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.

Retrievable from:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/flan.12459

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

Fostering Interaction in Synchronous Online Class Sessions with Foreign Language Learners

Gruber, A. & Bauer, E. (2020). Fostering Interaction in Synchronous Online Class Sessions with Foreign Language Learners. 175-178. (Uploaded to Research Gate by author, June 17th, 2020)

This short article outlines how, in the context of COVID-19 and the urgent need to move instruction online, a second language instructor created an online learning space to support learners in a beginner German language course.

Using Learning Apps, a web 2.0 application, (a review and description of the application is available HERE) that allows for the creation of small interactive learning modules, and Kahoot, a game-based application the instructor is able to quickly develop a fully online language learning environment that enable learner collaboration and interaction. These tools were chosen because they are both free, relatively easy to use and both have robust functionality.

The article also provides recommendations on how to support instructors during this crisis to develop teaching skills and strategies that support synchronous and interactive online language learning.

Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342208277_Fostering_Interaction_in_Synchronous_Online_Class_Sessions_with_Foreign_Language_Learners

Current and Future Directions in TELL

Chun, D.M. (2019). Current and Future Directions in TELL. Educational Technology & Society,  Vol.22(2), pp.14-25.

This  article provides a brief overview of the history, and an in-depth review of likely future trends in technology-enhanced language  learning (TELL).

The author, an experienced teacher and researcher and the Editor in Chief of the journal Language Learning and Technology, suggests that TELL should be understood as Technology Enhanced Languaculture Learning because of a growing emphasis on the link between language and culture.

The article offers an overview of the history of technology-enhanced language learning in four overlapping periods: 1970s-1980s, Structural CALL; 1980s-1990s, Communicative CALL; 2000s, Integrative CALL; 2010s Ecological CALL.

The wide-ranging review of likely future trends in the area of technology-enhanced language learning is based on topics and themes that have appeared in Language Learning and Technology Journal and at TELL conferences throughout the decade of the 2010’s.

The article offers a timely perspective of developments in the use of digital technologies in language learning and a compelling discussion of potential future directions. Upcoming special issues of the journal will focus on pragmatics, big data in language education and research and emerging technologies.

Retrievable from:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1N1wWPNx8g0CAHki8s01iGNsgGqZttRyg/view

 

Making the Case for Blended Learning in LINC: A Demonstration Research Project

 

Cummings, J., Sturm, M., & Avram, A. (2020). Making the Case for Blended Learning in LINC: A Demonstration Research Project. TESL Ontario Contact Magazine,  Vol.46 (1), pp.61-76.

This article reports on a demonstration research project that examined the effects of Blended Learning for 45 students,  3 instructors, the program manager and resource support teacher in an established LINC program that has been effectively using a Blended approach since 2012.

The results provide answers to these three  research questions:

  1. What were the effects of the BL approach for the students’ English language learning and for their participation in LINC?
  2. What were the effects of the BL approach for students’ self-efficacy and knowledge for using technology for language learning?
  3. What were the effects of the BL approach for LINC teachers, instruction, and the program?; What effective or “best” practices for BL were demonstrated in this context?

In response to questions at a TESL Ontario Conference presentation, the researchers addressed the challenges of newcomers who are skeptical of blended learning, and of how blended learning can assist newcomers in their real-life settlement journey.

The article concludes by summarizing the benefits demonstrated by the research project for LINC students and by emphasizing the importance of the questions raised about Blended Learning and its implementation by teachers.

Retrievable from:

http://contact.teslontario.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Jill-Cummings-Matthias-Sturm-Augusta-Avram-1.pdf

 

Language Teachers and Their Trajectories Across Technology-Enhanced Language Teaching: Needs and Beliefs of ESL/EFL Teachers

