The Impact of Social Strategies through Smartphones on the Saudi Learners’ Socio-cultural Autonomy in EFL Reading Context

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Ali Abbas Alzubi Manjeet Kaur Singh

Abstract

This study investigated the impact of social strategies mediated by smartphone features and applications socio-cultural autonomy in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) reading context among undergraduates in Saudi Arabia. Two EFL reading classes of 70 students acted as an experimental and a control group participated in this study. A questionnaire was administered to collect the quantitative data from the participants prior to and post the interventional programme. The experimental group utilised their own smartphone features and applications (dictionaries, WhatsApp, camera, internet search engines, notes, and recorders) to employ the social strategies of asking for clarification and correction, cooperating and empathising with others inside and outside the classroom for 12 weeks whereas the control group learned using the traditional methods. The findings of the study revealed that the employment of social strategies mediated by smartphone features and applications promoted the learners’ socio-culturally autonomous learning characteristics of interaction, interdependence, self-regulation, self-worth, mutual support, and understating in EFL reading context. It is recommended strategy use training programmes and smartphones integration in language learning should be highly considered in curricula design, teaching and learning methods, training programmes in order to empower learners to take more responsible roles in the learning of EFL reading skills.

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ALZUBI, Ali Abbas; SINGH, Manjeet Kaur. The Impact of Social Strategies through Smartphones on the Saudi Learners’ Socio-cultural Autonomy in EFL Reading Context. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, [S.l.], v. 11, n. 1, p. 31-40, sep. 2018. ISSN 1307-9298. Available at: <https://www.iejee.com/index.php/IEJEE/article/view/587>. Date accessed: 12 dec. 2018.
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