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EnglishUSA Journal - Fall 2019
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Table of Contents:

  1. Editorial
  2. Advocacy Corner
  3. In the Classroom
    1.  Yelp Lesson Plan
    2.  Talking about Our and Other People's Proverbs for Intercultural Competence
  4. Reports and Reviews
    The below pieces are reports from some sessions presented at the October Stakeholders Conference
    1. Change Leadership
    2. Organization and Collaboration between Associations in the Sector
  5. Journal Articles
    1. Students' Attitude Towards The Use Of Three eTools Compared To The Practices Provided In Course Books

Editorial, by Emma Tudor

Welcome to our first edition of the EnglishUSA Journal.  It has been our pleasure working with the EnglishUSA Executive Board and Executive Director, as well as authors in the field of English language programs, to create a new addition to the EnglishUSA resources available for members and non-members.  Thank you to the past and current Board for providing support and guidance throughout the planning and publication process.  Thank you to the article authors for generously sharing their best practises across our community. 

 

The EnglishUSA Journal is created for readers interested in English Language teaching, administration and leadership. The Journal is published twice per year and features practical and theoretical content primarily focused on programs in the USA who serve international students in a proprietary or university governed institution. Featured articles support EnglishUSA’s interest to represent, support and be the recognized voice of English language programs in the USA, valuing engagement, integrity, excellence, and collaboration. All submissions are on a voluntary basis and are accepted from within and outside the USA regardless of membership status. Submissions may fall under one of these categories: ‘In the Classroom’,  ‘Reports and Reviews’ and  ‘Journal Articles’. You can find more details about submission  here. We also have an ‘Advocacy Corner’ section of each Journal, sharing tips on how you can be involved in advocacy for English language programs in the USA.      

 

Thank you to our reviewers of the article submissions; your time and considerable expertise ensuring the quality of articles is invaluable for both the Journal, the readers and it’s contributors.     

 

We sincerely hope that you, our readers, find this issue to be useful and thought provoking.  We encourage you to share with your peers and consider submitting a piece for further issue.


Advocacy Corner, by Mackenzie Kerby

Did You Know… That Advocating for IEPS is as Simple as Sending an Email?

Advocacy can seem daunting at first but it can be as easy as clicking send on a quick email.  The EnglishUSA Advocacy Resources page is a great place to start! To get started, use the Congressional Staff Lookup Tool to get the contact information of your representatives.  Then craft a short email to be sent in support of English Language Programs.  Be sure to include your state’s statistics and attach the TESOL-EnglishUSA-UCIEP Joint Statement on Supporting International Students and Intensive English Programs.  Sharing your experience with your federal representation is incredibly important.  Whether or not you think the senator/congress people are supportive, reach out.  They need to hear from their constituents.

Tip: It is suggested that you send the email from yourself, a constituent, rather than as an employee of your institution.  If you plan to send it as an employee, be sure to speak with your counsel for approval beforehand.

Mackenzie Kerby is the Acting Regional Director for ELS Language Centers. Prior to this, she taught English at all levels: IEPs, high school, and university. She has presented at EnglishUSA PDC, TESOL, and is published in The Year’s Work in English. Ms. Kerby's interest lies in advocacy for international education.


Yelp Lesson Plan, by Kayla Andrews

Teaching Background: I teach at an adult intensive English program at the University of New Orleans.  The students I teach are from all around the world, ages 17 to 50+.  Some students are immigrants; others are on student or tourist visas for temporary study.

Lesson Title: Using Yelp in Adult Reading Classes to Boost Student Confidence and Curiosity

About Yelp: Yelp is a website and mobile app that publishes crowd-sourced reviews of businesses, particularly restaurants.  Anyone can write a review.  You can search a restaurant name and read hundreds of reviews written by regular people, who describe and evaluate their experience at that restaurant. 

Many Yelp reviews are written in a conversational style, which gives students a chance to learn expressions and slang, while other reviews employ advanced vocabulary and grammar.  The novelty of the mix of registers provides a change of pace and keeps students engaged.

Lesson Objective: To strengthen the following reading skills: vocabulary in context, scanning/skimming, making inferences, summarizing, critical thinking.  To boost students’ confidence by giving them a self-directed reading experience using authentic material written by internet users.

