Computer-ondersteund talenonderwijs
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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At the Institute of Applied Social Sciences in Nijmegen a computer based language training programme is being developed and experimentally evaluated in secondary schools. The programme called Edittraining, is based on the principle of the editing-test. This editing-test is a test of general language competence and consists of a reading text in which randomly chosen words have been randomly inserted; the number of the 'intruders1 is about 12 per cent of the original number of words. The main task is to delete these intruders. To execute the task not only lexical but also grammatical competence is needed. The four main components of the programme are: a set of 12 reading texts processed as editing tasks, grammatical feedback supplied with various text elements, a students' grammar, and a lexicon.In experiments executed in secondary schools empirical data have been obtained on the effectiveness of the programme. The main hypothesis is that learning by Edittraining leads to improvement of language proficiency. The specific hypotheses pertain to the improvement of general language competence, reading competence, grammatical compe-tence and knowledge of grammatical concepts.The design chosen was a pre- and post-test design, with experimental and control groups. The pre-tests used were a cloze-test and a grammatical knowledge test; the post-tests were the same cloze-test, a parallel version of the grammatical knowledge test, a multiple choice test for reading comprehension, and a grammatical skill test. The results of a covariance-analysis showed a positive significant effect for the experimental group on the cloze-test, on a subtest of the grammatical knowlegde test called 'concepts' and on a subtest of the grammatical skill test called 'composition of noun and preposition groups'. Most of the grammar subtests turned out to be rather easy for these pupils. Analyses for subgroups, with less than or equal to 60 or 80% correct on the pre-test, did not greatly alter the results except for the cloze-test. For the group with less than or equal to 50% correct on the pre-test of the cloze-test, the effect of the Edittraining was a little stronger than for the group as a whole. We can conclude that learning by Edittraining leads to a significant improvement of general language proficiency and of some grammar subskills but not of reading comprehension and the other grammar subskills that were tested.Other specific hypotheses concerning special versions of the programme such as working in groups or individually, positive versus neutral feedback, and feedback following each separate part or the whole of the text, showed no clear results.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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