An Experimental Study on the Interactivity Dimension in a Web-based English Course

J. Chen and T. Okamoto (Japan)


Instructional design, web-based English course,interactivity dimension, communication-orientedframework


This paper describes an experimental study aimed at investigating the learning effectiveness of a Web-based course called Academic English for acquisition of English for academic purposes (EAP). The main focus of the study was to examine the interactivity dimension of the course (i.e., the form, function and impact of interactions in the course) based on our communication-oriented instructional design framework. The assumptions underlying this research are that L2 (second language) interaction is substantial for language construction and reconstruction. In the study, twenty university level ESL students participated in this experiment. They were randomly assigned to two groups: a controlled group and an experiment group with inter-personal task and intra-personal task treatments, respectively. The optionality of interaction for each group depends on different task treatments. Statistical analyses revealed no significant effect of treatments on either comprehension or general L2 development, but significant differences were found with respect to language interaction for task completion under different task treatments. Further research is needed to examine the notion of self-repair in students' production in target language in this course.

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