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The Influence of Stereotype Threat on E-Learning Tools Users among ESL Students

Research Proposal

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The Influence of Stereotype Threat on E-Learning Tools Users among ESL Students


Research Objective

The primary goal of the present research paper is to explore the influence of stereotype threat on the communication skills of non-native accented speakers in the institutions of higher education. Therefore, the findings of the current investigation will fill the gap in the existing konowledge base on the topic and study the peculiarities of interactions between non-native and native English speakers.

Purpose of the Study

Non-native accents are among the most salient features of foreign individuals who migrate to live, school, or get employment in a host nation that isolates and probably denounces them as non-native born (Gluszek and Dovidio). In addition, foreign accents act as signals that the accented speaker belongs to outgroup and, by extension, that one lacks English competency irrespective of the person’s actual English knowledge. In turn, the negative perception towards English fluency of a non-native speaker poses numerous implications that vary from academic to psychological. Thus, the current investigation will illustrate the role of stereotype threats in learning and using English language among non-natives. The thematic analysis of existing studies will aid in shedding light on what language stereotypes both non-native and native English speakers have in regard to accented English. 

Definition of Terms

Accent - the way of articulation that is specific to a group of people.

Native speaker - a person who speaks English as a first language.

Non-native accent - disparate articulation of consonants and vowels by English as a second language speakers, and an alteration in tone and stress that is observed when compared to a native speaker’s pronunciation.

Non-native speakers - English as a second language speakers.

Stereotype threat - the risk of affirming a negative typecast about a particular group.

Study Limitations

The comprehensive review of existing pieces of literature has provided evidence supporting the integration of e-Learning tools, mainly WebCT, MOODLE, Elluminate, Blackboard (Wimba), and Voki, in teaching English to ESL students. Nonetheless, the study has various limitations. First, a large share of the appraised studies highlights the role of student motivation to embrace online interactive tools in boosting English competence and articulacy. However, the present research did not consider student perceptions towards e-Learning tools as a key variable that determines the effects of WebCT, MOODLE, Elluminate, Blackboard (Wimba), and Voki on ESL learning. Second, the methodological quality of most of the studies is questionable. For instance, Samuel and Bakar employed a qualitative research framework but the discussion of findings is arguably not backed by adequate empirical results. Similarly, the conference paper presented by Aljawarneh et. al does not include the description of methodological procedure used by the researchers. Therefore, there is a need for further studies where systematic or integrative review approach will be used to address the above limitations.


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