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
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.
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
Gruba, P., & Hinkelman, D. (2010). Power within blended language learning programs in Japan. Language Learning & Technology, 16(2), 46–64.
This study focuses on EFL programs in two Japanese universities and examines and interprets issues that influenced their blended language learning environments: facility design (online vs. face-to-face), human resources and materials authoring (publisher-based vs teacher-based authorship) and software designs (proprietary ownership vs distributed teacher initiatives). Implications of the study suggest the concept of technology in blended environments needs to be expanded from a focus on integrating electronic tools to configuring classrooms. Second, blended learning is not only a descriptive category of technology use in education, but also an interventionist strategy of iterative change in integrating face-to-face techniques with computer-based techniques. This study reports on important questions for adult settlement language training programs, including facilities, educational resources, instructor time, and attitudes towards technology.
Retrievable from: http://llt.msu.edu/issues/june2012/hinkelmangruba.pdf
Grgurovic, M. (2010). Technology-enhanced blended language learning in an ESL class: A description of a model and an application of the Diffusion of Innovations theory (Ph.D.). Iowa State University.
A doctoral thesis examining technology-enhanced blended learning in an ESL classroom through the lens of diffusion of innovations theory. Using a case study approach, producing both qualitative and quantitative data, the author concludes that the use of technology represented an innovation and that the stages of innovation were observed. The thesis provides useful data to support the effective planning and implementation of blended learning in an ESL setting.
Retrievable from: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2639&context=etd
Coryell, J., & Chlup, D.T. (2007). Implementing E-Learning components with adult English language learners: Vital factors and lessons learned. Computer-assisted Language Learning, 20(3), 263 – 278.
This study explores how instructors and program directors in ESL or ESOL programs determine the right approach to choose blended elearning components for their programs and learners. The surveys and focus groups took place in 11 American states with 15 instructors and four program directors. The findings are grouped under four themes that encompass preparation, readiness, support for students and instructors, technology and funding.
Retrievable from: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09588220701489333
Motteram, G. (Ed.). (2013). Innovations in learning technologies for English language teaching. The British Council.
Each chapter in this British Council publication includes case studies and a list of references. The educational settings include the primary and secondary sectors, and a number of settings for adult teaching. The editor includes both general language teaching and second language and ESL. Chapter 3: Technology and adult language teaching includes an ESOL case study in the UK, where there is substantial pressure and support to use technology and a blended approach in the program. Chapter 4: Technology integrated English for Specific Purposes lessons looks at real-life language, tasks and tools for professionals. This chapter describes the importance of context in choosing the right tools. It also includes information about mobile learning. Chapter 6 looks at technology enhanced assessment for English language teaching, including language portfolios, e-portfolios and open source tools. The editor concludes by discussing how technologies allow teachers to address more than immediate language needs and to engage students in ways that would have been difficult in the past. He also maintains the centrality of teachers in the classroom.
Retrievable from: http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/sites/teacheng/files/C607%20Information%20and%20Communication_WEB%20ONLY_FINAL.pdf
Caidi, N., Allard, D., & Dechief, D. (2008). Information Practices of Immigrants to Canada – A Review of the Literature (Research Contract Commissioned by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Metropolis). Faculty of Information Studies University of Toronto.
This review of the literature on the information practices (broadly understood as the information needs and information seeking strategies) of immigrants to Canada focuses on the importance of those practices in reducing the social isolation and exclusion and how lack of access to reliable information can be a barrier to successful integration. In the context of this bibliography the issue is whether digital and information literacy development can be supported in a blended learning environment which would provide newcomers with digital skills and information literacy skills alongside critical language skills.
Caidi, N., C., Longford, G., Allard, D., & Dechief, D. (2007). Including Immigrants in Canadian Society: What Role do ICTs Play? – Draft Report (Submission to the Strategic Policy Research Directorate of Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC)). Faculty of Information Studies University of Toronto.
