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Blended language learning strategies (lecture, Sèvres, July 2011)


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Plenary lecture at the Foresite conference and training event, Sèvres, France, July 2011

Blended language learning strategies - Introduction to blended language learning and some ideas for use in the language classroom

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Blended language learning strategies (lecture, Sèvres, July 2011)

  1. 1. Lecture: “Contemporary Strategies for Blended Learning in the Language Classroom” Claudia Warth-SontheimerUniversity of Tübingen & University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Foresite training event & conference Sèvres, France, 5/7/2011
  2. 2. Blended Language Learning Overview (1) What is “blended language learning” (BLL)? (2) Blending – What & why? (3) Blending it! – A glimpse into some school kitchens (4) DIY - Some ingredients to start your own blend
  3. 3. Blended Language Learning WHAT IS “BLENDED LANGUAGE LEARNING” (BLL)?
  4. 4. Blended Language Learning BLL as a combination of … Blended learning offers “a real opportunity to create learning experiences that can provide the right learning at the right time and in the right place for each and every individual, not just at work, but in schools, universities and even at home. […] Blended Learning could become one of the most significant developments of the 21st century.” Thorne, K. (2003). Blended Learning. How to Integrate Online & Traditional Learning. London: Kogan Page, p. 18 (bold added)
  5. 5. More definitions“Blended learning should be viewed as a pedagogicalapproach that combines the effectiveness andsocialization opportunities of the classroom withthe technologically enhanced active learningpossibilities of the online environment […]”Bonk, C. J. & Graham (2006). Handbook of Blended Learning: Global perspectives, local designs. (bold added) “constructive mix of online and face-to-face phases” (translated from Kröger & Reisky, 2004: 11; cited in Kohn, 2006: 286) Blended language learning (BLL) combines different methods and elements from face-to-face and online learning
  6. 6. Blended Language LearningBLENDING – WHAT & WHY?
  7. 7. Parts of blended learningBlended Language Learning Classroom learning Blended learning Mobile (“gadget”) Computer- & learning web-based learning
  8. 8. Blended Language Learning Continuum of BLL Combines … … offline and online methods across levels of time and space … offline and online resources
  9. 9. Common elements and features I Blended Language Learning Common elements and features I(cf.  ) Offline vs. online learning Structured vs. unstructured / formal vs. informal learning Off-the-shelf content vs. custom content Synchronous vs. asynchronous communication and collaboration (image:
  10. 10. Blended Language Learning Common elements and features II Different scenarios and how to distinguish them:Distributive materials are provided through an online source (e.g. link, LMS) Interactive  students can interact with the system (e.g. quiz with feedback or communication with other online users) Collaborative  students interact and collaborate with others (own class, other class, other web users…) with the help of web tools (cf. Reinmann 2005, 104)  often: combination of the above
  11. 11. Blended Language Learning Potential of BLL Sounds good, but…  student-centered approach & support of student autonomy  “Lifelong learning” & 21st century skills  orientation towards communication and action  real-life context, authenticity and authentication  cooperation and collaboration in teams (local and abroad)21st skills  LLLP of the EU  more here
  13. 13. Scenario 1 Scenario 1 “Complementary online materials” Classroom face-to-face teaching is complemented by in class… • ... online self-study & assessment activities • … online search • … work with online dictionaries Example: “Old Navajo rugs”
  14. 14. Scenario 2“At home online” componentClassroom work (onl & offl) iscomplemented by onlineactivities at home (throughMoodle)• materials to deepenunderstanding & encourageown paths of learning• guided online research• forum exchanges• homework as onlineassignment (and onl. feedback)• self-study exercises• feeds into next face-to-facesession & wiki-writing Example: La francophonie dans le monde
  15. 15. Scenario 3 Scenario 3 “Intercultural web collaboration” • mix of offline and online phases (preparation – interaction – debriefing) • local class (in small teams) collaborates with class(es) abroad • all materials (multimedia) provided through an LMS, e.g. Moodle • classes interact and collaborate through forums, chat, Skype, Facebook and wikis Example: icEurope
