The Effect of Using Web-Cam Chat on Jordanian English Major Students' Paralinguistic Competence

Ahmad Mousa Bataineh, Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Abdali


This action research project is an experimental study. It aims at investigating the effect of
using web-cam chat on the development of university learners' paralinguistic competence.
The population of the study included 460 students majoring in English language and
literature at the University of Jordan in Amman. The sample of the study consisted of 32
students registered for a Debate course, in the first semester of the academic year 2013-2014.
After reviewing the theoretical literature and the previous studies, the researchers identified
the paralinguistic aspects of language to be studied, i.e. gestures, postures, facial expressions,
gaze and eye contact, bodily movement, intonation, pauses, stress and rhythm, emotional tone
of speech, and proximity. A pre-test was administrated to know the actual level of both
groups: The control group and the experimental group before being exposed to the new
experience of teaching. The control group was taught traditionally while the experimental
group was taught via web-cam chat formally inside the lab and informally outside the
classroom. Two months later, a post-test was administrated so as to find if any change
occurred, if it occurred, to what extent, in what dimension, and in favor of which group. To
be certain of the validity of the test, it was refereed by a group of specialists, and its reliability
was calculated by Cronbach Alpha Coefficient to be (0.92). To treat the raw scores
statistically, means and standard deviations were found. The results of study indicated
significant differences in favor of the experimental group, which was taught via web-cam
chat. This could be an indirect suggestion for methodologists and curricula designers to
emphasize the role of web-cam chat on developing the learners' paralinguistic competence.
Furthermore, it could be an invitation for textbooks writers, the time they sit to decide the
content of foreign language activities and exercises to take the paralinguistic aspects of
language into account because they vary from one language community to another. Finally, it
could be wiser if researchers conduct studies at scholastic level to judge the effect of CMC on
the paralinguistic competence of the EFL learners.


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