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.
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.
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.
Ahmad, Kham Sila (2019) Integrating Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) into a Non-formal Learning Environment to Support Migrant Women Learners’ Vocabulary Acquisition. PhD thesis, Murdoch University
This Ph. D Thesis describes a small-scale research project to explore the effect of Mobile -Assisted Language Learning) MALL on migrant women’s vocabulary acquisition in an Australian context. Using a case study approach, using semi-structured interviews and observation a group of migrant women attending a conversational English class were divided into 3 groups. The first group attended a regular class in which no MALL was used, the second group consisted of students who had attended the regular class and then attended a MALL -integrated or hybrid class in which they used a tablet computer and a language App. The third group attended a wholly Mall integrated class. The hybrid model was found to be the most effective, providing students with enhanced exposure and opportunities to use English and more intensive vocabulary practice and repetition using the exercises and learning activities in the language App. Based on the findings of the research a MALL-enhanced framework for vocabulary acquisition for migrant women in a non-formal learning environment was developed. This framework could be a very useful starting point for instructors and researchers to investigate the use of a MALL-integrated process for settlement language learning in a Canadian context.
Retrievable from: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/43153/
Chakowa, J. (2018). Enhancing Beginners’ Second language learning through an informal online environment. Journal of Educators Online, 15 (1).
This research report describes the use of four online tools, VoiceThread ; Padlet ; Voki and Quizlet to encourage beginning language learners to communicate and collaborate in the target language.
It offers a very clear and comprehensive description of how these tools were used, including a detailed account of student experience and reaction to using the tools and how they supported motivation, participation and persistence.
Although context for this study is a French beginner’s course at Monash University in Australia it provides very useful insights into how the use of multiple online tools in combination can be used to support student motivation and participation even at early levels of language learning, no matter the target language.
Overall the results of the study reveal several key features that will be useful to language instructors as they work to incorporate online tools and to encourage participation and motivation for their students. These include:
- the importance of face-to-face orientation to the online environment and tools that will be used
- introducing students to each other so they feel connected before they begin to work online
- using multiple online tools, in combination so that all students have options to participate
- strategies to maintain motivation (including providing blended learning, i.e., a combination of face-to-face and online activities)
- focus on pedagogy rather than technology
- activities that are not overly focused on linguistic accuracy, but include elements of cultural awareness so that students of all language learning levels can be included and encouraged.
Dooly, M. (2018). “I do which the question”: Students’ innovative use of technology resources in the language classroom. Language Learning & Technology, 22(1), 184–217.
Although this study isn’t about adults in settlement language programs, it contains a number of examples in the Discussion section that are relevant to any learning situation in which adults are working in groups with technology to learn and practise their communication skills. This study of two middle school classes in Spain and Sweden working together on English language projects using technology provides some good analysis of what can lead to students branching out on their own instead of following task instructions, not working in the collaborative way the teacher intended because of top-down task instructions, seating arrangements and classroom setup that are frustrating for group work and discussion, being able to wait for others to finish and then copy their answers, and a lack of student accountability for the assignments. The detailed descriptions of the technology used, the project questions asked, the student responses are a fascinating look at a classroom using technology. in addition, the author describes how the students managed to engage in genuine communication between the two classrooms using tools that were outside what were assigned to them.
Retrievable from: http://www.lltjournal.org/item/3024
The Cambridge Guide to Blended Learning for Language Teaching. Edited by Michael McCarthy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK. 2016.
This book is divided into five sections: Connecting (including Second Language Acquisition) Theories and Blended Learning, Implications for Teaching, Rethinking Learner Interaction, Case Studies and the Future of Blended Learning.
One of the case studies describes a language teacher education program that gradually transitioned from a traditional format to a blended one and moved from a behaviourist model to a more constructivist one in the process.
Available for purchase ($70.00 CDN) from Cambridge University Press.