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  1. 1. LANGUAGES A summary Submitted for the class “UNDERSTANDING ONLINE LANGUAGE LEARNING” (ELE 155 KJ – Dr. Kshema Jose) Orazgeldi (1479) Halmammet (1481) Amalul Umam (1505)THE ENGLISH AND FOREIGN LANGUAGES UNIVERSITY (EFLU) HYDERABAD, ANDHRA PRADESH, INDIA 2013
  2. 2. LANGUAGES A. Introduction New technologies predominantly influence the way people live and work at the beginningof new millennium. It can be seen clearly nowadays by the development of technology thatsignificantly increases all the time. As a result, our society today can be said by the termknowledge society. New information and communication technologies and their role inlanguage learning are challenged to be more appropriately applicable. Key factors to answerthis challenge are the flexibility and authenticity of content and the learning process itself. B. The Knowledge of Society New technologies have become part of our daily life. Costa and Liebman explain: … that with knowledge doubling every five years – every 73 days by the year 2020 – we can no longer attempt to anticipate future information requirements. If students are to keep pace with the rapid increase of knowledge, we cannot continue to organize curriculum in discrete compartments. … the disciplines as we have known them, no longer exist. They are being replaced by human inquiry that draws upon generalized transdisciplinary bodies of knowledge and relationships. In this situation, information is globally networked and accessible for everyone. As aresult, traditional skills of information gathering and storing no longer sufficient to live,work, and learn. Consequently, the main aim of teaching and learning will be to assistlearners to be autonomous learners. Therefore, traditional model of learning must be replacedby information processing and knowledge construction. C. Language Learning and Constructivism Language learning can be said as the most impressive mental operations of the humanmind. In knowledge society era, the most appropriate paradigm to be applied in languagelearning is constructivist paradigm, by which language processing and learning competenceas well as language awareness that are regarded as an essential part of the overall aims of any
  3. 3. language curriculum can be achieved. With this paradigm, new technologies need to beexploited in such a way that the aims are ensured. Language learning should be interactive,dynamic process, in which new knowledge is most achieved. D. Constructivism and Constructionism Constructivism is the theory that the knowledge is built by the learner, not supplied by theteacher, while constructionist is the idea that knowledge happens especially felicitously whenthe learner is engaged in the construction of something external or at least shareable. So, tosuccessfully transfer of constructivist theory into constructionist platform can be described asfinding appropriate tasks which get the learner engaged in the construction of somethingshareable. Kind of activities that can be applied in this paradigm will be kind of problemsolving tasks and tasks that encourage hypothesis formation and validation which put muchemphasis on task-based learning. E. Current Materials Looking at the kind of materials currently available for language learning, most of themstill use traditional computer-based training packages (Adelsberger, 529). It means thatconstructivist activities are not well applied which is claimed as the most appropriateparadigm. Activities of the traditional paradigm are drills, multiple choice question, and gap-filling. All of them do not represent constructivist activities or exercises at all. They just willgive very limited output, while constructivist activities require innovative exercises that willhelp learners to construct their knowledge. There are some examples that show thattraditional computer-based training package systems are still used:
  4. 4. 0continuous.htm F. Technology-Enhanced Materials for Language Learning: a Typology However, according to the writer there are also some languages learning contexts that usetechnology appropriately in which constructivist paradigm is applied. The writer classifies itinto five different areas. 1. Exercise Materials for Self-study and Self Access Most of these kind exercise materials will use multimedia components by which situational frame or condition for learning task will be very supportive. It will allow learners to have more exploration in the way of the study. Moreover, it is usually built on very innovative ways and also supported by sound, image, animation, video that will help learners in learning. One example of task is listen and act which uses drag and drop form of interaction. A picture and a number of objects are presented on the screen; based on listening text or instructions given orally by the machine, learners have to grabs items and either place them at the appropriate spot on the picture or rearrange items and objects on the picture itself. (Adelsberger, 530) There are also some examples on software form. For clear information, please visit, memory-game-for-esl-learning-very-low-beginners/. 2. Authoring Tools Authoring tools Also known as authorware, a program that helps user write hypertext or multimedia applications. Authoring tools usually enable the user to create a final application merely by linking together objects, such as a paragraph
  5. 5. of text, an illustration, or a song. By defining the objects relationships to each other,and by sequencing them in an appropriate order, authors (those who use authoringtools) can produce attractive and useful graphics applications. By using these tools,teacher will be provided ready-made template to create exercises for his classrooms.Teacher can be so innovative by creating interesting exercises that appropriate withthe learner level and interest. These tools also do not require the user to have very expert knowledge inprogramming. The main interesting point of these tools is that teacher can give thelearners a project based exercise. Teacher can ask learners to create a task by usingthe tools, and then the task is tested to their peers. As a result, learners will work notonly in linguistics competence but also on language awareness. Learners also may dosome innovative and explore many new things that will build up and construct newknowledge. Textoys is one of example of these tools. TexToys is a suite of two authoring programs, WebRhubarb and WebSequitur. The programs are used to create web pages (HTML documents) which contain interactive language-learning exercises. The exercises are based on the Rhubarb and Sequitur programs originally developed by John and Muriel Higgins. Once you have created the exercises, you can deliver them to your students in the form of web pages. You can also upload them to our hosting service at ( Electronic Publications and Resources Electronic Publications and Resources offer many advantages for languagelearning process. It provides plenty of authentic materials by which learner can learnauthentic language or real language that is used in the real life. Besides, the contentsof authentic materials will represent the culture of the target language whichencourages learners to understand not only the linguistics part but also the culture andlanguage use such as slang words.