Karamifar, B., Germain-Rutherford, A., Heiser, S., Emke, M., Hopkins, J., Ernest, P., Stickler, U., & Hampel, R. (2019). Language Teachers and Their Trajectories Across Technology-Enhanced Language Teaching: Needs and Beliefs of ESL/EFL Teachers. TESL Canada Journal/Revue TESL du Canada,  Vol.36(3), pp.55 – 81.
This article presents the initial results of an International Research Network  survey exploring the current perceptions of ESL/EFL instructors in relation to their training needs to enable more robust integration of technology in their instruction.
An online survey was conducted in summer 2018 through national and international networks and Facebook and Twitter social media platforms. Of a total of 285 respondents, (28% from Canada), 250 self-identified as language educators, (55% English language instructors) and the majority of whom worked in universities.
Analysis of the survey responses indicate overall satisfaction with existing training but educators noted a need for post-training follow-up. Educators are also interested in training on “learning task design” and in learning management software such as Moodle. In addition the survey investigated the respondents’ perception of an ideal language teacher and, interestingly, findings indicate that technology was not identified as a general characteristic or skill of an ideal teacher.
While the majority of respondents teach at the university level the survey provides a useful insight into the current and perceived training needs of language educators in relation to technology and should be of interest to educators and teacher-trainers across the second language field.

 

Retrievable from:

https://teslcanadajournal.ca/index.php/tesl/article/view/1375/1201

Learning Styles of Online Students in a Distance LINC Program

Elsageyer, N. (2020) Learning Styles of Online Students in a Distance LINC Program. M.A. Thesis. University of Ottawa.

This thesis describes and provides the findings of a small scale study examining the characteristics and learning style preferences of 27 students enrolled in an online LINC program in Ontario. The study also examined the perspectives of their teachers in relation to the learning styles of their students.

Overall the student group identified their preferred learning styles as kinesthetic and auditory, whereas the teacher group perceived their students’ preferred learning styles as visual. The author suggests that the discrepancy between the student and teacher perceptions may result from the lack of a shared understanding of learning styles and students’ low level of awareness of their own learning styles and preferences.

Based on the findings of the study the author concludes that enhanced training and professional development for online LINC teachers in relation to learning style preferences; strategies to work with students to support them to identify their preferred learning styles, and how they can refine their instructional strategies to address a range of learning styles would be a useful contribution to an improvement in outcomes for online LINC students.

Retrievable from:

https://ruor.uottawa.ca/bitstream/10393/40194/3/Elsageyer_Nasren_2020_thesis.pdf

 

Exploring blended learning experiences through the community of inquiry framework

Zhang, R. (2020). Exploring blended learning experiences through the community of inquiry framework. Language Learning & Technology, 24(1), 38–53. https://doi.org/10125/44707

The two research questions for this study are:

  1. What is the interrelationship among teaching, social and cognitive presences of Community of Inquiry (CoI) in the students’ blended learning experiences?
  2. How does blended learning impact the students’ learning experiences?

The study looks at a group of graduate students at a Chinese technical university who attended an innovative blended learning course in English for Agriculture and Forestry. The course is based on a Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework. The report provides an introduction to a CoI framework and demonstrates how it can help in the design of effective blended learning processes. It  goes on to report on aspects of teaching presence, social presence and cognitive presence in the course. There are examples of student interviews and analysis of activities. Instructor’s participation and facilitation is highlighted as one of the factors influencing social presence and creating and maintaining a community throughout the learning process.

https://www.lltjournal.org/item/3131

Exploring Language Learning with Mobile Technology: A Qualitative Content Analysis of Vocabulary Learning Apps for ESL Learners in Canada

Liang, L. (2018) Exploring Language Learning with Mobile Technology: A Qualitative Content Analysis of Vocabulary Learning Apps for ESL Learners in Canada. Electronic Thesis and Dissertation. Repository. 5763.

This Canadian study offers a comprehensive review and analysis of 3 vocabulary apps, Duolingo, Johnny Grammar Word Challenge and Anki App, to assess their appropriateness and usefulness to support learning both inside and outside of the ESL classroom.

The study includes a review and an extensive analysis and discussion of the exemplary features of ESL learning apps in relation to curriculum, pedagogy and design.

As part of the study the author developed an app evaluation checklist based on the in-depth analysis of the vocabulary apps and in the context of the Ontario ESL curriculum. This checklist could be a very helpful tool for instructors in adult settlement language  as they review and evaluate learning apps for use by  learners in the classroom and for independent learning.

Given the ever-increasing number of apps promoted as “learning apps”, the considerable investment of time required to review an app for use in teaching and learning, and the relative lack of research focused on the quality of language learning apps, this study provides a timely and accessible introduction to ESL learning app evaluation

 

Retrievable from:

https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/etd/5763

 

Choosing an App for your lessons with the Padagogy Wheel

How can instructors evaluate the quality and appropriateness of apps to support language learning?  It can be a time-consuming and sometimes frustrating process.

