User-oriented EFL speaking through application and exercise: Instant speech translation and shadowing in authentic context

Thi Huyen Nguyen, Wu Yuin Hwang, Xuan Lam Pham, Zhao Heng Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, an application (app) called ezTranslate was developed to aid English as foreign language (EFL) learning by assigning lessons that adapt to students' interests, in order to motivate them to engage concurrently in physical activity in a real context. ezTranslate was developed by combining state-of-the-art technologies-automatic speech recognition and a cloud translation service, which permit effortless language translation. ezTranslate also offers user-oriented, self-speaking practice opportunities via its speech shadowing function. This app is designed (1) as an effective support tool for EFL speaking in authentic contexts and (2) to engage students in exercise as they walk in their environment. Results suggest that using ezTranslate in familiar situations significantly promotes student cooperation, as evidenced by their increased listening and speaking. Furthermore, there were significant differences in English speaking performance and homework aptitude in participants when using ezTranslate with or without authentic contexts. Indeed, this study's findings emphasize the importance of authentic support for EFL speaking; namely, students' interests. The familiarity and fascination of students with real contexts can motivate them to communicate in English better and more frequently. As for the effect of exercise on EFL learning, statistical analysis revealed that the more steps students take, the more they practice speaking English. These results are very promising. Creating an interactive medium in which students not only acquire knowledge but also move their bodies promotes brain and body activity vital to their overall health. In the near future, we plan to extend activity design, executing authentic drama-play to sustain effective, healthy EFL learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-142
Number of pages14
JournalEducational Technology and Society
Volume21
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Authentic learning context
  • Healthy learning
  • Interactive learning environments
  • Speech to speech translation

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