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Edwards perez cavana calrg2015


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Presentation given to the Computers and Learning Research Group Conference at the Open Univerisity, Milton Keynes

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Edwards perez cavana calrg2015

  1. 1. Improving language learning and transition into second language learning, through the Language Learning Support Dimensions (LLSD) Chris Edwards Maria Luisa Pérez Cavana CALRG 16 June 2015
  3. 3. “Learning a second language is a long and complex undertaking. Your whole person is affected as you struggle to reach beyond the first language into a new language, a new culture, a new way of thinking, feeling and acting. Total commitment, total involvement, a total physical, intellectual, and emotional response are necessary to successfully send and receive messages in a second language”. (Brown, 2007:1)
  4. 4. Introduction • Develop a tool useful to students learning a second language. –Context: adult language learners in distance education • Importance of making students’ thinking visible and focus on metacognition: “Learning how to learn must be taught” (Gall et al, 2009) • Combines and builds on three elements: - The Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI) - Research in Second Language Acquisition - Lessons learned from the Good Language Learners studies
  5. 5. Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI) Inventory linked to a model of learning (Deakin, Crick et al. 2004) with seven dimensions of learning power (e.g. Growth orientation, Critical curiosity etc.) ELLI works with individual profiles and possibilities to develop some areas. The dimensions provide a language to discuss one’s approaches to learning and reflect on their own learning
  6. 6. ELLI’s seven dimensions •Being stuck & static •Data accumulation •Passivity •Being rule bound •Isolation & dependence •Being robotic •Fragility and dependence •Changing and learning •Meaning making •Critical curiosity •Creativity •Learning relationships •Strategic awareness •Resilience This inventory has recently been re-evaluated and re- modelled and is now called CLARA…
  7. 7. Second Language Acquisition • Second language acquisition (SLA) research over the last thirty years • Relevant factors that positively affect the efficiency in Language learning. • Good Language Learner (GLL) Studies developed in the 1970s and 1980s ( Rubin 1975, Stern 1975) further developments (O’Malley & Chamot 1990, Oxford 1990, Griffiths 2011, Brown 2007, Dörnyei 2005) integration of sociological and cultural factors (Norton Toohey 2001, Kramsch 1993)
  9. 9. The Language Learning Support Dimensions (LLSD) • LLSD are a reflective tool for individuals to assess their own attitudes and dispositions towards, and to improve their efficacy in language learning • Main aim of the LLSD: to increase language awareness in relation to the process of language learning • To enable change and transformation in students attitudes and skills
  10. 10. The LLSD • Drive to communicate • Ego flexibility • Strategic self-regulation • Creativity • Social integration
  11. 11. Drive to communicate Two main elements: willingness to communicate (WTC) and willingness to make mistakes even to ‘appear foolish’ to get the message across. • WTC was developed for L2 in the 90s: “Predisposition toward or away from communicating given the choice” McIntyre et al. 2001 • One of the main characteristics of the GLL ( Rubin, 1975, Naiman et al. 1978, Stern 1975)
  12. 12. Ego flexibility • Two main elements: tolerance to ambiguity and the role of the self in learning a foreign language (identity conflict) • Tolerance of ambiguity: ability to tolerate uncertainty or ambiguity. Language learning always involves uncertainty, ambiguity. • Learning a language implies changes in the identiy.This can lead to build sets of defences to protect the ego that may impede success
  13. 13. Strategic self-regulation • Use of learning strategies is one of the characteristics of effective language learners (Oxford 1990, Chamot 2001) • Learning strategies LS (Griffiths, 2008) “Activities consciously chosen by learners for the purpose of regulating their own learning” • Self-regulation- self-management, self-adjustment
  14. 14. Social integration • Two aspects: belonging to a community of practice and awareness of social distance. Sociocultural theories applied to the GLL studies: how the social variable influences the success in L2 (Norton/ Toohey, 2001) • Learning occurs as people participate in sociocultural activities: willingness to participate in communities of practice • Social distance: cognitive and affective proximity of two cultures within an individual (Brown, 2007)
  15. 15. Creativity • Stern (1975) one of the main characteristics of the native speaker’s knowledge at which L2 learners should aim: using the language for productive thinking • Evidence of relevance of creativity for language learning (Runco 2004, Sternberg 2002) • Sternberg (2002) Creative intelligence: how well an individual can cope with novelty • Learning a language always involves coping with novelty
