Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 27

Language Learning Related Abstracts

27 Innovative Pictogram Chinese Characters Representation

Authors: J. H. Low, S. H. Hew, C. O. Wong

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This paper proposes an innovative approach to represent the pictogram Chinese characters. The advantage of this representation is using an extraordinary to represent the pictogram Chinese character. This extraordinary representation is created accordingly to the original pictogram Chinese characters revolution. The purpose of this innovative creation is to assistant the learner learning Chinese as second language (SCL) in Chinese language learning specifically on memorize Chinese characters. Commonly, the SCL will give up and frustrate easily while memorize the Chinese characters by rote. So, our innovative representation is able to help on memorize the Chinese character by the help of visually storytelling. This innovative representation enhances the Chinese language learning experience of SCL.

Keywords: Knowledge Management, Language Learning, Chinese e-learning, innovative Chinese character representation

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26 Iranian EFL Learners' Attitudes towards Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL)

Authors: Rose Shayeghi, Pejman Hosseiniun, Ghasem Ghorbanirostam

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The present study was conducted to investigate the Iranian EFL learners’ attitudes toward the use of computer technology in language classes as a method of improving English learning. To this end, 120 male and female Iranian learners participated in the study. Instrumentation included a 20-item questionnaire. The analysis of the data revealed that the majority of learners had a positive attitude towards the application of CALL in language classes. Moreover, independent samples t-tests indicated that male participants had a significantly more positive attitude compared with that of the female participants. Finally, the results obtained through ANOVA revealed that the youngest age group had a significantly more positive attitude toward the use of technology in language classes compared to the other age groups.

Keywords: Language Learning, call, EFL learners, Iranian learners

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25 Models and Metamodels for Computer-Assisted Natural Language Grammar Learning

Authors: Evgeny Pyshkin, Maxim Mozgovoy, Vladislav Volkov

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The paper follows a discourse on computer-assisted language learning. We examine problems of foreign language teaching and learning and introduce a metamodel that can be used to define learning models of language grammar structures in order to support teacher/student interaction. Special attention is paid to the concept of a virtual language lab. Our approach to language education assumes to encourage learners to experiment with a language and to learn by discovering patterns of grammatically correct structures created and managed by a language expert.

Keywords: Language Learning, HCI, computer-assisted instruction, natural language grammar models

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24 Relationship between Right Brain and Left Brain Dominance and Intonation Learning

Authors: Mohammad Hadi Mahmoodi, Soroor Zekrati

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The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between hemispheric dominance and intonation learning of Iranian EFL students. In order to gain this goal, 52 female students from three levels of beginner, elementary and intermediate in Paradise Institute, and 18 male university students at Bu-Ali Sina University constituted the sample. In order to assist students learn the correct way of applying intonation to their everyday speech, the study proposed an interactive approach and provided students with visual aid through which they were able to see the intonation pattern on computer screen using 'Speech Analyzer' software. This software was also used to record subjects’ voice and compare them with the original intonation pattern. Edinburg Handedness Questionnaire (EHD), which ranges from –100 for strong left-handedness to +100 for strong right-handedness was used to indicate the hemispheric dominance of each student. The result of an independent sample t-test indicated that girls learned intonation pattern better than boys, and that right brained students significantly outperformed the left brained ones. Using one-way ANOVA, a significant difference between three proficiency levels was also found. The posthoc Scheffer test showed that the exact difference was between intermediate and elementary, and intermediate and beginner levels, but no significant difference was observed between elementary and beginner levels. The findings of the study might provide researchers with some helpful implications and useful directions for future investigation into the domain of the relationship between mind and second language learning.

Keywords: Language Learning, Second Language Learning, Intonation, hemispheric dominance, visual aid

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23 Factors of English Language Learning and Acquisition at Bisha College of Technology

Authors: Khlaid Albishi

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This paper participates in giving new vision and explains the learning and acquisition processes of English language by analyzing a certain context. Five important factors in English language acquisition and learning are discussed and suitable solutions are provided. The factors are compared with the learners' linguistic background at Bisha College of Technology BCT attempting to link the issues faced by students and the research done on similar situations. These factors are phonology, age of acquisition, motivation, psychology and courses of English. These factors are very important; because they interfere and affect specific learning processes at BCT context and general English learning situations.

