Adult English Language Learners' Perceptions of Audience Response Systems (Clickers) as Communication Aides: A Q-Methodology Study

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Abstract

This study explored the perceptions of adult English language learners about audience response systems (clickers) as tools to facilitate communication. According to second language acquisition theory, learners' receptive capabilities in the early stages of second language acquisition surpass expressive capabilities, often rendering them silent in their second language. Clickers may help English language learners to communicate more effectively by enabling them to express themselves nonverbally. In this Q-methodological study, adult English language learners enrolled in a computer skills course ranked statements about using clickers according to how closely they aligned with their perceptions about the ability of clickers to facilitate communication. Factor analysis identified commonalities and patterns in perceptions, confirming that second language acquisition theory influences how technology tools are perceived by English language learners. Results of this study may suggest more effective instructional and assessment practices for adult English language learners, and lead to further research of educational technology communication tools with English language learners of all ages.

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