Shebansky, W. (2018). Blended Learning Adoption in an ESL Context: Obstacles and Guidelines. TESL Canada Journal, 35(1), 52 – 77.
This report looks at the factors that influence adult ESL instructor opinions about implementation and use of blended learning in a federally-funded Canadian LINC program(Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) (24 instructors), in an ESL program in a mid-sized Canadian community college (5 instructors) and in an EFL program in a large Korean university (19 instructors).
The author acknowledges that digital tools are available and accessible, but are not being widely used to implement Blended Learning.
He references several conceptual frameworks and extends two that are used in higher education to a part-time LINC context to inform and guide his investigation into the low rate of technology adoption at his LINC program.
The research study asks these questions:
- Do participants in the study use BL? How is use different across different ESL settings?
- What institutional strategy (design-related issues), structure (issues related to facilitation of the BL environment) and support (faculty implementation and maintenance of its BL design) factors most influence whether instructors will adopt BL? Is this different across ESL settings?
- Why do those factors affect adoption of BL in a LINC context?
He reports on these factors that influence instructors’ decision whether to adopt blended learning:
- Ability to quickly upload and download materials
- Availability of professional development in a face-to-face group or one-on-one
- Availability of technical support
- Availability of pedagogical support
He then reports on these findings to explain why this list of factors influenced instructors’ decisions.
Tritch Yoshida, M. (2018). Choosing Technology Tools to Meet Pronunciation Teaching and Learning Goals. The CATESOL Journal, 30(1), 195–212
This article evaluates a range of technology tools and sites to support the teaching, learning and development of pronunciation. The comprehensive evaluations are based on research and classroom practice and examine each of the tools based on the following criteria: Quality and accuracy; Practicality of use; Ease of use and Cost.
The article offers a practical review of technology tools and sites for computers, laptops and smartphones from the perspective of language instructor and also offers a model of technology tool evaluation that could be very useful in other areas of language teaching and learning.
Dudeney, Gavin, Nicky Hockly and Mark Pegrum. Digital Literacies. Harlow, England: Pearson, 2013.
This book is organized in four chapters:
- From research to implications – you’ll find a framework of digital literacies.
- From implications to application – you’ll find a digital activities grid, descriptions of activities and a number of worksheets. worksheets can slso be obtained online.
- From application to implementation – you’ll find information about how to integrate digital literacies in your teaching practice depending on your context and the syllabus you are working with.
- From implementation to research – you’ll find suggestions about how to continue your own learning about digital literacies as you work through challenges that arise. There is detailed description of building and maintaining a personal learning network (PLN).
Kelly, M., Kennell, T., McBride, R., & Sturm, M. (2007). Fast Forward: An Analysis of Online and Distance Education Language Training – Settlement at Work. New Media Language Training.
This research report provides a review and analysis of online and distance education language training in Canada, as of 2007. The report also provides a set of recommendations for the implementation of online and distance education language training, including the need for increased access to online and blended learning opportunities, the need to address integrating culture in language learning, the need to provide robust learner orientation and professional development for instructors, ongoing and multi-modal communications, technical support and the development of a centralized repository of learning objects.
Retrievable from: http://wiki.settlementatwork.org/index.php?title=Fast_Forward:_An_Analysis_of_Online_and_Distance_Education_Language_Training
McBride, R., Fahy, P., Edgar, J., O’Brien, K., Allan, J., Sturm, M., & Gillespie, M.E. (2011). LearnIT2teach: Free CALL PD for LINC and ESL Professionals. Contact, 37(3), 30–32.
This article describes the LearnIT2Teach project, supported by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Since 2010 the project has developed and offered tools and training to LINC and ESL instructors to support them in integrating CALL in their instruction. The project includes a web portal, learner courseware, a learning object repository and four stages of mentored instructor training.
Retrievable from: http://www.teslontario.net/uploads/publications/contact/ContactFall2011final.pdf
Edgar, Jim, Johnson, K., & McBride, R. (2011). LearnIT2teach: Scaffolding Instructors’ Online Training Skills. TESL Ontario.
This document presents a scheme for training in Online Training Skills as part of TESL Ontario’s Post TESL certificate. The Framework is based on an understanding of the ubiquity of digital technologies and devices in our lives and the opportunities that these technologies provide for language learners to bridge time and distance, to have more flexibility in where and when they learn and to have access to high-quality and cost-effective learning activities. Through the proposed modes, that is, the inclusion of LearnIT2Teach in the Post TESL certificate, instructors will learn how to develop online student activities using CALL authoring software and share the content they create on Tutela. ca, Canada’s online community for current and future ESL/FSL professionals across Canada with a focus on language training for adult newcomers.
