Fostering creativity and language skills of foreign language learners through SMART learning environments: Evidence from fifth‐grade Korean EFL learners
Teachers are faced with the demand to teach their students to be competent individuals in the 21st century so that they are prepared for any challenges they may face in their lives. To meet this need, many educators have identified creativity as a necessary competence of the 21st century. To this end, integrating SMART (Self‐directed, Motivated, Adaptive, Resource‐enriched, and Technology‐embedded) education, which is a new paradigm of technology‐embedded learning, can help English language learners’ creativity as well as language development. Therefore, this study explored how SMART learning environments affect elementary English as a foreign language (EFL) students’ creativity and English ability. Twenty‐seven fifth‐grade EFL students participated in this study and were involved in creativity‐enhanced English activities for 12 weeks. Data include the results of students’ Torrance Test of Creative Thinking, English tests, and a perception survey. Paired‐samples t‐tests were conducted to compare the pretests and posttests for students’ creativity and English ability scores. The results revealed a statistically significant increase in the creative thinking skills of fluency, flexibility, and originality. In terms of English, students’ speaking and writing abilities showed meaningful improvement. Based on the findings, several suggestions are proposed for language teachers and teacher educators.
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