: An experiment in a Japanese high school

Yuki Higuchi, Miyuki Sasaki and Makiko Nakamuro

Discussion papers from Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI)

Abstract: We conducted a randomized experiment targeting 322 Japanese high school students to examine the impacts of a newly developed English learning program. The treated students were offered an opportunity to communicate for 25 minutes with English-speaking Filipino teachers via Skype several times a week over five months. The opportunities were offered as extracurricular activities and were not included in their grades. Results show that only 6% of the treated students completed the recommended number of lessons over the observation period. In addition, the Skype program made the treated students more interested in an international vocation and foreign affairs. However, probably due to the low completion rate, the students did not improve their English speaking and listening abilities as measured by a standardized test. Further investigation shows that the take-up rate was particularly low among students showing a tendency to procrastinate. These results suggest the importance of maintaining students' motivation to keep using such information and communications technology (ICT)-assisted learning programs if they are not already incorporated into the existing curriculum. Having procrastinators self-regulate may be especially crucial. However, significant positive changes in the students' attitude support the use of such programs even as extracurricular activities.

Pages: 38 pages
Date: 2017-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu and nep-exp
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