e-learning, higher education, teaching, research, educational technology, lecturing, ESL, English, instructional design, language teaching, applied linguistics, academic writing, editing, blogging, writing, educational research, academic administration, theory, Teaching English as a Second Language, instructional technology, academia, linguistics, pedagogy, mobile learning & research design
Can adults acquire a second language successfully? To my point of view, the answer is “Yes.” Recent neurological research as opposed, to the claims of Critical Age Hypothesis, says that adults do possess superior language learning capabilities (Walsh and Diller, 1978). This is because adult brains are capable for higher-order linguistic processes and embrace well-developed cognitive systems. Relying on long-term memory, adults can make associations and generalizations easily to integrate the new language input with their ample existing learning experiences. Therefore, two pivotal indications can be elicited here: there is no decline in language learning ability while people are getting older, and most importantly, adults can pick up a language more progressively and easily than younger learners. Research also indicates that besides the cognitive development, other elements like language learning strategies, learners’ affective factors, as well as effective teaching methods by tutors should be taken into consideration to produce successful language learners.
This research aims to discover the benefits of group autonomy (GA) and peer assessment (PA) among tertiary students through newspapers in carrying out reading comprehension (RC) activities. This paper seeks to find out (1) how far GA had provided freedom for students to construct and determine own questions in RC activities and (2) how far PA had helped students to be more engaged in RC activities and to heighten understanding of reading newspaper articles. Direct observations by independent observers and rating evaluation formed by participants had been used to measure the actual behaviour and feedback of learners in RC activities using newspapers. 86 students were subsequently divided into smaller groups and given autonomy to carry out RC activities, select newspaper texts, formulate questions and handle inter-group participation in RC activities. Assessment was conducted by the respective groups themselves whereby each group checked on the correctness of the other groups’ written responses. Due to active involvement in such RC activities, the findings showed that students became more interested and “alive” during such reading classes. It further ascertained the effectiveness of GA and PA through the usage of newspapers in RC activities which succeeded in producing more active, critical and autonomous students.
In recent years, the use of web logs or blogs in education is on the rise. Even though it has immense potential as an extremely valuable tool in higher education learning, writing blogs in Malaysia is still in its infancy. Therefore, the objective of this study is to introduce a new ICT and CMC (Computer Mediated Communication) application – blogs, and investigate undergraduate students’ perceptions of using blogs as a tool for journal writing. This study employed the Davis’ Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) (1989) and its questionnaire-based measurement instrument to evaluate and justify users’ attitudes and behaviour. TAM posits two determinants–Perceived Ease of Use (PEOU) and Perceived Usefulness (PU) to determine an individual’s Behavioural Intention (BI) as a mediator of actual technology use. To explore the relationships among PEOU, PU, and BI of blog users to accomplish a writing task, questionnaire was administered on 78 undergraduate students as the target sample. Based on the objectives of the study, three hypotheses were formulated. The results from the pilot test had confirmed the reliability of the modified TAM-based questionnaire. The undergraduate students’ intention to use blogs for journal writing had a more significant effect on usefulness rather than on ease of use. Additionally, the findings revealed that TAM can be applied in the English Language Teaching (ELT) context to diagnose and interpret the attitude and behaviour of users of blogs. However, most importantly PEOU, PU, and BI were positively correlated at a significant level. These results depicted that the three proposed hypotheses in the study had failed to be rejected. The implication is blogs are more useful than easy to use for journal writing and the intention to use a newly-implemented ICT tool in the learning process can be attained provided that perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use can be obtained from the users.
Web log is an exceptionally valuable tool for the teaching of second language writing, particularly in written communication skills (Johnson, 2004; Wu, 2003). More and more foreign educators have applied this easy-to-use technology to classroom instruction and language learning (Campbell, 2003a; Johnson, 2004). However, what has remained predominantly unknown is Malaysian students’ reaction to writing web logs in English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom. Therefore, the study aims to investigate the perception of writing web logs among the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) HM115 diploma students who were taking BEL311 English course in their third semester based on the three Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) variables. Specifically, the study sought to identify whether the two TAM determinants-Perceived Ease of Use (PEOU) and Perceived Usefulness (PU) affect the students’ behavioural intention (BI) to use web logs for specific writing task. This study employed the Davis’ TAM (1989) and its questionnaire-based measurement instrument and three hypotheses were formulated based on the objectives of the study. The pilot test’s result had confirmed the reliability of the modified TAM-based questionnaire. The findings showed that students accept writing web logs as classroom activity since they perceived online journals to be more useful rather than easy to use. Additionally, the findings revealed that TAM can be used to diagnose and interpret the attitude of new technology users and most importantly, PEOU, PU, and BI were positively and highly correlated at a significant level. This result proved that the three proposed hypotheses in the study have failed to be rejected.
