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.
Beaven, T. & Rosell-Aguilar, F. (eds.) Innovative language pedagogy report. Open University. Research-publishing.net. 2021 2021.doi:org/10.14705/rpnet.2021.50.9782490057863.
The wide range of topics in this ninth edition of the annual report were chosen after surveying language teaching practitioners. The results focus on language teaching, learning and assessment. The editors narrowed down a list of both established and emerging pedagogies, approaches and tools. The resulting topics are presented with an example of each in practice, its potential impact, benefits and issues, time frames for implementation and keywords. Each topic also includes a list of references and resources.
Here are a few topics from the report:
Technology-facilitated oral homework leveraging technology to get students speaking outside the classroom. p.69
Gamification motivating language learning with gameful elements. p.109
Augmented reality learning education in real-world contexts. p.115
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.
M.W. Marek and W-C.V. Wu, (2018). “Creating a Technology-Rich English Learning Environment” In Second Handbook of English Language Teaching. Edited by Xuesong Gao. Springer International Publishing, 2019.
After presenting a theoretical framework about the potential of technology use in language classrooms, this chapter provides a step by step approach to making decisions about which technology resources to use within the language learning context. It addresses the need for teachers to have a starting point in their course development and demonstrates how to ensure that using more technology is not an end in itself, but rather that the use of technology surrounds students, enhances active learning experiences and enables students to achieve learning outcomes.
Within this chapter, the authors address a number of issues that need to be considered during the planning stage: familiarity with a tool rather than the novelty of a tool; the importance of activities using technology to be essential to the curriculum; the areas within the learning environment the teacher has control over and those s/he doesn’t; and the impact of relevant technology on learner motivation, confidence and achievement.
Retrievable from: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/978-3-319-58542-0_39-1.pdf
Second Handbook of English Language Teaching is retrievable from: https://link.springer.com/referencework/10.1007/978-3-319-58542-0?page=1#toc
Albiladi, W., & Alshareef, K. (2019). Blended learning in English Teaching and Learning: A Review of the Current Literature. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 10 (2), 232-238.
This paper provides a review of research related to the use of blended learning in English as a second/foreign language context. As part of the review, the authors cite two studies that identify sets of challenges to using a blended learning approach. The studies will be of interest to language professionals despite not being language-related. In Bonk and Graham’s Handbook of Blended Learning, they include cultural adaptation as an issue. They relate this to the materials that are used in the mode of delivery and also their relation to the students’ culture.
Riel, J., Lawless, K. A., & Brown, S. W. (2016)’s Listening to the teachers: Using weekly online teacher logs for ROPD to identify teachers’ persistent challenges when implementing a blended learning curriculum reports on Responsive online professional development for well-supported middle school teachers implementing a social studies curriculum. The issues identified in the teachers’ learning logs are also relevant to instructors working in settlement language programs as is the notion of providing responsive professional development. This report provides insight into the importance of teachers’ understanding of the pedagogy embedded in learning tools and the knowledge and confidence to implement and use them in their classrooms.
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.
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
Hosman, L. Cvetanoska, M. International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology (IJEDICT), 2013, Vol 9. Issue 3, pp.28-49.
This article looks at the importance of teachers as stakeholder-change agents in the adoption of innovation in schools. It offers recommendations for improvements to address teacher concerns in programs like the computers-in-the-schools program described in Macedonia. It presents and uses a theoretical framework for adoption of innovation that looks at the stages of concerns experienced by teachers about their teaching skills and abilities.
Retrievable from: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1071378.pdf
Jones, A., Kukulska-Hulme, A. & Brasher, A., (2017). Editorial Special Collection on Migrants, Education and Technologies. Journal of Interactive Media in Education. 2017(1), p.5. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/jime.441
This special collection of articles includes these themes:
- Social integration and language learning
- Contextually sensitive learning for migrants
- Smart Cities’ support for migrants
- Overcoming linguistic and cultural barriers
- Informal learning
- Learning in different contexts – inside and outside the classroom
The editorial heading up the special collection acknowledges that smartphones have saturated society, that they represent new possibilities as mobile language learning tools, but also that the Internet can be expensive and isn’t always accessible. One of the featured reports looks at a project that supports language development in daily life – without access to the Internet as learners are on the move. You can also read the blog from this project: SALSA.
Other articles in the collection include refugee experiences learning language in Canada, Australia, England and Sweden.
The SALSA blog postings from August 2014 to March 2017 on the site below describe a project involving a group of English language learners who used 27 beacons in their town to trigger different language learning scenarios. The results of the project are described in the post “Fitting in versus learning”.
The beacon activities were designed to motivate students and help them continue their learning between face to face classroom sessions.
Retrievable from: http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/salsa/
Grgurovic, M. et al. (2013). A meta-analysis of effectiveness studies on computer technology-supported language learning. ReCALL, 25(2), 164–198.
This article answers the question policy makers and language teachers might ask about what research has shown about the comparison between classes in which CALL is used and those in which computer technology is not used for language learning. In summary, the results of 36 years of research show that computer-assisted language learning is not inferior to traditional classroom teaching. The authors looked at studies that compared the two methods between 1970 and 2006. The studies chosen were winnowed from three electronic databases, a manual search of six journals and an extensive set of criteria that excluded all but 37 of the 200 studies found. One of their findings is that the overwhelming majority of studies were conducted in a higher education setting, with English being the number one language studied. There is no mention of adult settlement language in the list of settings but there was one adult literacy study. This paper underscores the importance of research design and submitting research on topics like Blended Learning in adult settlement programs to databases and journals like the ones included here.
Available for Purchase (USD $30.00) at: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8885216#
Smith, K., & Craig, H. (2013). Enhancing the Autonomous Use of CALL – A new curriculum model in EFL. Calico Journal.l, 30(2), p-p 252-278.
This action research study evaluates the effectiveness of a CALL Learner Autonomy course in a blended EFL program at a Japanese university. The study looks at a number of reflective tools to help with learners’ motivational setbacks in a CALL environment due to a lack of computer skills or knowledge about how to use websites and software. These included tools to help learners with planning, organizing, tracking and evaluating their autonomous use of CALL resources. The researchers found that regular and critical learner self-reflection through using these tools was a key factor contributing to a positive shift in study culture. It is included in the bibliography as an example of practices that have been examined to improve learner autonomy.