Buckling down jalt call - slideshare


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Presentation by Jean-Paul DuQuette at Kyoto JALT CALL conference, 2010.

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Buckling down jalt call - slideshare

  1. 1. JEAN-PAUL DUQUETTE 4/7/10 Buckling Down: Initiating an EFL reading circle in a casual online learning group
  2. 2. Before we get started… <ul><li>Part of a larger ethnography </li></ul><ul><li>An exemplar of an online class in Second Life </li></ul><ul><li>Focus: Participant adaptation and interpretation </li></ul><ul><li>A bookend to Mike McKay’s Saturday presentation </li></ul>
  3. 3. Table of Contents <ul><li>I. Introduction to Second Life </li></ul><ul><li>II. A Look at Cypris Chat </li></ul><ul><li>III. Participants and Methods </li></ul><ul><li>IV. Class Observations </li></ul><ul><li>V. From Informal to Formal </li></ul><ul><li>VI. Class Evaluations </li></ul><ul><li>VII. Implications for Cypris and SL learning/research </li></ul>
  4. 4. Second Life: What is it? <ul><li>I. Linden Labs’ 3-D (immersive) online virtual space </li></ul><ul><li>A. HIVE - “Highly interactive virtual environment” (Aldritch, 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>II. Open-ended </li></ul><ul><li>III. User-created </li></ul><ul><li>III. Free and freely accessible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. http://secondlife.com </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Cypris Chat <ul><li>1. A language learning community in Second Life – “not a school”. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Founded by Mike McKay in 2007. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Focuses on English teaching, learning and practice using voice chat. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Classes/chat sessions daily (schedule at http://cypris.ning.com ) </li></ul><ul><li>1. Six volunteer instructors and two chat leaders </li></ul><ul><li>2. About 300 members </li></ul><ul><li>3. Members are typically SL “residents” interested in language learning </li></ul><ul><li>4. International – Japan, Korea, China, Australia, Malaysia, Brazil, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Italy, etc. </li></ul>
  6. 6. A typical lesson at the Cypris Chat Ring <ul><li>I. 10-20 students </li></ul><ul><li>II. Two hours </li></ul><ul><li>III. Warm-up discussion </li></ul><ul><li>IV. Introduction of theme or language point </li></ul><ul><li>V. Small group work </li></ul><ul><li>VI. Presentation of small group opinions to the class </li></ul><ul><li>VII. Field trip </li></ul><ul><li>Content is non-cumulative and no homework </li></ul>
  7. 7. Impetus for a reading circle: Himiko and SLoodle
  8. 8. Aside: Potential of reading circles <ul><li>Compared with teacher-led classes, student-led reading circles may lead to “more equitable dialogue” and “increased student talk” leading to more chances for “exploratory talk” (Barnes, 1975; Mercer, 1995; Maloch 2002) </li></ul>
  9. 9. “ Just like a real college class…” <ul><li>7 classes, 6 learners </li></ul><ul><li>Mandatory attendance </li></ul><ul><li>Physical textbook </li></ul><ul><li>Homework </li></ul><ul><li>Graded </li></ul>
  10. 10. Text and Learner Roles <ul><li>Discussion Leader </li></ul><ul><li>Summarizer </li></ul><ul><li>Connector </li></ul><ul><li>Word Master </li></ul><ul><li>Culture Collector </li></ul><ul><li>Passage Person </li></ul>
  11. 11. Initial research concerns <ul><li>1 . How would this unprecedented class function? </li></ul><ul><li>2. How would informal learners adapt to a formal class? </li></ul><ul><li>3. How would students (and the instructor) evaluate the class? </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>The Learners </li></ul><ul><li>Instructors and observers </li></ul><ul><li>Cacy (F, 40-50’s, Japan) </li></ul><ul><li>Mystie (F, 40’s, Japan) </li></ul><ul><li>Himiko (F, 30’s, Japan) </li></ul><ul><li>Christine (F, 20’s, China) </li></ul><ul><li>Ann (M, 20’s, Korea) </li></ul><ul><li>Vamp (M, 20’s,Australia) </li></ul><ul><li>Prof. Merryman </li></ul><ul><li>Duke (the researcher) </li></ul><ul><li>Lora (Poland) </li></ul><ul><li>Kazy (Japan) </li></ul>The participants
  13. 13. Data collection <ul><li>Constructivist framework (Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Hatch, 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>Participant observation </li></ul><ul><li>6 classes observed </li></ul><ul><li>4/6 classes recorded using FRAPS </li></ul><ul><li>Semi-structured interviews with all participants </li></ul><ul><li>Journal, previous research diary and observations of all participants </li></ul>
  14. 14. My role as participant observer and consent <ul><li>Charter member </li></ul><ul><li>Established joint role as teacher/researcher </li></ul><ul><li>Purposefully disengaged </li></ul><ul><li>Butterfly avatar </li></ul><ul><li>Verbal consent to record and interview was given at the first class, written given afterwards </li></ul><ul><li>Researcher observations and use of participant quotes subject to participant rebuttal </li></ul>
  15. 15. Class structure: Observations <ul><li>A virtual study </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher-led discussion of homework </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion leader begins and learners cycle through all roles </li></ul><ul><li>10 minutes each </li></ul><ul><li>Final teacher-led evaluation </li></ul><ul><li><video clip> </li></ul>
