An Innovative Media Platform-Supported Blended Methodology in English for Dental Purposes Program
Keywords:WhatsApp, English for Dental Purposes, Blended Language Learning
Due to the existing extensive curricula of English for Dental Purposes (EDP) courses and absence of enough weekly hours to cover them in Iran, there is a limited insufficient exposure to English to improve students’ English communication skills to the levels necessary for their future career. Therefore, there have been needs to appraise the present teaching approaches and reform the configuration and context of EDP classes to yield highest profit for their students. The study was designed to address issues central to the perception and expectations of students in regard the use and the impact of the social medium, WhatsApp. As part of this impression, a spectrum of procedures has been depicted to employ this cross-platform messaging application. This research was conducted among 70 2nd year dentistry students at Kashan University of Medical Sciences, in a course called English for Dental Purposes (EDP). The descriptive research project employing a qualitative and quasi-experimental study was chosen to collect data using a valid and reliable pretest-posttest design. Two groups 35 subjects were randomly selected via simple random sampling. The control group was taught by conventional method, while the experimental group was taught through the proposed whatsApp assisted language learning approach in a blended way. A paired t-test was utilized to compare the results of each group and an independent sample t-test was utilized to compare the results in control and experimental group. The f-ratio value is 7.88138; the t-value is 2.80738. The p-value is .006512 and the result is significant at p < .01. Therefore, there are good reasons to think WhatsApp-based method of teaching EDP as a more effective approach than the face to face method . The Likert scale questionnaire descriptively analyzed via SPSS 16.00 version revealed experimental group had generally positive attitudes towards Apps-based teaching of academic materials. This media helps students get to be more capacitated in EDP, advances the class learning of English for Dental Purposes, enhances students' knowledge more satisfactorily, motivates them to gain a positive impact and willingness in their class activities and had resulted in more continuity in study and self-confidence. So, it deserves considering the incorporation of the new application i.e. WhatsApp effectively in the curriculum of EDP pedagogies as an educational means.
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