An investigation of efl learners using the ict the case of laos undergraduate students at the national university of laos


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An investigation of efl learners using the ict the case of laos undergraduate students at the national university of laos

  1. 1. The 2 nd International Postgraduate Colloquium of Research in Education Colloquium Proceeding © 2013-ISBN 978-967-399-202-7 | 222 The 2 nd IPCORE 2013 Colloquium Proceeding © 2013-ISBN 978-967-399-202-7 The 2 nd International Postgraduate Colloquium of Research in Education “Networking and Collaboration in Postgradute Research in Education: Towards a Sustainable Quality Collaboration” Penang- Malaysia, 5-6 June 2013 An Investigation of EFL Learners Using the ICT: The Case of Laos Undergraduate Students at the National University of Laos Thongma Souriyavongsa1* , Mohamad Jafre Zainol Abidin1 , and Rany Sam1 1 School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, 11800 USM, Malaysia Abstract. This study has a main purpose to investigate the current status of using of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) among the learners of English as Foreign Language (EFL) in the National University of Laos (NUOL). A quantitative research method is employed to examine the demographic characteristics of participants, computer and internet access available, efficiency of internet access and its facilities in the university, and students‟ computer and internet skill levels. Research sample was stratified randomly selected from a total of 415 students who have studied in various departments of the university. These findings of the research have shown that the use of ICT among the students was relatively low. The level of computer and internet skills among these students were also at worrying figures with only a small percentage of them has the required skill to engage in ICT based tasks. The analyses also confirmed notable concern over the use of ICT in the learning of English as Foreign Language. Results revealed that most of the students did not have the facilities and the skill to utilize the ICT despite knowing that the internet has an abundance of resources for English language learning. The evidence from the research suggest that it is very importance of increasing availability and accessibility of ICT and internet as these would enable students to enrich and equip themselves with the relevant ICT and internet skills. A number of practical recommendations were outlined in order to make these students to familiar themselves with ICT as well as to be the true „citizens‟ of the Digital World. Keywords: Investigation, EFL Learner, Undergraduate student, National University of Laos 1. Introduction The modern and innovative technologies play a significant role in the evolution of the educational system, particularly in language teaching and learning. __________________________ * Corresponding author. Email
  2. 2. The 2 nd International Postgraduate Colloquium of Research in Education Colloquium Proceeding © 2013-ISBN 978-967-399-202-7 | 223 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is widely practiced in teaching and learning of English language nowadays. Latest developments in ICT provide new opportunities for facilitating and improving the efficiency of language learning (Kremenska, 2006). The present I-generation is so much engrossed in ICT that appropriate technological based teaching and learning environment is needed and should be created. This study has purposed to investigate the use ICT amongst English as Foreign Language (EFL) learners in the National University of Laos (NUOL). As a third world country, Laos is gently looking into ways to introduce and implement ICT in relevant sectors as the implementation of ICT is only at the infant stage. The availability of ICT in higher education institutions in Laos is still limited. A wide and effective use of ICT in every sector has not been utilized (Oderberg & Bjorn, 2004). This setback prevents students from accessing the wealth of knowledge that is available on the internet. Thus this study reports on the role of ICT amongst EFL learners in one the institutions higher learning in Laos. The development of English speakers increases rapidly in all regions of the world as it is the lingua Franca in the ICT world. The modern era of teaching and learning promotes the role of ICT as it facilitates the teaching- learning process. Both instructors and students are vastly exposed to ICT and this trend is expected to enhance the teaching and learning process. This exposure such as learners receives valuable communication skills through online English learning and the use of