The application of computer in education is on the rise recently. However, using web logs in English Language Teaching (ELT) is rather new in Malaysia since the students’ acceptance of writing web logs has not been extensively examined in previous studies. Therefore, the objective of this study is to measure students’ acceptance of writing web logs employing the Davis’ Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). Two determinants–Perceived Ease of Use (PEOU) and Perceived Usefulness (PU) are used to determine an individual’s Behavioural Intention (BI) of writing web log. To investigate the relationships among PEOU, PU, and BI of users with and without hands-on experience of blogging, pre- and post-questionnaires were administered on three intact groups of undergraduate students as the target sample. Three hypotheses were formulated based on the objectives of the study. The result of the study shows that with the support of hands-on experience, the students accepted to write web logs because they found it was more useful rather than easy to use. Besides, TAM also had been found suitable to be adopted in educational context to predict technology acceptance prior and subsequent to users having any hands-on experience with the technology for pedagogical purpose.
Teaching elementary Mandarin to non-native speakers in UiTM is a demanding job. This is because the students have no basics in Mandarin and lecturers have a fairly short span of time to complete the syllabus in one semester. Besides, Malay and English are the two major mediums of instruction used in classrooms and students like to communicate using their own mother tongue. Therefore, the students’ exposure to Mandarin speaking environment is extremely limited. Because of the problems faced by the students in learning Mandarin, this paper proposes the Grouping, Arranging, Touching Up (GAT) module incorporating ‘Word Sequence’ Diagram (WSD) in the form of graphic impression that specifically caters for teaching non-native speakers how to restructure basic Mandarin sentences. Based on the theories proposed by Liu, Shen, and Zhang, it is apparent that WSD is very supportive in teaching students how to restructure basic Mandarin sentences correctly. This is because students only need to remember the five icons in WSD without absorbing the complicated grammatical rules to restructure the sentences. At the end, students can visualise the logical flow of sentence patterns in Mandarin and will be more autonomous and confident in learning Mandarin as a foreign language.
The web log is an exceptionally valuable tool for the teaching of second language writing, particularly written communication skills (Johnson, 2004; Wu, 2005). More and more international educators have applied this easy-to-use technology to classroom instruction and language learning (Campbell, 2003; Johnson, 2004). However, what is largely unknown is Malaysian students’ reaction to writing web logs in English as a Second Language (ESL) classrooms. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the perception of writing web logs among Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) HM115 diploma students who took the BEL311 English course in their third semester based on the three Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) variables. Specifically, the study sought to identify whether the two TAM determinants,Perceived Ease of Use (PEOU) and Perceived Usefulness (PU), affected the students’ behavioural intention (BI) to use web logs for specific writing tasks. This study employed Davis’s TAM (1989) and its questionnaire-based measurement instrument and three hypotheses were formulated based on the objectives of the study. The pilot test’s result confirmed the reliability of the modified TAM-based questionnaire. The findings showed that students accept writing web logs as a classroom activity since they perceived online journals to be more useful rather than easy to use. Additionally, the findings revealed that TAM can be used to diagnose and interpret the attitude of new technology users and most importantly, PEOU, PU, and BI were positively and highly correlated at a significant level. These results did not reject the three proposed hypotheses.
In this information age that brings about the telecommunication revolution, education is also constantly shifting – new technologies have redefined educational emphasis from content to learners and their learning processes. Based on The Development of Education National Report Malaysia (2004), the use of technology has become one of the objectives and principal characteristics of forthcoming educational reforms. However, not many studies have been conducted to determine students’ perceptions of one of the revolutionary Web 2.0 applications – weblog as a language learning tool in spite of its immense potentials in educational context. Owing to the substantial benefits of blogging and to reach ICT-enhanced teaching and learning, the main objectives of this study are: (1) to describe the overt instructions of creating a weblog with Blogger (a free blogging service); (2) to provide a preliminary report about the implementation of weblogs in English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom; and (3) to suggest the techniques for educators to use weblogs in classroom. By using convenient sampling method, the study involves 58 diploma students from one of the universities in Malaysia. Before conducting a survey, students were given a language task that required them to create individual weblog. After one week of completing the task, a questionnaire survey was administered among the students to find out their perceptions of weblog as a language learning tool. Based on the results of the study, all students felt that weblog is an easy and useful tool for writing. The study demonstrates the significance of students’ perceptions of weblogs and educator’s roles to ensure the successfulness of weblog implementation in ESL classroom. The findings have further implied that students need to be more exposed to blogging with systematic guidance from the educators.
English language has always been a perceived problem for Chinese ESL learners particularly on syntactical rules in sentence construction. However, not many studies have been conducted with a specific focus on the interlanguage of Chinese ESL learners. This study is primarily concerned about how the learner’s existing linguistic knowledge influences the course of English language development among Chinese ESL learners. This constitutes a suitable starting point to focus on the similarities and differences of learners’ language patterns their target language as it may be one of the possible results of the manifestation of learners’ native language transfer. The study of first language (L1) transfer involves the study of errors (negative transfer), avoidance of target language forms, and their overuse.
