Enhancing the Digital Skills of English Language Learners Studying at a Distance

Vanek J.  & Johnston, J. (2015).  Enhancing the Digital Skills of English Language Learners Studying at a Distance. AEIS Newsletter March 2015.

Based on interviews with instructors  who work within the IDEAL consortium the article  outlines the components of a successful distance learning program for second language learners.  The authors argue that given the ubiquity of digital technologies and the multiple demands on learners to use digital technology in the workplace, distance learning instruction should not be limited to the academic content typically found in online distance learning curricula. Rather, learners need to have access and exposure to a range of digital technologies for learning and problem solving facilitated by an instructor.

Retrieved from: http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/tesolaeis/issues/2015-03-04/5.html


ESOL and EFL: An unhelpful distinction?

Williams, E., & Williams, A. (2007). ESOL and EFL: An unhelpful distinction?

This review of the current state of ESOL in the UK and brief historical overview of the development of ESOL and EFL, outlines the distinctions between these two terms and points to the need for convergence and/or integration of ESOL and EFL to meet the current needs of students in the UK. The report also provides an outline of the authors’ understanding of ESOL provision in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, tracing the historical, policy-related and ideological strands in each country that led to the current model of provision.

Retrievable from: https://esol.britishcouncil.org/content/policy-and-research/policy/uk/esol-and-efl-unhelpful-distinction





Creating virtual classrooms (using Google Hangouts) for improving language competency.

Lewandowski, M. (2015). Creating virtual classrooms (using Google Hangouts) for improving language competency. Language Issues: The ESOL Journal, 26(1), 37–42.

This small scale research project was conducted in a community based learning centre in London, U.K. The study explored the usefulness of creating an online conversation class using Google Hangouts to support ESOL students to develop their vocabulary. Students were divided into three groups. In the first group students read or listened to a text prior to the online session and were given vocabulary lists which they were required to memorize as well as conversation questions for review., In the second group students read or listened to a text prior to the online session were given conversations questions for review but were not given the vocabulary list. Students in these groups also attended their regular face-to-face classes. In the third or “control group” students attended their class twice each week but no additional online activities were provided. Although the author cautions that the results of the study are not generalizable, given the relatively limited size of the project and its particular he concludes that the results clearly demonstrate the potential of video-conferencing tools such as Google Hangouts as a useful means to support students in developing and enhancing vocabulary. Furthermore, he states that, with careful planning and preparation, the combination of asynchronous and synchronous e-learning is critical for the “successful delivery” of online conversation classes.

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Students’ perceptions and experiences of mobile learning.

Kim, D., Rueckert, D, Kim, D.-J, & Seo, D. (2013). Students’ perceptions and experiences of mobile learning. Language Learning & Technology, 17(3), 52–73.

This study examined students’ perceptions and experiences in using mobile devices for language learning outside the classroom. The 53 students were enrolled in three graduate TESOL classes in a US university. A mobile learning site was created and students participated in pre- and post-surveys to gauge their perceptions before and after the project. In the course of the research students were required to participate in five class projects which involved the purposeful exploration of the use of their personal mobile devices for language learning. The study found that mobile technologies can support important new learning experiences. However, the researchers strongly recommend that instructors consider the technological demands of mobile devices, e.g., connectivity and data costs as well as the pedagogical components as they plan for the use of mobile technologies in the classroom.

Retrievable from: http://llt.msu.edu/issues/october2013/kimetal.pdf