Using Instant Messaging For Collaborative Learning
Using Instant Messaging for Collaborative Learning: A Case Study Sotillo, S. M. (2006). Using Instant Messaging for Collaborative Learning: A Case Study. Innovate, 2 (3). Retrieved April 7, 2008 from: http:// www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view = article&id =170 Reporter: Elly 2008/04/10
<ul><li>After using IM, the author realized the potential pedagogical benefits of the various modalities of IM for ESL and foreign language learning by enabling instructors to interact with and provide immediate feedback to students in the second language. </li></ul>
<ul><li>To describe the results of a pilot study involving the provision of corrective feedback to ESL learners through collaborative work utilizing the text-based chat and audio features of Yahoo! Messenger (Yahoo IM), a form of synchronous desktop videoconferencing (DVC). </li></ul>
<ul><li>To discuss the implications of such studies for enhancing language learning outside of traditional contexts and possibly encouraging connectivity and informal collaboration with colleagues and students. </li></ul>
Research Questions <ul><li>Are opportunities and actual episodes of error correction present in an instant messaging (IM) environment as L2 learners and their native speaker (NS) and non-native speaker (NNS) partners collaborate in communicative and problem-solving activities? </li></ul><ul><li>Who provides more corrective feedback to learners while completing learning activities in an IM environment: NSs or NNSs? </li></ul>
Research Questions <ul><li>Is implicit or explicit corrective feedback more readily available to L2 learners in an IM context and how is such corrective feedback provided? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there evidence of learner uptake and successful uptake, or is topic continuation/shift the norm in these ECEs? </li></ul>
Language Learning Activities via Yahoo IM: A Pilot Study <ul><li>Participants </li></ul><ul><li>． 14 participants, but 10 reminded </li></ul>． Age: 24 – 32 ． 5 tutors: 3 native speakers of English and 2 advanced non-native speakers females male females Native speakers of English Advanced non-native speakers
<ul><li>Three of the ESL participants had used CMC for 15 weeks in a previous ESL writing course for high-intermediate learners. </li></ul><ul><li>Participants </li></ul><ul><li>All participants received the CMC (IM) training before this project. </li></ul>
Language Learning Activities via Yahoo IM: A Pilot Study <ul><li>Procedures </li></ul><ul><li>． The tutors and learners were divided into five dyad pairs consisting of three native-speaker—non-native speaker (NS—NNS) dyads and two non-native speaker—non-native speaker (NNS—NNS) dyads. </li></ul>NS—NNS dyads NNS—NNS dyads
Language Learning Activities via Yahoo IM: A Pilot Study <ul><li>5 45-minute collaborative learning activities </li></ul>1. problem solving activity 2. to jointly fill out a needs assessment questionnaire 3. to synthesize information from newspaper and magazine articles 4. to negotiate individual perceptions regarding the content of a movie each participant had seen separately 5. to evaluate the usefulness of Yahoo IM as a learning tool
<ul><li>3 dyads did not use the video component of Yahoo IM because of bandwidth problems . </li></ul>
<ul><li>specific occurrences of error correction episodes and noted the frequency and type of negative corrective feedback (i.e., implicit or explicit) provided to L2 learners during IM sessions </li></ul>
<ul><li>Step 1 illustrates a relatively simple, preliminary form of negotiated interaction where the focus is primarily on the semantic meaning of the message rather than formal linguistic properties. At this point, an error correction episode (ECE) has not yet taken place in the exchange between participants; the L2 learner and the interlocutor are focused on linguistic content rather than linguistic form. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Step 2 illustrates the possible directions an exchange may take when the L2 learner makes a lexical, syntactic, or semantic error, elicits feedback regarding a linguistic question, or engages in self-correction of a linguistic error. In this event, the interlocutor may or may not initiate an ECE. In turn, if the interlocutor does correct the learner's error, such correction may be offered in "one move" (i.e., a one-turn sequence) or may require several "moves" or "turns" on the part of the interlocutor to address the error. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Step 3 illustrates the possible direction an exchange may take after the interlocutor has provided implicit or explicit corrective feedback, based on the learner's response. Successful uptake occurs when the ESL learner incorporates corrective feedback provided by the interlocutor into his or her written/spoken output in subsequent turns. Unsuccessful uptake occurs when the ESL learner ignores the interlocutor's feedback, continues the topic of discussion, resumes work on the learning activity, or shifts topics. </li></ul>
Results <ul><li>NS–NNS exchanges focused primarily on message meaning </li></ul>In this exchange, the native speaker of English (W) and the ESL learner (B) negotiate message meaning while discussing science fiction movies; however, the NS fails to provide corrective feedback to the ESL learner.
