The Impact of Educational Technology on Reading Achievement for Chinese K-12 English Language Learners


 Presenter (s) Aohua Ni, the Chinese University of Hong Kong
Title The Impact of Educational Technology on Reading Achievement for Chinese K-12 English Language Learners


As the reading education of English second language learners (ESLs) has become one of the most important educational issues in almost all the nations, educators worldwide are always interested in promoting effective policies and programs to improve students’ reading achievement. The arrival of Internet and technology in the new generation has brought a striking change in our curriculum and classrooms. Technology applications such as computers, whiteboards and mobile devices have been widely used in learning and teaching. With the rapid development of modern technology and its extensive application in education, China also seeks to popularize educational technology in K-12 classrooms. Previous meta-analyses concerning technology in reading have reached unanimous results with consistent findings confirming that educational technology does have a positive influence on students’ reading performance (Soe, Koki & Chang, 2000; Oostdam, Otter & Overmaat, 2002; Moran, Ferdig, Pearson, Wardrop & Blomeyer, 2008; Cheung & Slavin, 2012; Sun, Chang & Yang, 2015; Baye, Lake, Inns & Slavin, 2018). However, the majority of the previous meta-analyses were conducted in Western countries and the participants covered were most native English speakers. No systematic meta-analysis has been made on the impact of educational technology on reading outcomes in China. China here refers to the four regions of two sides, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan (the Great China). To fill the research gap, the purpose of the present meta-analysis is to review qualified studies to examine the impact of educational technology on reading achievement for Chinese ESLs in elementary and secondary schools.

Research Context

Mainland China began to reform instructional methods nationwide since 2000. In 2001, in the eighth round of China’s national curriculum reform, the Ministry of Education issued the Compendium of Curriculum Reform for Basic Education (Experimental), claiming to promote technology application in teaching and learning and intensively integrate multimedia technology with the discipline curriculum. Taiwan has started early computer application instruction experiments since the 1970s and then promoted the first national six-year plan for computer application instruction in 1986 (Liao, Chang & Chen, 2007). In Hong Kong, the Policy Address published in 1997 and the next Information Technology for Learning in a New Era Five-Year Strategy 1998/99 to 2002/03 indicated that Hong Kong tried to develop an ideal model to make the best of educational technology in the new century. Since the establishment of the Macao SAR Government, the Education Bureau has been focusing on promoting educational technology in local schools. The Bureau funded the Information Technology Education Plan in 2005 and the Education Development Fund in 2007 to facilitate the basic infrastructure construction, such as computers, network, multimedia classrooms and teaching platforms.

Research Significance

The research looks at studies written in both Chinese and English in the Great China. Thus, this research may overcome the language barrier and help to bring the Chinese research to the rest of the world. Besides, as no systematic meta-analysis has been made in this field before, this research will be the first meta-analysis on the impact of educational technology on reading outcomes in China. This research will also, for the first time, classify the technology types used in reading instruction in the Chinese educational setting and compare the effectiveness of educational technology used in language reading in the Great China. The findings are expected to have broader and more practical implications for ESLs, teachers, school administrators and policy makers outside China.

Research Question

1. Does educational technology applications enhance reading performance for Chinese K-12 ESLs?
2. How do types of educational technology and other mediators affect the reading achievement for Chinese K-12 ESLs?
3. Which regions of China are associated with more effective reading achievement?
4. How does the effectiveness of educational technology for Chinese ESLs differ from Western countries in reading outcomes?


Meta-analysis is a statistical process, which uses a set of rules and criteria to combine the results of multiple experiments to provide an objective systematic review and obtain a composite estimate of effect size (Glass, McGaw & Smith, 1981; Borenstein, Hedges, Higgins & Rothstein, 2009).
Literature Search Procedure
Relevant studies will be located through a comprehensive search of publicly available literature published from 1978 to the present by using different sets of key words (e.g., educational technology, instructional technology, computer-assisted instruction, multimedia and mobile). Electronic databases used in the searching procedure include (but are not limited to) English educational databases (Web of Science, ERIC and etc.) and Chinese databases (CNKI and etc.). Web-based comprehensive searches like Google Scholar will also be used. Abstracts will also be manually reviewed for recent articles published in some SSCI journals like Educational Research Review.
Criteria for Inclusion
In this research, participants are identified as Chinese K-12 ELLs. The studies should take place in the Great China, but the report or paper can be in Chinese or English. All the studies should have a control group design. Pretest and protest data need to be provided. The measurement tools have to be quantitative and the protest data should be able to interpret quantitative results of reading outcomes from standardized measures. The study duration of all the studies should be at least 12 weeks or one semester to allow the intervention to show the full effect. And the studies should be replicable in a realistic school context (Slavin & Lake, 2008; Cheung & Slavin, 2013).
Study Coding
Based on the conceptual framework and coding schemes used in previous meta-analyses (Liao et al., 2007; Slavin et al., 2008; Cheung et al., 2013), the features coded in the research are as follows: region, research design, duration, grade level, sample size, sample characteristic, types of intervention, intervention intensity, year of publication and types of publication.
Effect Size and Data Analysis
Before calculating the effect sizes, researchers need to adjust the means and standardized deviations if needed. After calculating all effect sizes and variances, a series of statistical analyses will be conducted using the Comprehensive Meta-Analysis software. Random overall effect size will be reported as well as the result of the analysis of moderators.

Aohua Ni is a second-year PhD student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. My research interests are in sociology of higher education and technology in education. On the way of learning! Welcome to contact me at

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