e-mail, website engine: Google, Yahoo, etc. makes language learning creative and interesting (Ghasemi & Hashemi, 2011; Queen & Njamanze, 2010). Moreover, the use of information and communication technology enable students to feel more relax to study because they learn by using the technology to rather than by being directly taught by the technology (Melor, Maimun, & Chua, 2009). Today, every aspect of human life has been being influenced by ICT. It is playing prominent roles in the workplace, business, education, and even in entertainment. Many people believe that ICT acts as promoters for change; change in operating conditions, handling and exchanging information, teaching methods, learning approaches (Fisseha, 2011). Moreover, the present trends in the learning and teaching of foreign languages encourage students to respond to new challenges and changes in education (Blanka & Ilona, 2012). ICT is a medium for teaching and learning in today‟s Digital Age because it can provide an abundance of knowledge (Kristina, 2010. Information and communication technology provides various learning opportunities for students to learn language in today‟s globalization world (Melor et al., 2009). It can be used as a key tool for students who learn English as a foreign language (EFL). In the present education context, ICT is being used to support not only students to study more effectively, but also assist lecturers to manage administrative tasks more efficiently (Melor et al., 2009). However, ICT is regarded as one of the helpful elements that influence governments in most of the developing nations to recognise the role of ICT in the educational system (Abdulkafi, 2006). Many researchers have revealed that both students and teachers of English language have positive perception on the usage of ICT as it is an effective tool to assist and to support language teaching and learning (Yunus, Hashim, Embi & Luis, 2010). ICT can improve the learning and teaching of the English language (David, Dave, & Hellen, 2003). The use of ICT in language teaching and learning has been well exploited in the western world. However, in Laos this is not the case as Laos as a Third World country is left behind due to poverty. This has resulted in the effort to use ICT in language teaching in NUOL is not well supported Dettori & Lupi, 2010). Nevertheless, Lao PDR is one of the countries that is still developing particularly in the field of economic, political, social and educational. Consequently the emergent of ICT in every face of Lao people‟s life is still not taking place rapidly. More so that even in institutions of higher learning there are only limited access of computers and internet facilities. This scenario also contributes to the lack of ICT skills among the teachers and the students. The limited use of ICT prevents the teachers and students to access the abundance of knowledge that the internet could provide. Besides that the ICT support system in Laos is still not good enough as the government does not have enough funding to provide the necessary facilities that could heighten the role of ICT. There are still many places that do not have the internet access. Therefore, the researchers are interested in investigating the role of ICT and the factors that affect the learning of English as Foreign Language among students in the National University of Laos. It is believed the findings of this study will be basic information for teachers, administrators and stakeholders to apply the results in order to improve the quality of education and find the ways to solve the weak points of the use ICT with teaching and learning the English language effectively in the next future.
  3. 3. The 2 nd International Postgraduate Colloquium of Research in Education Colloquium Proceeding © 2013-ISBN 978-967-399-202-7 | 224 2. Literature Review The use of ICT for learning foreign language teaching/learning is being effective without any more suspicion; it can promote students to enable to use daily news, access to authentic materials on the nets (Samira, 2011). Moreover, Samira (2011) also reported that ICT still increases students‟ motivation in order to enhance personal commitments and involvement; improving the learners‟ independent learning; as well as creating students‟ collaboration and communication for their study is more important. The study on the benefits of the use of ICT for learning/teaching foreign language showed that teachers use ICT to prepare for lessons and deliver them in class in terms of downloading related materials, design practice activities with word processing; prepare presentations with Microsoft (Ms) PowerPoint (Xuan, 2011). ICT acts as a support for ordinary classroom