Microblogging for Language Learning: Using Twitter to Train Communicative and Cultural Competence   Kerstin Borau, Carsten...
Comments/Questions? <ul><li>http:// twitter.com/ullrich </li></ul>
Online SJTU <ul><li>Cooperation between SJTU and Online SJTU </li></ul><ul><li>Shanghai Jiao Tong University College of Co...
Ganghui E-Learning Center
Challenges <ul><li>Students have only limited time available for study </li></ul><ul><ul><li>adult learners with full time...
Motivation of Our Work <ul><li>Most language learners do not require even more passive input  </li></ul><ul><li>They need ...
 
Why Twitter <ul><li>Short turns </li></ul><ul><li>No long threads to follow </li></ul><ul><li>Open social network </li></ul>
How We Used Twitter <ul><li>Lecture “English Listening & Speaking” </li></ul><ul><li>June 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher c...
How We Used Twitter <ul><li>Students had  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to post at least 7  messages a week  </li></ul></ul><ul><u...
Demographics <ul><li>75% were female, 25% male </li></ul><ul><li>Half of the participants were aged 20-25 </li></ul><ul><l...
Tweet, Tweet, Tweet <ul><li>Period of  7 weeks and 2 days </li></ul><ul><li>5574 updates (on average 796 updates a week /1...
Quantitative Results <ul><li>Total of 5574 updates (on average of 796 updates a week or 113 per day) </li></ul><ul><li>Fro...
Main Theme of Talk <ul><li>Analysis to find different linguistic indicators for  communicative and cultural competence </l...
Training Communicative Competence <ul><li>Communicative Competence:  today seen as  m ain goal of language learning  </li>...
Sociolinguistic Competence <ul><li>Ability to  use and respond to language appropriately  (setting, topic, relationships) ...
Mixture of Styles <ul><li>“ Richard suggested me chaning my life and  pursuing  the life I  wanna .” </li></ul><ul><li>Mix...
Inappropriate Styles I <ul><li>“ Due to  there will no classes on August, so I made a plan to visit Hongkong with my famil...
Inappropriate Styles II <ul><li>“ Damn  exams,I hate it, A LOT! However, I don't wanna scew up on it.” </li></ul><ul><li>“...
Sociolinguistic Competence: Summary <ul><li>Large number of similar examples show that microblogging provides numerous opp...
Strategic Competence <ul><li>Here: ability to handle communication breakdowns  </li></ul><ul><li>How students react if the...
Strategic Competence <ul><li>“’ 普洱茶’  is useful to lose weight. At least,it helps me a lot. Sorry, I don't know how to say...
Cultural Competence <ul><li>Helps people from different parts of the world to effectively interact across cultures  </li><...
Cultural Competence <ul><li>Helps people from different parts of the world to effectively interact across cultures </li></...
Cultural Competence <ul><li>Cultural competence in its full scope cannot be acquired by simply joining a SN </li></ul><ul>...
Blended Learning Community <ul><li>Survey: 70% agreed that Twitter improved sense of community </li></ul><ul><li>Greetings...
Comments on Community <ul><li>Common Interests: </li></ul><ul><li>“ i just found something is funny, why everybody like pe...
Humor <ul><li>“ @kerstinlaoshi I volunteer to proofread the exam paper for you! ” </li></ul>
Conversations in Twitter <ul><li>Response and Elaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Survey: 85% responded to updates </li></ul><ul...
Conversations in Twitter II <ul><li>with @ </li></ul><ul><li>[15:21] babyyao:   @Nora_Tang:I would buy some cosmetics onli...
Conversations in Twitter III <ul><li>Without @ </li></ul><ul><li>[09:13] icyhe:  Transformer is very nice. i like it. Funn...
Social Support <ul><li>Implicitly, but also topic of updates </li></ul><ul><li>“ maybe they are busy now. Don't worry! If ...
Summary <ul><li>Microblogging useful for learning languages </li></ul><ul><li>Training communicative and cultural competen...
Next Steps <ul><li>How to integrate PLE/PTEs into teaching/learning </li></ul><ul><li>Next call FP7: </li></ul><ul><ul><li...
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Microblogging for Language Learning: Using Twitter to Train Communicative and Cultural Competence

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Our work analyzes the usefulness of microblogging in second language learning using the example of the social network Twitter. Most learners of English do not require even more passive input in form of texts, lectures or videos, etc. This input is readily available in numerous forms on the Internet. What learners of English need is the chance to actively produce language and the chance to use English as tool of communication. This calls for instructional methods and tools promoting ‘active’ learning that present opportunities for students to express themselves and interact in the target language. In this paper we describe how we used Twitter with students of English at the Distant College of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. We analyze the students’ messages and show how the usage of Twitter trained communicative and cultural competence.
Paper: http://www.carstenullrich.net/pubs/Borau09Microblogging.pdf

