Blended Learning and EFL Secondary School Teacher

Abstract

Blended learning is a quite debatable mode of learning in the world. The researcher aims in this study to investigate the views of EFL Secondary School Teachers on Blended Learning. In the present study EFL is an abbreviation for "English as a Foreign Language". EFL is defined as the language of students learning English as foreign language. In India Gujarati language speaking students learning English language then for them its known as EFL(English as a Foreign Language). It also aims to investigate the views of the EFL secondary teachers on blended learning. Total EFL teachers of HimatnagarTaluka, Gujarat State, India are included in this study. The sample will be selected randomly. The sample will be provided hard copy or soft copy of the questionnaire. India is an orthodox type of country where tradition matters a lot. In some part of India male dominates the social system hence EFL teaching from gender perspective may have different impact. In such a developing country, women are gaining good position in the education field in metro cities. India has a strong social, caste and creed system hence women from different strata may not have equal opportunity in small town and rural part. It is very interesting to study the views of EFL teachers on blended learning in the context of gender and category and the interactive effect of gender*category. Indian social system is based on categories like SC, ST, SEBC and Open/General.

Keywords: Blended learning;EFL and TEFLCategory

Introduction

Change is an essential part of life cycle. Changes in our life are affected by many factors like

political situation, economic growth, advancement in technology, etc. Technology has powerful impact

on life so Sethy, (2008) says “new findings are generated and become established at breathtaking speed”.

The impact of technology is so powerful that even the field of education is highly affected thus

Djiwandono (2013) writes, “Learning is no longer confined to the four walls and whiteboard of a

classroom”, because of various tools and resources that are used by the teacher to provide wider teaching-

learning knowledge. It is prime focus to see what changes are there in teaching of English as foreign

language. Teaching English as a second language is still centered on how to teach, not how to learn even

today in some parts of India. In India the method of chalk and talk is still in existence. The chalk and talk

method has certain limitations in learning the language. In India due to advancement in technology there

is impact of technology aided English as second language learning. We should agree that technology

aided learning also has some disadvantages like preventing individuals from socializing. It's because of

the absence of face-to-face communication (Azizan, 2010).In order to balance face-to face learning and

technology aided learning, we needed to find a new method and that is known as blended learning. In the

present study, it is endeavoured to study impact on EFL (English as a Foreign Language) due to the

increased use of blended learning, specifically at the secondary school teacher levels. It is tried to

determine some of the critical factors that affect the teachers views on using blended learning and also to

determine some of the factors that affect the teachers views on using blended learning. This is the first

effort to study the views of the EFL secondary teachers on blended learning. Total EFL teachers of

HimatnagarTaluka, Gujarat State, India.

Problem Statement

Blended Learning and EFL Secondary School Teacher

Research Question

The researcher aims to study the following mentioned questions-

1- Are there any significant differences between the views of EFL teachers on blended learning in

the context of their gender and category?

Limitation of the Study

1. Population of the study: this study was limited to secondary school teachers of EFL only.

2. This study is confined to HimatnagarTaluka only.

Paper Theoretical Foundation and Related Literature

Blended learning has been defined variously by academician of the world. The simple definition of

blended learning may be as the type of learning that synthesizes traditional face-to-face mode of learning

with technology enabled mode of learning. It derives benefits from both mode of learning. Lim, Morris,

and Kupritz (2007) write that it’s a learning method that has more than one way to enhance learning

outcomes with a low cost associated. So and Bonk (2010) believes that to design and apply blended

learning in order to deliver efficient content and knowledge with full support of students, you have to

make a clear integration between two components of the course (face-to-face and online). Lo, Johnson,

and Tenorio (2011) write that when students use blended learning their perception level of deep thinking and problem solving is higher. Moreover, this approach offers flexible resources which make the learning

environment more active, by providing students with new experiences and outcomes. Chen and Jones

(2007) mentioned that using web-based resources deepen students understanding of topics. Teachers

(those are ) new to blended learning fail to interact in online components with students because they feel

that they are doing the same thing twice (Nakazawa, 2009).Teachers should focus on the outcomes and

how to benefit more from the use of technology as a virtual extension of the classroom (Senior, 2010). It

may be possible that enhancing blends of both modes cause some changes to the teaching learning

experience but not a complete change. It is said that transforming blends of both modes results in a

complete major changes in the teaching and learning.Badawi (2009) studied the effectiveness of the

blended learning model in developing knowledge and performance knowledge and performance of EFL

prospective teachers. Results showed that the blended learning model surpassed the traditional model

group in developing pedagogical knowledge of prospective teachers. However, there were no significant

differences between the two groups in developing the pedagogical performance of prospective teachers.

Liu (2013) investigated blended learning in an Academic English Writing course (AEW) in terms of

course design, material development and presentation, assignment submission and grading, student

involvement, teacher reflection, and student evaluation in his study. Findings by Liu indicate that students

favoured and appreciated blended learning in many ways, such as increasing student-student and student-

teacher interactions, reducing or even eliminating communication anxiety, motivating them to become

(more) independent and autonomous learners, and enhancing their academic English writing ability.

Investigation by Djiwandono (2013) shows that the effectiveness of blended learning in vocabulary

lessons and the opinions of students about the blended learning experience. Findings showed an apparent

gain in students’ command of 5000-level English words. Surprisingly, they did not make a similarly

encouraging achievement in new words from the texts. Kuo, Belland, Schroder, and Walker (2014) tried

to investigate the relationship between student perceptions of three types of interaction and blended

learning course satisfaction. Results shows that students perceived interaction as important to their

learning experiences and were moderately satisfied in their blended learning course. It also revealed that

the personality of student is a major factor for interaction and satisfaction in this type of course design.