Keywords: Language Acquisition, Language Learning, factors, Bisha college

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22 A Comparative Study of Language Learning Strategy Use of Iranian Kurdish Bilingual and Persian Monolingual in EFL Context

Authors: Reza Khani, Ziba Hosseini

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This study was an attempt to investigate the difference between learners of Iranian Kurdish–Persian bilingual language and Persian monolinguals, regarding language strategy use (LLS). The participants of the study were 120 monolingual Persian and 120 bilingual Kurdish studying English as a foreign language (EFL). Data were collected using strategy inventory for language learning SILL. The results show bilingual reported higher use of language learning strategies in all categories of SILL except memory strategies.

Keywords: Language Learning, Memory, comparative study, monolingual

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21 Aspects of Diglossia in Arabic Language Learning

Authors: Adil Ishag

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Diglossia emerges in a situation where two distinctive varieties of a language are used alongside within a certain community. In this case, one is considered as a high or standard variety and the second one as a low or colloquial variety. Arabic is an extreme example of a highly diglossic language. This diglossity is due to the fact that Arabic is one of the most spoken languages and spread over 22 Countries in two continents as a mother tongue, and it is also widely spoken in many other Islamic countries as a second language or simply the language of Quran. The geographical variation between the countries where the language is spoken and the duality of the classical Arabic and daily spoken dialects in the Arab world on the other hand; makes the Arabic language one of the most diglossic languages. This paper tries to investigate this phenomena and its relation to learning Arabic as a first and second language.

Keywords: Language Learning, Arabic language, Diglossia, first and second language

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20 University of Bejaia, Algeria

Authors: Geoffrey Sinha

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Today’s students are connected to the digital generation and technology is an integral part of their everyday lives. Clearly, this is one social revolution that is here to stay and the language classroom has been no exception. Furthermore, today’s teachers are also expected to connect with technology and online tools in their curriculum. However, it’s often difficult for teachers to know where to start, what resources and tools are available, what students should use, and most importantly, how to effectively use them in the classroom.

Keywords: Social Media, Language Learning, New Media, Technology

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19 Subtitling in the Classroom: Combining Language Mediation, ICT and Audiovisual Material

Authors: Rossella Resi

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This paper describes a project carried out in an Italian school with English learning pupils combining three didactic tools which are attested to be relevant for the success of young learner’s language curriculum: the use of technology, the intralingual and interlingual mediation (according to CEFR) and the cultural dimension. Aim of this project was to test a technological hands-on translation activity like subtitling in a formal teaching context and to exploit its potential as motivational tool for developing listening and writing, translation and cross-cultural skills among language learners. The activities proposed involved the use of professional subtitling software called Aegisub and culture-specific films. The workshop was optional so motivation was entirely based on the pleasure of engaging in the use of a realistic subtitling program and on the challenge of meeting the constraints that a real life/work situation might involve. Twelve pupils in the age between 16 and 18 have attended the afternoon workshop. The workshop was organized in three parts: (i) An introduction where the learners were opened up to the concept and constraints of subtitling and provided with few basic rules on spotting and segmentation. During this session learners had also the time to familiarize with the main software features. (ii) The second part involved three subtitling activities in plenum or in groups. In the first activity the learners experienced the technical dimensions of subtitling. They were provided with a short video segment together with its transcription to be segmented and time-spotted. The second activity involved also oral comprehension. Learners had to understand and transcribe a video segment before subtitling it. The third activity embedded a translation activity of a provided transcription including segmentation and spotting of subtitles. (iii) The workshop ended with a small final project. At this point learners were able to master a short subtitling assignment (transcription, translation, segmenting and spotting) on their own with a similar video interview. The results of these assignments were above expectations since the learners were highly motivated by the authentic and original nature of the assignment. The subtitled videos were evaluated and watched in the regular classroom together with other students who did not take part to the workshop.

