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

Affective Support for Self-Regulation in Mobile-Assisted Language Learning

Viberg, Olga, Agnes Kukulska-Hulme, and Ward Peeters.(2023) Affective Support for Self-Regulation in Mobile-Assisted Language Learning. International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning (IJMBL) 15 (2) 1-15.

This article examines the role and importance of affective learning, defined by “learners’ beliefs, attitudes, and emotions”  in a Mobile-Assisted Language Learning (MALL) environment, and how affective learning influences how language learners develop language skills and engage effectively with learning

A review of literature examining language learners’ use of MALL indicates that while the use of apps, digital resources and online communities continues to increase, there is a body of evidence suggesting that while language learners are often adept at using MALL to further their learning, they need ongoing guidance and support to manage their learning and to develop critical self-regulation skills  enabling them to take advantage of the range of learning opportunities offered by MALL.

The authors argue that in the MALL environment affective learning support can be provided to learners in two ways, first in the design of the apps and digital resources and second through the active assistance of the instructor.

In this context they offer the MALLAS framework as a model  for learning designers as they develop support services, such as mobile apps, for language learners  and to assist instructors in supporting learners to develop effective learning strategies in MALL and to develop and extend their self-regulation skills in this environment.

While MALL allows for in-class and out-of-class learning, enabling learners to practice their language skills on their own, or with friends and often without an instructor, the authors emphasize the critical role of the instructor. Instructors can help students to regulate their learning in MALL, by identifying learning strategies and developing activities that motivate learning and persistence, by guiding students in the evaluation their ongoing learning in MALL and  in helping them to connect their in-class and out-of-class learning.

Retrievable from: https://www.igi-global.com/gateway/article/full-text-html/318226&riu=true

Metaphors for social media‐enhanced foreign language teaching and learning

Reinhardt, J. (2020). Metaphors for social media-enhanced foreign language teaching and learning. Foreign Language Annals, 53(2), 234-242.

This thought-provoking article proposes a set of new metaphors to better understand how social media can be effectively incorporated to enhance second language teaching and learning. The author provides a review of the established metaphors  of computer as tutor or tool that have been commonly used in traditional computer-assisted language learning  (CALL) and goes on to discuss the need to re-conceptualize metaphors in the age of social media.

The new metaphors proposed, Windows, Mirrors, Doorways and Playgrounds are described in relation to how each can provide learners with authentic learning opportunities. The author provides practical examples of how language instructors can use social media with learners to enable them to gain first hand experience of how native users of a language interact and communicate, to present reflections of themselves in social media, to participate in authentic sharing and distribution of content in social media and to participate in playful interaction with each other.  

Retrievable from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/flan.12462

Student’s evaluation of a classroom bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy

Thomas, S. (2020). Student’s evaluation of a classroom bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy. The JALT CALL Journal, 16(1), 29-49.

This article addresses the sometimes contentious issue of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives in which students are encouraged or required to bring their digital devices into the classroom.

The article reports on a research study investigating student attitudes related to the implementation of a BYOD policy, over the course of two semesters, in a second language classroom in a Japanese university. Findings indicate that students, although initially somewhat hesitant about the use of their own devices in the classroom, ultimately reported that the use of their own devices supported learning and provided them with expanded opportunities to develop their language skills.

In the Covid-19 based current situation it is likely that many language learners are using available devices to continue their learning and becoming more and more accustomed to using their own devices to do so. As a result, there may be some interesting implications for learner expectations of continuing to use their own devices as they return to physical classrooms.  Although the context for this study is an academic setting, it provides useful insights for the second language field in general, highlighting the potential benefits of BYOD in supporting learners to, as the author says, “…develop positive device usage habits to complete clearly structured, well defined classroom tasks”(p.46).

Retrievable from: https://journal.jaltcall.org/storage/articles/JALTCALL%2016-1-29.pdf