Social Networking in Second Language Learning

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Social Networking in Second Language Learning

  1. 1. Social Networking in Second Language Learning Maria Luisa Malerba Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) The PLE Conference 11 th -13 th July 2011 Southampton
  2. 2. Learning in the current digital scenario <ul><li>Learner Generated Content ( Alshehri, 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Invisible Learning (Cobo, 2010) </li></ul><ul><li>Informal Learning (Cross, 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Lifelong Learning (Colardyn, 2002) </li></ul>
  3. 3. (Cross, 2006:82) From Formal to Informal Learning Novice Worker Mature Worker Senior Worker Directed Self-Directed Helping Others Class Discovery Coaching Course Searching/search engine Mentoring Teacher Trial-and-error Storytelling Test Collaborating Giving feedback Grades Asking Nurturing Curriculum Skimming Modelling Listening Observing Reflecting
  4. 4. Learning in the Web 2.0 Era (Chatti, 2007) FEATURES OBJECTIVES It is multifaceted , complex, chaotic and requires a plurality of opinions, ideas, inputs Up-to-date knowledge. What is incorrect can be corrected through a bottom-up process Learning is &quot;to come to know&quot; and is an ongoing process Make choices and decisions is learning Technology helps learning Ability to identify patterns and connections ( intelligere ) developing critical skills Networks contain knowledge Responsibility and independence to discover and know more is more important than what you currently know
  5. 5. Connectivism is the new learning theory of the digital age. According to it, learning takes root in a system of bottom-up interconnections that foster the knowledge flow (Siemens, 2004)
  6. 6. An important learning skill today is to “ synthetize and recognize connections and patterns ” (Siemens, 2004:3)
  7. 7. Under the conceptual framework of the connectivist paradigm, where learning is a process of forming connections among nodes, MOTIVATION is what determines connections and at the same time is enhanced by being receptive to these connections. (Siemens, 2005)
  8. 8. Social Network Sites (SNS) <ul><li>Participatory </li></ul><ul><li>Immediate </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging the community </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting group identity </li></ul><ul><li>Using Web 2.0 tools </li></ul>
  9. 9. Social Networks are Communities of Practices (CoP) where spontaneous relations, conversations and behaviors arise among people who share common interests and topics and whose learning motivation is spontaneous. Social networking favors self-narrative and conversational practices and, as a consequence, self-reflection and meta-cognitive skills . (Pettenati & Ranieri, 2006).
  10. 10. Social Networks are Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) (Siemens, 2006; McLoughlin & Lee, 2007)
  11. 11. (Arina, 2007:2) Monochronic Learning Polychronic Learning One thing at a time Multiple things at once Adhere to plans Adapt to environment Linearity Non-linearity Commitment to task Commitment to relationships Repetition and memorization Problem solving and creativity Homogenic Heterogenic Seeking one right way to do things Acknowledging multiple paths Often out of context Highly contextual Designed approach Emergent approach Synchronous communication Asynchronous communication VLE /LMS Social Software/ PLE Information technology Interaction technology Selecting tools based on design Selecting tools based on process Focus on outcome Focus on process
  12. 12. My Research Deals with: <ul><li>Informal Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Second Language (L2)Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Social Network Sites’ (SNS) communities as PLEs </li></ul><ul><li>(Halvorsen, 2009; McBride, 2009; Roblyer, 2010; McCarty, 2009; Kelley, 2010;) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Objectives <ul><li>To map out the best cases that characterize this scenario where informal L2 learning takes place in online SNS for language learning; </li></ul><ul><li>To examine the construction of opportunities for L2 use and L2 learning and how this use is socially and contextually constructed and negotiated; </li></ul><ul><li>To investigate on the potential sustainability and effectiveness of online social networks for long-term learning outcomes; </li></ul><ul><li>To analyze affordances and constraints of current social network sites for L2 learning; </li></ul><ul><li>To design guidelines in order to suggest how to improve these online SNSs environments for L2 learning under the technical and the pedagogical point of view. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Research Questions <ul><li>What opportunities for L2 use and L2 learning occur in the learners’ natural conversations on their online social networks and what factors contribute to the characteristics of these opportunities? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the affordances and constraints of online social networks in relation to their potential sustainability and effectiveness for long-term learning outcomes? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Use of a cross-methodological approach <ul><ul><ul><li>Exploration of the active L2 communities present in online SNS </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identification of the best cases according to given criteria: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pedagogical , socio-interactional , environmental and technical usability issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Selection of: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Livemocha, Busuu </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Virtual Ethnography in the framework of social-constructivism, interpretative paradigm </li></ul><ul><li>Participant observation of the community </li></ul><ul><li>Survey submission </li></ul><ul><li>Social Network Analysis (SNA) </li></ul><ul><li>Tools: Net-Map (pen-paper)VennMaker (digital) </li></ul><ul><li>Conversational analysis (CA) Longitudinal micro-analysis of the learner discourse with network interactants (macro-context) </li></ul><ul><li>Semi-structured in-depth interviews </li></ul>
  17. 17. Interpretation and synthesis <ul><li>Combination, comparison and interpretation of the results </li></ul><ul><li>Drawing conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation of guidelines </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Ethical issues </li></ul><ul><li>Restrictive terms of contract </li></ul><ul><li>To get informed consent </li></ul><ul><li>To cloak learners ’ identities </li></ul><ul><li>Citing and crediting </li></ul><ul><li>(Kozinets, 2010) </li></ul><ul><li>Missteps and blind spots </li></ul><ul><li>In order to gain consent, I will influence in some way my research </li></ul><ul><li>Learners will be aware of the researcher ’ s presence. I expect resistance to being controlled, interviewed and recorded </li></ul>
  19. 19. Expectations <ul><li>To do a little step towards a better understanding of PLEs </li></ul><ul><li>To put learners into the condition of taking the most in terms of autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>To address to platform designers suggesting how to address the quality of interaction and the opportunity to learner in a personal and independent way </li></ul><ul><li>To make an eventual little contribution to more appealing formal activities for language learners </li></ul>
  20. 20. QUESTION How suitable is a mixed questionnaire (both open-ended and closed-ended items) to the exploratory approach of my research? Maria Luisa Malerba Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) [email_address]

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