TESL Ontario blogger John Allen  may have the answer. In this brief blog post he describes the Padagogy Wheel, developed by  Allan Carrington of Teach Thought and intended to help educators to evaluate apps based on the intended learning outcome. Underpinning the Padagogy Wheel is  the understanding that pedagogy should drive the technology and not the other way around.

In this post the author  outlines the process and describes his own experience in using the Padagogy Wheel to design a vocabulary lesson.

Retrievable from:

http://blog.teslontario.org/author/john-allan/

 

Technology-mediated workplace language training: Developing and assessing a module for a blended curriculum for newcomers

McLellan, G. Technology-mediated workplace language training: Developing and assessing a module for a blended curriculum for newcomers. A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Graduate and postdoctoral Affairs: Carleton University, Ottawa. (2019).

This report on a small-scale Canadian study of a module developed for a blended occupation-specific language class looks at providing online components of language support to language learners who are already in the workplace. The author includes a literature review and highlights the essential nature of needs analysis to determine both language needs and technology needs in the workplace.  The developers used a Task-based language teaching approach in the module design. The learners who took part in the study had been assessed between Canadian Language Benchmarks 3 and 5 and were all working in the customer service sector. They all had mobile phones and were comfortable using them. The activities were developed in Moodle and were meant to be used on their phones. One of the potential advantages described was the ability to work on the activities in “dead time”, while commuting, waiting for an appointment, etc. The first module addressed the need for them to be able to greet customers and make requests. The module used video to illustrate greetings and requests in customer service settings. Many of the topics covered elsewhere in the bibliography, e.g., learner autonomy, attitudes towards learning with technology, mobile learning and the importance of teacher training are illustrated in the study.

Retrievable from:

https://curve.carleton.ca/system/files/etd/e1b4d39f-7c9b-4d4d-b451-687c439ec7e9/etd_pdf/fc0772b01f059336608c63be7d152fbd/mclellan-technologymediatedworkplacelanguagetraining.pdf

 

 

ESL Teachers’ Self-efficacy toward Pedagogical Use of Digital Technologies: An Exploratory Case Study in the Ontario Context

Chen, Aide, “ESL Teachers’ Self-efficacy toward Pedagogical Use of Digital Technologies: An Exploratory Case Study in the Ontario Context” (2019). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 6422. https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/etd/6422

 

A small-scale study exploring  how  some EAP instructors  in Ontario  perceive their own abilities in using digital technologies in daily life and in their teaching practice and how such perceptions influence their use of technology in the classroom.  Using surveys and semi-structured interviews, the researcher focused on the role of teacher self-efficacy, defined as,  “people’s beliefs of the extent to which they are able to accomplish certain behaviors”(p.14) to explore  why and how these instructors were actually using technology in their classroom and the challenges they encountered, both in using technological tools and in effectively integrating technology in teaching.

Based on the findings the researcher proposes the need for further research on the role of  teacher self-efficacy, and on professional development which focuses on combining training on specific technology tools with pedagogy.  As  participants in the study noted, “teachers should have backup plans, even for presentations. It requires abilities to improvise. It may be unfair to say that technology itself poses this challenge. The actualized technology use is dependent on how flexible we are. You need to be able to develop your skills and make wise use of it.” (p.43)  and, “we need to carefully plan technology-enhanced teaching practices rather than just using them for the sake of being fashionable” (p.52).

Retrievable from:

https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=8849&context=etd

View of Building a Community of Connected ELT Professionals on Twitter

Nicholas, B.,  Avram, A., Chow, J., Lupasco, S. (2018). View of Building a Community of Connected ELT Professionals on Twitter. TESL Canada Journal/Revue TESL du Canada,Vol. 35 (2), pp.166-178.

This article describes the experiences of four language instructors who have created their own personal learning network using  Twitter.  Social media and particularly this platform has allowed these practitioners to bridge distances and to reduce the sense of isolation often experienced by educators. This personal learning network has become an important component of their continuing professional development.  Each describes her experiences in connecting with peers through Twitter and reflects on the benefits of such connections for their professional learning and teaching .practice.  As they put it,

“Although the chats themselves are brief (no more than an hour) and fast-
paced, the ideas generated can lead not just to change in practice but to
professional introspection and reflection.”

