Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Facilitating English-Language Reading Performance by a Digital Reading Annotation System with Self-Regulated Learning Mechanisms

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Facilitating English-Language Reading Performance by a Digital Reading Annotation System with Self-Regulated Learning Mechanisms

Article excerpt

Introduction

As English is now considered the dominant business language worldwide, how to enhance the English-language reading ability of students is of utmost importance, as good English-language reading ability improves an individual's competitive advantage (Mahapatra et al., 2010; Risko et al., 2011). To enhance English reading performance, students typically use annotation techniques, such as underlining, highlighting, notes, and summarizing, to support their reading in traditional printed books. These annotation techniques are very helpful in understanding and memorizing the reading contents in an article (Hoff, Wehling & Rothkugel, 2009). In recent years, many computer-assisted reading annotation systems have been developed to assist learners in learning by reading digital texts (Belz, 2004; Patrick Rau, Chen & Chin, 2004; Mendenhall & Johnson, 2010; Johnson, Archibald & Tenenbaum, 2010; Wolfe, 2008; Johnson & Nadas, 2009) because using computer monitors and other digital reading devices for reading or browsing texts has gradually become common reading modes. Hence, this work developed a novel web-based digital reading annotation system (DRAS) for individual learners to enhance their reading comprehension of English-language texts. The proposed system designs several annotation functionalities that can support individual or collaborative annotation of digital texts and saves annotations in a log database. To promote reading performance, learners can utilize the Internet anytime and anywhere to share their annotations and interact with others. That is, the proposed web-based digital reading annotation system provides a flexible learning environment that improves reading comprehension and performance of individual learners.

However, when utilizing the proposed DRAS to promote English reading performance, learners must often perform self-directed learning. Therefore, the SRL abilities of individual learners associated with actively learning the reading materials and contributing annotations are main factors that affect learning performance. Many studies have demonstrated that learners who are unable to self-regulate their learning strategies tend to misunderstand complex topics (Hannafin & Land, 1997; Jacobson & Archodidou, 2000). Thus, this work proposes a SRL mechanism combined with DRAS to enhance English-language reading performance. The research questions of this study include whether the proposed DRAS with SRL mechanisms can promote reading comprehension and annotation abilities of individual learners, whether gender difference and correlation between reading comprehension and reading annotation ability exist, and how different SRL abilities affect reading comprehension and annotation abilities of individual learners.

Literature review

Web-based language learning

In recent years, conventional computer-assisted language learning (CALL) has gradually moved toward web-based language learning (WBLL) because WBLL provides language teachers with network-based teaching environments in which they can assign meaningful tasks and use various materials for language learning (Son, 2008). Particularly, the hypermedia character of the Internet has markedly enhanced the power of CALL by allowing learners to explore and discover their learning processes and offering learners access to online resources (Son, 2008). Additionally, WBLL provides learners with an interface for interaction and gives students and teachers alternative ways to communicate. Khan (1997) indicated that web-based instruction helps learners complete a series of instructional activities, and helps learners increase the number of opportunities for constructing and sharing their knowledge with others. In other words, as current WBLL paradigms offer advantages in promoting language learning effectiveness and teaching, their impacts on language learning should be investigated (Chang, 2005; Chang & Ho, 2009). …

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