Manman Qian; Evgeny Chukharev-Hudilainen; John Levis
Many types of L2 phonological perception are often difficult to acquire without instruction. These difficulties with perception may also be related to intelligibility in production. Instruction on perception contrasts is more likely to be successful with the use of phonetically variable input made available through computer-assisted pronunciation training. However, few computer-assisted programs have demonstrated flexibility in diagnosing and treating individual learner problems or have made effective use of linguistic resources such as corpora for creating training materials. This study introduces a system for segmental perceptual training that uses a computational approach to perception utilizing corpus-based word frequency lists, high variability phonetic input, and text-to-speech technology to automatically create discrimination and identification perception exercises customized for individual learners. The effectiveness of the system is evaluated in an experiment with pre- and post-test design, involving 32 adult Russian-speaking learners of English as a foreign language. The participants’ perceptual gains were found to transfer to novel voices, but not to untrained words. Potential factors underlying the absence of word-level transfer are discussed. The results of the training model provide an example for replication in language teaching and research settings.
Yau Wai Lam; Khe Foon Hew; Kin Fung Chiu
This study investigated the effectiveness of a blended learning approach—involving the thesis, analysis, and synthesis key (TASK) procedural strategy; online Edmodo discussions; online message labels; and writing models—on student argumentative writing in a Hong Kong secondary school. It also examined whether the application of digital game mechanics increased student online contribution and writing performance. Three classes of Secondary 4 students (16- to 17-year-olds) participated in the 7-week study. The first experimental group (n = 22) utilized the blended learning + gamification approach. The second experimental group (n = 30) utilized only the blended learning approach. In the control group (n = 20), a teacher-led direct-instruction approach on the components of argumentation was employed. Data sources included students’ pre- and post-test written essays, students’ online Edmodo postings, and student and teacher interviews. We found a significant improvement in students’ writing using the blended learning approach. On-topic online contributions were significantly higher when gamification was adopted. Student and teacher opinions on the blended learning approach were also examined.
Dawn Bikowski; Elliott Casal
This mixed-methods study explored non-native English speaking students’ learning processes and engagement as they used a customized interactive digital textbook housed on a mobile device. Think aloud protocols, surveys of anticipated and actual engagement with the digital textbook, reflective journals, and member checking constituted data collection. Participants included 13 students in a large U.S. university Business English class. This study responds to the call for further research on how interacting with digital textbooks and mobile devices may affect student reading behaviors and the learning process, using the cultures-of-use conceptual framework by Thorne (2003) as a lens for analysis. Results of a paired Wilcoxon signed-rank test found that participants entered the course with high expectations for the digital textbook and ratings remained high over the term, with only one area showing a significant decrease in engagement. Analysis of think aloud protocol and reflective journal data resulted in the creation of the Framework for Learning with Digital Resources. This framework of learning processes and strategies can be used by materials designers in creating digital textbooks and resources and by educators in supporting students as they move from using digital devices mainly for personal use to utilizing them effectively in their learning.
Avizia Y. Long; Sun-Young Shin; Kimberly Geeslin; Erik W. Willis
In response to the need for examples of test validation from which everyday language programs can benefit, this paper reports on a study that used Bachman’s (2005) assessment use argument (AUA) framework to examine evidence to support claims made about the intended interpretations and uses of scores based on a new web-based Spanish language placement test. The test, which consisted of 100 items distributed across five item types (sound discrimination, grammar, listening comprehension, reading comprehension, and vocabulary), was tested with 2,201 incoming first-year and transfer students at a large, Midwestern public university. Analyses of internal consistency and validity revealed the test to be reliable and valid with regard to its functionality, the content covered on the exam, and the consistency with which placement decisions could be made. Findings are discussed in light of the AUA model developed for the placement test, and practical suggestions for university-level language program instructors and testing administrators are outlined.
H. Müge Satar; Sumru Akcan
Participation in online communities is an increasing need for future language teachers and their professional development. Through such participation, they can experience and develop an awareness of the behaviors required to facilitate their future learners’ participation in online learning. This article investigates participation, interaction patterns, and social presence (SP) levels of pre-service English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers in online communication within a longitudinal blended learning setting. A secondary aim of this article is to explore social network analysis (SNA) as an alternative method to measure SP. Data analysis included calculation of number of forum entries and words, qualitative analysis of interaction patterns, content analysis, and SNA. The results indicated that an online course on tutoring skills and SP improved pre-service EFL teachers’ online participation skills. Increased interaction and a more cohesive network were observed as the course progressed. The findings are significant in that they suggest a relationship between content analysis for SP (especially the interactive dimension) and SNA measures (centrality, influence, and prestige), implicating SNA as an emerging research method for the investigation of SP. This article concludes with future research perspectives and suggestions for EFL teacher training.
