An investigation into the contribution of mobile-assisted language learning to the acquisition of English as a second language in Rwanda

Uwizeyimana, Valentin (2015-11-25)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT : In developing and developed countries, a foreign language can be used as a second language, and be attributed various functions and statuses such as being an official language, and being used as a language of instruction at some, or all, levels of education. In Rwanda, one of East Africa’s developing countries, for example, English has gained the status of official language and is used as a language of instruction at all levels of formal education. In this context, the successful acquisition of English can contribute to Rwandans’ advancement both academically and professionally. Different theories and hypotheses have been introduced to explain how a second language can be successfully acquired or learnt. Some of them, such as the input hypothesis, constructivism and connectionism, state that second language acquisition or learning occurs when a learner is exposed to rich, regular and comprehensible input. According to these theories, the main problem that most second language learners face is the lack of a relevant input. Despite being a young field of research, mobile-assisted language learning has the potential to overcome this problem and, therefore, to contribute to the performance of second language learners and users, either in their studies or in other activities in which they are required to use the second language. With the integration of mobile-assisted language learning and second language acquisition theories, this research focused on the acquisition of English as second language in the context of a developing country. In addition to making a contribution to the available literature in the field, the objective of this research was to examine the extent to which using mobile technological devices can contribute to the successful acquisition of English at university level by exposing the students to rich and comprehensible input.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : In ontwikkelende en ontwikkelde lande kan 'n vreemde taal wat as 'n tweede taal gebruik word verskeie funksies en statusse verkry, byvoorbeeld om as amptelike taal en as taal van onderrig op sommige, of alle, vlakke van onderwys te funksioneer. In Rwanda, een van die Oos-Afrikaanse ontwikkelende lande, het Engelse die status van amptelike taal en word dit as die taal van onderrig op alle vlakke van formele onderwys gebruik. In hierdie konteks, kan die suksesvolle verwerwing van Engels bydra tot Rwandese sevooruitgang, beide akademies en professioneel. Verskillende teorieë en hipoteses is al voorgehou om te verduidelik hoe 'n tweede taal suksesvol verwerf kan word. Sommige, soos die toevoerhipotese, konstruktivisme en konnektivisme, stel dat tweedetaalverwerwing plaasvind wanneer 'n leerder blootgestel word aan ryk, gereëlde en verstaanbare toevoer. Volgens hierdie teorieë is die grootste probleem waarvoor meeste tweedetaalleerders te staan kom die gebrek aan toepaslike toevoer. Ten spyte van die feit dat mobiele bygestaande taalaanleer ‘n relatief jong navorsingsveld is, beskik dit oor die potensiaal om by te dra tot die sukses van tweedetaalleerders en -gebruikers, hetsy in hul studies of in ander aktiwiteite waarin daar van hulle verwag word om die tweede taal te gebruik. Deur die integrasie van mobiele taalverwerwings- en tweedetaalverwerwings-teorieë, fokus hierdie navorsingstesis op die verwerwing van Engels as tweede taal in die konteks van 'n ontwikkelende land. Bykomend tot 'n bydrae wat hierdie navorsingstesis tot die beskikbare literatuur in die veld kan toevoeg, is die doel ook om die mate waarin die gebruik van mobiele tegnologiese apparatuur kan bydra tot die suksesvolle verwerwing van Engels op universiteitsvlak deur studente bloot te stel aan ryk en verstaanbaar toevoer te ondersoek.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98108
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