teaching, because lecturers can easy access whenever and wherever they need; enabling students to find modern methodologies for learning process (Kristina, 2010). In addition, ICT can also provide freedom and flexibility to learners in order to utilise the internet which represents a worldwide library and resource centre where information can be accessed fast and comfortable to elicit real language materials and resources that can be chosen with their learning needs, objectives, styles, strategies and preferences (Alex, Anne, Myriam, & Radia, 2008). On the other hand, according to Yunus et al., (2010), address that the utilizations of ICT for learning and teaching English has huge of benefits to help students understand English better, facilitate their language learning in order to receive authentic language with people and meets the personal language learning requirements of students themselves. Therefore, ICT plays a role key to various sectors in the modern world, particularly in the field of education. Teaching and learning a foreign/second language is also influenced by the new technologies as they are applied in searching information to support students, lecturers and researchers .The ICT tools which are involved in the English language teaching and learning activities are computers, broadband and many other new gadgets. These tools can facilitate and enhance the presentations of the lessons. 2.1. Learning and Teaching English in Lao PDR Lao language is officially employed as both spoken and written in Laos. According to the Education Law of 2000/2005, Lao is the official language for all educational institutions (Cincotta, 2006). However, the English language has been employed as an alien language which the Lao government recognizes it as a foreign language subject in the national curriculum at the various institutions, schools and universities. Unfortunately, the English language has provided only two hours a week for lower and upper secondary students‟ levels. The primary school students have not been taught the English language because of any constraints in the National Primary School Curriculum. Though, as for higher educational level the English is introduced, but the implementation is based on the requirement of the respective field of study. Students in the field that are majoring English are required to study the English language for 15 hours per week while the non-English major students will learn the language only for 2-3 hours per week. Furthermore, the approaches of English teaching and learning only focus on the reading and writing through a traditional method (Judy & Luangpraseut, 1989). The traditional teaching methods are similar to Buddhist monks in temples and French schooling system. In Buddhist monks learn Bali langue by remembering. The original of Lao education was from a Buddhist temple, and then it's not strange that Lao learners and teachers utilize the old methods. As the parents of these students were taught using the French method some time ago, thus the teachers at the institutions of higher learning are utilizing the same way to teach the present group of students (Tony 1996). Phone (2003), argued that mostly the methods of teaching English as a foreign language still follow the grammar translation. It does not use the knowledge in real life communication settings. A bunch of lecturers still use the teacher-centred approach where they simply read the lessons and translate into the Lao language (Ross, 2005). According to Latsanyphone and Souvannasy (2009) point out that several English teachers in Laos use the first language to help students who have low English proficiency. Most of Lao English teachers still communicate with students in Lao language for instructional implementation (Ross, 2005), because the first language is a factor that convert context into second language of writing, speaking and listening skills. Besides, the teaching approach there are also some other constraints that hinder the speedy acquisition of the English language. The shortage of English teachers, insufficient materials, and also learners‟ level of proficiency
