The purpose of this research is to investigate the significance of Tablets in the classroom and to find whether the Tablets can enhance the Metacognitive competencies, core competencies and language competencies among the preschool children of Saudi Arabia. The study used the mixed method approach to find how preschool children and preschool teachers interact with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and consequentially to understand how ICT can be introduced for teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) to preschool children in Saudi Arabia. The study data were collected by conducting (1) English tests with the two groups of children before and after ICT intervention, (2) interviews with the teachers in the preschool to understand their perception, concerns and attitudes, and (3) observational analysis of the children and teachers in the class during the intervention. Extant research has discussed the effect of children’s interacting in the language learning process and how it brings improvement in knowledge construction; however, it has not addressed the mechanism of knowledge construction through ICT among very young children. This study used the conceptual framework to answer various research questions. The conceptual framework states that ICT use may affect the development of Metacognitive competencies (Communication, Self Development, Creativity, Problem Solving, and Autonomy) which lead to the development of core learning skills (Task Competency, Process Competency, and Personal Competency) and that these, in turn, lead to development of core competencies (Reading, Listening, Speaking, Writing, and Reading Stories). The findings of the thesis confirm the initial conceptual framework but qualitative findings suggest two more aspects which play a role in the effectiveness of using ICT for teaching EFL to Saudi preschool children. These are, first, designing the right course content suitable 3 for Saudi context and, second, equipping the teachers with skills and capabilities to interact and engage properly in using the ICT for teaching EFL. The findings confirm that the use of ICT in the language learning process for the preschool children can enhance their language learning skills. It provides them with the opportunity to explore various new areas and improves their knowledge construction. The thesis finds that teachers play a significant role in improving language learning skills and competencies among children.
|Date of Award||14 Aug 2018|
|Supervisor||Mathias Urban (Supervisor) & Fengling Tang (Supervisor)|