The Possible Role of the English Word Power (EWP) Program in Motivating ICT Foundation Students to Learn English at a University of Technology in South Africa

Thembeka Shange


This study reports on the possible role of the English Word Power (EWP) program in motivating ICT Foundation students to learn English at a University of Technology in South Africa. Current research indicates that computer-assisted language programs increase motivation and increase enjoyment of learning activities, but no study in South Africa has been conducted on whether this is the case with the EWP program. A qualitative approach was adopted. The sample comprised 44 purposefully selected student observations (n = 44); and five students completed journals. The findings from student observations indicate that they were enthusiastic about the program and that they enjoyed it. The findings from the journals show that students were unsure about certain instructions used in the program and they were too preoccupied with getting the correct answers. It is concluded that ICT Foundation students are positively motivated by the EWP program because, for most of them, learning by means of computers is a new experience in terms of their previous schooling backgrounds. This paves the way for further investigations in developing CALL programs that will have an impact on student learning. Future research should focus on whether similar computer-based programs like EWP do increase student learning.


CALL (Computer-assisted Language Learning), English proficiency, English Word Power, Motivation, Higher Education

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