In this study, the effectiveness of the application of speech-to-text recognition (STR) technology on enhancing learning and concentration in a calm state of mind, hereafter referred to as meditation (An intentional and self-regulated focusing of attention in order to relax and calm the mind), was investigated. This effectiveness was further explored with regard to foreign language ability and gender. Finally, students’ perceptions towards STR-texts were surveyed. 60 non-native English speaking undergraduates participated in this study. All students were randomly assigned into either a control or an experimental group, with 30 students in each group. Two lectures, both in English but at different levels of difficulty, were given in a classroom environment. Students in the control group received a lecture containing only a video of the instructor and slides; students in the experimental group received the video of the instructor and slides as well as STR-texts of the lecture. The following main findings were obtained: First, STR-texts had a positive effect on the learning performance, attention and meditation of students. In addition, most students had positive perceptions regarding the usefulness of STR-texts for learning. This is because students in the experimental group received instructional content in both verbal (i.e., speech) and visual (i.e., STR-texts) forms, which made the content more comprehensible and easier to process. Second, during lectures with STR, high ability and female students had higher levels of attention and meditation in most cases compared to their counterparts. This finding can be explained by the difference in learning motivation and in the use of learning strategies. That is, high ability and female students are more interested in learning and display greater use of various learning strategies. Based on these results, it is suggested that educators and researchers integrate STR-texts during lectures in English in order to enhance learning and to increase the level of attention and meditation of non-native English speaking students.
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