This paper gives a brief overview of UiTM Penang diploma students’ learning styles in the study of the English language courses. Five types of learning styles – auditory, visual, tactile, group, and individual are examined with the particular objectives of whether gender and the types of programs taken affect the learning styles of the students. The study also throws light on whether students’ performances in SPM and UiTM English courses’ results were affected by their learning styles. Chi-square test and reliability test were used to measure their significance and consistent reliability. The findings show that auditory, tactile, and group learning styles were predominantly popular among the students of different gender, programs of study, and those who had obtained different grades of their SPM and UiTM examination results. The writers hope that the findings of this study may provide new directions in the teaching of English courses in UiTM.
This paper gives a brief overview of UiTM Penang diploma students’ preferences of learning styles specifically among those who were undertaking the English language courses. The five types of learning styles – auditory, visual, tactile, group, and individual are examined with the particular objectives of whether gender and the types of programs taken affect the learning styles of the students. The study also emphasises on the students’ results of SPM and UiTM English courses’; whether or not their preferences were affected by their learning styles. Thus, the Chi-square test and reliability test were used to measure the significance and the consistent reliability. The findings show that auditory, tactile, and group learning styles were predominantly popular among the students of different gender, programs of study, and those who had obtained different grades of their SPM and UiTM examination results. The writers hope that the findings of this study may provide new directions in the teaching of English courses in UiTM.
An interlanguage is a linguistic system that has been developed by a second language (L2) learner who is partially proficient in the target language with some of the first language (L1) features in target language communication. The learner’s L1 transfer is derived from the Interlanguage Theory, which believes that “ the psychological structure latent in the brain" is triggered among L2 learners in second language learning. English language has always been a perceived problem for Chinese ESL learners particularly on syntactical rules in sentence construction. However, not many studies have been conducted with a specific focus on the interlanguage of Chinese ESL learners. In this study, it is primarily concerned about how the learner’s existing linguistic knowledge influences the course of English language development among Chinese ESL learners. Since there is a limited intake of Chinese students into the programme of study, the subject of this study consists of 12 Chinese students from six different classes at one college in the northern region of Malaysia. This constitutes a suitable starting point to focus on the similarities and differences of learners’ sentence patterns of their target language. It may be one of the possible results of the manifestation of learner interlanguage on their writing. The results of the study show that the use of the English language presented in the form of written work from the target group which has manifested itself the impact of L1 (Chinese) transfer on their second language learning. This involves negative transfer, avoidance of target language structure and overgeneralization.
One of the ways to deliver a language course on learners' demand using any computer connected to the Internet at anywhere and anytime is by developing a Web-based instruction (WBI). Besides, it can be more effective if WBI incorporates multimedia components. `A picture tells a thousand words', thus, a Mandarin WBI that includes multimedia elements will increase the effectiveness in learning Mandarin. The objective of this paper is to describe the process of designing and developing a Hanyu Pinyin (Romanised Mandarin) WBI to teach non-native learners (Malay Mandarin learners) in learning Mandarin at a Malaysian university(UiTM). The Hanyu Pinyin WBI is tailored to tackle the weaknesses and to meet the specific needs of Malay learners. Hanyu Pinyin WBI is designed on the basis of Instructional System Design (ISD) methodology. This approach involves four phases: (1) analysis and design, (2) development, (3) implementation, and (4) evaluation of the instruction.
Journal writing has been proven as an eminent and supportive teaching tool across the grades and the curriculum (Hopkins, 2003). It is also a common pedagogical technique in writing courses (Krause, 2005). Nowadays, the writing of e-journals or blogs is becoming progressively more popular as it is one of the easiest ways – almost as easy as sending an email – to publish student writing on the Internet (Stanley, 2005). Given the nature and characteristics of blogs, educators have the opportunities to employ this innovative tool in the English as a Second Language (ESL) classrooms, particularly to enhance journal writing with their students. In addition, if blogs have the potential for application in English Language Teaching (ELT), an investigation should be conducted to study this new educational innovation.
The conventional way of learning in the classroom has presently made way for students to be more involved and engaged in language activities. They learn from their involvement in assessing while collaborating with their peers. At higher institutions of learning, studies have shown that peer assessment (PA) plays a crucial role in student skill development as it aids students in improving their performance on evaluated assignments and increases learning capacity. In the study, 71 students were engaged in reading comprehension (RC) activity. They were divided into groups of three to five students which required each group to select passages in the newspapers, formulate questions and handle inter-group participation in RC activity. The purpose of this study is to explore how PA can be used as a dependable alternative to lecturer assessment in tertiary education. Each class was observed by a lecturer, non-involved peer group and the rest of the other participating groups. Training for assessment was administered and marks for evaluation were standardized . Generally, the observed assessment by the three parties showed similar results except in some areas which involved structured short answer. The findings prompt educators in universities to consider employing PA as a supplemental tool for assessing students in RC activity. It explores the extent of student assessment compatibility to that of the lecturer’s and gauge whether students as assessors can reliably and consistently provide fair judgement on peer assessment in RC activity.