Many reports suggest that the use of education technology can have a positive effect on language education. However, most of the research indicates that there is need for more detailed understanding of the pedagogical processes that support technology-enhanced language learning. This text takes a social semiotic perspective to examine multimodal interaction (Jewitt, Bezemer, & O’Halloran, 2016) of learners taking part in telecollaborative activities in a language classroom. The study aims to provide a detailed view of the ways in which the language teachers’ task-as-workplan (Breen, 1987, 1989), designed around different technologies, dovetails (or not) into the task-as-process (i.e., the way in which the learners interpret and act upon the task instructions). Comparing the teachers’ pedagogical design and intended purpose of different technology-supported tasks with the actual way in which the learners interact with the tools, the results show that the students often engage with the technology in unexpected, and at times, highly innovative ways that often diverge from the task-as-workplan.
With a shift toward understanding the goals of foreign language learning as development of intercultural communicative competence (ICC; Thorne, 2010), telecollaborative interaction with geographically distant partners has been seen both as a pedagogical tool that can play a significant role in promoting intercultural negotiation abilities and attitudes and as a felicitous context for assessing these abilities. Addressing the assessment task through a linguistically-grounded investigation of telecollaborative chats, this exploratory study aims to demonstrate how abstract aspects of ICC can be operationalized as deployment of particular discourse structuring and linguistic resources. Drawing on the systemic-functional approach to discourse analysis (Eggins & Slade, 1997) and Byram’s (1997) framework of ICC, this study examines written synchronous chats created throughout a 7-week telecollaborative activity by advanced American learners of German at a private US University and by German University students, future FL teachers. The quantitative and qualitative results demonstrate what precise discursive moves and language resources that realize them characterize ICC and at the same time enable it. Implications of the use of the methodological framework for further research of ICC in telecollaborative discourse, as well as some applications of the findings to pedagogy, conclude the study.
Derya Kulavuz-Onal; Camilla Vásquez
The affordances associated with networked multilingualism (Androutsopoulos, 2015) have led social media scholars to replace traditional notions of code-switching with broader concepts such as translingual practices. In an attempt to further our understanding of online multilingual linguistic practices in the context of educational telecollaboration, we examined a series of interactions taken from a larger online ethnography of a global community of English as a foreign language (EFL) educators. We describe and illustrate how, when, and why participants drew on their multilingual repertoires within a Facebook group, created by two EFL teachers for their students and where English served as the primary shared linguistic resource. Taking a computer-mediated discourse analytic approach to analyzing data that included a total of 1,206 posts and comments on the group’s Facebook page, ethnographic interviews with the teachers, and online documents from their telecollaboration, we found that although this group was discursively constructed as an English-only zone by the teachers for their students to practice English, all participants—especially the teachers—eventually broke this rule, as they drew on both Spanish and Arabic for a variety of purposes, such as selecting an addressee, establishing solidarity, and modeling intercultural sensitivity.
Edited by Robert Godwin-Jones
I last wrote an overview of developments in second language (L2) online writing 10 years ago (Godwin-Jones, 2008). Since that time, there have been significant developments in this area. There has been renewed interest in L2 writing through the wide use of social media, along with the rising popularity of computer-mediated communication (CMC) and telecollaboration (class-based online exchanges). The recognition of writing as a social act has also led to a significant rise in interest in collaborative writing. This has been aided by the popularity of tools providing a shared writing space, such as Google Docs. The importance and recognition of genre in both student work and writing theory have grown considerably among practitioners and researchers. The increased practice of integrating multimedia into writing is reflected in the popularity of multimodal projects, such as digital storytelling. At the same time, digital tools for evaluating writing have become more widely available in the form of digital annotators and automated writing evaluation (AWE) software, which take advantage of advances in corpus linguistics and natural language processing (NLP). In addition, tools for processing and evaluating large data sets enable approaches from data mining that provide valuable insights into writing processes. The variety and, in some cases, the complexity of online writing environments has increased the need for both learner and teacher training.