  17. 17. Overview • Aims- Test the dimensions, usefulness and relevance for students • Participants – PGCE students (11) between 35-60 years old, fluent in 1-3 modern languages. • Design: (May-June 2014) Online Activity: to assess views, attitudes and skills in relation to the dimensions and reflect on them. In-depth interviews: (30-45 minutes) phone Skype, open questions, phenomenological approach Feedback questionnaire: about their experience working with the LLSD, clarity of the questions etc.
  18. 18. The findings Participants views on the LLSD • 31 statements related to the five dimensions. • Responses were collated and arranged in descending order of agreement. • Three main groups of responses: “Entirely positive”, “Mostly positive” and “Equally balanced or negative” “I think that LLSD would certainly help anyone who is embarking on language learning or teacher trainees of languages who haven’t yet had the experience of thinking through aspects of language learning themselves”
  19. 19. Participants’ views on the LLSDs 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Strategic self- regulation Creativity Drive to communicate Ego flexibilty Social integration Bal/negative Mostly positive Positive
  20. 20. Responses to the dimensions1 • Strategic self-regulation (SSR) All students agreed on the importance of using strategies and being pro-active. LL Strategies is one topic in their study programme, but LLSD made them reflect on their use of strategies. “Perhaps what I am not doing as much as I could is writing. This question has made me realise that, and I will need to address it.” Self-regulation was not so clear or not so familiar. No reference to making adjustments after monitoring
  21. 21. Responses to the dimensions 2 • Creativity ( C ) Most of the students value creativity as willingness to try new things and adapt to new situations They did not refer to language, but to creativity in general Need to explain the link between LL and creativity • Drive to communicate (DTC) Most students found that WTC plays a relevant role in LL however, their willingness to make mistakes was more problematic. “Although I really hate the feeling to appear stupid, (…) I am willing to accept that because this is the only way to achieve a very good level of English”
  22. 22. Responses to the dimensions 3 • Ego flexibility Participants had a good disposition to remain open to new situations, the role of identity in learning a language and the importance of tolerance of ambiguity was not so clear for some of them. • Social integration Highest percentage of disagreement. Not familiar with the terms “social distance”, “belonging to a community of practice”. The term “Social integration” needs to be better defined. Different interpretations.
  23. 23. Topics identified Increased language awareness: • Cognitive domain “…doing the questionnaire did help me articulate what I knew on a more subconscious level” “It did help positioning myself on a spectrum for each dimension and highlight some important issues in learning a language which are not just encountered by myself” “I think that I already knew how I best learn a language, (…) but I learnt how it can be ‘labelled’.”
  24. 24. Topics identified • Affective domain “I think that my willingness to communicate is not great. I am hindered by the fear of making mistakes and making my conversation partner annoyed or bored when I am trying to express myself. (…) I think it is important to realise our ways of learning a language, our weaknesses and strengths in learning and probably challenging the weaknesses is also very important in making progress.”
  25. 25. Topics identified • Social domain ( sense of identity) “Originally ‘my ego battle’ was that I wanted to express myself in the third language like in the second and first language. But in order to be successful (…) I had to use whatever strategies I had to communicate (…) Also I decided to adopt that learning a language is about gaining another identity and whilst I was building this third new identity, I would need to accept that I would make a lot of mistakes.”
  26. 26. Insights from the pilot • The LLSD are complex and have different aspects. • The responses to the statements have shown that the participants agreed, or were familiar with some elements but not with others. • The engagement with each dimension could be described using different levels of mastery (basic, intermediate and advanced) • Responses suggest conflicts between the different roles of the participants: as language learners and as language teachers • Some terms have to be more clearly defined, e.g. “Social distance”.
  27. 27. Next steps • Establish LLSD as a valid construct –Clarify dimensions –Validate • Create descriptors in three levels • Create OER, perhaps using an e-portfolio
  28. 28. Thank you! Chris Edwards MSc, The Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, UK. Dr. Maria Luisa Pérez Cavana, Faculty of Education and Language Studies, The Open University, UK