  6. 6. In addition, learner also can exploit the materials that are available maximally.Learners can work on what they like and focus in specific part of it. If a learner has ahobby or interest on travelling, for example, He can look for information about someplaces that he wants to visit and gets much information freely as much as possible. Asa result, learner will work on the TL and also the content of it. Unconsciously, it willconstruct the knowledge of the learners and encourage learner to be an autonomouslearner. These are some examples of the rescources: Tools for Processing and Adapting Materials for Classroom Use Authentic materials are more interesting to be brought to the classroom as amaterial than course book. Unfortunately, not all authentic materials are appropriateto the level of the learners. To solve the problem, teacher can use this technology(Tools for Processing and Adapting Materials). It will help the teacher to bring thelevel of materials to the level of the learners. It enable teacher to analyze a text withregard to language items or structures in it. Moreover, there is also option forchecking the level of difficulty (unknown vocabulary) compared to databaseconsisting of common text-book. After teacher knowing the difficult part of a text and the structures, he canproduce worksheets based on that by using this tool. Teacher may do innovativethings toward the worksheets by which learning will be interesting and applyconstructivist theory into practice.
  7. 7. 5. Cognitive Tools: Concordances and Data-driven Learning Cognitive tool is defined by Derry (1990) as mental and computationaldevices that support, guide and extent the thinking process of the user. It usually usesconcordance and data-driven learning (DDL). Concordance is an alphabetical list ofthe words in a book or set of book which also says where each word can be found andbe used. DDL is an approach to language learning pioneered by Tim Johns where thelearners gain insight into the TL by using concordance. In other words, concordance can be said as corpus (collection of text/book). Itcan consist of many texts or limited texts. The content depends on the user of theconcordance. In language learning contexts, it is very helpful and encourages learnersto be autonomous learner. By using Concordance, teacher can use any kind of corpusthat appropriate to the level of the learners and interest. If there is classes consist oflaw students, for instance, a teacher can use corpus of argumentative text to teach thelanguage. So the learner will learn the language forms that support their field in lawthat demand them to argue. Giving learner an assignment to work on concordance willautomatically construct grammatical rules of the learners that are derived from thecontext. In addition, concordance will enable learners’ language awareness. Forexample, ask a student to look for the meaning of “flora” by using concordance. Thestudents will get many information where the word is used, in which context, andmany more. From that, the learner can derived or construct his understanding aboutthe word. British National Corpus is one of example of online concordance that isfree access.
  8. 8. Telecommunications In the modern era the science and practice of transmitting information byelectronic means is called as telecommunication. It is a tool itself but affects most ofthe other types and applications that mention in the preceding parts of thepresentations. As an advantages if telecommunication it can be called as a majormedium for distributing learning materials in the future and a medium for creating amore flexible organizational learning material by means of virtual learning and tele-cooperative tutoring and hybrid learning systems. Internet and Online resources have been discussed thoroughly with differentexamples that illustrate the importance of online resources. Email is used to integrateauthentic stimuli for communication into curriculum. Electronic pen-pals andmultinational project groups and learning partnerships using Email and the Web forcooperative learning are the examples for the use of telecommunication in the modernera. Additionally MUDs and MOOs chat-rooms and multiuser domains, InternetCafes also worth to mention for language learning in constructivist theory. Through online resources every single person con make enormous amount ofbenefit. Teacher and Learners benefit from three major sources in online environmentas:a) Materialsb) Supportc) Communication platform
  9. 9. G. Perspectives Bochum University has developed an internal tandem server in order to enhancecommunication among learner in telecommunication platform. Another important aspectwhich needs to be mentioned is development of intercultural competence through projectwork. Through this presentation we as a group tried to acknowledge our audience the vitalityof knowledge construction rather than formal instruction and cooperation in a (virtual)international team. Language competence is suitable for the knowledge society thantraditional instructional modes of teaching and learning. Lastly, process-oriented learningfocused on a joint product. H. Summary In summary it must be stated that over the past decade, language learning theory has seena shift from a highly guided to a more open learning environment with constructivism as anew learner-centered paradigm for learning. Learning is seen as a self-structured and self-motivated process of knowledge construction and the learner is regarded as a self-governedcreator of knowledge. In addition to the undeniable need to achieve instructional goals, thedevelopment of cognitive and strategic abilities suitable for the knowledge society is definedas one of the principle aims of a learning process based on knowledge construction anddiscovery learning. In order to achieve this aim, such materials need to be made use of less ina role as instructional systems and exploited more in a role as tools for teaching and learning.
  10. 10. ReferencesAdelsberger, H. H. J. M. Pawlowski, and B. Collis (ed). Handbook of InformationTechnologies for Education and Training. Berlin, Springer –Verlag, 2002. Print,