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Microblogging for Language Learning: Using Twitter to Train Communicative and Cultural Competence

  1. 1. Microblogging for Language Learning: Using Twitter to Train Communicative and Cultural Competence Kerstin Borau, Carsten Ullrich , Jinjin Feng, Ruimin Shen Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  2. 2. Comments/Questions? <ul><li>http:// twitter.com/ullrich </li></ul>
  3. 3. Online SJTU <ul><li>Cooperation between SJTU and Online SJTU </li></ul><ul><li>Shanghai Jiao Tong University College of Continuing Education </li></ul><ul><li>26.000 students </li></ul><ul><li>Blended learning </li></ul>
  4. 4. Ganghui E-Learning Center
  5. 5. Challenges <ul><li>Students have only limited time available for study </li></ul><ul><ul><li>adult learners with full time job & family </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Different levels of English </li></ul><ul><ul><li>from varying social and educational backgrounds </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Size of the classes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>from 80 to 120 students, up to 3000 </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Motivation of Our Work <ul><li>Most language learners do not require even more passive input </li></ul><ul><li>They need a chance to actively produce language </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, we investigate usage of Web 2.0 services for language learning </li></ul>
  7. 8. Why Twitter <ul><li>Short turns </li></ul><ul><li>No long threads to follow </li></ul><ul><li>Open social network </li></ul>
  8. 9. How We Used Twitter <ul><li>Lecture “English Listening & Speaking” </li></ul><ul><li>June 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher created Twitter account </li></ul><ul><li>Students created Twitter accounts and added teacher as friend and all friends of teacher </li></ul>
  9. 10. How We Used Twitter <ul><li>Students had </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to post at least 7 messages a week </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>any topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to read their friends’ messages </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Participation in Twitter contributed to the students’ final grade </li></ul><ul><li>Score did only depend on the amount of messages </li></ul>
  10. 11. Demographics <ul><li>75% were female, 25% male </li></ul><ul><li>Half of the participants were aged 20-25 </li></ul><ul><li>40% were aged 25-30 </li></ul><ul><li>10% over 30 </li></ul><ul><li>110 enrolled students, 86 used Twitter </li></ul>
  11. 12. Tweet, Tweet, Tweet <ul><li>Period of 7 weeks and 2 days </li></ul><ul><li>5574 updates (on average 796 updates a week /113 per day) </li></ul><ul><li>≈ 1/3 : 1 to 19 updates, </li></ul><ul><li>≈ 1/3 : 20 to 99 updates </li></ul><ul><li>≈ 12%: ≥ 100 updates </li></ul>
  12. 13. Quantitative Results <ul><li>Total of 5574 updates (on average of 796 updates a week or 113 per day) </li></ul><ul><li>From 110 enrolled students 98 registered </li></ul><ul><li>Of the 98 registered, about 10% (12 students) never used Twitter. </li></ul><ul><li>One third (35 students) sent between 1 and 19 updates, </li></ul><ul><li>One third (39 students) sent 20 to 99 updates </li></ul><ul><li>About 10% (12 students) sent more than 100 updates (10 students sent between 100 and 162 updates, and 2 students send 449 and 236 updates) </li></ul><ul><li>The dataset covers 7 weeks and 2 days </li></ul>
  13. 14. Main Theme of Talk <ul><li>Analysis to find different linguistic indicators for communicative and cultural competence </li></ul><ul><li>To our knowledge, this is the first analysis of microblogging usage for English as a Foreign Language. </li></ul>
  14. 15. Training Communicative Competence <ul><li>Communicative Competence: today seen as m ain goal of language learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>grammatical competence (words and rules) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>sociolinguistic competence (appropriateness) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>discourse competence (cohesion and coherence) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>strategic competence (appropriate use of communication strategies) </li></ul></ul>
  15. 16. Sociolinguistic Competence <ul><li>Ability to use and respond to language appropriately (setting, topic, relationships) </li></ul><ul><li>We studied students’ updates with regard to their ability to express a specific attitude (courtesy, friendliness, annoyance) </li></ul><ul><li>Most students have problems to choose the appropriate style and / or maintain one level of style </li></ul>
  16. 17. Mixture of Styles <ul><li>“ Richard suggested me chaning my life and pursuing the life I wanna .” </li></ul><ul><li>Mixture of styles: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>rather formal expression, “ pursue ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and rather colloquial expression, “ wanna ” </li></ul></ul>
  17. 18. Inappropriate Styles I <ul><li>“ Due to there will no classes on August, so I made a plan to visit Hongkong with my family.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ So I take the responsiblity of buying vegetable.” </li></ul><ul><li>Rather formal style inappropriate for the purpose of communicating in an online community & context </li></ul>