  4. 4. The 2 nd International Postgraduate Colloquium of Research in Education Colloquium Proceeding © 2013-ISBN 978-967-399-202-7 | 225 is different, particularly in the remote (Bouangeune, Sakigawa, & Hirakawa, 2008). Therefore, based on the data that mentioned above the procedure of English language learning in Lao PDR need many sections to be improved such as learning and teaching approaches of learners and teachers, curriculum design and policy makers have to be altered in order to fit with the actual situation in the developing country. 2.2. ICT in Lao PDR ICT is an important element that plays a key role in the development of education in Lao PDR. In particular, ICT aims to facilitate effective implementation of the English language as the instructional language for both teachers and pupils. According to the National Education System Reform Strategy of Lao PDR (2006-2015), the Lao government plans to reform educational systems based on the five main points: 1) lower and upper secondary school levels will be provided with the much improved ICT based curriculum. 2) The introduction of foreign languages (include English) at Grade Three. 3) The ICT laboratories in schools will be well equipped. 4) The distance education programs for people living in the rural areas will use be implemented using the ICT facilities. 5) Teaching materials will be provided and improved for schools (Devadason, Wahyudi, & Ng, 2010). In addition, the government of Lao PDR has lately accepted the National ICT policy submitted by the National Authority for Sciences and Technology (NAST). The policy document aims to develop the institutional, human capacity, and sectional conditions are in place for leveraging and applying ICT in order to contribute the Lao country advance from the status of least developed country by the year 2020 (Phonpasit, 2011). 2.3. ICT and English Language Learning The English language is a prominent role in the development of the information and communication technology (ICT), as English is the lingua Franca of the ICT world. The acquisition of the English language is important as it assists students to deepen their knowledge in the ICT world, especially in the field of science and technology (Lazaro & Medalla, 2004). At the same time, ICT acts as a platform for the learners to acquire the English language instruction quickly and effectively. The current ICT instruments have the tendency to overcome the problems faced in the traditional English language teaching methods. Furthermore, the use ICT can be tailored to learners‟ ability and this would enhance learners‟ communication, motivation and their behaviour towards learning the language. Therefore, ICT can be utilized as an important tool for learning English as a foreign language, especially at the higher education institutions in Lao PDR (Zaitun, 2006). The use ICT for learning English in Laos changes the attitude, values and ambition of the language learners in line with evolving world‟s civilization. It also has enabled both instructors and learners to use the ICT facilities to transform the educational system to a more interactive approach, particularly in learning English (Queen, 2010). ICT provides opportunities for English language learners to an access abundance of resources that are available to improve their language ability. Furthermore, it can help students to gain confidence to become autonomous learners. The ability to master the ICT skills would enable Lao students to improve themselves and this positive development will bring the Laos people out of the Bottom Billion category. Consequently, ICT is currently much playing an important role in all sectors in general for all educational systems, at the same time English language is also significant for using ICT too. So, it can say the both of them cannot tell apart from each other. ICT can contribute the teaching and learning language procedure differs from the traditional obviously. It can facilitate many things such as save time, comfortable, effective and so forth. 3. Research Methodology The researchers conducted this study in order to investigate the current status of ICT using and its available access among university students who are learning the English language as a foreign language at the National University of Laos, in Lao PDR. This research was a quantitative method based on a survey strategy that confined to the present time will be applied in this study (Gay, Mills, & Airasian, 2009). 3.1. Population and Sample There were 49,640 students in the National University of Laos (NUOL) in main campus, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR in the academic year 2012/2013. In this research, the sample size was calculated based on the calculation provided by Yamane (1973). As a result, 415 participants were chosen by using the stratified random sampling procedure.. The sample consisted of 54.40% male and 44.60% female students.
