English Lab, Saudi Arabia, Foreign Language, Teaching ICT
Al-Maini, Dr. Yousef Hamad A.
The emergence of ICT has rapidly altered the nature of teaching and learning across all educational sectors around the globe; researchers have identified it as a promising tool, encouraging its use in the teaching of all subjects including EFL. This article considers the potential of this powerful tool for assisting teaching and learning English as a foreign language (EFL) in state-run boys' secondary schools in Saudi Arabia, based on observations and interviews with students and teachers conducted during a case study exploration of attitudes and processes currently affecting EFL in Al-Riyadh district. It was found that most teachers perceived the use of ICT special language lab as beneficial to learning and teaching, in particular in reducing classroom teaching time and improving the monitoring of students' progress. Teachers also believed that language lab provided a greater variety of teaching and learning strategies, e.g. teachers created blogs to teach their students cooperative writing techniques, and encouraged students to upload useful learning applications on their smart phones. Teachers believed that students were more engaged when using technology, and that ICT helped the students to become more independent learners. However, there were several obstacles such as lack of budget, lack of access, lack of confidence when using ICT, and poor training.