Blended learning materials for language acquisition

Tomlinson, B. (2023). Blended learning materials for language acquisition. Journal of English Language Teaching Innovations and Materials (Jeltim),5 (1) 1-16.

This article provides a comprehensive overview of the development of materials to support language acquisition in a blended language learning environment.

The author defines materials development as “the design, production, and utilisation of anything intended to facilitate language acquisition. This could be a story, a listening activity, a debate, a photo, a video, a board game, a communication task, a blog, a discovery task, an advertisement, an e-mail or even a sequence of questions.”

He identifies four important principles of language acquisition and offers a brief discussion and description of each of these principles.

These are:

  • A pre-requisite for language acquisition is that the learners experience language in use that is rich, recycled, meaningful, embodied, and comprehensible.
  • Learners need to be affectively engaged in their language experience.
  • Use experiential approaches in which the learners first of all experience the language in use and then move gradually from apprehension to comprehension (Kolb & Kolb, 2017), to a personal response, to reflection, to analysis.
  • Learners need opportunities to use the language for contextualised and purposeful communication.

For each of these principles the author provides a discussion of the elements and procedures for materials development in a blended learning environment, and examples of learning activities for both face-to-face and online learning. Essentially, he recommends that learning opportunities that rely on oral interactions take place face-to-face while those that can best  be provided remotely are delivered online.

He argues that  the elements of blended language learning courses, including materials development should be fully connected and integrated to  optimise the potential of in-person and online teaching  to provide an effective blended learning experience.

Retrievable from:

ChatGPT for Language Teaching and Learning

 Kohnke, L ., Benjamin  Moorhouse, L. & Di Zou, D. (2023) ChatGPT for Language Teaching and Learning. RELC Journal OnlineFirst, April 3, 2023.

 This short article provides a useful introductory technology review and discussion of the possible affordances and the challenges of the AI chatbot ChatGPT for language teaching and learning. The article outlines some of the possible affordances of Chat GPT, for instructors and students. For example, ChatGPT can be used to identify word meanings in context, explain language mistakes, generate texts, e.g., emails and stories etc., develop quizzes and provide dictionary definitions.  

There are several ongoing debates about the use of ChatGPT in education generally.  Educators have questioned the ethical use of ChatGPT including the possibility of cheating, and how it may affect assessment. Since it does not supply sources or citations, there are concerns about the accuracy of ChatGPT responses which may mislead students. There are also questions about cultural bias, since most of the texts in the database are English; this may be of particular concern in language education as students from diverse cultural backgrounds may not be aware that this tool is not culturally neutral.

The authors argue that the effective use of ChatGPT will require the development of specific digital competencies in three broad categories. Instructors will need Technological Proficiency, including understanding the features of ChatGPT and how it works; Pedagogical Compatibility, that is consideration of how this tool could be used to enhance language teaching and learning, planning for implementation, and providing guidance for students to use the tool for independent learning. Social Awareness includes critical awareness of the challenges of ChatGPT and supporting students to understand the challenges and the risks and ethical issues inherent in the use of the tool.

The article concludes with a list of suggestions of how students can use ChatGPT to improve their English language learning.

Retrievable from:

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:

The Affordances and Contradictions of AI-Generated Text for Second Language Writers

Warschauer, M., et al. (2023). The Affordances and Contradictions of AI-Generated Text for Second Language Writers SSRN.

This timely report looks at how to approach the affordances of AI-writing tools like ChatGPT in second language classrooms, while maintaining the importance of learners first developing writing skills without these tools. The authors encourage ongoing critical discussion about AI-generated text to ensure that educators learn how to manage it in their educational context, rather than simply banning it. They make the point that learners will most likely be expected to be able to use AI-generated text in employment situations and will be at a disadvantage if they have no experience with the tools or think of them as “cheating tools” or shortcuts.

The authors propose a five-part framework to help learners find their way with ChatGPT. It includes these components: understand, access, prompt, corroborate and incorporate. They provide a list of prompt types and examples of each one. They describe and explain the reasons for each of the other components of the framework. The report also presents a sample list of the functions of ChatGPT to explain some of its uses.

