English Language Teaching: Will the Internet make a difference? Socio-Political Settings of English Language Teaching 14 November 2003 Sake Jager University of Groningen Introduction Effectiveness Comparisons between teaching with and teaching without computers are impossible Technology does not make a difference, but practices of use Evaluation is not categorical, but situation-specific Presentation Potential of web-based learning Two examples: Digitalenklas and GlobalEnglish Effectiveness from an SLA perspective Future directions Accessibility Potential of Internet for learning Restructuring technology in society Shapes society as well as education Changing work patterns: workers learn Changing learning patterns: students work Facilitates flexible and individual learning Potential for language learning Expose students to new forms of communication: “A pedagogy of networked computers must therefore take a broad view, examining not only the role of information technology in language learning, but the role of language learning in an information technology society” (Kern and Warschauer, 2000:12-13). Shift to interaction with other humans through computers Sociocognitive framework: “To provide alternative contexts for social interaction; to facilitate access to existing discourse communities and the creation of new ones.”(ibid: 13). Typical forms: Email, online discussion, chat, web quests, web publishing Tutor-tool distinction Computer-as-tool paradigm Interaction with humans through computers General technologies for language learning Computer-as-tutor paradigm: Interaction with computer Specific tutoring functions for language learning Provide exercises, feedback, corrections and explanations CALL applications typically use either or both of these paradigms Case 1: Digitalenklas Virtual Learning Environment: Blackboard Generic tool for language learning Email, chat, discussion, whiteboard Online information, tests and surveys Main uses: Organization of course Open-ended language learning task, e.g. Webquests Language quest Dutch L2 Web quest Dutch L2 (cont’d) Exploratory learning in authentic tasks Group collaboration, discussion, selfassessment Oral presentation at end Ellips Ellips (cont’d) Computer-as-tutor model Closed-typed exercises Adjustment to student performance Extensive feedback Specific support for audio and video General characteristics Digitalenklas Combines computer-as-tool and computeras-tutor paradigms Authoring by teachers Adaptation to teaching requirements Time consuming Often used together with classroom teaching Case 2: Global English Commercial web-based language learning system Advisory board: Nunan, McCloskey Pedagogic features: Individual study plan Different levels, different skills Communication practice in simulations Vocabulary consolidation Online teacher Community of learners Global English: Study plan Your current study plan will include these goals: Learning goals: improve all of my English skills Current English Level: Intermediate Desired English level: Advanced Time goal: 6 Months Hours per week you will need to study: 11 Hours With this schedule, you will have to study more than 10 hours each week. That pace may be too difficult for you. To change the schedule, you can lower your target or increase the amount of time to reach your goal. Do you want to change your plan, or do you want to continue with this plan? NS Recast and Learner Clarification Request Global English Global English: General characteristics One of most sophisticated web-based programs Computer-as-tutor predominant Communication: Online teacher (24 hrs a day) Online peers Community building rather than communication-based tasks No modification of content possible “Schools and universities programme” Principles for evaluation Chapelle’s principles for evaluation: 1. 2. Evaluation of CALL is a situation-specific argument. CALL should be evaluated through two perspectives: judgemental analysis of software and planned tasks, and empirical analysis of learners’ performance. Criteria for CALL task quality should come from theory and research on instructed SLA. Criteria should be applied in view of the purpose of the task. Language learning potential should be the central criterion in evaluation of CALL. 3. 4. 5. (Chapelle 2001:52) Criteria from SLA SLA Criteria for CALL Appropriateness Language learning potential Learner fit Meaning focus Authenticity Positive impact Practicality Description The degree of opportunity present for beneficial focus on form. The amount of opportunity for engagement with language under appropriate conditions given learner characteristics. The extent to which learners’attention is directed toward the meaning of the language. The degree of correspondence between the CALL activity and target language activities of interest to learners out of the classroom. The positive effects of the CALL activity on those who participate in it. The adequacy of resources to support the use of CALL Interactionist approaches to online communication Interaction studies of online discourse: Breakdown in communication Attention to form Explicit and implicit feedback Modification of input and output Outcomes: Processes beneficial for language learning do occur Higher participation of reticent learners Less teacher control Criticisms Ellis (2003): Limited use for teaching Hardly evidence of grammatical development Interactionally modified input not better than premodified input Doughty and Long (2003): Task authenticity, not text authenticity Web searches ill-advised, teacher intervention needed Online provision of feedback is too restricted Multi-learner communication not good for language learning Commercial vendors not interested in providing individualized taskbased language learning materials Discussion Webquest: Clearly stated purpose Meaning focus Authentic No adjustment to individual learners Beneficial focus to form in offline discussions Ellips: Exercises rather than tasks Link with rest of syllabus important May favour structural/functional approaches Adaptive Discussion (cont’d) Global English: Learner fit: specific skills, specific learner characteristics Communication as add-on Not one-size-fits-all solution Not fully task-based either Future directions Spoken interaction: Online communication is written; new technologies for spoken communication should be studied Focus on purpose: Use e.g. CEF to identify linguistic targets Data collection: Potential for large-scale data collection; new research possibilities Research in learning conditions: Live collection of data, longer-term studies Access and control Commercial vs academic control of online language learning Access: Digital Divide, computer literacy vs illiteracy Internet access restricted in many areas that face teaching problems today No mention of E-learning in recent Common Wealth of Learning Action Plan Some references Chapelle, Carol A. Computer Applications in Second Language Acquisition: Foundations for Teaching, Testing and Research. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. Doughty, Catherine and Michael Long. "Optimal psycholinguistic environments for distance foreign learning." Language Learning and Technology 7.3 (2003): 50-80. Ellis, Rod. Task-Based Language Learning and Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. Felix, Uschi ed. Language Learning Online: Towards Best Practice. Lisse: Swets and Zeitlinger, 2003. González-Lloret, Marta. "Designing Task-Based CALL to Promote Interaction: En Busca de Esmeraldas." Language Learning and Technology 7.1 (2003): 86-104. Kitade, Keiko. "L2 Learners' Discourse and SLA Theories in CMC: Collaborative Interaction in Internet Chat." Computer Assisted Language Learning: An International Journal 13.2 (2000): 143-66. Nunan, David. "A Foot in the World of Ideas: Graduate Study through the Internet." Language Learning and Technology 3.1 (1999): 52-74. 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