Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: A qualitative case study of the efficacy of an online English language course at the Syrian Virtual University
Author: Suleiman, Mimas
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2015
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The study was undertaken in the online environment of the English language learning course in one of the institutions of higher education that deliver all its courses entirely online: the Syrian Virtual University (SVU).A proliferation in the use of computer conferencing tools (both video and audio) in language learning has taken place. The use of these tools, together with the relatively "traditional" asynchronous text-based ones, allows educators to cater to different learning needs and language skills. Such tools may require the implementation of new teaching approaches according to the nature of the tool and the pedagogical objectives of using the tool. Synchronous tools are a new medium for course delivery. It is not known if these tools can efficiently support English language teaching and learning when used by virtual learners and tutors together with other elements of the online environment. The purpose of the qualitative case study was to explore the nature of an online environment using integrated tools, and how different elements of the online environment such as content free tools and web-based materials are currently used by learners and tutors. Opportunities and constraints of these tools as well as learner and teacher experiences with these tools and materials were included in the study. Factors that hinder/facilitate language learning using these tools was described and analysed. Data analysis involved qualitative content and thematic analysis. The key findings show that the online environment did provide students with the opportunity of experiencing multiple approaches: self study where students worked alone on the interactive materials and received computer feedback, and learning through audio conferencing where they worked with each other and with the teacher to receive human feedback. These two approaches met different language learning needs, i.e., student's needs for independent learning, and their needs for social learning. It also met the needs of students who were less capable of working independently, especially those who did not have the necessary proficiency in English for working alone. These students had the opportunity to have support from the teacher and from other students. The use of multimodality offered many opportunities for language teaching and learning, but at the same time, there were many constraints that need to be addressed in further research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Jāmiʻat Tishrīn ; Wizārat al-Taʻlīm al-ʻĀlī, Syria
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB2300 Higher Education