A traditional Curriculum Vitae (CV) fails to highlight the candidates’ strength, skills and achievement effectively. Thus, graduates are unable to sell and present themselves in an interactive way in order to impress the employer. In the digital age, mobile phones and Wi-Fi are ubiquitous; thus, an online CV namely “Mobile Curriculum Vitae” (m-CV) is created and proposed to be the alternative. It uses weblog as the developing platform that comes with both web and mobile versions. It can be accessed using mobile devices such as smart phones wherever and whenever they are. The objective of the study is conducting a survey to investigate the acceptance of m-CV on a group of 200 diploma students in one of the Malaysian universities-Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Penang Campus using questionnaires based on Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). After conducting a two-hour seminar on the m-CV, a total of 191 questionnaires were collected. Descriptive analysis was done using SPSS based on 4 point Likert scale. The study found that m-CV was perceived to be more useful rather than ease of use. It reports on how far the diploma students are in favor of using the online method instead of the traditional way to create their CVs. The study attests the process involved in user acceptance of using information and communication technology (ICT) in the making of CV that can be modeled and predicted.
In Malaysian local universities, Mandarin is offered as the third language course to students who are the non-native Mandarin speakers. Since Mandarin is distinctive with its own grammatical and sentence patterns, Mandarin instructors need to come up with the effective method to teach the non-native speakers who are rather weak in restructuring Mandarin sentences. Many non-native speakers of Mandarin are fail to restructure Mandarin sentences correctly at elementary level due to the limited contact hours, unsupportive Mandarin learning environment, and the influence of mother tongue. To reduce this learning predicament among these non-native speakers, this paper proposes the use of GAT method for restructuring Mandarin sentences. GAT, an acronym for Group-Arrange-Touch-up, incorporates ‘Word Sequence’ Diagram (WSD) in the form of graphic impressions, which can be used by non-native speakers in their quest of learning Mandarin. This method is supported by the ‘word sequence’ approach and other relevant theories proposed by some prominent researchers such as Liu Hongmo, Shen Xiaolong, and Zhang Lizhao. This paper demonstrates how GAT is used to teach non-native speakers to restructure basic Mandarin sentences without the need to master the grammar of Mandarin thoroughly. After implementing GAT in a Mandarin class throughout a four-month semester in Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Penang Campus, the result obtained from an oral interview to the students had found that GAT was a favourable method among the Malay students in restructuring Mandarin sentences.
Semantic mapping is a kind of graphic organizer. It illustrates a number of approaches designed to demonstrate how key words or concepts are associated to one another through graphic representations. From the previous studies, semantic mapping has demonstrated as a practical teaching and learning technique for students at all grade levels both in regular and remedial classrooms. This method has been identified by researchers as an excellent technique for increasing vocabulary and improving reading comprehension. However, the use of semantic mapping as a writing technique in ESL classroom has been relatively unexplored. The objective of this study is to exemplify the students’ feedback during and after the implementation of semantic mapping in the essay writing process. The data was collected via observation and interview. The findings showed positive feedback received from the subjects on the use of semantic mapping in their writing. By using semantic mapping, a slow transition happens from word mapping to sentence production in association with the semantics notions like word association, sense relation, parts of speech, superordination, collocation, and system of logic leading to essay writing.
A traditional Curriculum Vitae (CV) fails to highlight the candidates’ strength, skills and achievement effectively. Thus, graduates are unable to sell and present themselves in an interactive way in order to impress the employer. In the digital age, mobile phones and Wi-Fi are ubiquitous; thus, an online CV namely “Mobile Curriculum Vitae” (m-CV) is created and proposed to be the alternative. It uses weblog as the developing platform that comes with both web and mobile versions. It can be accessed using mobile devices such as smart phones wherever and whenever they are. The objective of the study is conducting a survey to investigate the acceptance of m-CV on a group of 200 diploma students in one of the Malaysian universities-Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Penang campus using questionnaires based on Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). After conducting a two-hour seminar on the m-CV, a total of 191 questionnaires were collected. Descriptive analysis was done using SPSS based on 4 point Likert scale. The study found that m-CV was perceived to be more useful rather than ease of use. It reports on how far the diploma students are in favor of using the online method instead of the traditional way to create their CVs. The study attests the process involved in user acceptance of using information and communication technology (ICT) in the making of CV that can be modeled and predicted.
In this cyber age, the job market has been rapidly transforming and being digitalized. Submitting a paper-based curriculum vitae (CV) nowadays does not grant a job seeker a high employability rate. This paper calls for attention on the creation of mobile Curriculum Vitae or m-CV (http://m-curriculumvitae.blogspot.com), a sample of an individual CV developed using weblog, which can enhance the job hunter especially fresh graduate’s higher marketability rate. This study is designed to identify the perceptions held by Malaysian university students regarding m-CV grounded on a modified Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). It measures the strength and the direction of relationships among three major variables – Perceived Ease of Use (PEOU), Perceived Usefulness (PU) and Behavioral Intention (BI) to use. The finding shows that university students generally accepted adopting m-CV since they perceived m-CV to be more useful rather than easy to use. Additionally, this study has confirmed TAM to be a useful theoretical model in helping to understand and explain the behavioral intention to use Web 2.0 application-weblog publishing their CV. The result of the study has underlined another significant positive value of using weblog to create personal CV. Further research of m-CV has been highlighted in this paper.
