Change of Iranian EFL Teachers' Traditional Pedagogical Methods through Using Pronunciation Power Software in the Instruction of English Pronunciation

By Gilakjani, Abbas Pourhosein; Sabouri, Narjes Banou | English Language Teaching, February 2014 | Go to article overview

Change of Iranian EFL Teachers' Traditional Pedagogical Methods through Using Pronunciation Power Software in the Instruction of English Pronunciation


Gilakjani, Abbas Pourhosein, Sabouri, Narjes Banou, English Language Teaching


Abstract

The use of computer technology in learning and teaching has been studied by many studies but less research has been conducted for understanding users' feeling toward it and how this technology helps teachers develop their teaching methods. One of the computer technologies for the instruction of English pronunciation is Pronunciation Power software. This study examined the change of Iranian EFL teachers' traditional pedagogical methods in the use of Pronunciation Power software in teaching pronunciation. Qualitative method was used by the researchers. It involved semi-structured interview questions with a volunteer sample of four teachers from an open university in Iran. The researchers answered the research question related to the change of Iranian EFL teachers' traditional pedagogical methods toward using this software in teaching pronunciation. According to the findings obtained from the study, use of Pronunciation Power software by Iranian EFL teachers changed their traditional pedagogical methods. This change of teaching methods gave them more opportunities in the instruction of pronunciation.

Keywords: change, EFL teachers, pronunciation power software, pronunciation instruction

1. Introduction

Rajaduari (2001) stated that teachers can introduce pronunciation into their classes to strengthen the concepts that have been already taught in pronunciation classes, emphasize the concept of pronunciation as an important part of teaching English as a second/foreign language, provide opportunities for students to practice, and give high motivation to students to utilize it outside the classroom. According to Morley (1991), teachers should be pronunciation trainers and learners should be proactive learners who take the first step to learn it. Supra-segmental elements of pronunciation and communicative competence should be the basic aims of teachers' teaching not segmental elements of pronunciation and linguistic competence.

Some researchers said that one of the significant challenges that teachers encounter with changing education is to keep up with innovations. The effect of using computer technology on education in different fields has been investigated by these researchers. All of these researchers have emphasized the effectiveness of using computer technology in education and how it helps teachers improve their teaching methods and students' knowledge (Frigaard, 2002; Schofield & Davidson, 2003; Timucin, 2006). According to Wernet, Olliges, and Delicath (2000), technology-enhanced education is one of the important parts of higher and professional education. When learners use computer technology, they can control their own learning process and can have access to a large amount of information over which teachers do not have any control. Teachers are the main agents of changes whose attitudes and beliefs support or prevent the success of any educational reform such as the use of computer technology.

Bitner and Bitner (2002) declared that teachers' beliefs, attitudes, perceptions, opinions, personality, and knowledge affect the choices they make about what, when, and how to teach through using computer technologies. Teachers can decide whether and how to use computer technology for instruction in the classrooms. Becker (2000) emphasized that fundamental changes in teaching methods require that teachers' teaching, methods, and technology should be completely examined.

1.1 Teachers' Pedagogical Methods

The relationship between teachers' teaching methods and computer technology use is one of the other personal factors that should be specially considered. A study was done by Wozney, Venkatesh, and Abrami (2006) in Quebec, Canada towards the beliefs of 2,213 teachers in the implementation of computer technology. It was shown that teachers who liked more student-centered methods integrated computer technologies more than the teachers who preferred teacher-centered methods. According to Chen (2004) and Judson (2006), there isn't any relation between teachers' teaching styles and their computer technology use in the classrooms. …

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