Keywords: Language Learning, ICT, language mediation, subtitling

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18 Irbid National University Students’ Beliefs about English Language Learning

Authors: Khaleel Bader Bataineh

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Past studies have maintained that the Arab learners' beliefs about language learning hold vital effects on their performance. Thus, this study was carried out to investigate the language learning beliefs of Irbid National University students. It aimed at identifying the language learning beliefs according to gender. This study is a descriptive design that employed survey questionnaire of Language Learning Beliefs Inventory (BALLI). The data were elicited from 83 English major students during the class sessions. The data were analyzed using an SPSS program in which frequency analysis and t-test were performed to examine the students’ responses. Thus, the major findings of this research indicated that there is a variation in responses with regards to the subjects’ beliefs about English learning. Also, the findings show significant differences in four questionnaire items according to gender. It is hoped that the findings provide valuable insights to educators about the learners’ beliefs which assist them to develop the teaching and learning English language process in Jordan universities.

Keywords: Foreign Language, Language Learning, students’ beliefs, Arab students

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17 Graphic Animation: Innovative Language Learning for Autistic Children

Authors: Norfishah Mat Rabi, Rosma Osman, Norziana Mat Rabi

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It is difficult for autistic children to mix with and be around with other people. Language difficulties are a problem that affects their social life. A lack of knowledge and ability in language are factors that greatly influence their behavior, and their ability to communicate and interact. Autistic children need to be assisted to improve their language abilities through the use of suitable learning resources. This study is conducted to identify weather graphic animation resources can help autistic children learn and use transitive verbs more effectively. The study was conducted in a rural secondary school in Penang, Malaysia. The research subject comprised of three autistic students ranging in age from 14 years to 16 years. The 14-year-old student is placed in A Class and two 16-year-old students placed in B Class. The class placement of the subjects is based on the diagnostic test results conducted by the teacher and not based on age. Data collection is done through observation and interviews for the duration of five weeks; with the researcher allocating 30 minutes for every learning activity carried out. The research finding shows that the subjects learn transitive verbs better using graphic animation compared to static pictures. It is hoped that this study will give a new perspective towards the learning processes of autistic children.

Keywords: Teaching, Language Learning, graphic animation, autistic children

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16 Connecting Lives Inside and Outside the Classroom: Why and How to Implement Technology in the Language Learning Classroom

Authors: Geoffrey Sinha

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This paper is primarily addressed to teachers who stand on the threshold of bringing technology and new media into their classrooms. Technology and new media, such as smart phones and tablets have changed the face of communication in general and of language teaching more specifically. New media has widespread appeal among young people in particular, so it is in the teacher’s best interests to bring new media into their lessons. It is the author’s firm belief that technology will never replace the teacher, but it is without question that the twenty-first century teacher must employ technology and new media in some form, or run the risk of failure. The level that one chooses to incorporate new media within their class is entirely in their hands.

Keywords: Education, Social Media, Language Learning, New Media, Technology

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15 Educational Practices and Brain Based Language Learning

Authors: Dur-E- Shahwar

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Much attention has been given to ‘bridging the gap’ between neuroscience and educational practice. In order to gain a better understanding of the nature of this gap and of possibilities to enable the linking process, we have taken a boundary perspective on these two fields and the brain-based learning approach, focusing on boundary-spanning actors, boundary objects, and boundary work. In 26 semi-structured interviews, neuroscientists and education professionals were asked about their perceptions in regard to the gap between science and practice and the role they play in creating, managing, and disrupting this boundary. Neuroscientists and education professionals often hold conflicting views and expectations of both brain-based learning and of each other. This leads us to argue that there are increased prospects for a neuro-scientifically informed learning practice if science and practice work together as equal stakeholders in developing and implementing neuroscience research.