  18. 19. Inappropriate Styles II <ul><li>“ Damn exams,I hate it, A LOT! However, I don't wanna scew up on it.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ sleeping in the internet bar about 3 hours.Too damn uncomfortable.. take a bath about a.m 5:30...soon i will go to work...a day of unlucky” </li></ul><ul><li>Slang -like style spiked with swear words also inappropriate for the community </li></ul>
  19. 20. Sociolinguistic Competence: Summary <ul><li>Large number of similar examples show that microblogging provides numerous opportunities to practice sociolinguistic competence </li></ul><ul><li>Advice: teacher should discuss utterances in class to help the students understand their (in)appropriateness </li></ul>
  20. 21. Strategic Competence <ul><li>Here: ability to handle communication breakdowns </li></ul><ul><li>How students react if they don’t know name of something or right verb form </li></ul>
  21. 22. Strategic Competence <ul><li>“’ 普洱茶’ is useful to lose weight. At least,it helps me a lot. Sorry, I don't know how to say it in English” </li></ul><ul><li>“ 桂林米粉 how to say in English?” </li></ul><ul><li>Used only in few cases </li></ul><ul><li>Survey also yielded few evidences of tools usage, e.g., dictionary (15% often use dict.) </li></ul>
  22. 23. Cultural Competence <ul><li>Helps people from different parts of the world to effectively interact across cultures </li></ul><ul><li>Four categories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>awareness of one's own cultural worldview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>attitude towards cultural differences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>knowledge of different cultural practices worldviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>cross-cultural skills </li></ul></ul>
  23. 24. Cultural Competence <ul><li>Helps people from different parts of the world to effectively interact across cultures </li></ul><ul><li>Hope: interaction with native speakers creates sense of cultural awareness and helps acquiring cultural competence </li></ul><ul><li>Survey: almost half of students communicated with native speakers </li></ul><ul><li>“ I also can learn some characteristic sentences by reading some native speaker’s messages ” </li></ul>
  24. 25. Cultural Competence <ul><li>Cultural competence in its full scope cannot be acquired by simply joining a SN </li></ul><ul><li>But it can provide an insight into another culture and create an awareness of existing differences </li></ul><ul><li>Students get in contact with people from different countries on a casual basis and thus it provides cultural background to the target language </li></ul>
  25. 26. Blended Learning Community <ul><li>Survey: 70% agreed that Twitter improved sense of community </li></ul><ul><li>Greetings: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Good morning everyone. ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Morning !” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ So tired today, and going to bed now. Hope everybody ave a sweet dream tonight. See u tomorrow. ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Time to sleep now, have a good night and sweet dream to everyone! ” </li></ul></ul>
  26. 27. Comments on Community <ul><li>Common Interests: </li></ul><ul><li>“ i just found something is funny, why everybody like pets in our class?for example:dog,cat and others.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ This &quot;TWITTER&quot; same as schoolyard~~~” </li></ul>
  27. 28. Humor <ul><li>“ @kerstinlaoshi I volunteer to proofread the exam paper for you! ” </li></ul>
  28. 29. Conversations in Twitter <ul><li>Response and Elaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Survey: 85% responded to updates </li></ul><ul><li>Data: 8% of the updates with @ </li></ul>
  29. 30. Conversations in Twitter II <ul><li>with @ </li></ul><ul><li>[15:21] babyyao: @Nora_Tang:I would buy some cosmetics online these days. </li></ul><ul><li>[15:55] Nora_Tang: @babyyao I bought 4 books online just now. The most important thing is that the goods(shopping online) are cheaper </li></ul>
  30. 31. Conversations in Twitter III <ul><li>Without @ </li></ul><ul><li>[09:13] icyhe: Transformer is very nice. i like it. Funny! </li></ul><ul><li>[09:36] misterjustin: i like the &quot;bumble bee&quot;best </li></ul>
  31. 32. Social Support <ul><li>Implicitly, but also topic of updates </li></ul><ul><li>“ maybe they are busy now. Don't worry! If you have some problems, you can contact with me ^0^.” </li></ul>
  32. 33. Summary <ul><li>Microblogging useful for learning languages </li></ul><ul><li>Training communicative and cultural competence </li></ul><ul><li>Contact to persons outside classroom </li></ul><ul><li>Students complained: no correction </li></ul><ul><li>Rely on third-party service </li></ul><ul><li>Censorship: Twitter no longer accessible in China </li></ul>
  33. 34. Next Steps <ul><li>How to integrate PLE/PTEs into teaching/learning </li></ul><ul><li>Next call FP7: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning in the 21st Century: large-scale pilots for the design of the future classroom </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Contact: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://twitter.com/ullrich </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// www.slideshare.net/ullrich </li></ul></ul>

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