Murat İNCE* and Ömür AKDEMİR**
This work was supported by grants from the Bülent Ecevit University
*Instructor, Bülent Ecevit University, School of Foreign Language
**Dr. Bülent Ecevit University, Ereğli Education Faculty
Problem Statement: The contemporary world has witnessed the development of internet and information technologies. Web 2.0 technologies occupying the young generations’ life play a key role as a learning environment. Technology enhanced education provided many opportunities, especially, in language learning. In an effort to improve students’ English writing skills using Web 2.0, the relationship between learning styles and English writing skills of the students using blogs is investigated in the study.
Purpose of study: The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of using Web 2.0 Technologies on English writing skills of students with different Learning Styles.
Method: The study was conducted at a state university with 25 freshman students enrolled in the department of Tourism and Hospitality Management. The non-experimental comparison design was used to conduct the study. Participating students used blogs in Web 2.0 technologies within a five-week period. The Group Embedded Figures Test formed by Witkin et al. (1971) was administered to find out the learning styles of the students. According to the results of this test, students were separated into two groups as field dependent and field independent. The One-way ANOVA was used to determine the possible statistical differences between the writing skills of the students with different learning styles.
Findings and Results: Findings indicated that there was no relationship between the students’ learning styles and their English writing skills when Web 2.0 technologies were used. Results also showed that regardless of students’ learning style, there was an increase in the writing skills of the students using blogs. The familiarity and interest of students to use blogs seems to provide preferred and accustomed environment to improve students’ English writing skills.
Conclusion and Recommendations: Individuals at a broad range of ages with different learning styles use the internet as part of their routine. Especially, using blogs as a tool for foreign language teaching is a challenge for educators. Although field-dependent dimension of the learning style is a not a significant factor affecting the English writing skills of students using blogs, the use of blogs showed to improve the English writing skills of students regardless of their learning style. Replicating the study using podcast instead of blogs, students’ English speaking and pronunciation skills can be investigated in future studies.
Key Words: Web 2.0 technology, second language learning, writing skills, learning style.