 

Retrievable from:

https://teslcanadajournal.ca/index.php/tesl/article/view/1319/1141

 

 

https://teslcanadajournal.ca/index.php/tesl/article/view/1319/1141

The authors of this article are four such educators. Augusta, Jennifer,
Svetlana, and Bonnie met online through a bi-monthly, pan-Canadian Twitter chat, #LINCchat (now rebranded #CdnELTchat, for Canadian ELT chat). Svetlana Lupasco and Nathan Hall were the original co-moderators of
#LINCchat (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada), fi rst under the auspices of LISTN (Language Instruction Support and Training Network) and then BC TEAL (British Columbia Teachers of English as an Additional Language). Augusta, Jennifer, and Bonnie were enthusiastic participants who
joined the team some time after the chats were well-established. Jennifer and
Augusta both work in the lower mainland of British Columbia, so they knew
each other professionally. Svetlana is in Ontario and Bonnie, in Alberta.
These four instructors created a supportive professional relationship
online. They knew each other for some time only online, until they all met
for the fi rst time at a BC TEAL conference in Vancouver where they were
presenting together about how they had connected and built a community
of practice on TwiĴ er, having planned and prepared the presentation using
online tools. Each of these ELT practitioners has now been active on TwiĴ er
for a few years, forging collaborative professional relationships and creating
a PLN that has become an essential part of their CPD. PLNs are character-
istically “individualized and user-centered” (Davis, 2015, p. 1553). Svetlana
discusses how she came to discover this user-centred effi cacy of TwiĴ er for

Intelligent assistants in language learning: friends or foes?

Kukulska-Hulme, A. (2019). Intelligent assistants in language learning: friends or foes?. In Proceedings of World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning 2019 (pp. 127-131). 

This brief glimpse into the future by Agnes Kukulska-Hulme, a leading thinker and research  in the field of Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL), provides an up to the minute overview  of an emerging learning landscape in which the potential of Intelligent Assistants ( for example Siri, Alexa and Cortana) have the potential  to support informal language learning both inside and outside the classroom. The author reminds us that many language learners now have ready access to Intelligent Assistants on their smartphones and wearable devices. She discusses the implications, both positive and negative, and the  challenges resulting from   the increasing use of these tools  particularly in relation to teacher roles and pedagogy. Finally she points to the need for the mobile language research community to examine the complex issues that may well arise as this technology develops and becomes widely available.

Retrievable from: https://www.learntechlib.org/p/210611/

 

 

 

Research on Mobile Learning in the English Classroom: Pedagogies, Computer developments and Teachers’ Reactions

Barrientos, M. (2019). Research on Mobile Learning in the English Classroom. Revista de Lenguas Modernas, (30) 2019, pp 251-266.

The author provides a literature review focused on the following four areas of mobile learning in English language classrooms to explore not only the feasibility and implications of integrating mobile learning in secondary EFL classrooms in Costa Rica, but advantages and disadvantages in these areas:

  1. The development of pedagogical models for mobile learning in the English language class
  2. Defining the platforms and infrastructure solutions for appropriate integration of mobile learning
  3. A description of the mobile devices apps and links
  4. Training and reactions of English teachers

The report concludes with a number of research questions for further exploration. Although this review looks at the questions for high school EFL language planning in Costa Rica, the same questions could be asked about planning for adult settlement language classes in Canada.

https://revistas.ucr.ac.cr/index.php/rlm/article/view/38986

Professional development in CALL: a selection of papers

Goria, C., Konstantinidis, A., Kilvinski, B., & Dogan. B. E. (2019). Personal learning environments and personal learning networks for language teachers’ professional development. In C. N. Giannikas, E. Kakoulli Constantinou & S. Papadima-Sophocleous (Eds), Professional development in CALL: a selection of papers(pp. 87-99). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2019.28.872

This collection of papers looks at the rise in encouragement to use technology tools in language teaching despite a lack of teacher training and support to integrate these tools in this language classroom. This annotation focuses on Chapter 6, Personal learning environments and personal learning networks for language teachers’ professional development. The specific context for the collection is foreign-language training, but is nonetheless relevant to the settlement language context.

