Interviews appendix 1

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Interviews appendix 1

  1. 1. The Incorporation of ICTs into Task-Based Language Learning ELECTRONIC INTERVIEWSINTRODUCTIONI am currently conducting a small-scale research project in which I try to answer thequestions of:  How New Technologies are being incorporated or embedded into the field of Language Learning and more specifically into the Task-Based Learning methodological approach?  How can teachers be encouraged to embed their practices with New Technologies?As I am trying to frame my answer from a diversity of perspectives I would be gratefulif we could talk informally about some of the issued presented below. (Please feel freeto omit the questions you feel are overlapping or have been answered in previousquestions.)INTERVIEW TO MS JANE TARWACKI – Spanish Teacher at Greenbelt Middle School 1- Would you please give me a description of your personal and professional background (as detailed as you wish)I was born and raised in New Jersey and went to school in Richmond, Virginia. Mymom is from Bogota, Colombia and my father is Polish-American. I have my B.A. inSpanish and Political Science, a minor in Latin American Studies, and a M.T. inSecondary Education. I also have a professional certificate in Professional TeachingStandards. I am also a National Board candidate. I am the Prince George’s CountyPublic Schools Foreign Language Teacher of the Year and I am also the runner-up forMaryland Foreign Language Teacher of the Year. I have been teaching for six year, allof them in Prince George’s County Public Schools.2- Which is the technological resource you have been incorporating into your lessons? 1
  2. 2. I have a MIMIO machine which turns any white board into a smart (interactive) whiteboard. I also use videos, websites, and CD-ROM resources with an LCD projector.3- When did you learn to use it?I learned how to use it in mid-September of this year when I received the MIMIOmachine. I learned to use an LCD projector six years ago when I started teaching inPGCPS.4- How do you think this technology has changed your teaching practice?Making the material interactive has been great for my students. They are better ableto participate and they think using the MIMIO machine is fun. I do not have to cleantransparencies, or write things over and over again for each class since I usepowerpoint and CD-ROM software. Access to YouTube and all of the videos has madelearning fun and interesting. The students use this technology all the time and areexcited to blend their interests and learning styles with the curriculum.5- What are the benefits or drawbacks you perceive in your students’ learningachievements?The benefits of technology is that it makes it easier to learn. It makes activities morekinesthetic for my students because they can physically moves words and picturesaround on the board. It also holds their interest longer because it is fun. The onlydrawback is that the students are relying on technology for everything and forgettingthat books do have a purpose.6- What other technological incorporations would you like to make? Why haven´t youbeen able to do it?I would like to have access to a high functioning computer lab. We do not have themoney for new computers that are faster and have more memory.7- Would you like to make any other comment?INTERVIEW TO MR DENNIS READ – Technology teacher at Samuel Ogle Middle School1- Would you please give me a description of your personal and professionalbackground (as detailed as you wish)2- Which is/are the technological tool/s you teach in your lessons?3- What are the benefits or drawbacks you perceive in your students’ learningachievements?4- How do you feel your class is being helpful within a cross-curricular perspective? 2
  3. 3. 5- Can you give me your general perception of Maryland Teachers TechnologyStandards? http://www.mttsonline.org/standards/6- Would you like to make any other comment?RESPONSES 1. Personal/Professional Background: a. Teaching/Education Background (currently teaching middle school, Prince George’s County Public Schools) • 17th year teaching overall; includes 6 yrs. in Middle school and 11 in Elementary School (1994-2010.) Initially hired as a technology teacher in elementary school. 2 years experience GED teaching, 1973-75. All teaching experience in PGCPS. • Certified in Elementary Ed., grades 1-8; Advanced Professional Certificate, State of Maryland, USA. • B.S. Biology, University of Maryland, 1973; post grad credits = 35 (all Education coursework for certification and development) b. Pre-teaching career/experience • 19+ years experience as a nursing manager and nursing (IT) systems manager, Washington Hospital Center, Wash., DC. (1975-1994) c. Computer/technology Credentials • Professional development coursework (numerous computer applications), WHC and PGCPS (non-credit) • Self-taught applications as needed • Informal networking, sharing, and workgroup development as needed 2. Technology tools used/taught in classroom (Middle School) • Students use Dell personal computers (1 pc per student/ classes of 30 students/3 computer classes daily, A/B schedule) • Teacher uses Dell pc, plus an overhead Mitsubishi LCD projector on a large projection screen. All PGCPS teachers also have IBM take-home laptops • Programs used in classroom include: MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, Internet, and Mavis Beacon Typing. 3
