Electronic Learning Environments and Language Learning
Transcript Electronic Learning Environments and Language Learning
English Language Teaching:
Will the Internet make a difference?
Socio-Political Settings of English Language Teaching
14 November 2003
University of Groningen
Comparisons between teaching with and teaching without computers
Technology does not make a difference, but practices of use
Evaluation is not categorical, but situation-specific
Potential of web-based learning
Two examples: Digitalenklas and GlobalEnglish
Effectiveness from an SLA perspective
Potential of Internet for learning
Restructuring technology in society
Shapes society as well as education
Changing work patterns: workers learn
Changing learning patterns: students work
Facilitates flexible and individual learning
Potential for language learning
Expose students to new forms of communication:
“A pedagogy of networked computers must therefore take a broad view, examining not
only the role of information technology in language learning, but the role of language
learning in an information technology society” (Kern and Warschauer, 2000:12-13).
Shift to interaction with other humans through computers
“To provide alternative contexts for social interaction; to facilitate access to
existing discourse communities and the creation of new ones.”(ibid: 13).
Email, online discussion, chat, web quests, web publishing
Interaction with humans through computers
General technologies for language learning
Interaction with computer
Specific tutoring functions for language learning
Provide exercises, feedback, corrections and explanations
CALL applications typically use either or both of
Case 1: Digitalenklas
Virtual Learning Environment: Blackboard
Generic tool for language learning
Email, chat, discussion, whiteboard
Online information, tests and surveys
Organization of course
Open-ended language learning task, e.g.
Language quest Dutch L2
Web quest Dutch L2 (cont’d)
Exploratory learning in authentic tasks
Group collaboration, discussion, selfassessment
Oral presentation at end
Adjustment to student performance
Specific support for audio and video
Combines computer-as-tool and computeras-tutor paradigms
Authoring by teachers
Adaptation to teaching requirements
Often used together with classroom teaching
Case 2: Global English
Commercial web-based language learning system
Advisory board: Nunan, McCloskey
Individual study plan
Different levels, different skills
Communication practice in simulations
Community of learners
Global English: Study plan
Your current study plan will include these goals:
improve all of my English
Current English Level:
Desired English level:
Hours per week you
will need to study:
With this schedule, you will have to study more than
10 hours each week. That pace may be too difficult for
you. To change the schedule, you can lower your
target or increase the amount of time to reach your
Do you want to change your plan, or do you want to
continue with this plan?
NS Recast and Learner Clarification Request
Global English: General
One of most sophisticated web-based programs
Online teacher (24 hrs a day)
Community building rather than communication-based
No modification of content possible
“Schools and universities programme”
Principles for evaluation
Chapelle’s principles for evaluation:
Evaluation of CALL is a situation-specific argument.
CALL should be evaluated through two perspectives: judgemental
analysis of software and planned tasks, and empirical analysis of
Criteria for CALL task quality should come from theory and research
on instructed SLA.
Criteria should be applied in view of the purpose of the task.
Language learning potential should be the central criterion in
evaluation of CALL.
Criteria from SLA
SLA Criteria for CALL
Language learning potential
The degree of opportunity present for beneficial focus
The amount of opportunity for engagement with
language under appropriate conditions given learner
The extent to which learners’attention is directed
toward the meaning of the language.
The degree of correspondence between the CALL
activity and target language activities of interest to
learners out of the classroom.
The positive effects of the CALL activity on those who
participate in it.
The adequacy of resources to support the use of CALL
Interactionist approaches to online
Interaction studies of online discourse:
Breakdown in communication
Attention to form
Explicit and implicit feedback
Modification of input and output
Processes beneficial for language learning do occur
Higher participation of reticent learners
Less teacher control
Limited use for teaching
Hardly evidence of grammatical development
Interactionally modified input not better than premodified input
Doughty and Long (2003):
Task authenticity, not text authenticity
Web searches ill-advised, teacher intervention needed
Online provision of feedback is too restricted
Multi-learner communication not good for language learning
Commercial vendors not interested in providing individualized taskbased language learning materials
Clearly stated purpose
No adjustment to individual learners
Beneficial focus to form in offline discussions
Exercises rather than tasks
Link with rest of syllabus important
May favour structural/functional approaches
Learner fit: specific skills, specific learner
Communication as add-on
Not one-size-fits-all solution
Not fully task-based either
Online communication is written; new technologies for
spoken communication should be studied
Focus on purpose:
Use e.g. CEF to identify linguistic targets
Potential for large-scale data collection; new research
Research in learning conditions:
Live collection of data, longer-term studies
Access and control
Commercial vs academic control of online
Digital Divide, computer literacy vs illiteracy
Internet access restricted in many areas that face
teaching problems today
No mention of E-learning in recent Common
Wealth of Learning Action Plan
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