Retrievable from:

Emerging technologies and language learning: mining the past to transform the future

Hubbard, Philip. (2023) Emerging technologies and language learning: mining the past to transform the future.  Journal of China Computer-Assisted Language Learning, 2-19.

This article is a personal reflection on the lessons the author, has learned over four decades of teaching and research in Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL).

In the article, Dr. Hubbard begins by offering a simple model of technology-mediated language learning, developed through his experiences and reflection on using technology as an instructor.  This model illustrates what he describes as the elements of a technology mediation system, and how interactions through technology are influenced by that technology, and how technology can support and indeed sometimes impede language learning. He concludes, “… teachers, researchers and developers need to go beyond surface affordances and do what they can to take into account the potential elements of the technology mediation system on the learners as they engage in interactions.”

He then goes on to review seven experiences from his work in CALL, beginning in the 1980’s, which ultimately shaped his teaching, research and professional activities. These include software evaluation, computer games for language learning, learner training and using MALL.

Finally, he offers for consideration a set of guiding principles based on his own learning and insights gained over several decades as a language instructor and researcher as follows :

  1. Consider the mediational properties of the technology you want to use and how they relate to the learning goals.
  2. Be sure to understand how an application or technology-based task works before judging its value. When you do judge it, consider it from the perspective of how it fits both you and your students.
  3. Avoid hype—be especially skeptical of unsupported claims about emerging technologies.
  4. Seek out relevant research and practice literature but read it critically.
  5. Teach reflectively with technology. Plan thoughtfully, monitor what is happening with your students while they are using technology, and especially reflect afterwards. Encourage your students to do the same to improve their use of that technology for future learning.
  6. Take time and make the effort to train your students to use technology more effectively for language learning.

Retrievable from:

EFL learners dropping out of blended language learning classes: A replication of Stracke (2007)

Stracke, E., Nguyen, G.H. & Nguyen, V. (2023). EFL learners dropping out of blended language learning classes: A replication of Stracke (2007). ReCALL FirstView, 1–15.

This report revisits Stracke’s 2007 analysis of reasons language learners dropped out of blended learning classes. The comments of the five learners in the new study reveal that two of the original reasons for dissatisfaction are no longer relevant: a lack of print materials and a dislike of using the computer for language learning. However, the other reason that was significant in 2007 remains important today: the importance of the face-to-face component and the online component complementing each other.

Additional reasons for learner dissatisfaction are included: a lack of teacher support, feedback and guidance; a need for a more learner-centred class; a desire for spontaneous communication in both the face-to-face class and online; a need to build relationships with both teachers and other learners.

The discussion that follows the study information includes a comparison with Stracke’s findings and background to the current findings. the researchers also provide some recommendations to address areas where changes could be made.

The authors emphasize the importance of teachers, relevant teacher training and materials development as they zero in on the obstacles that these learners identified as barriers to their continuing in their program.

Retrievable from:

How can blended learning English-as-a-second-language courses incorporate with cultural heritage, building, and sense of sustainable development goals?: A case study

Kwee, C.T.T. & Dos Santos, L.M. (2022) How can blended learning English-as-a-second-language courses incorporate with cultural heritage, building, and sense of sustainable development goals?: A case study. Front. Ed., 7:966803

This article describes a small-scale case study of a group of forty international students enrolled in three blended ESL programs in a community college in the United States which incorporated elements of digitized cultural heritage and heritage buildings in the course curriculum. Using a range of digital tools including video and virtual tours, students had the opportunity to learn about local and national history and heritage buildings as a component of their language learning.

Following the course, data was collected using one-on-one semi-structured interviews and focus groups. This data indicated that students experienced high levels of language learning engagement and motivation due to their high level of interest in the cultural and heritage content. Students also reported a significant increase in cultural awareness and an understanding of local history and sense of place.

Although the context of this study is a course for international students in the U.S., the description of incorporation of  digitized local and national cultural heritage and buildings and the responses of students provide useful insights that will be of interest to language instructors and curriculum developers working with newcomers to Canada.