This report examines how and why immigrants to Canada make use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) as they move through the stages of immigration. The focus of the report is the public library sector, since public libraries offer a free and accessible venue for the use of ICTs for information gathering. However, the report points to the need to incorporate ICTs in federally funded Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) training to help immigrants to become more adept at using technologies in the settlement process generally and for employment and integration. In that context the report points to the importance of providing online/blended learning opportunities in settlement language programs as a means to enhance language and ICT skills.
Tomlinson, B. & Whittaker C. (Eds.). (2013). Blended Learning in English Language Teaching: Course Design and Implementation. British Council.
This British Council publication includes 20 case studies illustrating a broad range of English language program designs in widespread geographic and educational settings: K-12, university, college, foreign language programs, ESP, EAP and business English. Although most of the case studies are outside the realm of settlement language training, chapter 20 addresses some very relevant issues, e.g., pay issues with part time instructors, cost of developing materials, etc. Each part of the book is followed with references and comments by the editor. In the conclusion, the co-editor addresses the need for help for designers and practitioners to answer the question of which blend provides the best basis for language learning and teaching in a specific situation.
The Routledge Handbook of Language Learning and Technology, Edited by Fiona Farr, Liam Murray 2016.
This handbook contains recent work by authors read in the development of this bibliography. As an example, there is a chapter by Glenn Stockwell on Mobile Language Learning. See also this 20-minute video of Stockwell from a conference about mobile learning. In it, he describes three important aspects of MALL that are important for learners.
Mobile technology for language learning: Trends, issues and ways forward
Sociocultural Theory, the L2 Writing Process,
and Google Drive: Strange Bedfellows?
TESL Canada Journal Vol 32, No 2 (2015)
This article provides an overview of sociocultural theory, relates it to the process approach to writing and suggests that Google Drive can be an effective tool to enhance simultaneous engagement of learners and promote learning. The author notes that word processing software has long been used in the process approach to writing, but that the affordances of Google Drive go beyond what is possible using word processing software alone. He describes Google Drive’s main features and outlines its affordances for writing instruction. He provides sample course organization templates along with examples of tasks that take advantage of these affordances. These include the ability to create a document, store it, share it dynamically and collaborate in real time with other readers and instructors who can edit and comment on it either synchronously or asynchronously.
Kiely, R. (2012). Designing evaluation into change management processes. In Managing Change in English Language Teaching: Lessons from Experience. Edited by Christopher Tribble. London: British Council.
This chapter is part of a British Council book about the changing role of English in the world. It provides details from 21 international English Language Training projects. The book addresses issues surrounding the internationalization of English. Although it does not address settlement issues, its inclusion of a blended learning project does make it meaningful for the bibliography. In many language programs innovative projects today do involve the integration of technology. The introductory notes to the book state the importance of a number of elements that should be addressed “in parallel” when making changes in education in order that the changes make a lasting impact. The examples given include initial as well as in-service training of teachers and testing and assessment systems, curriculum and course materials. These needs are also present in adult settlement language training programs that are intending to integrate technology and adopt a blended approach. Kiely’s chapter ends with a description of three types of evaluation that he hopes will engage the different agendas of program stakeholders in improving the likelihood of success in all areas of a program.
Retrievable from: https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/sites/teacheng/files/B330%20MC%20in%20ELT%20book_v7.pdf
Marie-Françoise Narcy-Combes, J. McAllister. Evaluation of a blended language learning environment in a French university and its effects on second language acquisition. La revue du GERAS 2011, 59, 115–138.
In response to a high drop-out rate in large compulsory language classes in a French university, a blended learning program was introduced, using a task-based approach with a distance component using Moodle and face-to-face small group tutorials. The goal was to raise motivation using real-life tasks and to develop interactions that promote second language acquisition. The face-to-face component was further broken into two tutorials, one with 45 students and a teacher and one with 15 students. Teachers provided personalized feedback both in the tutorials and online. The report presents results about the students’ language levels, their involvement, their language learning in class, and their perceptions of the blended language learning program. The author presents key themes expressed by the students related to strengths and weaknesses in the program. Several students commented that a teacher is essential. Team work remained a challenge for students and the authors state that they are searching for a way to convince students that they have more teacher access in a blended learning environment than they would in larger groups.
