Type Paper
License CC BY 4.0

The effect of task types on foreign language learners’ social presence in synchronous computer-mediated communication (SCMC)

Abstract

This study aims to clarify the relationship between task types and foreign language learners’ social presence (SP) in text-based SCMC learning modes. The participants in this study comprised 38 high-intermediate level English as a foreign language (EFL) learners from different disciplines of a university in Taiwan. They were divided into two groups (text-chat without webcam, text-chat with webcam). The task types selected for this study included jigsaw tasks (JTs) and decision- making tasks (DMTs). The empirical data for this study were collected from students’ SP surveys, interview transcripts, learning journals, and online discussion records. The findings of this study suggest that the task types could affect EFL learners’ SP development in SCMC. The DMTs in this study enhanced learners’ SP development better. In addition, the learners’ image provided by the webcam seemed to enhance learners’ SP perception. The learners perceived the highest SP in the DMT-webcam condition, and the lowest SP in the JT-non-webcam condition. However, the learners did not recognize the advantage of the webcam image. Therefore, it is highly recommended that learners be trained to adapt to learning environments in order to enhance SP before the start of learning.

Citation

Ko, C. (2016). The effect of task types on foreign language learners’ social presence in synchronous computer-mediated communication (SCMC). The JALT CALL Journal, 12(2), 123-149.