With the rapid development of modern technology and its extensive application in education, China seeks to popularize education technology in K-12 classrooms. A recent meta-analysis by Ni and colleagues provided insights into the impact of educational technology on English reading achievement for Chinese English second language learners (ESLs) and compared different instructional models. The meta-analysis included 35 eligible studies which targeted Chinese K-12 participants conducted from 2000 to 2020 in Greater China. Five learning models were classified in the study:
- The multimedia-transmission model (k=11) is a teacher-centred model using computer-assisted multimedia instruction (e.g., music, videos).
- The comprehensive model (k=8) incorporates technology into the core curriculum which integrates computer or mobile-assisted instruction into non-technology-based classroom activities. For example, using digital dictionary apps for a vocabulary memorizing competition in the class.
- Supplementary activities (k=5) involve supplementary learning activities performed outside the classroom.
- The integrated online-learning system (k=5) is a learning management system or platform by which students can finish exercises and interact with classmates and teachers. Teachers can use the system to monitor learning progress and give feedback.
- Social media tools (k=6) refer to social media applications that facilitate learning (e.g., WeChat and Facebook)
The primary finding of the meta-analysis indicated that educational technology had a modest positive impact on reading outcomes compared with the traditional teaching method (ES = +0.37). For different types of intervention, the comprehensive model had largest impact (ES = +0.60), followed by social media tools (ES = +0.46), integrated online-learning system (ES = +0.31), and multimedia-transmission model (ES = +0.27). Supplementary activities had no significant effect (ES = +0.05).
This meta-analysis provided a good insight into the effectiveness of various types of technology applications on English instruction. The authors believed that technology applications certainly improved Chinese students’ reading achievement and were worth implementation in K-12 English education. Moreover, the findings showed that the comprehensive model, social media tools, and the integrated online-learning system were more effective than the other two models. Schools and teachers have to know the characteristics and effects of different technologies to deploy them effectively in their English classrooms.
*Note: k = no. of studies.
Source (Open Access): Ni, A., Cheung, A. C. K., & Shi, J. (2022). Effects of educational technology on reading achievement for Chinese K-12 English second language learners: A meta-analysis. Frontiers in Psychology, 13. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.1025761