The Integration of ICTs in EFL Teaching in Ecuadorian High Schools: One Country, Two Realities
This research study starts from the premise that the integration of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) in education is the key to the ultimate improvement of EFL teaching. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to determine whether the complete integration of ICTs in EFL education in Ecuadorian high schools can materialize or not by examining the diverse realities and perceptions of English teachers and students from public and private high schools. Using the quantitative methodology, this study analyzed the data obtained by administering surveys regarding the use of ICTs to 24 English teachers whose ages ranged between 26 to 50 years old and had teaching experiences that went from 2 to 25 years along with 2520 students whose ages ranged between 11 to 17 years old, equally spread among six public and six private Ecuadorian high schools in three different cities: Quito, Guayaquil, and Machala. The findings show that private high schools are better equipped technologically speaking with full access to ICTs, their staff is mostly ready to work with them and their student population has also complete access to ICTs at home, at school, and show a positive attitude towards such integration, whereas public high schools are poorly equipped regarding technology, their teaching staff is under-qualified to work with said technologies in the class and their student population has little or no access to them at home, which makes them have a negative attitude towards such a process. This leads to the conclusion that the successful integration of ICTs in EFL teaching is only feasible in private Ecuadorian high schools due to their advantageous position when compared to their public peers.
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