- the challenges and benefits of creating international computer-mediated communities of language learners Senior Tutor: e-learning Language Centre @WarwickLanguage on Twitter
• 1500 academic students per year• 8 languages for academic credit• Increasing importance of oral/aural skills contributing 15-20% each to summative total• 2-3 hours contact time a week
“In a statistical sense, we may one daycommunicate with each other far morethrough computer mediation than in directinteraction.” Crystal, 2001
Conclusions from earlier research into voice tools use• Useful process to encourage dialogue• Community of practice• Reflective practitioners• Importance of awareness of research• Student engagement and desire for control!
Data collection• Practitioner interviews and questionnaires• ICT “can do” questionnaire (based on Davies, 2004)• “Traveler metaphore” (Steiner Kvale,1996)• Walkthrough interviews (Garfinkel, 1967)• Bildungsreise
Overcoming barriers to adoption • User friendly interface• Technical issues • Integration within VLE • Variety of support mechanisms• Engagement • Time for task design • Reflection on pedagogy (error correction, locus of control) • Community of practice
Our activities• Japanese – recorded revision materials summarising grammatical points with voice and powerpoint using web conferencing tool• Chinese – use of voice boards and voice authoring to increase exposure to tailored spoken language.• French – Use of voice boards for asynchronous role play practice and voice podcaster to deliver listening materials straight to mp3 player/phone.• German – voice boards to give pronunciation practice and feedback.
Student comments• “An innovative way of learning.”• “I think it is a brilliant idea for oral practice.”• “A very impressive form of technology and very useful.”• “I listened in and got some ideas about materials and pronunciation of words”• “It helped with revision.”• “Matching your own articulation against the teacher’s recording was helpful.”• “It was useful to have a chance to review the material from classes and practice listening.”
Locating best practice :• Importance of understanding nature of communication• Establishing relative advantage• Opportunity for shared reflection and student input• Supporting reflection on language tutor approach(Edulearn Barcelona 2011)
Chinese senior tutor, Dr Zhiyan Guo on using voice tools:• Extend the learning community• Integrate technology with language learning• Save travel time• Complements classroom hours, not replace classroom interaction• Allows tutor to deal with individual feedback so that students’ questions can be responded more promptly• Allows time for individual students who have questions in class• Facilitates more oral practice• Encourages pair/group study: peer support
Success criteria: • fit between the tool and the need • relative advantage established by tutor and learners • ease of use, reliability • sustainability for tutor (repurposing) and “usefulness” for learner(Edulearn Barcelona 2011)
Clermont-Ferrand And Warwick Virtual Interactive Exchange ResearchQuestionnaire highlights so far: (137 replies)77% agree/strongly agree that they are comfortablewith computer mediated communication81% have had more than 1 interaction through theexchangeBUT53% communicate online using a foreign language
Kearney et al, Research inLearning Technology Vol20, 2012http://www.researchinlearningtechnology.net/index.php/rlt/article/view/14406/html