Integrating Multimodal Technologies with VARK Strategies for Learning and Teaching EFL Presentation
An Investigation into Learners’ Achievements and Perceptions of the Learning Process
Successful oral presentation effectually involves multi-faceted training of listening, writing, and nonverbal delivery besides speaking orally, which calls for a systematical holistic/multimodal approach. However, a multimodal learning environment for fostering EFL learners’ presentation development remains virtually unexplored. This study employed multimodal strategies adopted from the VARK model (visual, aural, reading/writing, and kinesthetic/gestural) with the support of digital audio, video, and speech visualization technologies in an English presentation course at a university in Taiwan. Two EFL classes served respectively as the experimental group with a technology-mediated multimodal approach and the control group with a traditional oral approach. Specifically, this research evaluated the experimental participants’ oral performance and explored their perceptions of this technology-mediated multimodal approach and its advantages and disadvantages as identified by the participants. Results from independent t-tests showed marginal significant progress of presentation performance in the experimental group. Descriptive statistics from the perception survey and content analysis of students’ reflective responses indicated that the participants were overwhelmingly positive about technology-supported multimodal activities implemented in the oral training course but encountered psychological and technological challenges when producing multimodal assignments. Theoretically, the results support the extension of multimodal theory to EFL oral presentation education. Practically the study informs EFL presentation instructors of the validity of technological-enhanced VARK strategies for learning and teaching EFL presentation. The research results also bear significant implications for the necessity of learner training on technology practices when pedagogy with the integration of multimodal technologies into EFL speech education is implemented.
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