Within the last few years, there has been rising concern in Malaysian society at the dismal ability in mastery of English among university students. The students with higher academic qualifications but committed numerous mistakes in written English will hardly be employed by the prospective employers. In most of the universities, language instructors face a lot of difficulties when essay writing is concerned. Many students still commit the grammatical errors that consume a great deal of instructors’ time and effort to correct their written tasks. To identify the challenges of second language (L2) writing particularly among tertiary students in Malaysia, one of the Malaysian universities with highest population was chosen. Based on the review of past studies, nine L2 writing challenges have been identified which can be represented by a chain reaction diagram called “SIL”: system (S), instructor (I), and learner (L). Lecture time, institutional e-learning system, and ICT research fall under the system perspective. Besides, classroom practice, ICT interest, and L2 writing approach are considered as the shortcomings from instructor perspective. In the learner perspective, reading habit, language proficiency, and influence of first language are the areas of concern. SIL proposes a sequence of inductive remedial actions, which should be taken by considering the elements within the S to the I, and finally to the L.
The proliferation of educational technologies and various audio-visual gadgets has stretched the boundaries of student-centered learning. The medium for learning no longer rely solely on text books or traditional classroom teaching. Multimedia materials provide exciting new possibilities for learners, paving the way for students to assume an active role in their learning. This study explores the usage of television commercials via wiki an educational workspace to support student-centered learning. Learning through television commercials creates interest and is highly motivating especially for foreign language learners. The participants of the study comprise of 120 students pursuing a diploma in culinary arts and taking French as a compulsory subject. A structured questionnaire was used to elicit students’ feedback on their experience using wiki during student learning time. The results yielded a satisfactory acceptance of this educational workspace. Findings showed that students have the capacity to control the pace of their learning thus motivating students to engage positively in independent learning.
In the era of rapid development of information and communication technology, both teachers and students are exposed to a great number of multimedia tools which can be used for teaching and learning purposes. Nevertheless, the biggest challenge faced by teachers is how to use the multimedia tools properly and effectively in classrooms. This study is carried out to investigate the proper management of three main multimedia tools, i.e. PowerPoint, video clips and E-Learning, in classroom activities in order to have effective teaching and learning of Spanish language at Engineering Campus of Universiti Sains Malaysia. The set of ideas underlying the basis of the management of PowerPoint, video clips and E-Learning in classrooms is firstly presented. A framework for the management of classroom activities incorporating the combination of PowerPoint, video clips and E-Learning with other resources such as games, songs and additional notes is then proposed. An example of classroom activities implemented based on the proposed framework is also given. The effectiveness of the management framework in order to develop students’ language skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking is gauged by means of a survey. Preferences of students on the use of PowerPoint, video clips and E-Learning during Spanish classrooms are analyzed. Outcome of the survey is used as guidelines to further improve the management of the use of these multimedia tools to make teaching of Spanish language more fun, challenging, and interesting to the students.
Mandarin is a tone language, which every Chinese word has a fixed tone. If a tone is changed, the meaning of the word will be changed. Thus, identifying the Hanyu Pinyin pronunciation mistakes is essential and should be prioritized by Mandarin instructors. Numerous pronunciation errors were identified among the undergraduates who were the non-native speakers with difficulties in pronunciation, communication and listening skills in Mandarin. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the pronunciation problems faced by the students as non-native speakers in consonants, vowels and tones based on the Hanyu Pinyin system. The findings of the study show consonant constitutes the highest number of errors (68.29%) as compared to the tone (13.66%) and vowel (18.5%). Among the consonants, most of the students committed errors in the pronunciation of "zh" as 16.43% while the second place goes to the consonant “z", which constitutes 13.57% of errors. The highest inaccuracy in vowel pronunciation happens to the last phoneme “s” as 82.14% while most students had made errors in the second tone as 56.76% and the third tone as 24.32%. Hence, it can be concluded that the undergraduates were suffering from mastering the Mandarin pronunciation, which had been greatly influenced by Malay language as their first language or mother tongue.
English is used as a second language (L2) in Malaysia with a great emphasis on tertiary education as the medium of instruction, the most important subject in the curriculum, and a mandatory subject for all undergraduates. Yet, the university lecturers share a common view that students find it difficult to perform satisfactorily, particularly in writing assessment in English language courses. To identify the challenges of ESL writing, particularly among the undergraduates in Malaysia, one of the Malaysian universities with the highest population was chosen. A performance analysis was conducted in two consecutive semesters on the results of one of the English courses, which writing becomes the core assessment. Besides, a review of the past studies was done. Nine L2 writing challenges were identified, which can be represented by a chain reaction diagram called “SIL”: system (S), instructor (I), and learner (L). SIL proposes a sequence of inductive remedial actions, which should be taken by considering the elements within the S to the I, and finally to the L. To conclude, poor writing skill of Malaysian undergraduates in language and content perspectives as identified in the performance analysis is supported by several past studies prescribed in the SIL domains.
