Bridging pedagogy and technology: User evaluation of pronunciation oriented CALL software
AbstractWhile it has become common to employ pronunciation oriented software to improve one's pronunciation in L2, both language teachers and L2 learners feel uncertain about choosing software to meet their purposes. Taking MyET, pronunciation oriented software written and highly praised in Taiwan, as a representative program, this study investigated its pedagogical usefulness through the viewpoints of nine junior college students (with three levels of English proficiency). The evaluation showed that MyET was able to differentiate between students at the beginning and intermediate levels, though its design for providing input and practice exercises has room for improvement. A questionnaire completed by the nine students indicated that they liked best the program's segment analysis and function of replaying target segments. Students enjoyed practising at their own pace and receiving individualised, immediate feedback from MyET, but considered the practice to be "mechanical." They expressed needs for more instruction on how to refine their pronunciation and for cumulative analyses of performances. This study contributes towards the design principles for pronunciation oriented software that can address users' language learning and practice needs. Implications for teaching pronunciation and selecting pronunciation oriented courseware are discussed.
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