Time: 50 minutes

Materials:  8-10 descriptions of pairs of people looking for a restaurant for different purposes, cut up and placed in an envelope (one envelope for each group of four students). Each envelope contains the same descriptions. See examples below:

Description Example #1: Kevin wants to make a million-dollar business deal during a lunch meeting with Jonathan, a potential client.  He hopes to impress his client.  Where should they go?

Description Example #2: Bob wants to take his mother Julia out to dinner for her birthday. Julia does not like fish. She hates spicy food and food from other countries. She doesn’t like restaurants that are noisy or dark or very fancy. Where should Bob and Julia go?

***Adjust the vocabulary and difficulty of the sentences based on the level of the students. 

The previous day: Give each student the name of a different local restaurant. Their homework is to look up that restaurant on Yelp and take notes on what people like and dislike about the restaurant. You can provide them with a sheet of guided questions, such as “On which days is the restaurant open for lunch? How expensive is the restaurant? What do most people like about the restaurant? What do some people dislike?” etc. 

In addition, review vocabulary for describing/critiquing restaurants, such as:

The service:  how the waiters and other staff treat the diners, how quickly they respond to diners’ needs

The ambiance: the general feeling of a place

The décor: the colors, decorations, and furniture of a place

Fancy / stuffy / pretentious:  for very rich people!

Laidback / relaxed:  anyone can feel comfortable there

Overpriced / pricy:   $$$$$

Cheap / reasonable: $

Another option for the previous day is to print some Yelp reviews from one restaurant to look at and discuss together as a class.  This will familiarize students with the format of Yelp. 

Examples of Yelp reviews:

Galatoire's Restaurant

  • Kim B.  9/3/2019 -- My BF didn't bring a jacket with him from CA  because we had not planned to dine at any place that would require one plus it was so hot and muggy. The host has jackets and (I suppose) if you look clean and otherwise well dressed, he gives you one to wear while dining.

    Once seated, it took nearly 10 minutes for someone to come to our table.  For appetizer- I had the asparagus with hearts of palm salad and my BF had the seafood gumbo, both delicious. For dinner I had the shrimp au vin that was good but not a stand out. My BF had the lamb chops which were perfectly prepared.

    This place has a stuffy vibe yet it has extremely loud acoustics due to the high flat walls, narrow room, etc that makes it difficult to even carry on a quiet conversation.
  • Sean P.  8/5/2019 -- My expectations were quite high for Galatoire's and they fell short by quite a wide margin.  Unfortunately, we didn't see our waiter for over 10 minutes once seated.  As for the food, it was hit or miss. We had the Crabmeat Au Gratin and Filet Mignon. The filet was good, but not anything above and beyond. The Crabmeat Au Gratin was overly rich and you couldn't really tell there was crabmeat as it was overpowered by all the other ingredients.

    If you're looking for the best fine dining in NOLA, go to Commander's Palace. It's less stuffy and excels in both taste and service.
  • Michele H.  9/13/2019 -- There was four in our party for dinner and it was delicious   The dinners all came out perfect and all the staff was awesome. The place is simple and clean, all white linen and simple white table settings. You start with bread and butter then you order your meal. All the food is ale cart.

Procedure:

Part I (10-15 minutes): Put the students into groups of four. Each student must tell the group what they learned about their restaurant. They should also share with the group some new words or expressions that they encountered while reading Yelp reviews. 

Part II (30 minutes): Give each group an envelope of the eight to ten different descriptions of two people looking for a restaurant.

The students must take turns pulling one description from the envelope and reading it aloud to the group. The group then decides which restaurant best fits that situation and gives the paper to the student who has that restaurant.

Part III (5 minutes): Each group tells the class where they put each pair of people and why. For example, “We put Kevin and Jonathan at Abdullah’s restaurant because it is very fancy so it’s good for rich businessmen.”

Homework: Write a Yelp-style review of a restaurant that you have been to recently (or anytime in your life, including the campus dining locations). Use vocabulary and expressions that we’ve discussed in class or that you saw when you were reading Yelp reviews.

Reflection: I’ve done this activity many times, and I’ve noticed that students are always excited to be reading actual user reviews on the Internet.  It provides a break from drier, more difficult academic texts while still engaging them as readers. 

