ADVANTAGES OF USING ICT IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING AND LEARNING TO EDUCATION ENGLISH STUDENTS AT IMO state UNIVERSITY
Existing research in the field of Applied Linguistics indicates a strong interest in the application of advanced practices through the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) when teaching English as a second language. As a result, the subject of resorting to the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) has been of significant concern, sparking considerable debate about ICT skills being an increasing necessity.
This study seeks to investigate the effects of ICT in non-credit English for Academic Purposes classrooms at the tertiary level in Nigeria, specifically Imo state. The purpose of this study is to investigate the positive and negative effects of ICT on attitude, motivation, and learning in EAP.
To be more specific, this is an academic study that will aid in determining how the use of technology affects English language learning outcomes in tertiary-level private educational institutions. To collect the data needed to answer my research questions, I conducted interviews with students and teachers as well as observed classes at two private tertiary level educational institutions.
I was able to narrow my research and make it as specific as possible by using inductive research to help me understand the research participants' state, attitude, and motivation towards learning. Following the completion of my research, the research findings revealed that the majority of the participants, which included both students and teachers, view the implementation of ICT in EAP positively.
Both students and teachers who took part agreed that ICT had a significant impact on language learning processes and strategies. Although the study concludes that ICT has positive effects on English language learning, it is also an attempt to identify the challenges associated with ICT application in EAP.
More communication and sharing opportunities are discovered with better and simpler electronic tools and gadgets as modern technology advances, opening new doors to a greater access to a world of knowledge (Fu, 2013). Existing research in this field indicates that the use of information and communication technology in English language learning classes can significantly improve the learners' learning process while also significantly increasing students' motivation, making them want to constantly engage in acquiring knowledge as well as inspire imagination and creativity.
Technology in language learning can increase the variety and diversity of learning environments and opportunities, as well as the quality of the learning experience, by making class content more varied and accessible to almost every individual learner, resulting in greater participation and engagement among learners (Pennington, 1996).
ICT integration in the curriculum provides access to a variety of electronic resources such as interactive video, the Internet, email, and the World Wide Web. These ICT tools can assist learners in developing linguistic skills, establishing contact and interaction with other language users, and broadening their minds about different cultural practices, values, and contemporary lifestyles in countries where English is spoken as a first or second language.
ICT-assisted teaching is thought to increase classroom activity and interaction. Incorporating information technology into language teaching provides students with numerous advantages that increase their chances of successfully learning a foreign language.
These benefits include increasing motivation, fostering critical thinking skills, encouraging innovation and creativity, establishing interaction, improving communication, promoting research and cooperative learning in the language classroom, and improving students' performance on written class assessments.
It is a common practice in university education to place first semester students in various levels of English courses. Students with limited English proficiency are placed in the preliminary stage.
As a result, this study focuses solely on English teachers and students enrolled in preliminary English courses. The study included students from three groups: those who had some exposure to ICT in their high school English classes, those who had none, and those who had very little exposure.
However, it should be noted that having access to various types of technological facilities is still a rare and very exceptional scenario in many parts of the world, Nigeria being one of them. Several studies have been conducted over the last few decades to determine whether or not ICT can positively impact English teaching and learning. As Nigeria moves closer to becoming a fully digitalized country, many tertiary educational institutions in Nigeria have integrated ICT into English language teaching and learning.
In such cases, as teachers gain more experience with ICT, they use their own technological materials that are provided at their workplace. The study thus investigated whether teachers and students who have had less access to the use of technology have a harder time understanding instructions given with the assistance of technology than those who have had previous exposure to technology.
As we all live in the twenty-first century, technology defines every aspect of our lives, making technology a critical factor in the development of society. With this in mind, educational institutions all over the world have embraced the use of modern technology in the classroom to improve learning outcomes.
Over the last ten years, the Nigerian government has worked extensively on this ICT aspect of education, eventually ranking Nigeria fifth in Asia in terms of internet usage, with more than 80 million having internet access as of December 2017, up from 0.1 million in 2000 (Rashid, 2019). In this vein, Nigeria's National ICT Policy of 2009 saw ICT as a tool for the country's overall development.
It is trite to state that modern technology is regarded as an essential feature in language teaching practices in today's globalized world of mass communication and information transfer. And English is the most commonly used language in many development sectors. As a result, the growing demand for learning English to communicate across cultures and continents has made English language teaching and learning critical in all aspects of our educational system.
As a result, the need to master fluency and proficiency in the English language in a short period of time is a common scenario these days, particularly in tertiary education. The option for students with limited English language proficiency to take non-credit preliminary English courses at the start of their university education has grown in popularity in Nigeria's private tertiary education sector over the last decade.
