Hey Siri: Should #language, �, and follow me be taught?: A historical review of evolving communication conventions across digital media environments and uncomfortable questions for language teachers

Lotherington, H.& Bradley, N. (2024). Hey Siri: Should #language, �, and follow me be taught?:A historical review of evolving communication conventions across digital media environments and
uncomfortable questions for language teachers. Language Learning and Technology, 28 (1) 1-19

This article describes a research project prompted by

” … the perceived deepening gap between the content of and approaches to language instruction evident in popular MALL apps and the sophisticated evolutions in language in form and use during the past three decades.” p. 2.

The authors conducted a wide-ranging environmental scan of academic journals that publish articles on digitally mediated language and language teaching and learning applications. They followed this scan with an in-depth focused literature review documenting advances in technology and changes in social communication since the inception of the world wide web.

Following on this research and review of the literature the researchers contend that, the… “how, when, where, why, with whom, and how often people communicate has transformed and been transformed across historical waves of sociotechnical advancement.” p.1.

They add a fourth historical phase of linguistic theorizing to the three phases  as described by Xia :  Traditional prescriptivist grammar;  Structuralism; Functionalism. This fourth historical phase they describe as Digital convergence and posthumanism.

Digital convergence is the idea that all analogue media types have coalesced in a single digital medium and posthumanism is a theory which posits a world in which we are, often unknowingly, interacting with voice activated software. For example, many of us use devices such as Alexa and Google Nest in our homes and sport networked wearable devices such as fitness trackers and smartwatches.

Note:  (For an accessible outline of posthumanism see: What is Posthumanism?.

In this context the authors contend that language theories and practices need to be updated to address the needs of language learners in an era of digital communication. They argue that a traditional focus on language teaching methods intended for print resources and linear communicative practices are not sufficient to support language learners to participate fully and to live and work in societies where many forms of digital communication are essential. Finally, they pose the question, ” How will language teaching thread digital communication norms into English language learning so learners can survive the real tests of digital integration?” (p.12.)

Retrievable: https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/server/api/core/bitstreams/2426d4f6-edd4-4f86-bbd5-b20c03e8384e/content

Digital poetry for adult English learners with limited education: Possibilities in language learning, literacy development and interculturality

Kempster, J.R. Digital poetry for adult English learners with limited education: Possibilities in language learning, literacy development and interculturality. TESOL in Context, 31(2),5-22.

This article describes a digital literacy project involving poetry writing, using an online book creator app for English language learners with emergent print literacy skills. The project was conducted in a beginners class in the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) in Australia.

The author provides a comprehensive outline of the background to the project and its theoretical underpinnings including a sociocultural perspective and a strengths-based approach to language and literacy teaching and learning. The project incorporated the Mutually Adaptive Learning Paradigm (MALP) checklist  which include accepting the conditions for learning, combining processes for learning and focusing on new activities for learning to guide the planning and delivery of the program.

The project was initiated when students in the class indicated that due to their sense of unpreparedness for online learning as the program moved to emergency remote learning at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic they wanted to have an opportunity to enhance and extend their digital skills, including using a keyboard, emailing and learning about smartphone applications and functions.

The project enabled personal exploration and agency as students chose content from their memories and life experience to create their poems. The text, the story of a refugee resetting in Australia, helped students elicit their own memories and content for their poems.

In the classroom students worked in small groups to share memories, co-drafted their poems with the instructor and then typed the texts into the book creator, independently or with the direct support of the instructor. The students had opportunities to become familiar with a range of digital tools for various purposes including online typing practice logging in to sites, navigating online maps and using the basic tools in the online book publishing program.

The book created in this project can be accessed here: Remember Me

Based on the what was learned in this project the author suggests that future research  or digital literacy work in the language classroom could productively focus on the potential of strengths-based approaches. This would draw on students’ languages, their life experiences and their accumulated knowledge. It could also focus on how poetry writing, as a digital literacy project, can motivate and support language and literacy learning and has the potential to  build and foster community and intercultural understanding

Retrievable from:

https://ojs.deakin.edu.au/index.php/tesol/article/view/1727

Emerging Technologies and Research Designs in Technology Enhanced Language Learning: An Interview with Mark Pegrum

Wu, J.G. (2022) Emerging Technologies and Research Designs in Technology Enhanced Language Learning: An Interview with Mark Pegrum. International Journal of TESOL Studies,4 (3) 162-170.

This interview covers a range of topics, including Pegrum’s three main areas of research: digital literacies, mobile and emerging technologies, and digital education in contexts beyond what is usually presented in research. He stresses the continuing importance of language teacher education in digital literacies. When the interview turns to the impact of COVID-19 and the ensuing emergency remote teaching, he lauds teachers’ ability to adapt to their context throughout the pandemic no matter what level of technologies were available to them, no matter where they were located. When asked by the interviewer to suggest background reading on developments in research methodology and design-based research, he presents a number of journals and researchers whose work is included in a reference list. His analysis of the large number of digital frameworks concludes with the suggestion that teachers familiarize themselves with the insights before choosing one and always keeping learners, context, and emerging frameworks in mind. Pegrum also makes a point of discussing digital distraction, digital disorder and digital disconnection as an important combination of situations that have led to a crisis of attention. Throughout the interview, he credits those he works with and those whose work is an important part of each area of discussion.

Retrievable from:

https://www.tesolunion.org/journal/details/info/9MTg27Ljdm/Emerging-Technologies-and-Research-Designs-in-TechnologyEnhanced-Language-Learning:-An-Interview-with-Mark-Pegrum