Effects of Using Digital Comics to Improve ESL Writing

Posted: March 12, 2013 in Trend in ELT Assignment
Abstract:
Information Communication Technology (ICT) is used in modern education to help teachers toperform administrative tasks more efficiently and students learn more effectively. As one of the pedagogicaltools that involve the application of ICT, digital comics offer many advantages, particularly in the creation of an engaging learning environment. Using digital comics as a language-learning tool clearly seems to be oneof the most effective ways to teach ESL writing to students who have low proficiency in the English language.This study aims to investigate the perceptions of teacher trainees with regard to the use of digital comics inteaching writing to low-achieving ESL learners. A questionnaire survey was administered to 30 TESL teachertrainees at a state university in Malaysia. The findings showed that the teacher trainees had a positive attitudetowards using ICT in teaching writing and most of them agreed that digital comics enable them to help low-achieving language learners to write in English. At the same time, however, the teacher trainees perceived theuse of digital comics in the classroom as time consuming and impractical.
Keywords:
Digital comics, ESL writing, ICT, perception, teacher trainees
INTRODUCTION
English learners often need to be encouraged andmotivated to engage actively in learning the four languageskills of writing, speaking, reading and listening.Furthermore, many teachers are inspired to be as creativeas possible, in order to encourage learners to studyEnglish more effectively. The chief problem that theteachers face in teaching writing skills is lack of interestamong low-achieving ESL learners. Sampath andZalipour (2010) stated that students consider writing to bean extremely difficult area in learning English and itseems to be a daunting task for most ESL learners. Theybelieved that students are not aware of writing skills andthey are usually not motivated to write in English. Inaddition, according to the National Commission onWriting (2004), writing well is a vital skill for academicor occupational success, but one that is especially difficultfor second-language learners to master. In view of this,educational researchers have shown an interest inexploring the possibilities of using InformationCommunication Technology (ICT) tools for languageteaching and learning.
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