Blog is a type of website functioning as a web-based journal that depicts dated posts about a topic arranged from the most recent to the oldest. Furthermore, it is also a web publishing tool enabling one to publish their thoughts or commentaries. It is arguably the first form native to the web (Blood, 2003) that allows the bloggers – persons who do online journals, to keep records of their daily happenings on websites prior any Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML) knowledge or programming experience. This shows blogging as simple as sending email, which almost everyone can publish their views online to global forum. Later when web experts like Justin Hall and Adam Greenfield for the first time used Moblog or MoBlog - a contraction of mobile weblog, it symbolised a further dimension in the development of blog. Moblog has the ability to upload posts through mobile technology. In 2003, the first International Moblogging Conference (1IMC) in Tokyo was organised (Döring & Gundolf, 2006).
Web-based Cognitive Writing Instruction (WeCWI) is a hybrid e-framework for the development of a web-based instruction (WBI), which contributes towards instructional design and language development. WeCWI divides its contribution in instructional design into macro and micro perspectives. In macro perspective, being a 21st century educator by disseminating knowledge and sharing ideas with the in-class and global learners is initiated. By leveraging the virtue of technology, WeCWI aims to transform an educator into an aggregator, curator, publisher, social networker and ultimately, a web-based instructor. Since the most notable contribution of integrating technology is being a tool of teaching as well as a stimulus for learning, WeCWI focuses on the use of contemporary web tools based on the multiple roles played by the 21st century educator. The micro perspective in instructional design draws attention to the pedagogical approaches focusing on three main aspects: reading, discussion, and writing. With the effective use of pedagogical approaches through free reading and enterprises, technology adds new dimensions and expands the boundaries of learning capacity. Lastly, WeCWI also imparts the fundamental theories and models for web-based instructors' awareness such as interactionist theory, cognitive information processing (CIP) theory, computer-mediated communication (CMC), e-learning interactional-based model, inquiry models, sensory mind model, and leaning styles model.
Web-based Cognitive Writing Instruction (WeCWI)'s contribution towards language development can be divided into linguistic and non-linguistic perspectives. In linguistic perspective, WeCWI focuses on the literacy and language discoveries, while the cognitive and psychological discoveries are the hubs in non-linguistic perspective. In linguistic perspective, WeCWI draws attention to free reading and enterprises, which are supported by the language acquisition theories. Besides, the adoption of process genre approach as a hybrid guided writing approach fosters literacy development. Literacy and language developments are interconnected in the communication process; hence, WeCWI encourages meaningful discussion based on the interactionist theory that involves input, negotiation, output, and interactional feedback. Rooted in the e-learning interaction-based model, WeCWI promotes online discussion via synchronous and asynchronous communications, which allows interactions happened among the learners, instructor, and digital content. In non-linguistic perspective, WeCWI highlights on the contribution of reading, discussion, and writing towards cognitive development. Based on the inquiry models, learners' critical thinking is fostered during information exploration process through interaction and questioning. Lastly, to lower writing anxiety, WeCWI develops the instructional tool with supportive features to facilitate the writing process. To bring a positive user experience to the learner, WeCWI aims to create the instructional tool with different interface designs based on two different types of perceptual learning style.
The second language (L2) learners, especially from Malaysian higher learning institutions, have always faced difficulty to master good writing skill. Though the importance of English language has been always highlighted in Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), the students have yet to perform well in their writing assessments. Based on the performance analysis and the writing challenges prescribed in the SIL domains, the objective of this study is to further investigate on the SIL’s learner domain on the poor writing skill and writing needs among the UiTM students through a systematic literature review. After analysing the related literature, the seven identified perspectives of poor writing skill include writing complexity, literacy, proficiency, critical thinking, information literacy, interlanguage, and writing anxiety. The findings denote a high demand for developing a supplementary web-based instruction (WBI) and a comprehensive framework such as Web-based Cognitive Writing Instruction (WeCWI) is highlighted to tackle efficiently the L2 writing predicaments.
In Malaysia, Mandarin has also become a favourite third language subject among university students. However, many non-native speakers of Mandarin often encounter problems in pronunciation. Identifying the pronunciation errors is essential to avoid misunderstanding and communication breakdown. This study aims to investigate the perspective view of factors causing undesirable pronunciation problems faced by the students as non-native speakers based on the phonetic system of Hanyu Pinyin. A survey was conducted by distributing questionnaires to undergraduates from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Engineering Campus to identify the underlying factors of pronunciation problems in Mandarin. The findings from the data analysis show that mother tongue interference was the main problem since some consonants and vowels are missing from the students’ first language. Besides, other factors such as time constraint, psychological problems, and learning environment were among the distracting factors.
