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

 

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

Evaluating normalisation: An argument-based approach

Yoon, S. J., & Gruba, P., (2019) Evaluating normalisation: An argument-based approach, System, May 2019.

Normalisation, the idea that technology would “grow and disappear” in the language learning curriculum, was articulated in the seminal work of Prof. Stephen Bax in his articles: CALL—Past, Present and Future (2003) and Normalisation Revisited: The Effective Use of Technology in Language Education (2011)

This article, drawing on the work of Prof. Bax,  reports on the process and results of an evaluation of the level of normalisation achieved in blended language courses at the University of Melbourne. The researchers found that minimal normalization had been achieved in these courses, and go on to discuss several factors that may inhibit its full achievement. The research points to the importance of addressing the digital literacy needs of both instructors and students, the need to move away from an over-emphasis on technology tools to a focus on technology for pedagogical purposes. Such a re-focus would support instructors to enhance their ability to apply pedagogical principles in planning for  and in implementing technology in their teaching practice.

Available for purchase ($19.95) USD at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0346251X18305414

The Needs Analysis, Design, Development, and Evaluation of the ‘English Pronunciation Guide: An ESL Teachers’ Guide to Pronunciation Teaching Using Online Resources’

Cox, J.L. ; Henrichsen, L.E. ;Tanner, M.W.; McMurry, B.L.(2019) The Needs Analysis, Design, Development, and Evaluation of the English
Pronunciation Guide: An ESL Teachers’ Guide to Pronunciation Teaching
Using Online Resources. TESL-EJ,  22(4), 1–24.

Although ESL students and instructors agree that teaching pronunciation is an important part of language learning the authors of this article contend that relatively little time and attention is given to pronunciation in the ESL classroom. They further contend that instructors do not receive sufficient preparation in pronunciation instruction and consequently do not feel confident in teaching pronunciation. To address this perceived gap program coordinators and ESL instructors at Brigham Young University developed the English Pronunciation Guide: The ESL Teachers’ Guide to Pronunciation Instruction. This article describes the background to their work and the process of developing the guide from initial needs analysis to evaluation.

The online guide consists of an annotated index to selected pronunciation-instruction videos and other resources that are available online. The guide aims to provide ESL instructors who have had little or no preparation in pronunciation instruction to quickly and easily find resources that they can use to develop their competence and confidence.

Retrievable from: http://tesl-ej.org/pdf/ej88/int.pdf

 

 

Blended Learning Adoption in an ESL Context: Obstacles and Guidelines

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:

  1. Do participants in the study use BL? How is use different across different ESL settings?
  2. 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?
  3. 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.

Retrievable from

https://teslcanadajournal.ca/index.php/tesl/article/view/1295

Choosing Technology Tools to Meet Pronunciation Teaching and Learning Goals

 

Tritch Yoshida, M. (2018). Choosing Technology Tools to Meet Pronunciation Teaching and Learning Goals. The CATESOL Journal,  30(1), 195–212

This article evaluates a range of technology tools and sites to support the teaching, learning and development of pronunciation.  The comprehensive evaluations are based on research and classroom practice and examine each of the tools based on the following criteria: Quality and accuracy; Practicality of use; Ease of use and Cost.

The article offers a practical review of technology tools and sites for computers, laptops and smartphones from the perspective of language instructor and also offers a model of technology tool evaluation that could be very useful in other areas of language teaching and learning.

Retrievable from:

http://www.catesoljournal.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/CJ30.1_yoshida.pdf

 

Digital Literacies

Dudeney, Gavin, Nicky Hockly and Mark Pegrum. Digital Literacies. Harlow, England: Pearson, 2013.

This book is organized in four chapters:

  1. From research to implications – you’ll find a framework of digital literacies.
  2. From implications to application – you’ll find a digital activities grid, descriptions of activities and a number of worksheets. worksheets can slso be obtained online.
  3. From application to implementation – you’ll find information about how to integrate digital literacies in your teaching practice depending on your context and the syllabus you are working with.
  4. From implementation to research – you’ll find suggestions about how to continue your own learning about digital literacies as you work through challenges that arise. There is detailed description of building and maintaining a personal learning network (PLN).

 

Fast Forward: An Analysis of Online and Distance Education Language Training.

Kelly, M., Kennell, T., McBride, R., & Sturm, M. (2007). Fast Forward: An Analysis of Online and Distance Education Language Training – Settlement at Work. New Media Language Training.