Retrieveable from: http://www.teslontario.net/uploads/accreditation/PTCT/NewMediaLanguageTraining.pdf
Edgar, J., & McBride, R. (2012). The LearnIT2Teach Project: Modernizing
Settlement Language Training through E-Blended Delivery. INSCAN Special Issue on Settlement Language Training, (Spring), 28–30.
This article provides an outline description of the LearnIT2Teach Project, launched in 2010. The project provides four stage of mentored training to LINC instructors and justin-time training resources accessible through a project portal to enable them to integrate technology in the language training classroom. In addition, a manual and workshop are available for program coordinators. LINC courseware and learning objects are made available for LINC 2-LINC 7 classes (Canadian Language Benchmarks 2-8) The LINC courseware is designed to supplement face-to-face in-class delivery in a blended learning environment.
Retrievable from: http://torontonorthlip.ca/sites/torontonorthlip.ca/files/v24_se.pdf
Lawrence, G. et al (2014). Exploring the Feasibility of E-Learning in Ontario ESL Programs. Contact, 40(1), 12-18.
A report of a study in Ontario examining the feasibility of integrating e-learning in Adult ESL programs. This multi-phase research study included a comprehensive review of global trends in e-learning in ESL and an extensive online survey and focus group consultation with ESL students, instructors and program administrators. The researchers also conducted a review of how ESL programs are currently using e-learning. The research findings show that a blended learning approach is favoured by a majority of the stakeholders. Those surveyed reported that they recognize and are enthusiastic about the potential of a blended learning approach to expand and extend learning opportunities. However, as with similar studies, respondents identified a range of issues and challenges related to technology infrastructure, connectivity and technology support, as well as the need for appropriate training and professional development and the need to ensure that students have the necessary computer skills. These issues must be addressed for the successful implementation of a blended learning approach.
Retrievable from: http://www.teslontario.net/uploads/publications/contact/ContactSpring2014.pdf
Realizing the Full Potential of Blended Learning. (2012). Center for Digital Education.
This brief strategy paper from the Center for Digital Education, a US research and advisory institute focused on K-12 and higher education technology trends and policies reports on a survey of blended learning initiatives and trends in the higher education sector. Although the paper does not address blended learning in the language learning sector it does provide a useful overview of the rapidly developing trend towards blended learning, the implications of that trend, the potential benefits of blended learning, particularly in relation to increased student engagement, and the ongoing need to further clarify the concept of blended learning and its concomitant parts so that instructors can better understand its potential.
Retrievable from: http://echo360.com/sites/default/files/CDE12%20STRATEGY%20Echo360-V.pdf
Harrington, A.M. (2010). Problematizing the Hybrid Classroom for ESL/EFL Students. TESL-EJ, 14(3).
Hybrid courses — which replace 20%–80% of class meetings with online activities — are predicted to increase as educators embrace the benefits of blending online technologies with face-to-face class meetings. Also expected to increase are enrollments of ESL/EFL students. As these growth trends intersect, an increased number of ESL/EFL students are expected to enroll in hybrid courses, especially mainstream courses populated by a majority of native-English-speaking students. Despite these growth trends and research showing hybrid courses as positive for most students, the TESOL community has not yet opened a discussion of the implications of hybrid delivery of mainstream classes for ESL/ EFL students. In an effort to start the discussion, this article investigates potential problems related to issues of identity, forced individualization, and muting; gives several strategies for instructors of hybrid courses with ESL/EFL students; and concludes by calling for TESOL researchers to focus attention on hybrid delivery.
Retrievable from: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ912069.pdf
Mendieta Aguilar, J. (2012). Blended learning and the language teacher: a literature review. Colombo Appl. Linguist. Journal, 14(2), 163–180.
The author argues that there is a lack of information about instructors’ perceptions of and roles in blended learning environments resulting in difficulties in creating effective models of blended learning. This article sets out to examine the views and perceptions of ESL instructors in relation to the integration and use of technology and blended learning and to point to the need for future research about how instructors manage the new demands presented by the online learning component in blended learning programs.
Retrievable from: http://revistas.udistrital.edu.co/ojs/index.php/calj/article/%20viewFile/3930/5641
Larsen, L. (2012). Teacher and student perspectives on a blended learning intensive English program writing course (Ph.D.). Iowa State University.
