Zooming out of the crisis: Language and human collaboration

Guillen, G., Sawin, T., Avineri, N. (2020). Zooming out of the crisis: Language and human Collaboration. Foreign Language Annals, 53(2), 320-328.

This article looks for alternatives to videoconferencing tools for language teachers whose teaching aims include increasing learners’ language proficiency and providing opportunities for real collaboration among learners no matter the crisis that prevents in-class contact. The writers include three types of activities that can be used to accomplish this. They describe antidotes to “Zoom fatigue” and smart phone apps that rely on behaviourist methodology or are limited to flashcard activities. They point readers to apps that allow learners to have learning experiences that include language, culture and technology. Included is a section on “service-learning” that looks at how learners can still participate in a critical way in society even though they have to distance themselves from it.

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Enhancing the Digital Skills of English Language Learners Studying at a Distance

Vanek J.  & Johnston, J. (2015).  Enhancing the Digital Skills of English Language Learners Studying at a Distance. AEIS Newsletter March 2015.

Based on interviews with instructors  who work within the IDEAL consortium the article  outlines the components of a successful distance learning program for second language learners.  The authors argue that given the ubiquity of digital technologies and the multiple demands on learners to use digital technology in the workplace, distance learning instruction should not be limited to the academic content typically found in online distance learning curricula. Rather, learners need to have access and exposure to a range of digital technologies for learning and problem solving facilitated by an instructor.

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