This research report provides a review and analysis of online and distance education language training in Canada, as of 2007. The report also provides a set of recommendations for the implementation of online and distance education language training, including the need for increased access to online and blended learning opportunities, the need to address integrating culture in language learning, the need to provide robust learner orientation and professional development for instructors, ongoing and multi-modal communications, technical support and the development of a centralized repository of learning objects.

Retrievable from: http://wiki.settlementatwork.org/index.php?title=Fast_Forward:_An_Analysis_of_Online_and_Distance_Education_Language_Training

 

LearnIT2teach: Free CALL PD for LINC and ESL Professionals.

McBride, R., Fahy, P., Edgar, J., O’Brien, K., Allan, J., Sturm, M., & Gillespie, M.E. (2011). LearnIT2teach: Free CALL PD for LINC and ESL Professionals. Contact, 37(3), 30–32.

This article describes the LearnIT2Teach project, supported by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Since 2010 the project has developed and offered tools and training to LINC and ESL instructors to support them in integrating CALL in their instruction. The project includes a web portal, learner courseware, a learning object repository and four stages of mentored instructor training.

Retrievable from: http://www.teslontario.net/uploads/publications/contact/ContactFall2011final.pdf

 

LearnIT2teach: Scaffolding Instructors’ Online Training Skills.

Edgar, Jim, Johnson, K., & McBride, R. (2011). LearnIT2teach: Scaffolding Instructors’ Online Training Skills. TESL Ontario.

This document presents a scheme for training in Online Training Skills as part of TESL Ontario’s Post TESL certificate. The Framework is based on an understanding of the ubiquity of digital technologies and devices in our lives and the opportunities that these technologies provide for language learners to bridge time and distance, to have more flexibility in where and when they learn and to have access to high-quality and cost-effective learning activities. Through the proposed modes, that is, the inclusion of LearnIT2Teach in the Post TESL certificate, instructors will learn how to develop online student activities using CALL authoring software and share the content they create on Tutela. ca, Canada’s online community for current and future ESL/FSL professionals across Canada with a focus on language training for adult newcomers.

Retrieveable from: http://www.teslontario.net/uploads/accreditation/PTCT/NewMediaLanguageTraining.pdf

The LearnIT2Teach Project: Modernizing Settlement Language Training through E-Blended Delivery.

Edgar, J., & McBride, R. (2012). The LearnIT2Teach Project: Modernizing

Settlement Language Training through E-Blended Delivery. INSCAN Special Issue on Settlement Language Training, (Spring), 28–30.

This article provides an outline description of the LearnIT2Teach Project, launched in 2010. The project provides four stage of mentored training to LINC instructors and justin-time training resources accessible through a project portal to enable them to integrate technology in the language training classroom. In addition, a manual and workshop are available for program coordinators. LINC courseware and learning objects are made available for LINC 2-LINC 7 classes (Canadian Language Benchmarks 2-8) The LINC courseware is designed to supplement face-to-face in-class delivery in a blended learning environment.

Retrievable from: http://torontonorthlip.ca/sites/torontonorthlip.ca/files/v24_se.pdf

Exploring the Feasibility of E-Learning in Ontario ESL Programs.

Lawrence, G. et al (2014). Exploring the Feasibility of E-Learning in Ontario ESL Programs. Contact, 40(1), 12-18.

A report of a study in Ontario examining the feasibility of integrating e-learning in Adult ESL programs. This multi-phase research study included a comprehensive review of global trends in e-learning in ESL and an extensive online survey and focus group consultation with ESL students, instructors and program administrators. The researchers also conducted a review of how ESL programs are currently using e-learning. The research findings show that a blended learning approach is favoured by a majority of the stakeholders. Those surveyed reported that they recognize and are enthusiastic about the potential of a blended learning approach to expand and extend learning opportunities. However, as with similar studies, respondents identified a range of issues and challenges related to technology infrastructure, connectivity and technology support, as well as the need for appropriate training and professional development and the need to ensure that students have the necessary computer skills. These issues must be addressed for the successful implementation of a blended learning approach.

Retrievable from: http://www.teslontario.net/uploads/publications/contact/ContactSpring2014.pdf

Realizing the Full Potential of Blended Learning.

Realizing the Full Potential of Blended Learning. (2012). Center for Digital Education.