Retrievable from:

Teaching the pronunciation of vowels on Zoom

Tiittanen, M. (2022) Teaching the Pronunciation of Vowels on Zoom. TESL Ontario Contact Magazine, 48 (3) 15-20.

The author presents suggestions for teaching vowels using synchronous video. He includes information about the advantages of doing this, e.g., the ESL teacher being able to magnify their mouth, tongue, lips and jaw. A benefit for the ESL learner is that they can see their own mouths on-screen as they attempt the same sounds and compare them with the teacher’s model.

Tiittanen provides a brief reference list to support his suggestions for teaching a number of vowels. In addition to describing teaching methods he also includes helpful videos to illustrate this in action and gives the reader a link to his Pronunciation Channel on YouTube. This enables ESL learners to view the videos to practise as often as they want.

In addition to valuable information about how to teach using Zoom or other synchronous video, Tiittanen discusses the safety concerns that were a key aspect of teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as issues of classroom noise and personal space and distance that are still relevant for pronunciation teachers as the pandemic recedes.

Retrievable from:

Lessons learned during COVID 19: Towards Blended Learning and Teaching in LINC and ESL

Cummings, J. & Fayed, I. (2022) Lessons Learned During Covid-19: Towards Blended Learning and Teaching in LINC and ESL. TESL Ontario Contact Magazine, 48 (3)21-29.

This timely article provides a review of the recent, noticeable increase in the adoption of a blended learning model in ESL/LINC teaching and learning.  This increase is likely attributable to the requirement for programs to rapidly shift to asynchronous delivery and online classes using video conference software such as Zoom, Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams as COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were introduced. ESL/LINC programs quickly adapted and, although often challenged, were able to make the switch to asynchronous and live online teaching to enable students to continue learning.

The authors note that although COVID-19 restrictions have ceased or have been progressively removed, the shift to the incorporation of a blended learning model in ESL/LINC continues. Programs and instructors continue to build on what was learned about the potential of blended learning to effectively support and enhance language learning, and to develop their  knowledge of effective online teaching and learning.

The article includes an illustrative discussion of how to blend some sample tasks based on the LINC Level 5 curriculum and provides some priority recommendations to support LINC and ESL instructors in the effective adoption and implementation of blended learning. These are:

  • Development of instructor training and resources for blended learning/teaching
  • The inclusion of courses and workshops focused on a Development of instructor training and resources for blended learning/teaching approach in TESL teacher and education programs and in ongoing professional development
  • Recognition by programs and funders of increasing demands on instructors in terms of professional development and preparation time, so as to enable them to effectively prepare, plan and implement blended learning
  • The need for an increased focus on digital literacy skills in concert with language skills, to enable learners to take advantage of the opportunities to explore and learn offered in a online environment

Retrievable from:

Newcomers and the Digital Divide

Lukawiecki, J., Khan, A., & Bedi, G. (2022). Newcomer families in Canada and the digital divide. Guelph, ON: Community Engaged Scholarship Institute.

This study, in partnership with the Local Immigration Partnership in the Guelph-Wellington area in Southwestern Ontario looks at a number of newcomer services impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on ESL and digital literacy training. The report includes a brief review of academic literature looking at newcomers’ use of technology. It then describes services available throughout the region and describes the challenges as agencies adapted to providing them online.

One of the major conclusions from the report is that there are significant differences in in newcomers’ experience of the digital divide depending on language levels, gender, education, previous employment and/or professional status. It also notes areas where online services eliminated some barriers for newcomers.

The report makes recommendations about how to meet newcomers’ digital needs better through activities like providing them with devices and Wifi connections when needed, improved staff training, enlisting newcomers with language and digital literacy proficiency as “navigators” for others, mobile home services to ready clients for work interviews and frequent communication with clients using a variety of methods.

Retrievable from:

Ten years later: Reexamining the TESOL Technology Standards for Language Teachers

Sun, X. (2022). Ten years later: Reexamining the TESOL Technology Standards for Language Teachers. TESOL Journal, 13(e684).

