The use of media technology in foreign language teaching and learning at university level : a study of teachers' attitudes in Korea
Despite the potential and increased availability of media technology, including advanced technologies such as computers and CD-ROM multimedia, teachers' actual use of technology, and particularly of the advanced technologies, in FLT/L in higher education in Korea still tends to be limited. The purposes of this study were, therefore: 1) to investigate the current patterns and contexts of teachers' (and for reference, students') use of media technology and their attitudes towards its use in FLT/L at university level in Korea; 2) to examine the cause of problems and the possibilities of improvement in its use in FLT/L; and 3) based on these findings, to suggest some solutions and strategies for applying them to the Korean context. Quantitative and qualitative research methods were adopted, i.e., questionnaires, interviews, and classroom observations were used to collect the data required for this study. The subjects consisted of forty-eight teachers who teach English (and 535 students) at twelve universities in the central districts in Korea. In addition, workshopbased experiments were carried out to gather additional data on teachers' opinions and to evaluate the implications of the study. This study shows that the majority of Korean teachers (and students) have positive attitudes towards the use of media technology in FLT/L, with generally no significant gender and years of teaching experience (and academic years) differences, although they make little use of it. The study suggests that the availability of media technology equipment and appropriate materials in particular, teachers' knowledge of it, and proper teacher training have a positive impact on teachers' attitudes towards its use, and are, in addition to their positive attitudes, the other main factors influencing its successful implementation in FLT/L. It is concluded that to provide the teachers with sufficient knowledge of the capabilities of media technology and to encourage wider use, more access to hardware and software is necessary, and training to familiarise teachers with the hardware and software and its potential for language teaching is essential. Therefore, suggestions are made for the effective use of existing facilities, and for a model that could be adopted for teacher training courses.