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The Impact of CALL on the Learning and Teaching of ESL Writing: A Study of Students' and Teachers' Attitudes

Al Janahi, Mona Humaid
A Master of Arts thesis in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) by Mona Humaid Al Janahi entitled, "The Impact of Call on the Learning and Teaching of ESL Writing: A Study of Students' and Teachers' Attitudes," January 2011. Available are both hard and soft copies of the thesis.
Computers and computer technologies are gradually becoming ubiquitous tools in some English second language writing classrooms. The aim of this study was to examine the perceptions and attitudes of secondary- and university-level teachers and students in the United Arab Emirates towards the incorporation of computer-assisted language learning (CALL) in ESL writing classes. In addition to that, the study sought to find out teachers' use, if any, of computer technologies in ESL writing classes. The study also attempted to investigate the similarities and differences in the ways teachers and students perceive the use of computers in English language writing classrooms. To investigate such perceptions and attitudes, surveys and interviews were used to gather data. The study's subjects included 23 secondary- and university-level English teachers and 99 secondary- and university-level English language learners. Findings of this study indicate that the majority of the participating teachers integrated communicative and integrative tools of CALL in their ESL writing classes. Results also showed that the majority of the participants, both teachers and students, were in favor of the incorporation of CALL in ESL writing classes. What is more, results also revealed that students' and teachers' perceptions were more similar than different. Implications for a successful incorporation of CALL in ESL writing classes included the conduction of needs analysis for both teachers and students to investigate their familiarity with the CALL tools that are to be incorporated. Also suggested is the supply of state-of-the-art facilities and equipment in schools and institutes of higher education to encourage teachers and students to use CALL. Pedagogical implications included the implementation of classroom management strategies such as monitoring students' use of CALL while engaged in writing activities. Finally, the study also calls for further research to look into the impact of CALL on classroom management, and the similarities and differences in the use of CALL in writing classes across various government schools.
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