ICT and Language Learning:
Making Connections between Theory and Practice
Århus Business School
8 November 2003
Sake Jager
University of Groningen
 Practice
Role of experts in ICT and language learning and
Rationale for using ICT
Different perspectives on ICT
Example: Blackboard at the University of Groningen
 Theory: SLA and CALL
Network-based language teaching
Multimedia CALL
 Conclusion
Role of experts
 Make connections between the use of computers
and language learning
 Personal teaching context
Connection between pedagogy and technology
 Institutional context
Guide and assist colleagues
Convince management
Connection between individuals and groups whose
interests may be different
Theoretical basis for ICT
 Computer does not make a difference, but practices of use
 Technology facilitates:
Exposure to ‘authentic’ language
Access to wider sources of information and varieties of language
Opportunities to communicate with the outside world
A learner-centred approach
Development of learner autonomy
(from: ICC Report on Teaching of Foreign Languages)
 ‘Practices of use’ implies taking into account different points
of view
Management perspective
 Educational profile
 Changes in society; job requirements
 Competitiveness: attract more students
 ICT-literacy and staff professionalisation
 Standardization
VLE’s from a management
“The presentation of the material and the general
look and feel of the web site can only be modified
slightly – the basic structure of the site remains the
same. While this uniformity cheers the hearts of IT
managers and university administrators, whose
lives are thereby simplified, it might not provide the
best organization for specific needs or the purposes
of individual instructors.”
(Godwin-Jones 2003:46)
Education experts’ perspective
 General, not language-specific expertise
 New teaching and learning concepts:
communities of learners
learner portfolios
group collaboration
 Not always easy to make them work with
Teachers’ perspective
 Growing awareness of potential of ICT
 Concerned about content, meaning as well as
 Computers should be time-saving
 Expect “computer-as-tutor” functions
Students’ perspective
 General ICT-skills, not language-specific
 Not often familiar with new learning
 Technology should make language learning:
More fun
Blackboard at University of
 One single VLE for the entire university
 Basic training and support for administrative
 Primary use for course organisation, not for
teaching innovation
 Increase in literacy and computer use with staff
 Pedagogy and course re-design promoted through
individual counselling
 Integration of specific CALL tools
Blackboard for Italian
Second Language Acquisition and
 SLA researchers and teachers: common
interest, different perspective
SLA: How L2 learning takes place
Teachers: How learners can be helped to learn
and how successful learning is
(Ellis 2003)
 No longer emphasis on structure and
accuracy but on meaningful language use
Network-based language teaching
(Warschauer and Kern)
 Shift from interaction with computers to interaction
with other humans via computers
 Meaningful interaction in authentic discourse
 Task-based, authentic, collaborative language
email tandem
producing web pages
synchronous and asynchronous discussion boards
NBLT and Interactionism
 Interaction Hypothesis (Michael Long):
Negotiation of Meaning
Breakdown in communication
Momentary attention to form
Modification of input and output beneficial for language
 Online communication is ideal for interaction
studies because of the recorded input
NS Recast and Learner Clarification Request
NS: ok, che fai nella vita?
ok, what do you do in life?
L: studio all'universita
I study at university
NS: cosa? lingue?
what? languages?
L: il giornalismo e anche un corso dell'italiano journalism and also a course in the italian
NS: d'italiano
in italian
L: ah si
oh yes
L: grazie
L: ancora sono stanca
I'm still tired
NS: prego
you're welcome
NS: ci sono abituato
I'm used to it
L: non capisco…
I don't understand
NS: avevo la ragazza americana
I had an American girlfriend and
e all'inizio la correggevoand
at the beginning I used to correct her
L: ah ok, ho capito
oh ok, I understand
From: Tudini, Vincenza. "Using Native Speakers in Chat." Language Learning and Technology 7.3 (2003): 141-59.
 Beneficial attention to form does occur
 Higher participation of reticent speakers
 Greater preparation time: fewer mistakes
 Less teacher control
 No spoken language
But new possibilities on the horizon (e.g Wimba)
 Communication as end ≠ communication as
 Peer feedback may be insufficient for
mastery; tutor feedback has to be provided
Screenshot Wimba
Multimedia CALL
 Interaction with the computer
Tutor functions
Tailor input to individual needs
Provide sophisticated feedback
 Beyond the-state-of-the-art of current
technology (especially Intelligent CALL)
Screenshot Talk to me
Realistic scenarios
 Use proven technology in pedagogically
appriopriate ways
 Vocabulary program based on current vocabulary
acquisition theory (Tschichold)
Different forms, metaphors, different contexts
Spaced revision
Advanced feedback
 Many existing programs may be used in such a way
that they support current pedagogic approaches
Different uses of Hot Potatoes
 Hot Potatoes: popular tool
 Often used in teacher-centred structural approaches
 Also suitable for student-centred task-based
Students design exercises on grammar points in pairs
Focused task: communication and negotiation central
Attention to form
Screenshot Hot Potatoes
 ICT and language learning specialists:
Help teachers make informed choices from the
wide range of technologies available
Help management make decisions in the true
interest of language learning
Make connections between technologies,
pedagogies and the people that use them
Final words
Good luck!
Chapelle, Carol A. Computer Applications in Second Language Acquisition:
Foundations for Teaching, Testing and Research. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 2001.
Ellis, Rod. Task-Based Language Learning and Teaching. Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 2003.
International Certificate Conference. The Impact of Information and
Communications Technologies on the Teaching of Foreign Language and on the
Role of Teachers of Foreign Languages. 2003.
Frankfurt/M, Germany, ICC.
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.
References (cont’d)
Nation, I. S. P. Learning Vocabulary in Another Language. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 2001.
Nunan, David. "A Foot in the World of Ideas: Graduate Study through the Internet."
Language Learning and Technology 3.1 (1999): 52-74.
Pica, T. "Tradition and transition in English language teaching methodology." System 28
(2000): 1-18.
Tudini, Vincenza. "Using Native Speakers in Chat." Language Learning and Technology
7.3 (2003): 141-59.
Warschauer, M and R. Kern. Network-Based Language Teaching. Ed. M Warschauer and
R. Kern. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

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