Edited by Greg Kessler
Jia Yang; Chengxu Yin; Wei Wang
Through an in-depth analysis of quantitative and qualitative data, this article offers a case study of the advantages and challenges in the application of the flipped learning approach in the instruction of Chinese as a foreign language at the beginning level. Data were collected from two first-year Chinese classes (one in traditional and the other in flipped format) to investigate whether there were statistically significant differences in learning outcomes and students’ levels of satisfaction between the two classes. Final exam and oral test scores showed that students in the flipped class performed better in speaking, since more time was devoted to meaningful interactions in class. As indicated in the results of the end-of-the-semester questionnaire, these students also gave higher average ratings on three aspects of their learning experience: level of required self-directedness, amount of practice in class, and stimulation of interest in the subject.
Jinrong Li; Mimi Li
Despite the benefits of peer review, there are still challenges that need to be addressed to make it more effective for L2 students. With the development of technology, computer-mediated peer review has captured increasing attention from L2 writing researchers and instructors. While Turnitin is known for its use in detecting plagiarism, its newly developed module, PeerMark, aims to facilitate peer review. In this article, we share our experience of using Turnitin for peer review in an ESL academic writing course and discuss its advantages, its limitations, and how different features of PeerMark may be used to address some of the challenges identified in previous research on peer review in the L2 writing classroom. Throughout a semester, the students were required to complete three peer review tasks through Turnitin. Based on the instructor’s experience and the students’ reports, we found that Turnitin could help shift students’ attention from local to global issues in writing, scaffold students in their effort to provide more helpful comments and to make connections between specific suggestions and holistic advice for writing, and facilitate classroom management during peer review.
Se Jeong Yang
The aim of this study was to gain insights into how language learners perceive two online interactional contexts and how these perceptions impact the learners’ participation in eTandem learning. This study incorporated pair work with group discussion as interactional contexts, connecting Korean language learners with English language learners. Pair work included online chatting and personal blog writing where each pair exchanged feedback on one another’s L2 writing. Group discussion included interaction among all the participants in a group blog where they discussed weekly topics. The study found that individual participants differently perceived the effectiveness of the two interactional contexts: some thought that both contexts were helpful together for developing L2 skills and for acquiring cultural knowledge, while others thought that these two contexts together were not as effective as expected. These perceptions affected not only the participant’s own participation in the project, but also others’ participation. This study offers pedagogical implications for ways in which researchers can further improve the design of eTandem learning.
Edited by Jon Reinhardt
Han Luo; Min Gui
Online intercultural exchange (OIE), also known as telecollaboration, is defined as “the activity of engaging language learners in interaction and collaborative project work with partners from other cultures through the use of online communication tools such as e-mail, videoconferencing, and discussion forums” (O’Dowd, 2007, p. 4). Research on OIE has flourished in the past 20 years, evidenced by a large number of journal articles, dedicated journal special issues (e.g., Belz, 2003; Lewis, Chanier, & Youngs, 2011), and edited volumes (Belz & Throne, 2006; Dooly, 2008; Dooly & O’Dowd, 2012; Guth & Helm, 2010; O’Dowd, 2007; Warschauer, 1995, 1996; Warschauer & Kern, 2000). Compared to other edited volumes on telecollaboration in the market, this book provides a state-of-the-art overview of OIE and focuses on its use in university education around the world. This 17-chapter edited volume consists of five parts: an overview of OIE (Part I), the integration of OIE in university education (Part II), the pedagogy of OIE (Part III), OIE in practice (Part IV), and the future of OIE (Part V).
While there have been many studies examining the effect of Web 2.0 tools on the language learning process, this book makes a significant contribution in terms of the specific focus on learner autonomy, the variety of platforms researched, and the inclusion of a chapter with an underutilized format in such edited volumes (explained below). Especially considering its relatively modest price in these days when edited educational texts are all too often out of reach for most academics, this book should be a welcome addition to the library of those focused on technology and language learning. The book is divided into nine chapters and is arranged into six general themes, including the following: A framework for thinking about language learning and teaching (Chapter 2); Learner autonomy: From constraints to affordances (Chapter 3); Learner autonomy and metacognition (Chapters 4 and 5); Learner autonomy in social media (Chapters 6 and 7); Learner autonomy: From object-regulation to self-regulation (Chapter 8); Learner autonomy and informal learning: Exchange value and use value (Chapter 9).
Ayşe Merzifonluoğlu; Talip Gonulal
This edited book, organized into a preface, an introduction, and 19 chapters, is grouped into two main parts: Part I, The research perspective (the first 10 chapters after the introduction) and Part II, The pedagogical perspective (the last nine chapters). Part I presents the findings of some of the doctoral research funded by Doctoral Dissertation Grants from The International Research Foundation, while Part II, written by more seasoned researchers with remarkable experience in the use of technology in language education, places a focus on key advancement in digital language learning, teaching, and assessment.