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.