This article presents data from a qualitative case study examining secondary ESL students' attitudes toward and perceptions of a collaborative e-mail exchange between a Form 4 (10th grade) ESL class in Hong Kong and an 11th grade English class in Iowa. The exchange was based on a researcher-designed instructional model, utilizing widely accepted theories and methods for modern second language instruction: cooperative learning, communicative language learning, process writing, project-based learning, and an integrated approach.
After exposure to the exchange, Hong Kong students were questioned about (a) changes in attitude towards computers and language learning; (b) effect of computer background on attitude, interest, and motivation; (c) perception of their acquired reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills; and (d) attitude towards cooperative learning. Data was collected primarily from pre- and post-model surveys and personal interviews.
The majority of Hong Kong participants said they enjoyed the exchange, gained general confidence in English and computer skills, and felt that they made significant progress in writing, thinking, and speaking. They were, however, ambivalent as to whether it improved standardized exam-related skills such as grammar usage and discrete language functions. As the project progressed, students with strong computer skills indicated less satisfaction than those with weak computer skills.[Copyright of Language Learning & Technology is the property of Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf.Access via Directory of Open Access Journals: http://llt.msu.edu/]