2008．第23卷第1期（Vol. 23 No. 1）．pp. 97116
Investigating the Language Learning Attitudes of Postsecondary Students Towards the Usage of Computer-mediated Communication in the Language Classroom
Paul C. H. LIP
The purpose of the study was to investigate what attitudes postsecondary students have towards the usage of computer-mediated communication (CMC) in the language classroom and whether their attitudes differ from those of secondary students. Two questionnaires were distributed to a class of postsecondary students (N = 19) studying in a Pre-Associate degree programme at Form 6 level and a class of secondary school students (N = 20) studying at Form 5 level at a postsecondary institution in Hong Kong. Independent t test results showed that there were significant differences between the responses of the two groups towards the usage of CMC in the classroom in terms of enjoying electronic discussions (p = 0.000), using electronic discussions outside the classroom (p = 0.14, p = 0.15), and using electronic discussions inside the classroom (p = 0.005). Structured interviews were conducted with 3 postsecondary students to probe for reasons of postsecondary students favoured electronic discussions due to the following reasons: (1) convenience, (2) social bonding, (3) awareness of linguistic mistakes, (4) research which can be done on the Web to discuss on a topic, (5) a relaxing environment, (6) the fact that electronic discussions can be saved as archives, and (7) cultural exposure.
Keywords: computer-mediated communication; electronic discussions; postsecondary students