This study investigated the relationship between gender, level of study and self-efficacy on students' attitudes toward technology use in second language learning. Using a quantitative cross-sectional survey, three hundred and sixty (360) undergraduate and graduate students were sampled from the Departments of Modern Languages and French by means of stratification. Data was collected using a questionnaire to assess students' attitudes. Four hypotheses were postulated and tested using the Hierarchical multiple Regression, Independent t-test and Pearson Moment Correlation Coefficient tests. The first hypothesis was partially supported, the second was confirmed and the third and fourth other hypotheses were not supported. The results of the analysis indicated no statistically significant difference in gender-attitudes amongst the students. The results further revealed a significant positive relationship between students' perceived ease of use and their attitudes toward technology use. However, self-efficacy and level of study played no moderating role in the relationship between gender and attitudes toward technology use although in interaction, computer self-efficacy showed a significant positive relationship with attitudes. Based on the research findings, theoretical and practical implications are discussed and limitations and suggestions for future research are also highlighted.
Background of Study
Globalization facilitated by ease of travel and the emergence of the internet in the 21st century has made the acquisition of foreign languages a necessity. People in pursuit of careers and other ambitions have felt the need and importance to attain an additional language as some job advertisements now come with the caveat: “a second language or bilingual proficiency is an added advantage”. Currently, the pervasiveness of technology use has culminated in the world being a global village, and thus, one can achieve this learning target without necessarily sitting in a classroom. In a quest to attain a second language, people may seek out extra ways of supplementing their lessons so as to achieve their aim. Prospective language learners resort to using various means to achieve their target of learning a language. These involve tools such as language videos, films, songs, language learning applications, blogs, websites, social media, the internet and additional forms of multimedia to assist in accomplishing their language learning ambitions. Commensurate with such people, the desire to seek other means of improving upon their learning may be intrinsically based, such as attitudes, or extrinsic such as learning with the hopes of acquiring a better job.
Over the world, new means of learning foreign languages (FL) are being devised periodically. Some Universities have resorted to online/ distance learning to make learning easier for those who wish to attain a second language but have little or no time. In Africa as well, foreign language learning is progressively gaining recognition with many more countries looking out for ways to integrate other languages into their culture and system. Ghana has not been left out of the foreign language integration as the President of Ghana, President Akufo- Addo disclosed his readiness to make the study of French language compulsory for all senior high students during an official visit to Togo in 2017. The Education Minister, Mr. Matthew
Opoku Prempeh reiterated the President's intention of making the learning of French compulsory up to the secondary school level in his address at a linguistic pact signing ceremony held in Paris in 2018 between Ghana and the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF). This pact signing was intended to help provide the necessary technical support and capacity building for French language pedagogy in Ghana. He further emphasized Ghana's dedication to making French its second official language in the country through the promotion of language pedagogy. The Francophonie is a gathering of French-speaking countries around the globe with the objective of promoting peace and good governance as well as providing support through education, research and training and the furtherance of French language and cultural diversity.
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