  4. 4. • Content for computer programs is taken from Social Studies pacing guide; each grade level (6, 7, 8) has a specific topic to research for the quarter. • Program objectives include proficiency in writing, proofreading, reading, math computations, and keyboarding.3. Benefits/drawbacks in student achievement • Benefits include: o Use of contemporary/real world computer programs (as above) o Reinforcement of content material (reading/language arts, math, social studies) o Basic and advanced proficiency in keyboarding and other program-related skills (word processing, spreadsheet development, slide presentation, internet research) • Drawbacks: o Potential loss of skill-set if practice/repetition of technology is not maintained at home or in other classes o Weaknesses in reading/writing/math often translate into poor performance with technology programs4. Cross-curricular relevance • The Social Studies topic for each grade level that I choose is far enough ahead in the pacing guide that students have a reference point for meaningful discussion by the time their SS class studies the same topic. • Excel is math, and students write formulas for calculations as well as graph their results. Students interpret spreadsheet data and graphs. • Proofreading reinforces Language Arts standards for capitalization rules, correct verb tense, and sentence structure. Creative writing is encouraged.5. Perception of Maryland Technology Standards • The seven Technology Standards provide a specific framework for teachers to effectively implement technology within the curriculum on many levels. My feeling is that I and most teachers need to review these Standards in order to be aware of the specific recommendations. • A better awareness of the Standards would facilitate a more comprehensive implementation; however, many of these Standards are typically employed without much thought, in my case. Formulation of a research question, use of multiple sources of information, various 4
  5. 5. communication channels and formats, and accessibility logistics arealways considered. 5
  6. 6. 6. Final Comments • Class size: my classes run form 20 to 30. It is very difficult, yet possible, to effectively supervise adolescents in a computer room by myself in larger classes of 30. They do not all get the personal help that they need, many times. • Student behavior: in every class, there will be behavior challenges that disrupt the flow of the class, interrupt student performance and teaching, and become a burden for everyone in the room. Monitoring behavior issues – often from the same students over and over again – while teaching lessons, supervising classwork , and assessing performance – becomes second nature for most teachers, but is a major consideration when managing a classroom. • Grading requirements: my class, Computer Technology Concepts, is a Creative Arts subject that is taught every other day (A/B schedule) for one quarter. Still, this and other C.A. subjects have the same weekly grading requirements as daily taught content classes (2 grades per week.) It seems that students who meet 2 or 3 classes per week should not be assessed as often as students who have a class daily (5x/week.)INTERVIEW TO SUPARMARN MITRSOMWANG (MARNIE)- Graduate students inMethods of Teaching ESOL1- Would you please give me a description of your personal and professionalbackground (as detailed as you wish)Well, my name is Marnie. My actual name should be Supamarn Mitrsomwang and Iam from Thailand. I’ve lived in Maryland while at the same time studied in the Collegeof Education, TESOL program, for a year now. The next semester will be my lastsemester and I hope to use the knowledge I acquired to improve my country’s Englisheducational system. Back in Thailand, I received a Bachelor Degree of Arts in the fieldsof English and Drama. I lived with my parents and my elder brother. We cherish ourtwo Golden Retrievers very much. I highly believe in multiple literacies and am certainthat students should be encouraged to learn both inside and outside of school. Thus, Ido think that technologies will help get that message across.2- Which technological resources do you think you will incorporate in your teachingpractice?Computer for sure with online resources and social networks as a tool ofcommunication, which will further establish leaning community. Audio technologies,movies, electronic resources are also proven to be abundance nowadays as well. 6
  7. 7. 3-Will you be able to transfer the use of similar technological tools in their ownpractices when they become school teachers? Why/not?( I don’t think I quite understand what you are trying to ask me here? Could youelaborate moe?)4- In your opinion, what are the benefits or drawbacks of using technologies at school?The benefit, ofcourse is global interaction. As the methods of communication are sovast with varieties, the possibility is endless. Students can retrieve unlimited resourcesfrom the World Wide Web. The drawback, ofcourse, would be that we cannot alwaysrely on computer.5- Would you like to receive special teachers´ training before using technology in theclassroom?Ofcourse I do. Although I considered myself to know more or less about technology butI would never consider myself as a ‘tech savvy’. The problem is students today belongin the ‘Millennial’ generation and I need to keep up with that. So, definitely I do needextra training.6- Would you like to make any other comment?INTERVIEW TO JULIAN CHEN – Assistant Teacher in Methods of Teaching ESOL1- Would you please give me a description of your personal and professionalbackground (as detailed as you wish)I