Students tend to be very amused by the occasional angry scathing review.  Sometimes students will notice spelling or grammar errors in the reviews – I think that’s a great learning experience that strengthens their reading/writing skills, and I always praise them lavishly if they point out errors to me.

Kayla Andrews teaches at the Intensive English Language Program at the University of New Orleans.  She has taught adult immigrants in Massachusetts and was an English teaching assistant at a middle school in rural France.


Talking about Our and Other People's Proverbs for Intercultural Competence, by Gunther Wiest

Note:  The author suggests referring to this activity as T.o².p².i.c. (pronounced 'topic') after students gain familiarity with it.

Objectives

Students will be able to...

...present native language (L1) proverbs to peers who speak other languages (L2) and offer opinions on the components and histories of these proverbs.

...engage in dialogue about similarities and differences among proverbs.

...make positive inferences, not stereotypes, about the cultures of others, after encounters with their proverbs and scaffolded critical thinking.

...demonstrate increased fluency (or accuracy) in English as a lingua franca for intercultural exchange.

Level

Intermediate to Advanced

Materials

Paper and pens, Whiteboard and markers, Smartphones and/or in-class computers, Internet

Timing

Approximately three hours split over three or four class sessions – The time needed for each procedure will vary according to class needs and dynamics, but estimate beforehand. – As with any cultural activity, be prepared to allow for extra time (World Learning, 2018) and final feedback.

Student Interactions

T.o².p².i.c. allows for multiple moments of individual, pair/small group, large group, and whole class engagement.

Procedures

  1. Ask students to sit in groups of two or three, according to their native language. Add any lone language speakers to the group of a related one, if possible.
  2. In a class discussion, elicit information about proverbs from students.  Possible questions:  What purpose do they serve?  Are they universal?  Are they cultural, and if so, how? What do they have in common with other cultural artefacts?  Mention that proverbs have existed long before schools (Onofrei & Iancu, 2015). Ask for a few volunteers to offer reasons for this.  Encourage those with differing opinions to voice them.  Then, tell students that they have just witnessed examples of critical thinking and that everyone will use it in this activity.
  3. Tell students to speak with group mates about interesting L1 proverbs and jot them down.  Conversing in L1 is fine at this point, but students should prepare to summarize their findings in English for other classmates and the instructor.  Students may have difficulty recalling L1 proverbs under pressure, so allow them to check their entries or search for more using smartphones or in-class computers.
  4. A jigsaw:  Remix students into groups of up to five.  Ideally, each member of the newly formed groups should have a different L1.  Refer to 'Variations' below if this is not possible.
  5. Model discussion about a proverb before letting students loose in their groups. Give an English translation (and original if you can) from a language unknown to all.  An example from Japanese is “Even monkeys fall from trees.” – “Saru mo ki kara ochiru.”  Ask students to confer with new group mates about what the message in this proverb could be.  Ask for one member of each group to report to the class.  Allow students to interrupt each other with (dis)agreement or further comments.  This point in the activity gives another boost to uninhibited critical thinking skills.
  6. Direct students to do the same now with their L1 proverbs.  They should take turns presenting them and allowing others to guess at the hidden messages before giving too many details.  Assure them that it is perfectly acceptable not to know much about the components or history of a proverb, but that they should offer their own explanations.  For example, “There are probably many wild monkeys in Japan; that's why that proverb is about them and not other tree-dwellers.” – “Falling signifies failing.”
  7. Bring the class back together, perhaps by letting them sit where they usually do.  Cold call one member of each preceding group to summarize any unexpected or surprising occurrences.  Then, ask everyone what could be the dangers of encountering other people's proverbs without having deep discussion.  Perhaps the biggest is the stereotyping of an entire group of people (Madumulla, 1998).  Fairness is a major part of critical thinking (World Learning, 2018). Cite the proverb commonly used in English, “You can't judge a book by its cover.”, and ask students for their ideas on how it could be used to describe not only appearance, but culture.  Further, ask if anyone had presented proverbs with special mnemonics, making them especially catchy (Onofrei & Iancu, 2015).
  8. Give final feedback based on what you have observed throughout and anything else that you or students deem necessary.