Keywords: Language Learning, Practice, educational practices, explore, mentalist

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14 Translation Skills and Language Acquisition

Authors: Frieda Amitai

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The field of Translation Studies includes both descriptive and applied aspects, one of which is developing curricula. Within this topic there are theories dealing with curricula aimed at translator training, and theories meant to explore teaching translation as means through which awareness to language is developed in order to enhance language knowledge. An example of the latter is a unique study program in Israeli high schools – Teaching Translation Skills Program (TTSP). This study program has been taught in Israel for more than two decades and is aimed at raising students' meta-linguistic awareness as well as their language proficiency in both source language and target language in order to enable them become better language learners. The objective of the current research was to examine whether the goals of this program are achieved – increase in students' metalinguistic awareness and language proficiency. A follow-up case study was aimed at examining the level of proficiency which would develop most by this way of teaching English. The study was conducted in two stages – before and after participating in the program. 400 subjects took part in the first stage, and 100 took part in the second. In both parts of the study, participants were given the same five tasks in both Hebrew and English in addition to a questionnaire, in which they were asked about their own knowledge of Hebrew and in comparison to that of their peers. Their teachers were asked about the success of the program and about the methodology they use in class. Findings show significant change in the level of meta-linguistic awareness of the students as well as their language proficiency. A comparison between their answers before and after the program shows that their meta-linguistic awareness increased, as did their ability to recognize linguistic mistakes. These findings serve as strong evidence for the positive effect such study program has on the development of meta-linguistic awareness and linguistic knowledge. The follow-up case study tests the change among weaker language learners.

Keywords: Language Learning, comparison, metalinguistic awareness, translation skills

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13 A Sociocultural View of Ethnicity of Parents and Children's Language Learning

Authors: Thapanee Musiget

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Ethnic minority children’s language learning is believed that it can be developed through school system. However, many cases prove that these kids are left to challenge with multicultural context at school and sometimes decreased the ability to acquire new learning. Consequently, it is significant for ethnicity parents to consider that prompting their children at home before their actual school age can eliminate negative outcome of children's language acquisition. This paper discusses the approach of instructional use of parents and children language learning in the context of minority language group in Thailand. By conducting this investigation, secondary source of data was gathered with the purpose to point out some primary methods for parents and children in ethnicity. The process of language learning is based on the sociocultural theory of Vygotsky, which highlights expressive communication among individuals as the best motivating force in human development and learning. The article also highlights the role of parents as they lead the instruction approach. In the discussion part, the role of ethnic minority parents as a language instructor is offered as mediator.

Keywords: Language Learning, Ethnic minority, sociocultural theory, multicultural context

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12 Mobile Phones and Language Learning: A Qualitative Meta-Analysis of Studies Published between 2008 and 2012 in the Proceedings of the International Conference on Mobile Learning

Authors: Lucia Silveira Alda

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This research aims to analyze critically a set of studies published in the Proceedings of the International Conference on Mobile Learning of IADIS, from 2008 until 2012, which addresses the issue of foreign language learning mediated by mobile phones. The theoretical review of this study is based on the Vygotskian assumptions about tools and mediated learning and the concepts of mobile learning, CALL and MALL. In addition, the diffusion rates of the mobile phone and especially its potential are considered. Through systematic review and meta-analysis, this research intended to identify similarities and differences between the identified characteristics in the studies on the subject of language learning and mobile phone. From the analysis of the results, this study verifies that the mobile phone stands out for its mobility and portability. Furthermore, this device presented positive aspects towards student motivation in language learning. The studies were favorable to mobile phone use for learning. It was also found that the challenges in using this tool are not technical, but didactic and methodological, including the need to reflect on practical proposals. The findings of this study may direct further research in the area of language learning mediated by mobile phones.

Keywords: Mobile Learning, Language Learning, Technology, Mobile Phones

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11 The Impact of Using Authentic Materials on Students' Motivation in Learning Indonesian Language as a Foreign Language

Authors: Ratna Elizabeth

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Motivation is a very important factor since it contributes a lot to the students’ success in learning a language. Using authentic materials is believed as a mean of increasing the motivation. The materials define as authentic if they are not specifically written for the purpose of language teaching. They are genuine spoken or written language data which are drawn from many different sources. The intention of this study is to investigate the impact of using of authentic materials on students’ motivation. A single case study is conducted to the grade 9 students who learn Indonesian Language as a Foreign Language (ILFL) at an international school in Jakarta, Indonesia. Questionnaires are also distributed to the students to know their perceptions on the using of authentic materials. The results show that the using of authentic materials has increased the students’ motivation in learning the language.