However, an important factor that people tend to overlook is the fact that, while this is a scenario that many students face in their first year, a critical issue that does not receive enough attention is the psychological implications that these students face.
If we narrow it down to two basic factors that cause students to have mixed feelings while taking non-credit courses, we find that: first, they feel demotivated and frustrated because the preliminary courses, because they are non-credit, take away an entire semester's worth of studying without the credits being added to their overall grades. This is because there is a link between a student's academic performance and their sense of self-worth.
In other words, significant findings revealed that students' self-esteem was a significant predictor of academic achievement. Students who develop higher levels of self-esteem perform better academically (Aryana, 2010: 2475). Second, they are motivated and interested because they know that by completing these preliminary courses, they will be able to gain admission to regular credit courses in their respective fields.
As a result, my research project investigated the relationship between students' attitudes, motivation, and learning as a result of the presence of ICT in the classroom. Technology is being used to improve the effectiveness of English language teaching in the classroom at the university level in Nigeria.
The goal of this study was to see if using ICT in English language classes at the tertiary level produces the same results when taught to students with and without prior experience with ICT. The investigation also included determining whether new students enrolled in pre-university English language learning classes who had little exposure to the use of ICT in their high school language education face challenges when experiencing ICT in their university classrooms. Another goal of the study was to see if having technology in the classroom affects students' motivation to learn the language.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT
The importance of this research topic stems from the fact that ICT has become a critical factor in the twenty-first century. As a result, the importance and value of ICT can be found all over the world in every sector of modern society, including education.
Similarly, educational institutions in Nigeria have come to terms with incorporating ICT in the classroom; thus, this study will aid in identifying ways in which ICT is aiding in the improvement of language teaching and learning experiences.
The scope of this research paper is vast for both teachers and students in tertiary level educational institutions' preliminary courses. They would be able to comprehend how and in what ways the use of ICT in the classroom can influence both teachers' teaching and learners' learning experiences. In terms of motivation, the study expects to find a correlation between ICT and the learners' learning process.
1.5 QUESTIONS FOR RESEARCH
The study sought answers to the following general and specific questions.
What effects does ICT have on undergraduate students in English classes, regardless of prior ICT exposure?
To what extent does ICT increase students' motivation to learn English?
How does ICT aid students' English language learning?
Can ICT help students develop their autonomy as English language learners?
1.6 DELIVERY LIMITATION
Because students in the first semester are assigned to different levels of English courses based on their English proficiency, with students with weak English skills being assigned to preliminary English courses, this study only focused on English teachers and learners from the preliminary courses where the students' English skill is comparatively weak. To make the study as specific as possible, data for the study were collected from only two private universities in Imo state, Nigeria.
Because the findings of this study come from two private tertiary level educational institutions, it is important to understand that the study represents data from a small geographic area and may not be an ideal representation of the subject matter at hand. Research conducted at other tertiary level educational institutions may have produced different results.
1.8 OUTLINE OF THE RESEARCH PROJECT
The following chapters comprise this research project paper:
Chapter 1 provides background and context for the subject being researched, as well as the purpose of the research. The importance and scope of the research, as well as the research questions being asked in order to collect data for the study. This chapter also discusses the study's limitations and delimitations.
Chapter 2 discusses the literature review on the use and influence of ICT in undergraduate English language learning, as well as all relevant data produced thus far by numerous researchers on the topic of ICT and its impact on English language teaching and learning.
The methods used to collect data for the research paper are discussed in Chapter 3. The qualitative data collection method was used in the form of interviews; the Focus Group Discussion (FGD) and questionnaire were used to gather information for the research.
Chapter 4 includes data collected through qualitative methods as well as analyses of the results of the feedback received.
Chapter 5 compiles the data collected and makes recommendations for future academics on how to improve English language teaching and learning with the help of ICT.
 In this dissertation, I used the term “first semester students” rather than the more commonly used term “freshmen.” The latter term has been heavily criticized for being gender-biased and, as a result, has been rejected by a number of globally renowned universities (e.g., https://www.dailysignal.com/2017/09/18/yale-ditches-freshman-for-genderneutral-term/).
 The ‘National Education Policy-2010' was intended to bring about necessary reforms in curriculum, pedagogy, and teacher capacity building, all of which would benefit from the use of ICT.
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ADVANTAGES OF USING ICT IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING AND LEARNING TO EDUCATION ENGLISH STUDENTS AT IMO STATE UNIVERSITY