Word's Up with WhatsApp : The Use of Instant Messaging in Consciousness-raising of Academic Vocabulary

Chuah, Kee Man (2014) Word's Up with WhatsApp : The Use of Instant Messaging in Consciousness-raising of Academic Vocabulary. In: 23rd MELTA and 12th Asia TEFL International Conference, 28– 30 August 2014, Borneo Convention Centre, Kuching, Sarawak.

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Learning academic vocabulary is often regarded as difficult by English as a Second Language (ESL) learners due to its lower frequency of use in daily discourse. Although usually confined to the context of academic writing, academic words are still important in enhancing one’s progression in mastering the language. Thus, consciousness-raising of such words is seen as beneficial in encouraging ESL learners to pay extra attention to its usage. In this study, the learners’ consciousness on the academic words is raised through the use instant messaging (IM) application known as WhatsApp. Being the most popular IM application, it serves as a platform for the instructor to highlight the use of academic words to the learners on a daily basis. A WhatsApp group of 35 participants was created for the purpose of this study and the students were given a pre-test prior to the implementation of the consciousness-raising steps. For 10 weeks an academic word was shared on the group every day and learners were encouraged to discuss its use with the instructor’s participation. Those words were not specifically taught in face-to-face teaching. Then, a post-test was administered and the findings revealed a large increase in the participants’ scores. The interview data also revealed participants’ appreciation on the use of IM in helping them to be more aware of academic words. Despite its small sample size, this study has outlined several affordances and constraints of using WhatsApp for consciousness-raising of vocabulary for future replication of similar study in different contexts.

Item Type: Proceeding (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: English Second Language (ESL) , Academic Vocabulary, instant messaging (IM), WhatsApp, consciousness-raising, unimas, university, universiti, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, ipta, education, research, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Faculty of Education, Language and Communication
Depositing User: Gani
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2020 03:27
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2023 02:40
URI: http://ir.unimas.my/id/eprint/29975

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