Date of Conferral







Maryfriend Shepard


This study explored the perceptions of adult English language learners about the use of audience response systems (clickers) to facilitate communication in a classroom environment. In the early stages of second language acquisition, learners' receptive capabilities surpass expressive capabilities, often rendering them silent in their second language. Educational strategies and tools may be available to help English language learners communicate more effectively by enabling them to demonstrate their knowledge and express their opinions nonverbally. Many studies have been conducted with clickers, but none were found pertaining to adult English language learners. Second language acquisition theory provided the theoretical base for this research. In this Q-methodological study, adult English language learners enrolled in a computer skills course ranked statements about using clickers according to how closely they align with their personal perceptions. Factor analysis was performed to identify commonalities and patterns in perceptions. The findings support the view that second language acquisition theory influences how technology tools are perceived by English language learners. Adults with lower English language proficiency levels perceived the anonymity provided by clickers to be beneficial. Participants with beginning to intermediate levels of English proficiency perceived the clickers to be more valuable for communication than did those with lower levels of English proficiency. Results of this study may affect positive social change by leading to more effective instructional and assessment practices for adult English language learners and by fostering research into the viability of educational technology communication tools with all English language learners.