A research team interviewed a panel of practitioners with expertise and experience in language teaching, computer-assisted language learning and instructional technology to explore whether the TESOL Technology Standards for Language Teachers are still applicable today and what updates might be needed. The panel validated the Standards’ continued applicability, with recommendations for how they should be updated.

In addition to addressing these questions, the report includes the four practitioners’ thoughtful responses reflecting their own experience with teaching with technology in the Findings (5). It also includes their recommendations for updating the performance indicators in the Standards and by considering issues that have emerged since they were developed, e.g., mobile applications and learner data privacy among others.

Retrievable from:

Building ESL Learners’ Digital Literacy Skills Using Internet Memes

Nguyen, N., Chambers, W., & Abbott, M. Building ESL Learners’ Digital Literacy Skills Using Internet Memes. TESL Canada Journal/Revue TESL du Canada, 39(1), 83-103.

This article examines and describes how internet memes can be used to support and enhance ESL learners’ digital skills. Internet memes are humourous and engaging ideas, images, and phrases that spread from person to person through online sharing, particularly on social media. (Here is a link to a short, clear explanation of memes: The Now- What is a Meme?)

Having provided a general introduction to memes and a description of popular internet memes the authors examine memes in the context of language learning in relation to the Digital Literacies Framework for Language Learning developed by Mark Pegrum and colleagues (Digital Literacies Revisited). This framework outlines the essential digital skills which language learners need to participate in a digital society, and focuses on four competencies, the ability to communicate; use information; collaborate; and re-design or create new meanings.

Based on this framework the authors provide a Meme Selection and Implementation Guide for ESL instructors. They also provide  an Exemplar Meme Task  for use with Intermediate ESL learners (CLBs 5-8; Common European Framework (CEFR) B1-2)  intended to support the development of language and digital literacy skills and which has also been piloted in a CLB 5 LINC class as part of a module on Canadian workplace culture

Retrievable from:

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:

Exploring the Needs, Practices, and Attitudes Toward Technology Integration of Community College ESOL Instructors

Cunningham, C., and Kolski, T. 2021. Exploring the Needs, Practices, and Attitudes Toward Technology Integration of Community College ESOL Instructors. In Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT):Annual Proceedings, V. 2. Selected Papers on the Practice of Educational Communications and Technology. Chicago, 2021. pp.370-382.

This short, accessible article reports on a study examining the professional development needs of adult ESL instructors in relation to the effective integration of technology. Based on classroom observations, instructor interviews, a focus group interview and a researcher journal this study explored the experiences, practices and attitudes of instructors in using technology in their classrooms and their technology related professional development needs and priorities. The researchers identify key actions that would support instructors to extend their use of technology and strengthen the integration of technology to support teaching and learning.

Participants reported that while they are using technology frequently in their classrooms, largely driven by the needs and interests of their students, and that they recognise the importance of technology to support language use in the real world using authentic materials found on the internet, they could be using technology more extensively and effectively.

Instructors identified strategies that would enhance their professional learning and support more effective use of technology for teaching and learning. These include having a technology lead, a person who could identify useful and suitable websites for students and provide instructors with student handouts containing links and information to enable students to locate and navigate learning materials. They also suggested the creation of an online space for instructors to share resources and experiences on an ongoing basis and a regular schedule of moderated meetings in which they can share ideas and resources.

Based on this input from instructors and an extensive review of the literature on professional development to support the effective integration of technology the researchers identify three key strategies to support technology integration to address the specific needs of instructors.   

Technology mentor/coach, a peer instructor experienced in the use of technology for teaching and learning to support less experienced colleagues.

The development of a professional learning community or community of practice in which instructors can meet, on a regular basis, to share ideas and resources and support each others’ learning.

Peer-observation as part of an action research cycle whereby instructors have an opportunity to learn from their peers and to engage in intentional study of how technology can affect learning.

Although the context is ESL in a community college there are interesting and useful pointers for conducting needs assessments and providing practical and productive professional development for adult ESL instructors in other settings.

