Teacher cognition and technology-mediated language instruction in the Thai context


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  • Teacher cognition and technology-mediated language instruction in the Thai context

    1. 1. Teacher cognition and technology-mediated language teaching in Thai tertiary contexts T.Suwannasom School of Language Studies Massey University Palmerston North, New Zealand
    2. 2. Research Overview <ul><li>A study designed to investigate Thai university English lecturers’ cognition about using technology* in EFL instruction. </li></ul><ul><li>* Technology refers to computers and desktop programs, the WWW, search engines, CMC (emails, chat, video chat, web board), multimedia materials, weblogs, and LMS (WebCT, Moodle). </li></ul>
    3. 3. Teacher Cognition and Technology <ul><li> Teacher cognition: what teachers know, believe, and think about their work. </li></ul><ul><li>- inherent in nature; cannot be assessed directly </li></ul><ul><li>- shaped by experiences and contexts ( Borg, 2003) </li></ul><ul><li> Teacher cognition and technology integration </li></ul><ul><li>- Teachers’ beliefs have a significant impact on the success of learning innovations in tertiary settings (Errington, 2001; Pajares, 1992; Calderhead, 1996) </li></ul><ul><li>- Teachers’ supportive beliefs are major affordances for technology integration in an educational setting (Myer et al, 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>- Innovation can fail if there is no relation with teachers’ personal visions of teaching and learning (Brown, 2001) </li></ul>
    4. 4. Methodology A survey questionnaire: 47 university EFL lecturers Semi-structured interviews and Unstructured interviews: 7 lecturers Observation and Research Journal
    5. 5. Participants’ responses to “Which technology uses are relevant to your beliefs in EFL instruction?” <ul><li>Students do language exercises in CD-ROMs or websites according to their proficiency levels . (34) </li></ul><ul><li>Authentic resources such as media websites (BBC, VOA, MCOT) are used to stimulate students’ verbal or written communication. (34) </li></ul><ul><li>Students use online references such as dictionaries or translation tools to improve their written texts. (32) </li></ul><ul><li>Students use word processors to reduce spelling and mechanical mistakes (31) </li></ul><ul><li>Students go online to get corrective feedback from more competent English language speakers. (11) </li></ul><ul><li>Students create academic or personal web pages to connect to the world. (11) </li></ul>
    6. 6. Technology-enhanced instructional scenarios used in semi-structured interviews Wuthichai Jintana Arunya - Students use a synchronous tool to communicate with key pals. - Students join public discussion forums and search through the WWW. - Students create multimedia web-based content and interact with global readers. Socio-cognitive : construct knowledge through negotiation and interaction; use language to socialize Rattana Wanwisa Chanchai - Students revise their own drafts and exchange online feedback with peers. - Students practice writing through asynchronous communication with other language learners. - Students write collaboratively and practice online research Cognitive : collaborative work, comprehensible input; planning and revising Siripen Tassanee Pipat - Students do grammar exercises and tests on websites or CD-Roms - Students practice writing texts in threaded discussion with model structures. - Students do recommended language exercises and use online references Structural : giving drills, practices, models, corrective feedback Scenarios Activities Principles (Kern and Warschauer, 2000)
    7. 7. Using scenarios in semi-structured interviews ( Network-based language teaching ( Kern and Warschauer, 2000)) Exchanging emails with NNS keypals Use search engines and do online research for group projects Create a web page or web blog for language learning Chat with NS/NSS keypals Discuss local/global issues on web forums Use online dictionary or references Exchange electronic essays and feedbacks How well would thess classroom scenarios fit into Thai tertiary EFL instruction ?
    8. 8. How well would this classroom scenario fit into Thai EFL contexts ? -teacher centredness -teacher’s choices -students’ limited participation -communication between the teacher and students “ Pipat usually downloads materials from websites and online writing labs to use in the classroom. Students’ written drafts have to be word-processed and e-mailed to him. He recommends EFL writing websites to students so they can study after class. Students are welcome to email him asking about course assignments and general questions about their study.”
    9. 9. Participants’ Responses “ Using online materials is convenient for many teachers. It save a lot of time and money. Students are quite happy to use word processors for their essay writing. Actually, my students are doing something like this. It’s easy for both the teacher and students to read, write, and rewrite. Emails can promote communications between students and the teacher. I like to hear from students...” “ Students haven’t had much freedom to choose materials. Why don’t we let students find materials that they want to learn? There should be more options for students to explore online information. I believe students at this level need to practice autonomous learning strategies.. They should have an opportunity to explore online information and choose what they want to study.”
    10. 10. How well would this classroom scenario fit into Thai EFL contexts ? “ There is no course book for Jintana ’s writing class. Every two weeks, she has them vote for the most interesting local and global issues. Then they go to the computer lab, search for information, and discuss online in a public forum with classmates and global users. Each student has to email her about what they have contributed to the web forum.” <ul><li>Student-centredness </li></ul><ul><li>Use of web forum </li></ul><ul><li>Use of search engines, the WWW </li></ul><ul><li>Real-life discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Real-life topics </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction & Participation </li></ul>
    11. 11. Participants’ Responses “ If students are beginners, it’s very difficult for them to write argumentative posts on the web forum. Beginner students need a lot of explicit instructions and models for writing. It’s necessary that teachers teach them how to write paragraphs before writing on the forum. This may be possible in case students already learned paragraph writing or they are at advanced level. This is a good activity focusing on learners’ interests and participation.” “ Problems may arise when students vote for discussion topics. Thai student not likely to follow local and global issues. They may not come up with a good topic for discussion and writing. Students need some background knowledge to make their points on the forum. Writing should start from a topic that they can write from their own idea and experiences, so they won’t end up in plagiarism.”
    12. 12. Conclusion <ul><li>1. Teachers are selective when it comes to technology. They are likely to pick up the tools that seem to “work” in their contexts such as using CD-ROMs exercises, language learning websites, e-mails, online references, and the WWW. </li></ul><ul><li>2. When teachers think about technology, they perceive the relevant usefulness according to how they want technology to enhance their teaching, students’ learning, and serving classroom needs. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Teachers’ preferences and choices of technology are determined by the nature of students, course objectives, and classroom environment in a particular institutional context. </li></ul>
    13. 13. <ul><li>“ Technology VS Teacher: Teacher takes the lead” </li></ul><ul><li>1. Teachers should be encouraged to look into their own personal beliefs and practices when they want to use a technology. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Technology uses should be linked to what teachers need for their instruction and students’ learning. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Teachers should be encouraged to use technology up to its potential; students have more opportunities to create their original texts, communicate with peers, and interact with the world. </li></ul>Implications