IMPLEMENTING E-PALS AS A LEARNING STRATEGY TO INCREASE VOCABULARY KNOWLEDGE IN EFL STUDENTS

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Mg. Miguel Alfredo Astudillo Quiñónez
Mt. Kari Miller
Mt. Jacqueline Maridueña
Mt. Pamela Guevara

Resumen

In Ecuador, there is a growing concern about the students’ English level, which has led educators to
explore new methodological learning alternatives that include educational technological resources in
order to achieve proficiency in this language. The objective of this experimental research was to
demonstrate how the implementation of the learning strategy with E-PALS (friends in an electronic
mean) helped students to acquire vocabulary. For this study, quantitative and qualitative data
collection instruments were used: A Likert-type survey, a pre-test and a post-test. The post-test
measured the amount of vocabulary use, vocabulary use in context, and spelling. Forty university
students from an English class at Universidad Estatal de Milagro (Ecuador) participated in this study.
The students were organized into learning pairs (E-PALS), who interacted on the technological tool
Padlet. In this scheme, the study applied formative evaluation to verify the improvement of abilities
and skills that helped the acquisition of new vocabulary. The SPSS application was used to process
the data from which it was determined that the application of this pedagogical strategy increased the
students' knowledge of three elements related to vocabulary knowledge. They increased the number
of words, reduced the errors in the use of words in context as well as decreased the number of errors
of spelling in words. This led to an improvement in writing skills. The researchers concluded that the
study benefits the English language educational community, as it helps to understand the relationship
between, applying an active learning strategy and using technological resources to achieve
vocabulary acquisition in a more efficient way.

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