Aldalalah, & Gasaymeh (2014) tried to investigate the effects of locus of control and anxiety level on

Jordanian educational technology students’ perceived blended learning competencies and obstacles. The

results dhows that students with internal locus of control performed significantly better than external

locus of control students in blended learning competencies (Knowledge &Technological) and blended

learning obstacles. The findings also showed that moderate anxiety students performed significantly

better than low and high anxiety students in blended learning competencies (Knowledge &Technology)

and blended learning obstacles. It also concluded that there was no significant difference between the low

and high anxiety students in blended learning obstacles. The study of previous literature shows that many

studies have been conducted to explore the effectiveness of blended learning and how it affects

performance of teachers and students. The findings were in favour of blended learning and also showing

how it improves the performance of both.

Abbreviations

01 BL= Blended Learning

02 TEFL= Teaching of English as a Foreign Language.

03 EFL= English as a Foreign Language

04 ELF= English as a Lingua Franca

05 SC= Schedule Caste

06 ST= Schedule Tribes

07 SEBC= Socially and Economically Backward Class

08 Open/General= Those are not in SC/ST/SEBC are known as Open/General

Methodology

The aim of this research is to investigate the views of EFL teachers on Blended Learning so

quantitative data was collected using non standardized questionnaire having 11 questions. The non-

standardized, five-point-scale Questionnaire on the view of EFL teachers on blended learning (VETBL)

was developed and used in both on-line and off-line form. The researcher has tried to study all the

relevant information in the construction of the tool and also attempted to conduct personal interview with

experts in order to develop the insight for the construction of the tool. The suggestions provided by the

experts on the questionnaire were considered in the construction of the questionnaire. The research items

were based on five-point-scale (1 for SD= Strongly Disagree, 2 for D=Disagree, 3 for U=Uncertain, 4 for

A=Agree, 5 for SA=Strongly Agree) for each item on the questionnaire. The results for each scale were

computed through a calculation of the mean, standard deviation and percentage scores. The statistical

calculation provides the level of views of EFL teachers on BL in the following way:

1- Very Weak (V.W): Percentage from 00% to less than 20%.

2- Weak (W): Percentage from 21% to less than 40%.

3- Medium (M): Percentage from 41% to less than 60%.

4- High (H): Percentage from 61% to less than 80%.

5- Very High (V.H): Percentage from 80% to 100%.

Sample

Statistical Treatment

The researcher tried to investigate the of views of EFL teachers on BL by means of a descriptive

and analytical methodology. Quantitative research design was applied. The responses were generated in

the MS Excel csv format. The value of each item was calculated in MS Excel. The data was calculated in

ANOVA with the help of SPSS version 21. The effect of variables was analysed at 0.05 level and the

HOs were tested. The data is presented in % calculation in tabular form wherever necessary.

Analyses and Results

The researcher tried to find the answer of the question " Are there any significant differences

between the views of EFL teachers on blended learning in the context of their gender and category? The

researcher formulated three Hos for the above question.

Ho1. There would be no significant differences between the views of EFL teachers on blended

learning in the context of their gender.

In the following table, the sum of square, df, Mean square and F with sig. are shown for the effect

of the variable of gender on blended learning.

Figure 1: ANOVA for Gender
ANOVA for Gender
See Full Size >

It is observed from the table above that the calculated value of male and female on blended

learning is 0.010 for component of Easy to teach . It is concluded that the gender affects the components:

Easy to teach.

Ho2. There would be no significant differences between the views of EFL teachers on blended

learning in the context of their category.

In the following table, the sum of square, df, Mean square and F with sig. are shown for the effect

of the variable of category on blended learning.

Figure 2: ANOVA for Category
ANOVA for Category
See Full Size >

It is observed from the table above that the calculated values of category of teachers on blended

learning are 0.020 for the component of Easy to teach, 0.050 for the component of Interaction among

Students and0.001 for the component of Motivates Teacher . It is concluded that the category of teachers

affects the components: Easy to teach, Interaction among Students and Motivates Teacher.

Ho3. There would be no significant differences between the views of EFL teachers on blended

learning in the context of the interaction of variables like gender*category.

In the following table, the sum of square, df, Mean square and F with sig. are shown for the effect

of the interaction of the variables like gender*category on blended learning.

Figure 3: ANOVA for Gender*Category
ANOVA for Gender*Category
See Full Size >

It is observed from the table above that the calculated value of the interaction of gender*category

of teachers on blended learning is 0.005 for component of Easy to teach . It is concluded that the

interaction of gender*category of teachers on blended learning affects the components: Easy to teach.

Discussion

After the intensive study on the views of EFL teachers on blended learning in the context of

variables like gender and category, it can be said that the teachers believes that they feel the English

courses easier to teach when applying BL in teaching. It is surprising to note that the teachers from

various categories like open/general, SC, SEBC and ST believes that blended learning activities allow

students to interact with each other in better way than the face to face mode of learning. It is also

concluded that the teachers from various categories also are of opinion that blended learning content

motivates them to teach better in competition with traditional mode of learning.

Conclusion

It is concluded that the teachers of EFL of HimatnagarTaluka of Gujarat State, India believes that

blended learning makes their activity of teaching more easy. The EFL teachers thinks that there is more

room for interaction because of blended learning that also results in the self-motivation to themselves.

The research can be summed up by saying that the teachers of EFL are not in favour of teaching-learning

activities in traditional mode but prefers blended learning mode.

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Publisher

Future Academy

First Online

18.12.2019

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2017.05.02.96

Online ISSN

2357-1330