  16. 16. Class structure: instructor’s perspective <ul><li>“ The actual reading class is – it’s just a regular reading class – it’s a reading discussion. It’s what we do in real life. So it’s nothing out of the ordinary. We sit in a room, we talk about the stories.” </li></ul><ul><li>P. Merryman </li></ul>
  17. 17. Class structure: learners’ perspectives <ul><li>“ I just recognize this world is amazing – how they can make this kind of special class in (a) virtual world like this?” </li></ul><ul><li> Ann </li></ul><ul><li>“ I never have had classes like this in real life or, or in (a) virtual world.” </li></ul><ul><li> Cacy </li></ul><ul><li>“ It’s interesting, because it’s not like you’re in real life in a classroom facing a real teacher. And actually the reading circle. Um, I never, I never, experienced a class like that.” </li></ul><ul><li> Christine </li></ul>
  18. 18. From informal to formal: Observations <ul><li>Ann feeling “tense” </li></ul><ul><li>Mystie’s syllabus negotiation attempts </li></ul><ul><li>Homework formatting snafus </li></ul><ul><li>Cacy’s audio </li></ul><ul><li>Himiko’s ‘secret’ </li></ul><ul><li>Learners assisting learners with hyperlinks </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>More stressful </li></ul><ul><li>Obligation to attend </li></ul><ul><li>“ At the beginning, yes, everyone was tense and didn’t know what to do and…although we haven’t paid any actual money or anything…to join the class…everyone was so nervous…” Mystie </li></ul><ul><li>“ Because reading circle is my duty, I feel. I should attend every week. So I come by all means.” </li></ul><ul><li>Himiko </li></ul>Different perspectives on the “formal class”
  20. 20. <ul><li>Formality as writing/homework </li></ul><ul><li>Formality as a set routine </li></ul><ul><li>“ It’s not something I’m used to doing. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to do something like this…It took me a long time to write down a summary of the book. And I managed it, you know when I was finished I was like, ‘Ah wow, done it’.” </li></ul><ul><li>Vamp </li></ul><ul><li>“ I think it is good (for a) beginner…because if…all of the schedule is free, I can’t follow the conversation because I don’t know what should I say.” </li></ul><ul><li>Ann </li></ul>Different perspectives on the “formal class”
  21. 21. <ul><li>Formality as increased learner autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>Formality brings a sense of accomplishment </li></ul><ul><li>“ The normal Cypris lesson is maybe more casual. And the reading circle one may be more formal. And more spaces for the learners to discover.” </li></ul><ul><li>Christine </li></ul><ul><li>Less teacher involvement let’s the learners think about the stories for themselves. (Email) </li></ul>Different perspectives on the “formal class” <ul><li>“ Free lessons at the chat ring (are) a very good way (from) a different…perspective… but (this) organized lesson is different and I think it’s important, too. That you feel like you are doing something . </li></ul><ul><li>Mystie </li></ul>
  22. 22. Evaluation: Learners <ul><li>Ann’s ‘depression’ </li></ul><ul><li>Mystie’s discussion of further classes </li></ul><ul><li>Overall, uniformly positive feedback from all participants </li></ul><ul><li>Cacy: pushing for even more discussion time </li></ul><ul><li>Vamp: was hoping for more in-class reading </li></ul>
  23. 23. Other learner comments <ul><li>“ This class (reflects) my philosophy, (and brings) many kind of stuff to my mind, I mean (the) class has changed my mind, because I feel so (interested in) teaching the foreign (people), so I thought, wow, as they do, can I just teach Korean to another (person)? Is there anyone who (wants) to learn Korean?” </li></ul><ul><li>Ann </li></ul><ul><li>“ I like reading circle class style…better for me. Because it (makes) me… study hard(er)”. </li></ul><ul><li> Cacy </li></ul><ul><li>“ It’s a challenge. You can learn something new each week from your role.” </li></ul><ul><li> Christine </li></ul>
  24. 24. Evaluation: Instructor <ul><li>8 ½ (out of 10) </li></ul><ul><li>Final stories were boring </li></ul><ul><li>“ Providing them a time to speak as much as possible, that’s where the 8 ½ comes in, a great time to just talk. I think they got a lot out of it. It just needs to be more interesting.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Revolutionary” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I believe that what we’ve done in the last eight weeks is going to prove that virtual worlds are a definite possibility for education.” </li></ul>
  25. 25. Final thoughts <ul><li>Deconstructing “formal” – the benefits of a qualitative approach </li></ul><ul><li>Revolutionary? </li></ul><ul><li>Responses (directly or indirectly) reflect perceived deficiencies in the group as a whole. </li></ul><ul><li>Epilogue: Mystie’s Reading Circle </li></ul>
  26. 26. References <ul><li>Aldritch, C. (2009). Learing Online with Games, S imulations, and Virtual Worlds. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. </li></ul><ul><li>Barnes, D. (1975). From communication to curriculum. New York: Penguin. </li></ul><ul><li>Hatch, J. (2002). Doing Qualitative Research in Education Settings . New York: Suny Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Lincoln, Y. & Guba, E. (1985). Naturalistic Inquiry . Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. </li></ul><ul><li>Maloch, B. (2002). Scaffolding Talk: One Teacher’s Role in Literature Discussion Groups. Reading Research Quarterly , Vol. 37, No. 1, 94-112. </li></ul><ul><li>Mercer, N. (1995). The guided construction of knowledge . Bristol, PA: Multilingual Matters. </li></ul>