An era in which we live is characterized by constant change and evolution in the existing educational technology innovations to employ information and communications technologies (ICT). Organizations and organs of society have been affected by this and subsequently new interactive learning environments have emerged to provide the educational needs however such entities need significant incorporation and the creation of new tools of development to suit these changes. On top of those alternatives and changes comes the virtual learning technology, which enables learners to experience the world through virtual reality which is achieved through the construction of artificial and imaginary living environments designed specifically to mirror reality and to prepare individuals to interact with it. An example of employing virtual reality in education is the emergence of virtual laboratories that provide learning through an artificial environment on computers. These labs are similar to real ones and enable learners to using lab tools and equipment which were designed by three-dimensional, virtual and highly sophisticated and interactive programs which essentially eases learning through the different learning methods that the learners are exposed to. Researching the types of interaction in virtual laboratories is considered a contemporary concern which educators must be attentive to. The varied patterns of interaction in the virtual lab include: synchronous and asynchronous types of interaction. Synchronous is characterized by the simultaneous availability and exchange of educational and research issues between the learner and the teacher in real time for the purpose of teaching content; this enables students to foster their education retrospectively. While through asynchronous, learners obtain intensive lesson based on a structures educational program where the learner chooses the best place and time that fits them; this is achieved by using email, announcements, and bulletin boards. It is possible to employ virtual laboratories and types of interaction to develop different skills including e-reading, which helps learners to think clearly, widen their knowledge, enrich their experiences, stimulate their imagination, and develop their language vocabulary. Therefore, attention must be paid to providing learning with e-reading skills, and hence this study attempts to answer the following major question: What is the effect of the different types of interaction in the virtual language lab on the development of e-reading skills of the English language among middle-school students? Descriptive analytical method and experimental approach were used to identify the impact of the types of interaction in virtual language laboratories on the development of e-reading skills. A sample of second grade secondary students was chosen from the Institute of Timai El-Amdîd Middle School and divided into to two experimental groups: Group 1, where e-reading is taught through synchronous in the virtual lab type; Group 2, where e-reading is taught through asynchronous in the virtual lab type. The statistical difference between the two types was in favor of Group 1. The study recommended to train 8th graders in e-reading of English language skills, and to incorporate the proposed virtual language laboratory in order to improve learning and develop the various other cognitive aspects of learning.


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  • Received: 30 April 2015
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