am currently the doctoral candidate in the Second Language Education & Culture(SLEC) program at the University of Maryland, College Park. I joined SLEC PhDprogram in 2007 and is currently working as a graduate assistant for developing andmaintaining both SLEC and Masters Certification Program (MCERT) websites. I havealso been a TA for courses in the areas of technology and ESOL, such as Computers forTeachers, Methods of Teaching ESOL, and Special Education and Oral LanguageDevelopment in TESOL. To capitalize on my TA experience to work as an instructor, Ihave taught courses such as Teaching ESOL Reading and Writing in Secondary ContentAreas: Teaching English Learners Reading and Writing in the Secondary ContentAreas (summer 2009), Computers for Teachers (fall 2009), and teaching Pedagogy forTeaching English Language Learners (spring 2010).I earned my M.Ed. in TESL from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada.I also got my TESOL certificate during my graduate studies in Canada. I had taughtEFL at the college level in Taiwan for three and half years and actively participated inin-service school teacher training. Driven by implementing technology into enhancingEnglish language learning, I set up my own E-learning site for my teaching and studentlearning in Taiwan. 7
  8. 8. 2- Which is/are the technological resource/s you have been incorporating into yourpractice?My current research interests include computer-assisted language learning (CALL),computer-mediated communication (CMC), web-based learning, language and literacyin online/out-of-school settings. On that note, I have been working on infusing CMCinto task-based language teaching (TBLT) in both ESL/EFL contexts. For mydissertation, I am interested in delving into the simulation/gaming for language learningin the virtual world (i.e., Second Life).3- When did you learn to use it/them?As mentioned above, I started to integrate technology into language learning andteaching since I was teaching in Taiwan. In the beginning, I was a bit overwhelmed byall the Web 2.0 tools. In order to align my teaching styles with students’ digital learningstyles, I tried to explore different kinds of CMC tools (e.g., skype, blog, wiki, etc.) andincorporated them into the instruction. In 2008, I first encountered Second Life (SL), a3-D virtual environment. I was impressed with the pedagogical potential SL can offerfor language learners and started to embark on my SL journey. The learning curve at theoutset was a bit steep but I finally managed it and was able to conduct my first Englishcourse in SL in fall 2010.4- How do you think this technology has changed your teaching practice?I am a teacher who likes to think outside the box. Following the same teaching scriptwith the same teaching materials, or even the same old technology is not my cup of tea.So every year I endeavor to try out some new technology and see how it may benefitstudents’ learning and optimize my teaching as well. Being able to use technology toassist my teaching practice has been fruitful. Not only do students feel that each lessonis not static and tedious, they can also capitalize on different CMC tools to practicedifferent language skills and stretch their zone of proximal development (ZPD). Thenew discovery of using SL for teaching and learning is an eye-opening experience forme. I truly believe the SL features, such as immersiveness, telepresence, and augmentedreality, can make a difference on both teaching practices and learning outcomes.5- Do you think your students, future ESOL teachers, will be able to transfer the use ofsimilar technological tools in their own practices when they become school teachers?Why/not?I do, but under the condition that those pre-service ESOL teachers are well-trained orat least have the chance to integrate different Web 2.0 tools in their lesson planningand teaching practicum. Without “getting their hands dirty” and see the extent towhich a technology-enhanced lesson can optimize student learning outcomes andmotivation, they won’t see the point of transferring those tools to the real-life teachingsituations. 8
  9. 9. 6- What other technological incorporations would you like to make? Why haven´t youbeen able to do it?I’d like to incorporate SL into classroom-based instruction. The reason I’ve not startedit yet is because it’s hard to get my own class now (I am not teaching a language classat the college level in the U.S. yet). Even though I do see the potential of SL that canempower language learners, especially EFL learners, how to tackle the administrativeconstraints and technical issues in the lab or at students’ home will be the next task forme to accomplish.7- As teacher trainer, which do you think is the most effective way to handle teachers´training in Technology?As far as I am concerned, most language teachers are not digital natives who are bornwith technology or somewhat hesitant about using technology (except forpowerpoint?) in their lessons. Conducting teacher training workshops on a regularbasis to help those teachers to get into the zone is definitely a good start. Breakingdown the steps and having some technical support from school or other experiencedteachers are the strategy to facilitate teachers’ professional development. Also, askingteachers to try out one technological tool at a time for each lesson will prepare themto be more familiar with the implementation of technology into instruction.8- Would you like to make any other comment?N/A 9

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