Web-based instruction (WBI) has been proposed by Mah and Khor (2015) as a supplementary instructional tool to tackle the writing problems faced by Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) students besides to fulfil the writing needs of UiTM learners and instructors due to the limitations found in the existing web-based writing systems. Hence, the objective of this study is to select an appropriate English course by conducting a critical review of literature based on the past studies involving UiTM English courses as well as the types of English courses offered by UiTM before embracing WBI as the course's supplementary instructional tool. After scrutinising all the UiTM English courses offered in 2013, BEL422 Report Writing was identified as the most proper course to be integrated with WBI owing to its syllabus, course structure, and assessment components that focus on proposal and report writing as the main learning outcome. Through the integration of WBI for instructional purpose, students who have registered in this course can acquire their writing competency to communicate effectively in an academic form of written English. Therefore, BEL422 Report Writing was opted to be integrated with WBI as the content development to facilitate the teaching process as well as enhance the learning outcomes. The future study will look into the adoption of Web-based Cognitive Writing Instruction (WeCWI) as the framework of WBI development for the enhancement of writing performance and critical thinking.
Rooted from the performance analysis based on the results of an English course offered by Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) in two consecutive semesters, nine L2 writing challenges were identified. These barriers to L2 writing were further analysed and elucidated in a form of chain diagram namely “SIL”, which means system (S), instructor (I), and learner (L). SIL proposes a sequence of deductive remedial actions for writing predicaments. Its learner domain was further scrutinised to examine the writing difficulties faced by UiTM undergraduates as the L2 learners. Based on the qualitative systematic review of the past studies on UiTM students’ writing problems supported by the instructors and learners’ writing needs, seven perspectives of poor writing skills were determined: writing complexity, literacy, proficiency, critical thinking, information literacy, interlanguage, and writing anxiety. Owing to the global impact of the internet, the positive outcomes of web-based writing instructions, as well as the high demand for developing a supplementary web-based instructional tool, an e-framework namely WeCWI was formulated grounded on the theoretical-and-pedagogical principles, which comes with four significances that promote in literacy, language, cognitive, and psychological developments. WeCWI synthesises the selected principles of theories, approach, and models from language acquisition, composition studies, cognitive theories, and e-learning. The injection of web 2.0, blog, into the framework as the instructional platform to enhance the writing performance and critical thinking.
Web-based Cognitive Writing Instruction (WeCWI) is a theoretical-and-pedagogical multidisciplinary hybrid e-framework formulated to empower teachers through the adaptive learning technology particularly the internet. WeCWI Integrated Formula is the first framework synthesising the principles of language acquisition, cognitive theories, composition studies, and e-learning to construct a hybrid digital framework for developing and designing a web-based instruction (WBI) based on learners’ information processing preferences. The four main theoretical rationales—language acquisition, composition studies, cognitive theories, and e-learning—are seamlessly integrated as the core of WeCWI, which can be summarised into a formula as: (Language Acquisition + Composition Studies + Cognitive Theories) e-Learning = WeCWI. This integrated formula of WeCWI is represented by a Venn diagram. To promote adaptive learning, teachers are encouraged to develop their web-based instructional tools using the web 2.0 platform such as blog based on their students’ preferred interface designs that correspond to different perceptual learning styles. The process of WBI construction through the four stages (acquaint, develop, integrate, and design) in four different types of discoveries (instructional, technological, pedagogical, and theoretical) can empower the teachers to plan and manage the entire instructional process. Besides, WeCWI Integrated Formula also provides a remedy of second language (L2) writing barriers in English faced by the students by fostering their writing performance and critical thinking. This is achievable through the integration among the four WeCWI’s theoretical rationales that promotes literacy, language, cognitive, and psychological developments. These four areas are equally essential to tackle the issues of complexity of writing skill and low literacy skills, interlanguage errors and low language proficiency, lack of critical thinking and low information literacy, and L2 writing anxiety. Therefore, language teachers are encouraged to develop and design their WBIs to improve the students’ writing process and product.
WeCWI is an e-framework grounded on the theoretical-and-pedagogical principles of language acquisition, composition studies, cognitive theories, and e-learning to promote literacy, language, cognitive, and psychological developments. This study aimed to tackle the writing complexity and deficiency of literacy skills among the second language (L2) learners by reviewing the literature on the integration of language acquisition and composition studies to become a hybrid framework. Three fundamental language acquisition theories such as acquisition-learning hypothesis, input hypothesis, and reading hypothesis were adopted in WeCWI. To develop a tool of web-based instruction (WBI) using WeCWI, instructors are encouraged to publish greater functions and more up-to-date reading materials by utilising the web widgets and hypertext, which offer the direct access to specific online reading materials to the learners. This will also promote reading on voluntary basis in informal setting or free reading, which is the major source of literacy competence in various aspects including vocabulary, spelling, grammar, and writing (Krashen, 1992). Besides, formal reading can also be made available on WBI through posting the targeted reading materials related to the course’s learning outcomes. Furthermore, WeCWI adopted Yan (2005)’s six typical writing steps based on Badger and White (2000)’s process genre approach. This approach helps instructors to create the writing tasks driven by specific purposes and forms that enable the learners to be engaged in the recursive writing process through six writing steps: preparation, modelling and reinforcing, planning, joint constructing, independent constructing, and revising. Since guided writing is the most imperative factor on how to develop and formulate abstract ideas (Lan, Hung, & Hsu, 2011), interactive media in the form of web widget or hypertext can be embedded to assist these writing steps. In conclusion, the integration of language acquisition theories and process genre approach into WeCWI empowers WBI towards literacy development.