The chapter presents background for, and two case studies that illustrate, the Personal Learning Environment (PLE) and Personal Learning Network (PLN). The chapter describes describes the impact  of the PLE and PLN on the work of participating teachers, their practice and their students’ learning and autonomy. In the first case study, the teacher seamlessly integrates good language teaching practice with mobile phones and instant messaging in the early stages of the learners’ PLEs. This case study also describes other changes that occurred during the evolution of these activities. Both case studies demonstrate how teachers continued to expand and enhance their learning beyond the teacher training program that introduced the PLE and PLN to them.

 

Retrievable from:

https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED593926.pdf

 

Empowering English Language Learners through Digital Literacies: Research, Complexities, and Implications

 

Chang,Y., Wang, L. & Eagle, J. (2019). Empowering English Language Learners through Digital Literacies: Research, Complexities, and Implications. Media and Communication. Vol 7(2).128-136.

This article provides an accessible overview of issues related to the digital literacies of English Language Learners (ELLs) in the U.S. The article highlights issues that are of increasing importance for adult settlement language learning in Canada and includes a description of evolving definitions of digital literacies and fluency and a short review of literature focusing on language teaching practices that support the development of digital literacies.
The authors argue that digital literacies and digital fluency can support language learner autonomy and provide authentic language learning experiences that meaningfully reflect the daily lives of the learners. The inclusion of digital literacies as part of the language learning process in the language classroom not only provides opportunities for authentic learning in the classroom but also supports learners to extend their language learning beyond the classroom. Furthermore, in an increasingly digitized society, digital literacies are essential for employment and ongoing learning and communication in day-to-day life. In order to effectively incorporate digital literacies as part of language teaching practice the authors highlight the need to support language instructors to engage in ongoing professional development in relation to the use of digital tools for teaching and learning.

Retrievable from:

https://www.cogitatiopress.com/mediaandcommunication/article/view/191

 

Mobile Language Learning Innovation Inspired by Migrants

Kukulska-Hulme,  A. (2019). Mobile Language Learning Innovation Inspired by Migrants. Journal of Learning for Development, 6 (2).

This exploratory article looks at the uses and potential uses of mobile technologies in language learning in the context of migrant language learning. The author, an expert in the area of mobile technologies in language learning, describes the article as follows, “This paper seeks a productive synergy between migrants’ educational requirements with respect to learning the language of their host society; their valuable and unique human experiences and talents; and innovative learning designs that harness the ubiquity of smartphones and other mobile technologies.”

The article provides a review of the language learning needs and practices of migrant populations as they arrive and settle in their destinations and an exploration of innovative mobile learning initiatives in Europe, Australia and Canada. The article offers a thought-provoking discussion of the ways in which innovations and adaptations in the area of mobile language learning are being driven by the lived experiences and the actual learning needs and practices of migrant language learners.

While this may well present challenges to established thinking about how language teaching and learning happens, such innovative ideas and practices in relation to mobile language learning can ultimately provide valuable innovations that could be of benefit to other language learning populations. Finally, a focused recognition of the actual mobile learning practices of migrants, and an effort to work collaboratively with migrants to incorporate their experiences in learning, will contribute to and could be of benefit both to migrants and host societies in supporting the goals of equity and social inclusion.

Retrievable from:

https://jl4d.org/index.php/ejl4d/article/view/349/413

Effect of using texting on vocabulary instruction for English learners

Cummins, J. & Jia, L. (2019). Effect of using texting on vocabulary instruction for English learners. Language Learning & Technology, 23(2),43-64.

This small-scale research study conducted at a Canadian university focused on how the use of text messaging can support English language learners in developing and enhancing academic vocabulary acquisition.  Using a random control trial design, the researchers compared the student’s target vocabulary learning gains with and without the text messaging intervention. Results indicated that with the intervention students learned more target words, (direct effect) however there was no difference noted in more general academic vocabulary learning (transfer effect). Although this research was based in an academic setting it has interesting implications for vocabulary learning in all ESL settings, pointing to the potential for the use of text messaging as a useful tool to support and enhance vocabulary acquisition.

Retrievable from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333815117_Effect_of_using_texting_on_vocabulary_instruction_for_English_learners