Variations

  1. In overly homogeneous classes, speakers of languages not in the majority may need extra encouragement from the instructor.  Moreover, the instructor could chime in with English-language proverbs.  Successful, proverb-led telecollaboration with faraway classrooms (Hirotani & Fujii, 2019) is very possible these days, given the proliferation of online platforms for this.
  2. Adding individual essays or group presentations as a final procedure would incorporate more practice in written or oral paraphrasing to the activity.
  3. Procedure #6 could be gamified, with the result of forging new friendships between students from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.  In this case, each student should have prepared at least five L1 proverbs to share.
  4. The main focus of T.o².p².i.c. is the use of critical thinking skills in intercultural dialogue.  However, you may opt to give students additional time at the end in order for them to master and recite a few English or other L2 proverbs.

References

Hirotani, M. & Fujii, K. (2019). Learning proverbs through telecollaboration with Japanese native speakers: facilitating L2 learners’ intercultural communicative competence. Asian-Pacific Journal of Second and Foreign Language Education, (4)5, 1-22. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40862-019-0067-5

Madumulla, J. S. (1998). Proverbs: A pack of lies? UTAFITI [New Series] Special Issue, 4, 257–274. Retrieved from http://pdfproc.lib.msu.edu/?file=/DMC/African%20Journals/pdfs/Utafiti/s4NS/aejps004NS015.pdf

Onofrei, S. G., & Iancu, L. (2015). The role of new technology in teaching through proverbs in primary school. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 203, 130–133. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.08.270

World Learning. (2018). What is critical thinking? In 'Integrating Critical Thinking Skills into the Exploration of Culture in an EFL Setting' (MOOC).

Gunther Wiest has taught EFL in the USA and abroad and currently works at English for Academic and Professional Purposes, ADA University. Calibrating lessons to the ideals of 21st Century Learning and to theories such as ZPD is one of his passions. 


Organization and Collaboration between Associations in the Sector, by Nadine Baladi

Organizations and Collaboration Presentation:

“How do we stretch and challenge ourselves? How are we creative? Let’s remember that we aren’t only ESL providers, we are International Educators” Joann Ng Hartmann (NAFSA)

The EnglishUSA Stakeholder’s 2019 conference focused on Thriving in Times of Change, recognizing that its members are embracing creativity & innovation through the adoption of short-term programs, pathway programs, overseas campuses, family programs, online teaching, become official ESL testing centers, and recruiting of domestic of students. Instead of waiting for enrolment numbers to increase, EnglishUSA members are adopting pioneering approaches to International education, as discussed by the major USA based associations in the field: NAFSA, TESOL, EnglishUSA and UCIEP.

To start, the panelists from TESOL, NAFSA, EnglishUSA and UCIEP introduced their organization, discussion their missions, their focus and their services to member. Through webinars, conferences, workshops, newsletters, journals, online forums and volunteer opportunities, our English Language programs and staff are well supported indeed!

The panelists discussed the importance of uniting the field into one voice and discussed how the various industry associations collaborate with one another in order to be more impactful, such as joint statements put to the government, letters to the press, joint workshops,  shared expertise panels at events such as the EducationUSA Forum, AIRC, and NAFSA.

Jane Robison (EnglishUSA) and Chris Powers (TESOL) discussed trends impacting our industry today and these included the adoption of new technologies, mergers and acquisitions, policy changes from the US government, negative rhetoric on immigration and concern for safety, growth of English learning and opening of English Centers in overseas non-English countries, TESOL training is becoming more and more important for non-native English speakers.

As mentioned by Scott Stevens during an earlier discussion, EnglishUSA members recognize that this downturn in student numbers reflect not only challenging politico-economic time but an entire paradigm shift in our field. Our national and international industry associations are aware and embracing this shift and offering plenty of support to help the field adapt.

Nadine Baladi is Founding Partner at The ParliamentGroup, an impact-driven consultancy for international education initiatives. Prior to this, she was VP of Academics and Student Operations at ILSC Education Group, working in collaboration with the TESOL teams, Pathway Programs, Junior Programs , Teacher Training and Testing. She is a board member of EnglishUSA, a commissioner for ACCET and has presented at EnglishUSA events, TESOL, NAFSA, and AIRC. Nadine is working hard at becoming a full-time skier.

 


Change Leadership, by Nadine Baladi

In these current dynamic times in our industry, changes are no strangers to us! From the adoption of new technology, to reorgs, to mergers, to acquisitions, to new programs, and the list goes on, a relevant session from the EnglishUSA Stakeholders conference was “It wasn’t my decision: Leading through the Complexity of Change”.  The panelists, Mackenzie Kerby (ELS), Emma Tudor (EF Education First) and Nadine Baladi (TheParliamentGroup), focused on three points:

  • Understanding change and circumstances of change and how they relate to emotions
  • Charting a clear course through change
  • Being heard through change

Depending on the model and theory, there can be 6 types of change: Strategic, Product, Technological, Structural/Organizational, Personnel, and Behavioral. Some of these changes such as adding a new program or adopting a user-friendly technological tool can be easier to digest as they might lead to more hours for the teaching staff, or less manual data entry, for example. While structural, organizational or personnel changes might lead to anxiety, fear, and even apprehension.

Regardless of the type of change, most employees will go through three phases in dealing with the event: A sense of loss (no more status quo), an identity crisis (where do I fit in now? How do I perform this new task?), leading into a final phase of acceptance & openness.  Because all these phases consume much energy, it’s important have a period of stability before bringing on the next major change. One way to think about this is:

Some of the decisions that results in the most impactful changes may not necessarily be our decisions, and the initiative might have been launched clumsily or too rapidly, or lacking details but we cannot alter what we receive, we must implement the changes that are called for, and we must focus on all the elements we are able to control.  To implement a major change successfully, the experts suggest the following 12 steps:

Communicate:

  1. Paint the big picture
  2. Know the what, why & how
  3. Keep your people front of mind
  4. Communicate with transparency
  5. Emphasize the Benefits

Collaborate:

  1. Set out outcomes and goals for the team
  2. Identify and collaborate with Change agents
  3. Provide plenty of training
  4. Check-in with your team regularly

Commit:

  1. Make it Happen
  2. Keep up the momentum
  3.  Lead by example: be the change!

Sometimes, in the midst of a change, we might feel isolated or even resentful, especially if it is up to us to implement an initiative that was poorly planned or that we fear. Our teams will feel the same thing when we deliver the message to them. It’s important for us and for our teams to find our voice through the change. Adopting some of these tips might help:

  • Pick your battles (set priorities)
  • Think of yourself as a front-line consultant to your organization and provide solutions to challenges
  •   Take ownership of a specific task within the change-project
  • Manage your manager’s expectations
  •  Attend meetings and ask questions (request if not offered)
  • While many elements of the change may lie outside of your control, ask yourself: “what is in my control?” Take full ownership of what you can manage and apply the change management tips and tricks we’ve discussed here.

Another helpful way to ease the implementation of big decisions is to create a culture of change in your organization and continuously nurture this attitude. Here are some recommendations to this end:

Hire right:

  • Ask scenario based interview questions and throw in a curve ball, set expectations to welcome change and innovation, ask them about an innovative project they’ve worked on, do group interviews to see how adaptable and open minded individuals are to group ideas

Make conversations about change common place:

  • In meetings/planning/conversations, ask how something can be done differently.  Challenge the status quo. Can this be done better?

Make changes easy to implement:

  • Flat organizations with little red tape or bureaucracy can push change through faster and easier

Be OK with imperfection

  • Don’t come down hard on people if a change didn’t work. Learn from it. Encourage people to innovate and feel ok taking risks.

Have a grassroots network

  • Bring in diverse voices who have a real pulse on the realities of their department/process/team etc.

Resources on the topic and models referred to in the discussion:

Nadine Baladi is Founding Partner at The ParliamentGroup, an impact-driven consultancy for international education initiatives. Prior to this, she was VP of Academics and Student Operations at ILSC Education Group, working in collaboration with the TESOL teams, Pathway Programs, Junior Programs , Teacher Training and Testing. She is a board member of EnglishUSA, a commissioner for ACCET and has presented at EnglishUSA events, TESOL, NAFSA, and AIRC. Nadine is working hard at becoming a full-time skier.

Students' Attitude Towards The Use Of Three eTools Compared To The Practices Provided In Course Books, by Edin Omerovic

Abstract: Many foreign language teachers and researchers argue that vocabulary is one of the most important, if not the most important component in learning a foreign language. With that in mind, finding and creating ways on how to efficiently help learners acquire vocabulary is no small task. Do learners think they benefit more from traditional book-based practices, or do they consider more interactive ways of vocabulary practices to be more effective? That is what this action-based research is set to analyze; students' reaction to the use of three different classroom eTools: Kahoot!, Quizlet, and Socrative compared to the practices provided in the course books for the purpose of revising vocabulary related to the unit topics and to check whether these boost students' motivation to learn, and whether students take these type of practices serious (i.e., whether students consider them to be productive and efficient).

Keywords: vocabulary, interactive classroom tools, motivation, benefit, enjoyment

Introduction

The importance of successfully acquiring new vocabulary is something that most ESL and EFL teachers and instructors will emphasize when advising second language learners on how to become better users of the target language. Wilkins (1972) stated, "Without grammar very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed." Similarly, Alqahtani (2015) stated that there was not much value in being able to produce grammatical sentences if one was not to get the vocabulary that needed to convey what one wishes to say. While without grammar very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed.

That should not be a struggle considering all the developments and research in the field of language learning with which EFL and ESL teachers now have a great variety of methods and ways of how to present and practice vocabulary with learners. That should make the process of vocabulary acquisition quite simple, but in practice, many teachers will agree that it is not that facile. Choosing the most effective method or way to present and practice vocabulary has become a tedious responsibility and toil. Many students consider learning vocabulary (as) a tedious job .  . . (and) start blaming their poor memory .  . . They come to rely on incidental learning; finding individual studying boring and insufficient” (Gnoinska, 1998, p.12)

That is where the question arises on what factors teachers should take into account when coming up with vocabulary practices? If one asked learners, which in fact should be the case because they are the ones who are supposed to acquire new knowledge and who teachers and researchers work for, they would argue that practices should be fun and interesting. As for teachers, the case might be a bit different because teachers want the practices to be as efficient as possible. Teachers do not necessarily strive from fun and interesting methods, but we do not put them at the top of the list as learners do. Besides these two, there is a third factor that plays a crucial role in language learning, and that is motivation. It is a fact that motivation influences one's will, work, and success in all spheres of life, and language learning is no exception to this.

Having decided on these three factors as the most important ones for vocabulary acquisition, I have set out to present learners with two different ways of practice and check which ones learners prefer overall, find to be more fun, motivating and effective, and conducted the following action-based research.

Methodology

Research Question

The action-based research thus focused on analyzing students' attitude towards the use of three different classroom eTools: Kahoot!, Quizlet, and Socrative compared to the practices provided in the course books for revising vocabulary related to the unit topics and checking which ones learners find to be more fun, motivating and effective.

Participants of the study

The participants of the study were three different classes of the School of Foreign Languages of Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University. At the time of research, the classes were three different levels:  Repeat B (12 students), B (15 students), and C+ (9 students) level.  There was a total of 36 participants.

The reason for choosing three different levels was to cover learners with different levels of knowledge and motivation for studying. Repeat level learners are considered to be the most demotivated ones to study because they had failed to pass the AGE exam required to move on to their departments the year before. Regular B level learners are in their first year of preparatory school, and their motivation is higher than the Repeat B students', but their English level is not very high, and they will most probably face difficulties in passing the exam. As for the C+ level students, they were the highest level at the preparatory school, but being so they might have the assumption that they can pass the exam easily and so their motivation to study might not be as high as instructors expect it to be.

Procedure

The study reported here lasted for about two months. The entire study was accomplished in four sessions from February to March.

The main instructors of each level used all three mentioned tools to prepare a vocabulary revision and do the vocabulary exercises from the course books (North Star series).

In the North Star series course books, there are two sets of new vocabulary within each unit. Instructors revised one set of new vocabulary using one of the classroom eTools and the other set of new vocabulary using exercises from the course books.

In the week of 25-01 (Feb-March), instructors prepared a 'Kahoot!' vocabulary revision practice for the first set of vocabulary as well as completed the vocabulary exercises from course books for the second set of vocabulary.

In the week of 4-8 March, instructors repeated the same using the classroom eTool 'Quizlet.'

In the week of 11-15 March, instructors used the classroom eTool 'Socrative' along with practices from course books.

On Friday, March 15, after the instructors had completed and used all the mentioned eTools, a survey was conducted with students.

Instruments

The instrument of the study was a survey designed by the researcher to collect data for this particular study. It consisted of three parts where students expressed their preference of methods used to practice and revise new vocabulary. It asked students to grade the use of interactive classroom eTools and practices from the course books based on three main points: Benefit, Motivation, and Enjoyment.

Findings

1.1 Survey

All participants have answered all the questions of the survey.

Motivation

88,9% of participants find interactive classroom eTools to be extremely or very motivating, and what should be noted is that none of the participants said that it is not motivating.

The level which finds these interactive practices to be the most motivating is the C+ level, where all students find it to be either extremely or very motivating.

Contrary to the interactive eTools, only 27,8% of participants find course books to be extremely or very motivating, and a total of 33,3% find them to be slightly or not motivating. Again, the level which finds it to be slightly or not motivating at all is the C+ level.

Overall, 88,9% of participants have chosen interactive classroom eTools to be more motivating compared to 8,3% who chose course books practices.

Here are some of the students' comments and explanations as to why they prefer interactive classroom eTools:

S1: 'I feel motivated when I enjoy and see my improvement.'

S2: 'Because Kahoot! and Quizlet are very exciting. They motivate me to learn a word's meaning.'

Benefit

When asked how beneficial they find interactive classroom eTools, 88,5% of participants said they are very or extremely beneficial, and none of the participants said that they are not beneficial.

Contrary to that, 30,5% said that course books are slightly or not beneficial, and 41,7% of the participants find them to be very or extremely beneficial for revising vocabulary.

In the third part of the survey, where the participants were asked to choose which of the two methods they find to be more beneficial, 69,4% choose interactive classroom eTools to be more beneficial than practices from course books.

Here are some of the students' comments and explanations as to why they prefer interactive classroom eTools:

S1: 'Interactive classroom tools are a more effective way to learn and revise vocabulary because when we work as a group we learn new things from each other. Also, it's a fun and beneficial way to improve our knowledge of vocabulary.'

S2: 'I really don't like practicing from books because I get bored and I don't focus on exercises. On the other hand, interactive classroom tools are not boring and I notice that I am improving my vocabulary and because of that I find them to be more beneficial.

Enjoyment

Rather unsurprisingly, 94,2% of the participants consider the interactive classroom eTools to be extremely or very enjoyable for vocabulary revision, and none of the participants said they that they are slightly or not enjoyable.

S1: 'Doing something together and faster is more enjoyable.'

S2: 'They are very enjoyable because we compete with each other and have fun.'

Conclusion

In this study, the fundamental aim was to reveal students' attitude towards the use of Kahoot!, Socrative, and Quizlet compared to the exercises provided in course books used in the Preparatory school. What should be taken from it is that it is highly essential for instructors to follow and use innovations in technological improvement and take advantage of online tools and applications and have them integrated into their lessons. In that way, instructors will provide students with a better, more engaging, and more motivating education.

Using online tools makes lessons more interesting and engaging. eTools like Kahoot!, Socrative, and Quizlet are an excellent choice for teaching university students, in any subject and especially when teaching and practicing vocabulary in a language class. Students are eager to use their mobile phones or tablets and implement technology in the classroom. These online learning tools have shown to provide a positive environment in the classroom, increase students' energy, and add an element of fun to conduct lessons according to students' needs and wishes.

This study was encouraging as it shows the positive effect that using mentioned eTools improves motivation, and the students' attitude towards using such eTools is highly positive.

References

Wilkins, D (1972). Linguistics in Language Teaching. London: Arnold.

Alqahtani, M (2015). The importance of vocabulary in language learning and how to be taught. International Journal of Teaching and Education, Vol. III(3)

Gnoinska, A. (1998). Teaching vocabulary in color. English teaching forum, 36(3), p.12

Edin Omerovic is a graduate of English Language and Literature with 8 years of teaching experience with both young and young-adult learners.

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