  5. 5. The 2 nd International Postgraduate Colloquium of Research in Education Colloquium Proceeding © 2013-ISBN 978-967-399-202-7 | 226 3.2. Research Instrument The research instrument was a questionnaire which is one of the popular tools to conduct a descriptive research. This questionnaire was designed to measure the use of ICT among English language learners in this university. The questionnaires were adapted from, (Amutha & Ann Michelle Selvi, 2010; Anita & Geneviene, 2010; Jegathesan & Paramisvari, 2010; Raymala, Laxmi, & Jaya, 2010; Sei-Hwa, 2006; Tilly, 2008), consisted of 53 items. Each item was measured on a Likert scale with 1= strongly disagree to 5= strongly agree and with 1=very poor to 5= very good. As to check on the validity the questionnaire was pilot-tested on 40 undergraduate students at the National University of Laos (NUOL) in main campus before employing with the actual target group. Moreover, the content validity of the questionnaire used in this research was also verified by the two experts in the related field in NUOL. As to make sure the items are reliable, a reliability test was carried out and the Cronbach Alpha value was 0.96 which confirm that the questionnaire is a significant questionnaire. 3.3. Data Collection The questionnaire was administered to collect the data from the students in the month of August 2012 at NUOL. Out of the 415 questionnaires, 18 were dropped because of incomplete items. Therefore, only 397 questionnaires were analysed. All the returned questionnaires were carefully examined before analysing. The data were initially screened and keyed in the data by using Microsoft Exel 2010 and imported to SPSS software version 20. Then, the data were measured by frequency, percentage, mean, and standard deviation. 4. Findings and discussion 4.1. Demographic Characteristics of participants A total 397 of NUOL students have completed the questionnaire. It has shown that 55.40% of the respondents were male and 44.60% were female. Most of the respondents up to 58.20.10% was in 17-21 years age group students and 1.80% at least more than 31 years. Thus, the analysis of the frequency of students‟ status based on the table showed that the fourth year up to 36.3%, the third year 26.20%, the second year 21.70%, the fifth year 14.9, and the first year 1.0 respectively (Table 1). Table 1. Demographic Characteristics of participants Variables Category Frequency Percentages Gender Male Female 220 177 55.40 44.60 Age group 17-21 years 22-26 years 27-31 years More than 31 years 231 137 22 7 58.20 34.50 5.50 1.80 Status The first year The second year The third year The fourth year The fifth year 4 86 104 144 59 1.00 21.70 26.20 36.30 14.90
  6. 6. The 2 nd International Postgraduate Colloquium of Research in Education Colloquium Proceeding © 2013-ISBN 978-967-399-202-7 | 227 Notes: this table described the population characteristics of participants based on gender, age, and status 4.2. Computer and Internet Access Available Table 2 presents the frequency and percentages for the uses of computer and internet available. Generally, the findings showed that the majority of students does not have their own computers (45.3%). Nevertheless, the findings revealed that 52.6% or 209 of the students have at least one laptop. The findings also found that the university is having the shortage of computers for students‟ use. 72.3% of the students agreed that the university did not well equipped with computers for the students‟ uses. Moreover, the access to the internet was so much restricted that 52.6 % of the students were unable to surf the internet for their academic purposes. Table 2. Frequency and percentages for the use of computer and internet available Items Category Frequency Percentages 1. How many computer desktops do you have? None 180 45.3 One 169 42.6 Two 40 10.1 Three 8 2.0 2. How many computer laptops do you have? None 162 40.8 One 209 52.6 Two 22 5.5 Three 4 1.0 3. Are there enough computers for students to utilize in your university? Yes 15 3.8 No 287 72.3 Not Sure 95 23.9 4. Can the students use or access computers easily in the university? Yes 39 9.8 No 278 70.0 Not Sure 80 20.2 5. Are computers available in your faculty? Yes 131 33.0 No 210 52.9 Not Sure 56 14.1 6. Can the internet be accessed in your facility? Yes 150 37.8 No 154 38.8 Not Sure 93 23.4 7. Can students use/access internet easily in the faculty? Yes 58 14.6 No 209 52.6 Not Sure 130 32.7 Notes: This table has 7 items by using three scales including yes, no, and not sure 4.3. Efficiency of Internet Access and its facility at the university