Murray, Denise E. & MaryAnn Christison. (2012). Understanding innovation in English language education: Contexts and issues. In Managing Change in English Language Teaching: Lessons from Experience (pp. 61–74). London: British Council
This book looks at the changing role of English in the world. It provides 21 case studies from innovative international English Language Training Projects. The book addresses issues surrounding the internationalization of English. Although it is not about settlement issues, its inclusion of a blended learning project does make it meaningful for the bibliography and in many language programs, innovative projects today do involve the integration of technology.
Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes, Lucy Norris and Jim Donohue. (2015). Mobile pedagogy for English language teaching: a guide for teachers. British Council.
This research-based guide is based on an Open University research project conducted in 2013-14 and focusing on English for Speakers of Other languages (ESOL) and English for Academic Purposes (EAP). The authors contend that in order to realize the potential of mobile technologies for language teaching and learning it is important to remember that MALL is not just the transfer of existing learning materials to a mobile device but involves a complete re-conceptualization of such materials. They further underline that while mobile devices provide the opportunity for self-directed learning and support greater learner autonomy, the role of the instructor remains critical. In that context the researchers developed a pedagogical framework to support instruction using mobile technologies. They offer two examples of how the framework could be used, for a lesson about job applications and for an instructor to personalize generic learning materials. They also provide a list of practical lesson and home learning ideas and a list of further readings, applications and links.
Retrievable from: https://englishagenda.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/attachments/e485_mobile_pedagogy_for_elt_final_v2.pdf
Henry, J. M. (2008). An absolutely riveting online course: Nine principles for excellence in web-based teaching. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 34(1).
Although this article was written in 2008, it addresses some realistic, longstanding and important issues in adult learning programs that incorporate technology. The authors answer the question, “What would you do if I asked you to develop an absolutely riveting online course?”. They cover excellence in creating and delivering online courses; they include information to ensure sound pedagogy, create an effective and engaging learning environment, generate meaningful learning experiences and promote high student satisfaction. One of the key ideas they put forward is that technology should not stand in the way of the student’s focus on the course itself. They present interesting examples of how things sometimes go wrong and how to take advantage of what the online world has to offer. They make suggestions about the kinds of supports students will need to be successful in a program that is partly online.
Retrievable From: https://journals.library.ualberta.ca/cjlt/index.php/cjlt/article/view/26431/19613
Bax, S. (2013). Normalisation Revisited: The Effective Use of Technology in Language Education.
This article revisits the issue of the normalisation of technology in language education, defined as the stage at which a technology is used in language education without users being consciously aware of its role as a technology, as an effective element in the language learning process (Bax, 2003). It proposes a methodology to introduce new technologies into language education settings with maximum impact. The article cites some of the researchers who have addressed normalisation in discussions concerning the role of technology in language education. Bax uses the examples of attitudes of “excessive awe” and “exaggerated fear” to emphasize the importance of looking critically at whether any proposed new technology is necessary. He presents elements of effective educational practice and shows how modern technology can help with providing those elements, but emphasizes that learning also requires mediation from teacher experts who will intervene as needed. This article suggests tools and processes that would be helpful in the area of program readiness.
Mondejar, M. (2012). Implementing Blended Learning in Foreign Language Education: Reasons and Considerations.
This conference paper explores the pros and cons of blended learning in foreign language learning. The presenter argues that BL is a quickly growing approach that allows instructors to provide students with increased flexibility, enhances student engagement, fosters student autonomy and supports collaborative learning. However, in order to be deployed successfully the presenter argues that careful needs analysis of students and careful and thorough course or instructional design are necessary. He also points to the need for further research in the use of blended learning in foreign language learning.
Retrievable From: http://jalt-publications.org/proceedings/articles/3294-implementing-blended-learning-foreign-language-education-reasons-and-consi