  16. 16. Blended Language LearningDIY –SOME INGREDIENTS TO START YOUR OWN BLEND
  17. 17. Blended Language Learning How to start blending?(1) Where are your learners coming from? – as usual, pick them up from there(2) Which resources (and support) are available to you (and your students)?(3) Start out small (e.g. how could one “new technology” aid your learners? How could it add a benefit or replace something that you’re not totally happy with?) – next, add more, then, revise a unit.(4) Think from the perspective of skills / competences / learning aims – then pick the tool (but of course, feel free to experiment – always wanted to use a wiki? Look for adequate places in your syllabus  )(5) Which role should the elements and features play in your blend?(6) Blend it – i.e. don’t stick, don’t repeat, don’t overwhelm (see here for pitfalls)(7) Reuse, recycle & grow: Consider working with an LMS (e.g. Moodle)
  18. 18. Blended Language Learning The role of an LMS (e.g. Moodle) How can Moodle help with the new roles of a teacher in BLL and with pedagogic re-design?Administration  organization of the syllabus, productivity/efficiency,distributing/collecting material, scheduling dutiesAssessment  providing feedback, tracking student progress, and testingContent delivery  communicating content for different learning styles, usingmultimedia, incorporating learning activities, using the Internet for the acquisition ofknowledge  all in one place (the online classroom)Community  e.g. building the classroom community throughsynchronous/threaded chats, providing office/help hours to communicate online;community across borders (adapted from Schmidt 2002)
  19. 19. Blended Language Learning Some pitfalls • Velcro model • Duplicated model • Complex model (Clark, 2003)
  20. 20. Blended Language Learning Possible ingredients for your own blendAuthentic resources from the web (e.g. video or audio clips, news, podcasts) Online quizzes and “games”, e.g. crosswords (ES) or a game on being a football fan in Germany (DE) GoogleMaps Virtual field trip (to Colonial Williamsburg, maybe? 0 1 2 3 4) Taking part in an online discussion (e.g. of a travel site or an online magazine) Creating a podcast Writing a blog
  21. 21. Blended Language LearningLITERATURE & RESOURCES
  22. 22. Blended Language Learning Bibliography BibliographyBax, Stephen (2003). CALL – past, present, future. System 31/1, 13-28.Dooly, Melinda (2008). Telecollaborative language learning: A guidebook to moderating intercultural collaboration online. Bern, New York: P. Lang.Erben, T., Ban, R. & Castañeda, M. E. (2008). Teaching English language learners through technology. Teaching English language learners across thecurriculum. New York, NY: Routledge.Felix, Uschi (2002). The web as a vehicle for constructivist approaches in language teaching. ReCALL 14/1, 2–15.Kohn, Kurt (2009). Computer assisted foreign language learning. In K. Knapp & B. Seidlhofer (Eds.), Handbooks of Applied Linguistics: Vol. 6. ForeignLanguage Communication and Learning. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 573-602.Kohn, Kurt (2006) "Blended Language Learning. Potential und Herausforderung." In: Jung, U.O.H. (Hrsg). Praktische Handreichung fürFremdsprachenlehrer. (4. völlig neu bearb. Aufl.). Frankfurt/M: Peter Lang.Langer de Ramirez, Lori (2010). Empower English language learners with tools from the web. Thousand Oaks: Corwin.Macdonald, Janet (2008). Blended learning and online tutoring. Planning learner Support and activity design. Aldershot: Gower.Reinmann, Gabi (2005). Blended Learning in der Lehrerausbildung. Grundlagen für die Konzeption innovativer Lernumgebungen. Lengerich: PabstScience Publishers.Schmidt, Klaus (2002). The Web-Enhanced Classroom. Journal of Industrial Technology 18/2.Warth-Sontheimer, Claudia (2011). Intercultural Language Learning through Web Collaboration in Moodle - Some Insights from the icEuropeProject. University of Tübingen: Tübingen, for the Comenius Network Wide Minds magazine Kaleidoscope.Warth, Claudia (2009). Fachsprache Deutsch: Lernen im europäischen Team – das Blended-Learning-Projekt EnTecNet. In: Michaela Albl-Mikasa / SabineBraun / Sylvia Kalina (Eds.). Dimensionen der Zweitsprachenforschung – Dimensions of Second Language Research. Festschrift für Kurt Kohn. Tübingen:Narr, 363 – 382.Warth, Claudia & Kurt Kohn (2011). Web collaboration for intercultural language learning. A guide for teachers, student teachers and trainers. Münster:Monsenstein & Vannerdat.
  23. 23. Blended Language LearningWeb resources
  24. 24. Thank you!Claudia Warth-SontheimerUniversity of Tübingen & University of Michigan, Ann Arborc.warth-sontheimer@gmx.de