  7. 7. The 2 nd International Postgraduate Colloquium of Research in Education Colloquium Proceeding © 2013-ISBN 978-967-399-202-7 | 228 The findings from Table 3 show that the majority of the respondents feel that the efficiency of the internet at the university is rather poor with 87.1% of them found that the internet‟s signal strength is not good while 86.2% of the students found that the internet connection is not at the satisfactory level. Nonetheless, the network access is also not at the encouraging situation as 84.4% of them feel the access level is very limited. As for the internet services, 83.8% of the students lamented on the poor services provided by the university Table 3. Frequency and percentages for the efficiency of internet in the university/faculty No Items Very poor Poor Average Good Very good 1. Internet signal strength 76 (19.1) 132 (33.2) 138 (34.8) 47 (11.8) 4 (1.0) 2. The status of internet connection 63 (15.9) 144 (36.3) 135 (34.0) 55 (13.9) 0 (0.0) 3. Network access 74 (18.6) 111 (28.0) 150 (37.8) 60 (15.1) 2 (0.5) 4. Services 72 (18.1) 112 (28.2) 149 (37.5) 56 (14.1) 8 (2.0) Notes: this construct (with the above 4 items) is main construct to investigate the internet access in NOUL 4.4. The students’ computer skills Level Table 4 shows that most of the students at this university are limited user of some of these basic computer software. The findings indicate that these students do have some basic computer skills; however these skills are very limited and did not indicate that they are really students who are PC savvy. Table 4. Frequency and percentages of students‟ computer skills Level Items Very poor Poor Average Good Very good 1. Microsoft Word 68(17.1) 82(20.7) 118 (29.7) 100(25.2) 29(7.3) 2. Microsoft Excel 83 (20.9) 102(25.7) 110 (27.7) 78(19.6) 24(6.0) 3. Microsoft PowerPoint 97 (24.4) 99 (24.9) 115 (29.0) 62(15.6) 24 (6.0) 4. Multimedia programs (e.g. CD, DVD, Videos) 95(23.9) 91(22.9) 103(25.9) 71(17.9) 37 (9.3) 5. Word processing (word, etc.) 118(29.7) 110(27.7) 77(19.4) 75 (18.9) 17 (4.3) 6. Use a printer to print documents 72 (18.1) 97(24.4) 99(24.9) 82 (20.7) 47 (11.8) 7. How good is your typing skills for English words 49(12.3) 74(18.6) 148(37.3) 109 (27.5) 17 (4.3) 8. Scan photos and documents 107(27.0) 121(30.5) 82(20.7) 59 (14.9) 28 (7.1) 9. Conduct statistical data analysis 149(37.5) 137(34.5) 83(20.9) 19 (4.8) 9 (2.3) 10. Repair computer when broken 200(50.4) 103(25.9) 61(15.4) 25(6.3) 8 (2.0) 11. Using projectors and slides 155(39.0) 89(22.4) 75(18.9) 63(15.9) 15 (3.8) 12. Installing new software 138(34.8) 96(24.2) 74(18.6) 61(15.4) 28 (7.1) Notes. This table has 12 items to investigate students‟ computer skill levels in NOUL
  8. 8. The 2 nd International Postgraduate Colloquium of Research in Education Colloquium Proceeding © 2013-ISBN 978-967-399-202-7 | 229 4.5. The students’ Internet Skills Level Table 5 shows that the internet skills among these students are only at the below average level. The findings reveal that these students possess only some basic internet skills. The figure obtained showed that skills such as receive and send e-mail, knowledge on the website, seeking resources from the internet, browse the world wide web (www), and upload/download files to/from the internet are at the average level (26.7%), (29.5%), (26.2%), (28.0%), and (24.4%) respectively. Nevertheless, the students‟ skills in using search engines and social network such as the use of search engines (e.g. Google, Yahoo), video clips and YouTube, and social network (Facebook, Twitter, Skype etc.) are at the figure of (30.2%), (26.4%), and (26.2%) respectively. The findings have given the researchers some insights on the importance of including these internet skills in the curriculum to enable students to enjoy the benefits of the internet. Table 5. Frequency and Percentages of Internet Skills Level Items Very poor Poor Average Good Very good 1. Receive and send e-mail 63(15.9) 88 (22.2) 106 (26.7) 83(20.9) 57 (14.4) 2. Knowledge on the website 62 (15.6) 107 (27.0) 117(29.5) 76(19.1) 35 (8.8) 3. Seeking resources from the internet 76 (19.1) 64 (16.1) 104 (26.2) 71(17.9) 82 (20.7) 4. Browse the world wide web (www) 67(16.9) 77(19.4) 111 (28.0) 100(25.2) 42 (10.6) 5. Upload/download files to/from 73 (18.4) the internet 81(20.4) 97(24.) 90(22.7) 56 (14.1) 6. Use search engines (e.g. Google, Yahoo) 62 (15.6) 41 (10.3) 120 (30.2) 89(22.4) 85(21.4) 7. Video clips and YouTube 66 (16.6) 72 (18.1) 105 (26.4) 85(21.4) 69 (17.4) 8. Social network (Facebook, Twitter, Skype etc.) 76 (19.1) 64 (16.1) 104 (26.2) 71(17.9) 82 (20.7) 9. Online shopping 176 (44.3) 115 (29.0) 61 (15.4) 36(9.1) 9 (2.3) 10. Online library resources 95 (23.9) 129 (32.5) 102 (25.7) 53(13.4) 18 (4.5) Notes. This table has 10 items to investigate students‟ internet skill levels in NOUL 4.6. Using of Internet and Information Communication and Technology (ICT) in learning English Table 6 reveals the mean and standard deviation of using of internet and information communication and technology (ICT) in the learning of English. The highest mean showed that most of the students are aware of the use of ICT to obtain the