Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

V4 Bow

311 views

Published on

Published in: Education, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

V4 Bow

  1. 1. DISTANCE SUPPORT FORLANGUAGE LEARNERS ON LOCATION – A NEW APPROACH Cathy BowAdvising for Language Learner Autonomy Kanda University of International Studies, JapanIATEFL Learner Autonomy Special Interest Group (LASIG) November 12th 2011 Virtual presentation V4
  2. 2. BACKGROUND Research on autonomy in language learning usually focuses on structured programs  Language classrooms  Distance programs  Self-access centres Many language learners live in intensive cultural immersion situations  Learners living on location where target language spoken but not engaged in formal programs are among most autonomous language learners of all  Yet outside the domain of much SLA research
  3. 3. LANGUAGE LEARNERS ‘IN THE WILD’ Autonomous learners outside formal programs are required to develop and maintain their own language program  Often with minimal support  Struggle to move beyond intermediate levels  Lack of assessment opportunities Harder to research these learners  Different needs  Less homogeneity
  4. 4. LANGUAGE LEARNERS ‘IN THE WILD’ Variety of different living, working and learning contexts Distinct demands on time Various opportunities and needs for learning and using the language  Professional  Functional  Social life
  5. 5. CONTEXT OF STUDY Christian missionaries working in a range of cross-cultural contexts Estimate 5000 Australians in active missionary service  Activities include medical work, community development, education, social justice, business, training, translation, teaching, IT, etc  Also more traditional areas such as evangelism, church planting, theological training
  6. 6. RESEARCH FOCUS Australian Christian missionary agency An evangelical, voluntary, lay, church society affiliated with one of the larger mainstream Protestant denominations Nearly 200 missionaries serving in over 35 countries Mostly tertiary-educated, many with young families, going for 6-10 years 6
  7. 7. MAP OF PARTICIPANT LOCATIONS 7
  8. 8. LANGUAGE SUPPORT PROGRAM Mission agency established program of distance support to in-field staff learning lgs  First 3 year term of service Includes pre-field preparation for language learning  Practical language learning experience  Encourage self-directed lg learning 8  Basic phonetics & linguistic principles
  9. 9. ONGOING SUPPORT PROGRAM Face to face contact just before departure Contact at specific points throughout term  Year 1: from departure date  6 weeks, 3, 6, 9, 12 months  Years 2 & 3: every 8 months  20, 28, 36 months – end 3 year term Follow-up on return to Australia  Optional additional support as required 9
  10. 10. ONLINE SUPPORT Moodle learning management system (LMS) or virtual learning environment (VLE)  Free web application for educators to create effective online learning sites Used here for  Uploading resources  Self-assessment & other questionnaires 10  Annual discussion forum
  11. 11. MOODLE SITE 11
  12. 12. CURRENT STATUS OF PROGRAM 72 people currently being tracked  5 cohorts currently on field (46 people)  First cohort just returned (6) – following up  2 cohorts yet to depart (20) Regular email contact with around 50% Minimal interaction on Moodle Skype calls more popular with individuals Some constrained by internet limitations Facebook posts provide some insight 12
  13. 13. ADVISING FROM A DISTANCE Services offered by distance advisor  Discuss language issues  Offer encouragement and advice  Identify areas of concern  Troubleshoot solutions  Invite learners to reflect on experience and process of language learning  Provide feedback on issues raised  Suggest useful resources 13
  14. 14. BENEFITS  Involves intentional relationship with learners  Opportunities to reflect on and discuss LL issues  Regular contact with learners on field  Encourage progress  Identify areas of concern  Give advice as appropriate  Provide additional resources  Promote elf-evaluation and accountability  Importance of cohort – peer support
  15. 15. CHALLENGES Learners engage at different levels  Lack of response to invitations to engage  Time, family, work constraints  Goals/expectations of learners differ according to context Advisor is neither teacher nor speaker of target language/s Lack of face-to-face connection post- departure 15 Current lack of structured mechanism for
  16. 16. EXPANSION POTENTIAL  Expand data collection to include  Language learning plan (pre-departure)  Emails & skype interaction  Forum posts  Facebook posts, newsletters to supporters  Portfolios  Learner narratives  Ethical issues in data collection
  17. 17. POTENTIAL SIGNIFICANCE  Opportunity to provide rich source of data from under-researched language learners  Can shed light on needs, practices and achievements of language learners in unstructured learning situations  Potential to extend the range of ‘advising’ to incorporate those outside the usual domains of SLA research
  18. 18. FOLLOW-UP  For opportunity to discuss this program further, please contact Cathy Bow cbow@unimelb.edu.au

×