Retrievable from:

Teachers’ technology-related self-images and roles: Exploring CALL teachers’ professional identity

Shafiee, Z., Marandi, S. S., & Mirzaeian, V. R. Teachers’ technology-related self images and roles: Exploring CALL teachers’ professional identity. Language Learning & Technology, 26(1), 1–20.

This article describes a small, preliminary study examining the professional identity of language instructors who actively integrate technology with language instruction. and are described as CALL teachers. The goal of the study is to extend understanding of what the authors describe as CALLTPI, (CALL teachers’ professional identity).

The study is based on an extensive review of literature exploring teacher identity, defined as “teachers’ self images and perceptions that “determine the way teachers teach, the way they develop as teachers, and their attitudes towards educational changes”(p.3)and the use of  a semi-structured interview methodology in which 24 CALL teacher educators, academics who taught CALL courses and used technology to teach language-related subjects, and classroom language instructors who used digital technology in virtual, blended or technology enhanced learning environments. The interview questions were designed to explore CALL teachers’ “perceived teaching roles, self-image, confidence, sense of self-efficacy, skills, and knowledge that contribute to enacting their teaching roles, solving pedagogical and technical problems, dealing with ethical challenges, and making decisions in technology-enhanced teaching environments.

Based on these interviews the authors identify three major themes related to teacher identity. These are individual identity, classroom-based identity, and agentive identity. Individual identity is understood as their roles as professionals who use technology, classroom-based identity as their roles as teachers who integrate technology in their classrooms and agentive identity as playing an active role in the integration and use of technology, in supporting and influencing students in the effective use of technology for learning and serving as role models for students and colleagues.

The authors note the need for further research on teacher professional identity related to computer-assisted language learning (CALL), and to help inform the work of curriculum designers and material developers in the area language instruction.

Retrievable from:

Evolving Definitions in Digital Learning: A National Framework for Categorizing Commonly Used Terms

Johnson. N. Evolving Definitions in Digital Learning: A National Framework for Categorizing Commonly Used Terms. Canadian Digital Learning Research Association. Association canadienne de recherche sur la formation en ligne. 2021.

The CDLRA has conducted national-level surveys related to online and digital learning since 2017. This report uses earlier research and the findings of the 2021 National Survey for Online and Digital Learning as a springboard to address inconsistencies and contradictions both within and between Canadian post-secondary institutions in the use of definitions for terms that fall under the umbrella “Digital learning”. Because there is strong indication that COVID-19’s aftermath will increase the demand for online and hybrid learning and flexibility in course offering delivery it will be important to know what an institution means when they use terms like online, hybrid, distance, and in-person learning. Another benefit of using common terms and definitions to describe courses is that as information is gathered about the evolution of digital learning in Canada everyone understands what is being described.

The report introduces a broad framework called The Modes of Learning Spectrum. It distinguishes first between distance learning and in-person learning, with a dividing line between these two for hybrid or blended learning.

The author goes on to provide definitions of the wide range of learning experiences that fall within these categories. They recognize the importance of capturing the variety of teaching approaches and pedagogical strategies that institutions are already using and also that a framework needs to be easy for them to adopt.

Retrievable from:

Strengthening Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada: Learning from Experiences in Saskatoon

Nadia Maqbool. “Strengthening Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada: Learning from Experiences in Saskatoon” M.Ed. Thesis. University of Saskatchewan, 2022.

This M.Ed. thesis from the University of Saskatchewan documents a very recent study examining the learning needs of new ESL LINC instructors as they begin their teaching careers.

The research questions focussed on what is expected of these instructors in their workplaces, the challenges they encounter and the supports they need. Using a qualitative research methodology, the researcher surveyed new ESL LINC instructors in Saskatoon to arrive at a clearer understanding of their experiences, and to identify potential actions to improve the overall orientation, training, and ongoing professional development process for ESL LINC instructors.

In general, these instructors indicated a need for more support and guidance in understanding the LINC system, the CLB and PBLA, and a need for more robust technical support in LINC programs, and enhanced support in the effective use of technology for online, blended, and remote teaching and learning.