Results <ul><li>NNS–NNS dyads negotiated both message meaning and grammatical features </li></ul>In this exchange, the advanced non-native speaker of English (K) and the ESL learner (R) negotiate meaning while discussing R's career plans; at one point R corrects his use of the word "other," which also entails negotiation of grammatical form. Notice that the interlocutor cannot correct every error since this would really frustrate the learner.
Results <ul><li>NNSs spent more time in negotiated interaction with their partners </li></ul><ul><li>NNSs provided more corrective feedback to ESL learners than their native-speaker counterparts </li></ul>in communicative learning activities ( 36 instances vs. 7 instances, respectively).
Results <ul><li>advanced NNSs also provided more direct or explicit corrective feedback (i.e., grammatical explanations or correct linguistic forms) to ESL learners than NSs (92% vs. 8%, respectively) </li></ul><ul><li>NSs provided more indirect or implicit corrective feedback (i.e., recasts, clarification requests, and comprehension checks) to ESL learners than NNSs (57% vs. 43%, respectively). </li></ul>
Results <ul><li>Successful uptake occurred when ESL learners incorporated corrective feedback provided by their dyad partners into their written and spoken output in subsequent turns. </li></ul><ul><li>Unsuccessful uptake occurred when ESL learners ignored their partners' feedback, continued the topic of discussion, resumed work on the learning activity, or shifted topics. </li></ul><ul><li>Of the total learner uptake found in both types of dyads, 75% was successful (24/32) </li></ul>
Results <ul><li>A possible explanation is that both learners and interlocutors needed to pay attention to oral messages and allow for a pause before using the audio feature to respond. </li></ul><ul><li>Participants who used Yahoo IM audio feature generally ignored pronunciation errors . </li></ul><ul><li>Except in cases where the ESL learner specifically requested feedback on pronunciation, NS and NNS dyad partners focused primarily on the message or the task at hand . </li></ul>
Implications <ul><li>In this pilot study, successful learner uptake did occur as a result of corrective feedback provided by both NS and NNS partners immediately following the detection of a lexical or grammatical error on the part of the learner. </li></ul><ul><li>It seems, then, that the type of one-on-one focused negotiated interaction available in an IM environment facilitates learner awareness of linguistic forms or grammatical structures in second language input. </li></ul>
Implications <ul><li>Participants utilized written input (i.e., the text messaging component) more extensively than oral input (i.e., the talk feature or audio component) in this instant messaging context suggests that some forms of L2 feedback still lend themselves more readily to a written medium than a spoken one. </li></ul>
Conclusion <ul><li>this exploratory study was limited in terms of size and scope. For the future study, </li></ul>1. significantly more participants should be divided into equal proportions of NS-NNS and NNS-NNS dyads. 2. focused communicative and problem-solving tasks have to be designed in order to provide sufficient opportunity for negotiated interaction between dyad partners.
Conclusions 3. might consider maximizing the use of both audio and video components as dyad partners collaborate in learning activities.
Conclusions <ul><li>Research of IM usage in high-tech firms has shown that the visibility it provides is useful for promoting informal, on-the-fly exchanges as well as "a sense of community, and ease in collaboration" (Quan-Haase, Cothrel, and Wellman 2005, 17). All these benefits make IM a potentially ideal tool for learning, communicating, and community building. </li></ul>
Question <ul><li>Why did advanced NNSs provide more direct or explicit corrective feedback to ESL learners than NSs? </li></ul>