The issue of unemployment among the graduates is an issue which has come to the attention of the nation so much that it warrants a quick and effective measure taken by the institutions of higher education. The mismatches of expectations from the employers and the graduates’ communicative ability have been a contributing factor to why these graduates face difficulty in being employed. Hence, their verbal competence is one of the many indispensable criteria that are sought after by the employers apart from their hard skills. The purpose of this study is to examine the challenges and opportunities in relation to the English Exit Test (EET) and Competence Based English Test (CBET) Speaking Assessment which are initiated by University Technology MARA and University Kebangsaan Malaysia in gauging the graduates’ English language readiness for their workplace. Based on the systematic review analysis conducted, it can be concluded that both competence tests do have their fair share of hiccups and hurdles prior to getting the tests administered and rated without a glitch.
Mandarin language has generated a global interest among the non-Chinese students in the 21st century. Mandarin language has also become the favorite third language subject among Malaysian university students. However, many non-native speakers of Mandarin often encountered problems in pronunciation in terms of consonants, vowels, and tones. Mandarin is a tonal language, which the meaning of the word will be changed if the tone is pronounced incorrectly. Since identifying the Hanyu Pinyin pronunciation mistakes is essential and should be prioritised by Mandarin instructors, this study aims to investigate the evidence of pronunciation errors spoken by the students as non-native speakers in the area of consonants, vowels, and tones based on Hanyu Pinyin system. A survey was conducted by distributing questionnaires to undergraduates from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Engineering Campus. The findings from the data analysis show that most students made a lot of errors in pronouncing retroflex consonants due to mother tongue interference. In addition, the missing of certain vowels in students' first and second languages as compared to Mandarin as well as the difficulty to pronounce the tones correctly have created further hindrance to the students in the process of mastery Mandarin language.
To tackle the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) students’ writing problems besides fulfilling the writing needs of UiTM learners and instructors, web-based instruction (WBI) was proposed as a supplementary instructional tool. A hybrid e-framework namely Web-based Cognitive Writing Instruction (WeCWI) was proposed to be adopted for developing WBI for writing performance and critical thinking enhancements. Before embracing WBI as a supplementary instructional tool of an English course, a qualitative systematic review of literature was conducted on the related studies of UiTM students’ writing needs and challenges as well as UiTM English courses. BEL422 Report Writing was identified as the most appropriate course among all the UiTM English courses offered up to 2013 owing to its syllabus, course structure, and assessment components focussing on report writing. Besides, this course was also crucial for the students to acquire their writing competence to communicate effectively in their future workplaces. Thus, BEL422 Report Writing was selected to be integrated with WeCWI for developing and designing a WBI to facilitate the teaching process as well as to enhance the learning outcomes.
The use of the internet for teaching and learning has received overwhelming responses from academics over the recent years. This infusion of digital and multimedia technologies into Malaysian ESL classrooms has considerably altered the ELT methodologies. Mastering English in the digital world is not only limited to knowing the syntactic, pragmatic, and lexical items of the language, but also knowing how to read, write, and communicate in electronic environments. In response to the impact of technology in English language teaching (ELT), limitations of the learning management system (LMS) in fostering second language (L2) writing skill, as well as needs of supplementary web-based instruction (WBI) in UiTM Penang Branch as reported in the past studies, a WBI namely Web-based Cognitive Writing Instruction (WeCWI) is thus proposed in this research. WeCWI is a theoretical and pedagogical framework applied into the design and development of a web-based instructional tool. This study applied a comparative systematic review focussing between the two salient alternatives of web versions, web 2.0 applications, web hosts, and on-screen web properties. A web 2.0 application, blog, hosted by Blogger was proposed to be used as the developing platform after comparing with their alternatives: Wordpress, wikis, and web 1.0. Besides, web widgets and hypertext were also analysed to be made available on the blogs as part of the user interface design. With the injection of Web widgets and hypertext into the blogs, WeCWI attempts to offer a technological enhanced ELT solution to overcome the poor writing skill among L2 learners.
The DoMoreLah4Malaysia campaign is organised by Multimedia Development Corporation Sdn. Bhd., which is an outreach to celebrate the hard work of Malaysians who are making our nation a better place powered by technology and passion. Digital Malaysia has rolled this campaign to uncover and celebrate everyday Malaysians who are driven by passion and technology who freely donate their time and skills to help build a better Malaysia. The Campaign was held from 1 September – 10 October 2014. Web-based Cognitive Writing Instruction (WeCWI) has become one of the featured entries in this campaign with the quote of the volunteering work in action as follows: I am happy to #DoMoreLah4Malaysia to enhance instructional design and foster language development by leveraging the virtue of a theoretical-and-pedagogical hybrid e-framework namely "Web-based Cognitive Writing Instruction/WeCWI” (wecwi.blogspot.com) created based on the contemporary scientific knowledge and scholarly research findings.