Although this dissertation investigates the use of blended learning with ESL writing students in an intensive English program, there is much that will be of interest to adult settlement language programs as well. The author notes the immaturity of blended learning within the area of language learning and also that blended learning is considered separate from CALL. One of the author’s points is that CALL research does not mention blended learning theories, but blended learning researchers often rely on CALL research when making arguments. The author provides a table (Table 2, p 38) showing blended learning studies and the variables identified or investigated in blended learning environments. These include areas of interest to adult settlement language programs such as student computer literacy skills; teacher attitude, training and support and positive effects on learner autonomy. The writer stresses “the paucity” of research in blended learning implementation in language learning environments. He also states that a review of the literature from CALL indicates that teachers are generally not sufficiently prepared to teach using technology which may also be significant in adult settlement language training.
Retrievable from: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3382&context=etd
Hubbard, P., P. (2011, March 18). Web 2.0 and Four Paths Beyond. PowerPoint Slides presented at the TESOL Conference, New Orleans.
A presentation about Web 2.0, emerging technologies and the critical importance of incorporating technology and learning with technology deeply in language teacher training in order to support teacher flexibility, to prepare teachers for long careers in language teaching during which they are likely to continually encounter new technologies, new technological modes, and in which they will need to have the confidence and skills to approach these technologies successfully. The presentation also highlights the importance of situated learning theory in ensuring that teachers learn in the same environment in which they will teach.
Retrievable from: http://web.stanford.edu/~efs/tesol-11.pdf
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.
Geoff Lawrence. (2014, May). A Call for the human feel in today’s increasingly blended world. Contact Magazine Special Research Symposium Issue, 40(2), 128–141.
The author presents research on the reported benefits of using Technology-mediated language learning for both instructors and learners, as well as the importance of instructional design on meeting learner outcomes. He then examines the potential for adult non-credit ESL programs in Ontario from results of a multi-phased feasibility study. The findings indicate that the majority of ESL instructors continue to use primarily a face- to-face approach in their teaching. After describing the barriers to use, he also discusses an emerging theme: the crucial role of social interaction and the need for teacher-mediated learning. This was described by one participant as keeping “the human feel” in the learning environment and emphasized the importance of the teacher in the learning process. Some instructors warned about the isolating nature of self-directed technology environments. In the section “The Blended Solution”, the author lists some of the advantages to this approach identified by study participants. He also notes that by itself, a blended approach will not address concerns about isolation; this depends on both the pedagogy and the instructor. Lawrence goes on to highlight the need for strategic, interactive program design.
Retrievable from: http://www.teslontario.net/uploads/publications/researchsymposium/ResearchSymposium2014.pdf
Christopher P. Johnson, D. M. (2014). Blended Language Learning: An Effective Solution but not Without Its Challenges. Higher Learning Research Communications, 4(3), 23–41.
This study explores conclusions from its first phase and identifies effective and appropriate best practice blended learning models. The study reflects changes in demands on and attitudes of students and teachers resulting from the introduction of technology into instructional styles, methodologies, and approaches. Some of the teachers in the study have become confident that the technology is not meant to replace them in the classroom and have begun to see it as a support for them. There is an emphasis on making the best use of classroom time, rather than trying to teach all requirements of courses in the classroom. The study also looks at the personal capacity required for students to take on a more autonomous role in a blended environment and discusses the importance of motivation, confidence and active participation. The authors state that the time and effort that university students spend gaining skills in EFL have critical impact on their success in learning the language. The same seems to be true for adult immigrants in settlement language programs.
This brief fact sheet from 2002 noted how and where technology was beginning to be included in adult ESL programs. Although the examples are modest, the challenges described are still familiar, e.g., the cost of acquiring hardware and software and supporting technology use, matching applications to instructional needs and goals, over-enthusiasm with applications that may not pay back the investment and access to computers and the Internet. The list of best practices includes the need for training for practitioners both in instructional approaches and uses of “hardware”. This last need is addressed in the recently revised TESOL Technology Standards (2011) with the hope that programs that train teachers will recognize that they have an obligation to prepare teacher candidates adequately in technology proficiency for their field and that technology proficiency will be given a high priority in new staff in teacher education programs.
Retrievable From: http://www.cal.org/caela/esl_resources/collections/factsheets.html#tech
Gruba, P., Cameron, C., Ng, K. & Wells, M. (2009). Blending technologies in ESL courses: A reflexive enquiry. Presented at the ascilite Conference, Auckland, NZ.
In this presentation from the 2009 ascilite Conference in Auckland NZ, a group of researchers describe their learning as a self-directed “community of innovation” after creating a series of podcasts as a springboard for an action research study to look at issues related to integrating technology in variety of types of ESL classes. The study highlights some of the barriers to integration that have been identified elsewhere: time, need for professional development and IT support.