An empirical study of the use of computer-based material for the teaching of the listening skill in English as a second language to students of a higher education institution in Malaysia
The primary concern of the present study was to investigate the effective uses of computer-based software in teaching the listening skill in English as a Second Language (ESL) at higher education institutions. It aimed to find out if computer-based software can be used as a teacher replacement or supplement, either at the beginning or end of the listening lesson. This study also aimed to measure students' motivational reactions to instructional materials, to examine students' computer background, to examine any significant relationships between any of the variables and also to see if there are gender differences in any of these. In order to assess the effect of CALL use, an experimental study was carried out.The respondents consisted of 80 post-SPM students enrolled in Intensive English course at KUSZA, Malaysia. Two achievement post-tests and two sets of questionnaires were administered for data collection. The data results were analysed using SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Science) with statistical techniques of ANOVA, analysis of covariance, Pearson's product-moment correlation and t-tests for independent samples. The results of the study revealed that the way computerised material was used made a considerable effect on the achievement of the students. When it was used as a supplement at the beginning of the lesson, the students scored better results than those students received computerised treatment at the end of the lesson. When it was used as a teacher replacement, the students did not score well in the tests. The results also showed that non-computerised treatment was effective for teaching the listening skill.In the light of these results, certain recommendations were made for the teaching of the listening skill in ESL at KUSZA. It was recommended that computerised instruction be used as a supplement to teacher teaching at the beginning of the lesson rather than at the end of it. Further research is needed to be carried out with larger groups of respondents so that the findings can be generalised to other situations.