unlimited English Language resources around the world. These students use the internet to improve their language ability besides the formal language teaching in the classroom. Thus this finding clearly indicates that students are looking at the internet as a resource for English language learning and it is time for the university to equip these students with the much needed ICT skills and also facilities. Table 6. Mean and standard deviation by using the internet and information communication and technology (ICT) in learning English Items Mean Std. Deviation 1. I like to use computers for learning purposes 3.26 1.14 2. Computers can serve as tools for learning purposes 3.66 1.15 3. Using computers is necessary in my university life 3.94 1.21
  9. 9. The 2 nd International Postgraduate Colloquium of Research in Education Colloquium Proceeding © 2013-ISBN 978-967-399-202-7 | 230 4. The computer is helpful to my English learning 3.71 1.14 5. The Internet can bring students unlimited English resources around the globe 3.95 1.19 6. I like to study English with the Internet 3.12 1.11 7. Teachers should modify the traditional teaching method and adopt computers as the primary teaching 3.55 2.39 8. My English study needs the use of ICT and internet knowledge 3.58 1.13 9. The internet and ICT have the potential to improve English learners in learning English better 3.69 1.05 9. The internet and ICT offer good opportunities for English learning 3.56 1.12 ICT can save time and effort 3.60 1.14 10. Internet and ICT can help me to communicate with English-native speakers easier 3.64 1.16 11. The use of ICT in my English course improve my language skills 3.61 1.15 12. I will learn and update myself on ICT for learning English 3.45 1.07 13. I will use the internet and ICT for my study English in the next future 3.60 1.20 14. If the teachers use ICT for teaching English, it will attract the students 3.69 1.16 15. Internet and ICT can help me to learn more English vocabulary better 3.69 1.16 16. The use of ICT has improved my ability in reading English skills 3.56 1.15 17. The use of ICT has improved my ability in writing English skills 3.35 1.21 18. The use ICT has improved my ability in listening English skills 3.60 1.17 19. The use of ICT has improved my ability in speaking English skills 3.56 1.15 20. The use of ICT has improved my ability in grammar English skills 3.56 1.20 Overall 3.59 1.15 Notes: This table has 20 items to survey the current status of ICT in learning English in NOUL 5. Conclusion From the survey, the researchers found that availability of computers and the internet are very much restricted. This is due to the shortfall of funding to purchase ICT tools. However, there are only a limited number of computers and internet facilities in NUOL for administrative purposes. This shortfall is a hindrance towards the exploitation of ICT in Laos .It was found that the computer and internet skills among the students in Laos are very limited due to lack of ICT facilities and classes to teach the sciences. Nonetheless the curriculum in NUOL also does not encourage the use of ICT as they are aware of this constraint. Although the students understand the importance of ICT in the learning of English as a foreign language, even so they are unable to use the ICT widely as NUOL does provide these facilities extensively. Due to this, students are deprived of all the useful resources that are available online. In general, the use of ICT in most of the countries in the world is rapidly increasing. However in the case of Laos the lack of ICT facilities hinders them from getting the much needed assistance and information pertaining to English Language learning compared to their counterparts in other developing countries. This constraint will limit the Laos students from experiencing the wonders of the internet and ICT tools. This shortcoming will most likely demoralize the language learners as they would have the opportunity to access to a lot of resources that are online. The internet has a great deal to offer to language learners especially the English language. It provides learners with an abundance of information regarding the language. Nonetheless the teachers in NUOL also could greatly benefit from these interesting resources to enhance their classroom instruction. It is timely that the authority in Laos and NUOL in particular must find ways to improvise and equip the institutions of learning with the internet and ICT tools as this would provide the students and teachers the opportunity to embrace the universe. Besides that the relevant authority in Laos should embark on the collaborative effort to equip the
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