Performance Tasks as a Mediator to Communicating in English and for Enhancing Language Learner Engagement
This paper discusses whether technology-based performance tasks could be a mediator to communicating in English and enhance language learner engagement. Through action research, the study investigated how low-proficiency Japanese English-language learners could change their attitude toward communicating in their target language by completing a performance task that involve making and presenting a digital portfolio. The students had to mediate between themselves linguistically and contextually when completing the performance task. The study adapted two types of questions in a questionnaire: one involved a three-point Likert scale and the other had open-ended questions about the performance task. Twenty-five students completed the questionnaire. The students had to answer the questionnaire twice, once at the end of the first semester and once at the end of the second semester. The data from the open-ended questions were analyzed qualitatively from a phenomenological research perspective. The students’ comments on the task showed that they positively engaged in the performance task throughout the two semesters by reflecting on themselves as English learners, with some difficulty mediating themselves in L1 and L2.