This brief strategy paper from the Center for Digital Education, a US research and advisory institute focused on K-12 and higher education technology trends and policies reports on a survey of blended learning initiatives and trends in the higher education sector. Although the paper does not address blended learning in the language learning sector it does provide a useful overview of the rapidly developing trend towards blended learning, the implications of that trend, the potential benefits of blended learning, particularly in relation to increased student engagement, and the ongoing need to further clarify the concept of blended learning and its concomitant parts so that instructors can better understand its potential.

Retrievable from: http://echo360.com/sites/default/files/CDE12%20STRATEGY%20Echo360-V.pdf

Problematizing the Hybrid Classroom for ESL/EFL Students.

Harrington, A.M. (2010). Problematizing the Hybrid Classroom for ESL/EFL Students. TESL-EJ, 14(3).

Hybrid courses — which replace 20%–80% of class meetings with online activities — are predicted to increase as educators embrace the benefits of blending online technologies with face-to-face class meetings. Also expected to increase are enrollments of ESL/EFL students. As these growth trends intersect, an increased number of ESL/EFL students are expected to enroll in hybrid courses, especially mainstream courses populated by a majority of native-English-speaking students. Despite these growth trends and research showing hybrid courses as positive for most students, the TESOL community has not yet opened a discussion of the implications of hybrid delivery of mainstream classes for ESL/ EFL students. In an effort to start the discussion, this article investigates potential problems related to issues of identity, forced individualization, and muting; gives several strategies for instructors of hybrid courses with ESL/EFL students; and concludes by calling for TESOL researchers to focus attention on hybrid delivery.

Retrievable from: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ912069.pdf

Blended learning and the language teacher: a literature review

Mendieta Aguilar, J. (2012). Blended learning and the language teacher: a literature review. Colombo Appl. Linguist. Journal, 14(2), 163–180.

The author argues that there is a lack of information about instructors’ perceptions of and roles in blended learning environments resulting in difficulties in creating effective models of blended learning. This article sets out to examine the views and perceptions of ESL instructors in relation to the integration and use of technology and blended learning and to point to the need for future research about how instructors manage the new demands presented by the online learning component in blended learning programs.

Retrievable from: http://revistas.udistrital.edu.co/ojs/index.php/calj/article/%20viewFile/3930/5641

Teacher and student perspectives on a blended learning intensive English program writing course

Larsen, L. (2012). Teacher and student perspectives on a blended learning intensive English program writing course (Ph.D.). Iowa State University.

Although this dissertation investigates the use of blended learning with ESL writing students in an intensive English program, there is much that will be of interest to adult settlement language programs as well. The author notes the immaturity of blended learning within the area of language learning and also that blended learning is considered separate from CALL. One of the author’s points is that CALL research does not mention blended learning theories, but blended learning researchers often rely on CALL research when making arguments. The author provides a table (Table 2, p 38) showing blended learning studies and the variables identified or investigated in blended learning environments. These include areas of interest to adult settlement language programs such as student computer literacy skills; teacher attitude, training and support and positive effects on learner autonomy. The writer stresses “the paucity” of research in blended learning implementation in language learning environments. He also states that a review of the literature from CALL indicates that teachers are generally not sufficiently prepared to teach using technology which may also be significant in adult settlement language training.

Retrievable from: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3382&context=etd

Web 2.0 and Four Paths Beyond

Hubbard, P., P. (2011, March 18). Web 2.0 and Four Paths Beyond. PowerPoint Slides presented at the TESOL Conference, New Orleans.

A presentation about Web 2.0, emerging technologies and the critical importance of incorporating technology and learning with technology deeply in language teacher training in order to support teacher flexibility, to prepare teachers for long careers in language teaching during which they are likely to continually encounter new technologies, new technological modes, and in which they will need to have the confidence and skills to approach these technologies successfully. The presentation also highlights the importance of situated learning theory in ensuring that teachers learn in the same environment in which they will teach.

Retrievable from: http://web.stanford.edu/~efs/tesol-11.pdf

Language Learning and Technology Special issue on Teacher Education and CALL

Language learning & Technology Special issue on Teacher Education and CALL

Volume 19 Number 1 February 2015

This is a special issue of the online journal that addresses the topic of teacher education and computer assisted language learning.

Retrievable from:

http://llt.msu.edu/issues/february2015/index.html