Dr. Hacetepe University, Faculty of Education
Problem Statement: Computer technology plays a crucial role in foreign/second language (L2) instruction, and as such, L2 teachers display different attitudes towards the use of computers in their teaching activities. It is important to know what attitudes these teachers hold towards the use of computers and whether they have these varying attitudes based on factors such as age, gender, subject domain, and computer education.
Purpose of Study: This study aims to discover the attitudes of pre-service Turkish teacher’s towards computer use.
Methods: A survey was administered to 95 ELT, Linguistics, Literature, Translation, and Interpretation students at Hacettepe, Gazi, and Middle East Technical state universities. Participants were assessed for their computer attitudes using a Likert type questionnaire with four factors: affective components, perceived usefulness component, perceived control component, and behavioral intention component.
Findings and Results: The results revealed that the participants of the study had a high overall attitude towards computer use, and also showed that affective components had a positive significant correlation with behavioral intention, but a significant negative correlation with perceived usefulness. Put differently, the more the students’ feelings towards computer use increased, the more intensively their beliefs about the usefulness of computers in their job decreased. In addition, it was found that perceived usefulness was negatively correlated to behavioral intention. There was not any significant gender difference. Furthermore, computer courses had no effect on one’s attitude towards computers, whereas the participants’ age and subject domain had a significant effect on their attitude towards computer. In the study it was found that students in the age group 20-24 had more intensive behavioral intention and high overall attitude towards computer use. ELT students in comparison to other subject domains possessed strong beliefs about the usefulness of computers in their job. Translation and interpretation students in comparison to other subject domains were more interested in computers, had a more intensive behavioral intention, as well as higher overall attitudes towards computer use.
Conclusions and Recommendations: In the current study, it was found that pre-service teachers were intensively interested in computers but their belief about using computers as an educational tool as part of their job was rather poor. Educational centers have to be aware that if teachers don’t have enough internal interest towards computer use, it will not work in the classroom. The most important thing that educational centers need to focus on is the integration and internalization computer use as an educational tool.
Keywords: Teacher’s attitude, foreign language learning, computer use, technology.