Participants identified concerns about their unfamiliarity with digital technologies, lack of experience in online teaching, and the ongoing challenges of confronting technical issues in virtual classrooms. In addition, participants expressed concerns about the challenges of online and blended learning environments in working with learners at CLB Levels 1-4, and concurrent issues in supporting learners who may not have sufficient familiarity with digital technologies and have ongoing needs for technical supports.

Based on participant responses, the study includes recommendations for practices that could enhance the experience of new ESL LINC instructors, including assigning mentors to new instructors, providing clear instructions on online and blended learning, and a thorough orientation to software and applications in use in LINC classrooms.

Retrievable from :

Inclusive online course design: Lessons from a pandemic

Carter, A. & Seoudi, S. Inclusive online course design: Lessons from a pandemic. TESL Ontario Contact, 48(1),19-27.

This article describes the planning and process of adapting a lively and engaging in-person ESL foundation program at Ryerson University in Toronto to an inclusive virtual learning environment during COVID-19.  To support the development of an inclusive online learning environment that would create a sense of community, developers were guided by these four guiding principles that governed the design process:  

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in which students were offered multiple means of engagement including choices of assignment and opportunities to work individually and in groups. Classes were offered synchronously and asynchronously.

Flexibility whereby classes were offered at two different times to accommodate schedules and students who were located in different time zones. Office hours offered by instructors were flexible and students were offered options as to the digital tools they could use to complete assignments.

 Digital tools to enhance community A wide range of digital tools were used to support learning and to enable students to connect with one another online and to work collaboratively.

 Demonstrating personal interest in students Instructors purposely chose assignments and topics that were relevant to the lives of students. Instructors connected with students as individuals with different interests and learning needs.

Overall, students and instructors responded positively to the virtual learning environment; students reported their satisfaction with the program in general and in particular with the opportunities to remain engaged with learning and to connect with each other online. Instructors noted an increased use of English through the variety of digital tools offered.

Retrievable from :

Learning Technology in LINC – Beyond the Pandemic

Van Dorp, N. & McBride, R. Learning Technology in LINC- Beyond the Pandemic. TESL Ontario Contact, 48(1),27-34.

This short, timely article draws on discussions which took place at a virtual workshop presented by Avenue-LearnIT2teach Project at the annual TESL Ontario conference in 2021. Presenters at the workshop explored what was learned about the use of technology in LINC programming as programs and instructors had to make rapid adjustments to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Four key findings emerged:

1. the importance of a mentor/mentee relationship during COVID-19;
2. the difference between Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) and online teaching;
3. blended learning as an ideal delivery mode of ESL learning post-COVID-19;
4. digital learning is not enough; digital fluency should be the new benchmark.

Each of these four findings is described, with a focus on how instructors can be effectively supported to deploy technology for teaching and learning, the benefits and opportunities afforded in a blended learning environment and the critical importance of incorporating digital skills to support the development of digital fluency in order to extend and improve teaching and learning in LINC programming.

Retrievable from :

“Google and me together can read anything.” Online reading strategies to build independent readers in the ESL classroom.

Jose, K. (2021). “Google and me together can read anything.” Online reading strategies to build independent readers in the ESL classroom. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 17(2), 896-914.

This article provides the findings of a research study investigating the potential of reading using online texts or hypertexts in addition to print textbooks in the ESL reading classroom. The research examined and described the reading and navigation strategies used by students in reading online texts.

 It was found that readers demonstrated higher levels of comprehension in tests based on online texts. Given that in this digital age, and given the ubiquity of digital devices, many of us look to the internet as a primary source of information, the author argues the use of online texts in the reading classroom is a more authentic activity for students, one that they are more comfortable with in their daily lives. He further argues that the use of digital texts in developing online reading comprehension will support students in the development of their critical information literacy skills and foster lifelong reading habits.

The author concludes that ESL reading instructors should engage in strategy training to support students in the use of online texts to enhance reading comprehension, and to help to build lifelong, independent reading habits in ESL readers.  

Retrievable from: