Innovative Practices: Using Cell-Ed to Support English Language Learning by G. Martinez Cabrera
This newsletter article from the Texas Adult Education & Literacy Quarterly Newsletter describes an ESL curriculum that can be accessed through any basic cell phone. The program includes pre-recorded lessons and texted responses. The program emphasizes mobile-ready technology that does not require Internet access so learners do not need to have cell phone data plans.
Leadership Strategies in Mobile English as a Second Language Training
Djenana Jalovcic, Linda McCloud-Bondoc, and Anthony Ralston Athabasca University, Canada
The Routledge Handbook of Language Learning and Technology, Edited by Fiona Farr, Liam Murray 2016.
This handbook contains recent work by authors read in the development of this bibliography. As an example, there is a chapter by Glenn Stockwell on Mobile Language Learning. See also this 20-minute video of Stockwell from a conference about mobile learning. In it, he describes three important aspects of MALL that are important for learners.
Mobile technology for language learning: Trends, issues and ways forward
Do motivation tactics work in blended learning environments?: TheARCS model approach. Nehmet Akif Ocak and Murat Akçayir. International Journal of Social Sciences and Education, 2013 Vol. 3 Issue 4.
Volume 20 Number 2 (June 2016)
This special anniversary issue of the Journal used a crowdsourcing and survey approach to determine the content of this special issue. there are four review articles, including one that provides examples of how Second language acquisition and CALL have been explored during the last 20 years. Seven commentaries appear from scholars whose articles received the most citations over the life of the journal.
Sociocultural Theory, the L2 Writing Process,
and Google Drive: Strange Bedfellows?
TESL Canada Journal Vol 32, No 2 (2015)
This article provides an overview of sociocultural theory, relates it to the process approach to writing and suggests that Google Drive can be an effective tool to enhance simultaneous engagement of learners and promote learning. The author notes that word processing software has long been used in the process approach to writing, but that the affordances of Google Drive go beyond what is possible using word processing software alone. He describes Google Drive’s main features and outlines its affordances for writing instruction. He provides sample course organization templates along with examples of tasks that take advantage of these affordances. These include the ability to create a document, store it, share it dynamically and collaborate in real time with other readers and instructors who can edit and comment on it either synchronously or asynchronously.
The Bewildering Language of Online Learning? (2016, March 10).
This short article provides a timely and clear attempt at an explanation and definition of a range of terms and concepts in common use in the area of online and flexible teaching and learning. It offers a very handy and accessible guide to the key terms or jargon in this field and also offers links to real-world examples of terms such as “flipped classroom” and “gamification”.
Retrievable from: http://teachonline.ca/tools-trends/how-use-technology-effectively/bewildering-language-online-learning
John Daniel, O.C (2016). Making Sense of Blended Learning: Treasuring an older tradition or finding a better future? Contact North.
Retrievable from: http://teachonline.ca/sites/default/files/tools-trends/downloads/making_sense_of_blended_learning-eng.pdf
Shin, S.-K. (2015). Teaching Critical, Ethical, and Safe Use of ICT to Teachers. Language Learning & Technology, 19(1), 181–197.
This article reports on a research project conducted with pre-service ESOL teachers in Korea which focused on the often neglected issues of digital literacy, ethical and fair use and e-safety when selecting and using online materials and learning activities in language teaching and learning. Although the authors caution that the relatively small-scale of this research which was limited to a small group of pre-service teachers, does not support broad generalization, it nevertheless raises important questions and awareness for second-language instructors who are using online materials and activities and points to the necessity to consider their own attitudes and practices in relation to digital literacy, fair use, and e-safety in order to model responsible behaviours for students, and also to consider how to include these important issues in instruction.
Retrievable from: http://llt.msu.edu/issues/february2015/shin.pdf
Kiely, R. (2012). Designing evaluation into change management processes. In Managing Change in English Language Teaching: Lessons from Experience. Edited by Christopher Tribble. London: British Council.
This chapter is part of a British Council book about the changing role of English in the world. It provides details from 21 international English Language Training projects. The book addresses issues surrounding the internationalization of English. Although it does not address settlement issues, its inclusion of a blended learning project does make it meaningful for the bibliography. In many language programs innovative projects today do involve the integration of technology. The introductory notes to the book state the importance of a number of elements that should be addressed “in parallel” when making changes in education in order that the changes make a lasting impact. The examples given include initial as well as in-service training of teachers and testing and assessment systems, curriculum and course materials. These needs are also present in adult settlement language training programs that are intending to integrate technology and adopt a blended approach. Kiely’s chapter ends with a description of three types of evaluation that he hopes will engage the different agendas of program stakeholders in improving the likelihood of success in all areas of a program.
Retrievable from: https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/sites/teacheng/files/B330%20MC%20in%20ELT%20book_v7.pdf
Rebecca Y Jee, Gabriele O’Connor. (2014). Evaluating the Impact of Blended Learning on Performance and Engagement of Second Language Learners. International Journal of Advanced Corporate Learning (iJAC), 7(3), 12–16.
This article is based on a small-scale research study using Voxy a commercial Web and mobile platform within a Task-Based Language Teaching framework. The Voxy platform, designed for the self-study learner, provides authentic, personalized content and includes one-one-one video tutoring sessions online group classes
The study is focused on the following research questions
To what extent does blended learning impact the performance of language learners?
To what extent does blended learning impact the engagement of language learners?
The study, albeit limited in scope, indicates that language learners who access synchronous language instruction along with self-study demonstrate greater increases in proficiency than those who engage only in self-study.
Retrievable from: http://online-journals.org/index.php/i-jac/article/view/3986
(Articles in the International Journal of Advanced Corporate Learning (iJAC) are available at no cost , users need to register for a free account)
Philip Hubbard. (2013). Making a Case for Learner Training in Technology Enhanced Language Learning Environments. CALICO Journal, 30(2), 163–178.
The author focuses on the importance of learner training in technology-mediated language training. He presents four positions, (properly designed technology and tasks are transparent, learners have the ability to use technology optimally, digital natives don’t need training, specialized training for either teachers or learners is unnecessary), that would lead to avoiding learner training and then provides corresponding evidence that each of these positions is problematic and that learner training is essential. He presents a set of five learner training principles for teachers and developers that have had an impact on teachers as well as learners. The first principle is that as a teacher or developer, you should experience a computer-mediated course yourself. This is followed by a description of the result of teachers putting themselves in the role of language learner and the experience’s impact on them. He concludes that what really matters in technology-enhanced language learning is how learners use the technology and that teachers, researchers and developers should provide the guidance needed to use it well.
Negin Mirriahi, Dennis Alonzo, & Bob Fox. (2015). A Blended learning framework. Research in Learning Technology, 23.
The context of this report is higher education, but the issues described and the framework proposed are relevant for adult settlement language training programs. The authors claim that students’ demand for flexibility in learning and the affordances of technology have led to the rise of blended learning in the higher education sector. They cite three key challenges to its popularity. The first challenge is that academics often do not have the confidence or skill in using online technology. This low digital fluency limits integration of technology and impedes more effective learning. The second challenge is the notion that blended learning has not been well-defined and often isn’t used in a consistent way across an institution. They cite inconsistencies such as course design, teaching approaches, percent of face-to-face versus online time, the purpose of blending, and the role of technology. The third issue they address is the lack of standards-based tools available to both guide and evaluate blended learning course design. The authors present a standards-based framework to address these issues.
Retrievable from: http://www.researchinlearningtechnology.net/index.php/rlt/article/view/28451
Moonyoung Park, & Tammy Slater. (2014). A Typology of Tasks for Mobile-Assisted Language Learning: Recommendations from a Small-Scale Needs Analysis. TESL Canada Journal, 31(Special Issue 8).
This study explored how college-level ESL students are currently using their mobile devices for language learning and the attitudes and opinions of their instructors in relation to Mobile-Assisted Language Learning (MALL). The study included semi-structured interviews with students and instructors, an online survey and a task-based needs analysis focused on what learners and instructors want and need in relation to mobile-assisted language learning. Based on this research a set of language tasks in the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing were identified. The researchers created a MALL-based task typology to support the future development of pedagogic tasks for academic ESL courses and to support the development of MALL-based curricula and lesson plans. The study found that while ESL learners are using mobile devices for a variety of learning and personal purposes, including communications and as reference tools, instructors need ongoing professional development to support them in realizing the potential of mobile devices in language teaching and to effectively incorporate mobile device use in task development for academic ESL courses.
Martha Young-Scholten,. (2015). Issues emerging from the pilot of an online module on vocabulary learning by low-educated adult immigrants. Language Issues: The ESOL Journal, 26(2), 41–45.
A report of an international pilot of online learning module for second-language instructors in North America and the European Union, conducted over a 5-week period in 2015. The instructors are working with learners who have been designated as low-educated and literacy acquisition (LESLLA). Based on two extensive surveys of the professional development and training needs of these instructors the online training module focused on vocabulary teaching and learning. The module, Topics in Vocabulary Learning for LESLLA Learners, (in English, Dutch German, Finnish and Spanish). was delivered using MOODLE. Learning materials were drawn from publications in each of these languages as well as translations of some English materials into the other languages. The author states that while more research is required to better understand how LESLLA learner develop vocabulary and move from fast-mapping to the use of new vocabulary in their daily lives, the value of this pilot is in support instructors in carrying out their own research to extend understanding of vocabulary acquisition this pilot. In addition, participants in the pilot, although it was of short duration, reported positive results based on their learning and experimenting with new techniques. The pilot also set the groundwork for the future development of a curriculum framework for LESLLA instructors, at the international level, which will allow instructors to share and exchange their experience and knowledge.
Cost: $USD 38.16
Marie-Françoise Narcy-Combes, J. McAllister. Evaluation of a blended language learning environment in a French university and its effects on second language acquisition. La revue du GERAS 2011, 59, 115–138.
In response to a high drop-out rate in large compulsory language classes in a French university, a blended learning program was introduced, using a task-based approach with a distance component using Moodle and face-to-face small group tutorials. The goal was to raise motivation using real-life tasks and to develop interactions that promote second language acquisition. The face-to-face component was further broken into two tutorials, one with 45 students and a teacher and one with 15 students. Teachers provided personalized feedback both in the tutorials and online. The report presents results about the students’ language levels, their involvement, their language learning in class, and their perceptions of the blended language learning program. The author presents key themes expressed by the students related to strengths and weaknesses in the program. Several students commented that a teacher is essential. Team work remained a challenge for students and the authors state that they are searching for a way to convince students that they have more teacher access in a blended learning environment than they would in larger groups.
Lewandowski, M. (2015). Creating virtual classrooms (using Google Hangouts) for improving language competency. Language Issues: The ESOL Journal, 26(1), 37–42.
This small scale research project was conducted in a community based learning centre in London, U.K. The study explored the usefulness of creating an online conversation class using Google Hangouts to support ESOL students to develop their vocabulary. Students were divided into three groups. In the first group students read or listened to a text prior to the online session and were given vocabulary lists which they were required to memorize as well as conversation questions for review., In the second group students read or listened to a text prior to the online session were given conversations questions for review but were not given the vocabulary list. Students in these groups also attended their regular face-to-face classes. In the third or “control group” students attended their class twice each week but no additional online activities were provided. Although the author cautions that the results of the study are not generalizable, given the relatively limited size of the project and its particular he concludes that the results clearly demonstrate the potential of video-conferencing tools such as Google Hangouts as a useful means to support students in developing and enhancing vocabulary. Furthermore, he states that, with careful planning and preparation, the combination of asynchronous and synchronous e-learning is critical for the “successful delivery” of online conversation classes.
Kim, D., Rueckert, D, Kim, D.-J, & Seo, D. (2013). Students’ perceptions and experiences of mobile learning. Language Learning & Technology, 17(3), 52–73.
This study examined students’ perceptions and experiences in using mobile devices for language learning outside the classroom. The 53 students were enrolled in three graduate TESOL classes in a US university. A mobile learning site was created and students participated in pre- and post-surveys to gauge their perceptions before and after the project. In the course of the research students were required to participate in five class projects which involved the purposeful exploration of the use of their personal mobile devices for language learning. The study found that mobile technologies can support important new learning experiences. However, the researchers strongly recommend that instructors consider the technological demands of mobile devices, e.g., connectivity and data costs as well as the pedagogical components as they plan for the use of mobile technologies in the classroom.
Retrievable from: http://llt.msu.edu/issues/october2013/kimetal.pdf
Karen J. Haines. (2015). Learning to Identify and Actualize Affordances in a New Tool. Language Learning & Technology, 19(1), 165–180.
This report suggests a reflective process that identifies both the technical features of a tool and its ability to allow learners to achieve their learning goals which may help teachers cope with the increasing number of technologies available. The study defines affordance as the potential that teachers perceive in a technology tool to support activities in their contexts. Other research has noted that teachers may learn how to use a tool, but they may not learn why they might use it. The study looks at the affordances of blogs and wikis and reports on both initial and later perceptions of two teachers as they familiarized themselves with these tools and saw possibilities in their use as they explored them over time. Their learning was based mostly on experimentation in their classrooms along with reading research and good practice about the two tools. The study ends with suggestions for teacher training in situated contexts so that teachers have ample opportunity to use a wide range of tools and be trained to judge their affordances for themselves.
Retrievable from: http://llt.msu.edu/issues/february2015/haines.pdf