Keywords: Language Learning, Motivation, authentic materials, ILFL

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10 Learning to Learn: A Course on Language Learning Strategies

Authors: Hélène Knoerr

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In an increasingly global world, more and more international students attend academic courses and programs in a second or foreign language, and local students register in language learning classes in order to improve their employability. These students need to quickly become proficient in the new language. How can we, as administrators, curriculum developers and teachers, make sure that they have the tools they need in order to develop their language skills in an academic context? This paper will describe the development and implementation of a new course, Learning to learn, as part of the Major in French/English as a Second Language at the University of Ottawa. This academic program was recently completely overhauled in order to reflect the current approaches in language learning (more specifically, the action-oriented approach as embodied in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, and the concept of life-long autonomous learning). The course itself is based on research on language learning strategies, with a particular focus on the characteristics of the “good language learner”. We will present the methodological and pedagogical foundations, describe the course objectives and learning outcomes, the language learning strategies, and the classroom activities. The paper will conclude with students’ feedback and suggest avenues for further exploration.

Keywords: Language Learning, learning strategies, Curriculum Development, Second Language

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9 Lifelong Learning and Digital Literacies in Language Learning

Authors: Selma Karabinar

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Lifelong learning can be described as a system where learning takes place for a person over the course of a lifespan and comprises formal, non-formal and informal learning to achieve the maximum possible improvement in personal, social, and vocational life. 21st century is marked with the digital technologies and people need to learn and adapt to new literacies as part of their lifelong learning. Our current knowledge gap brings to mind several questions: Do people with digital mindsets have different assumptions about affordances of digital technologies? How do digital mindsets lead language learners use digital technologies within and beyond classrooms? Does digital literacies have different significance for the learners? The presentation is based on a study attempted to answer these questions and show the relationship between lifelong learning and digital literacies. The study was conducted with learners of English language at a state university in Istanbul. The quantitative data in terms of participants' lifelong learning perception was collected through a lifelong learning scale from 150 students. Then 5 students with high and 5 with low lifelong learning perception were interviewed. They were questioned about their personal sense of agency in lifelong learning and how they use digital technologies in their language learning. Therefore, the qualitative data was analyzed in terms of their knowledge about digital literacies and actual use of it in their personal and educational life. The results of the study suggest why teaching new literacies are important for lifelong learning and also suggests implications for language teachers' education and language pedagogy.

Keywords: Language Learning, lifelong learning, digital mindsets, new literacies

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8 The Influence of Language and Background Culture on Speakers from the Viewpoint of Gender and Identity

Authors: Yuko Tomoto

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The purpose of this research is to examine the assumption that female bilingual speakers more often change the way they talk or think depending on the language they use compared with male bilingual speakers. The author collected data through questionnaires on 241 bilingual speakers. Also, in-depth interview surveys were conducted with 13 Japanese/English bilingual speakers whose native language is Japanese and 16 English/Japanese bilingual speakers whose native language is English. The results indicate that both male and female bilingual speakers are more or less influenced consciously and unconsciously by the language they use, as well as by the background cultural values of each language. At the same time, it was found that female speakers are much more highly affected by the language they use, its background culture and also by the interlocutors they were talking to. This was probably due to the larger cultural expectations on women. Through conversations, speakers are not only conveying a message but also attempting to express who they are, and what they want to be like. In other words, they are constantly building up and updating their own identities by choosing the most appropriate language and descriptions to express themselves in the dialogues. It has been claimed that the images of ideal L2 self could strongly motivate learners. The author hopes to make the best use of the fact that bilingual speakers change their presence depending on the language they use, in order to motivate Japanese learners of English, especially female learners from the viewpoint of finding their new selves in English.

Keywords: Language Learning, cultural influence, gender expectation, L2 self

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7 Motivation and Self-Concept in Language Learning: An Exploratory Study of English Language Learners

Authors: A. Van Staden, M. M. Coetzee

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Despite numerous efforts to increase the literacy level of South African learners, for example, through the implementation of educational policies such as the Revised National Curriculum statement, advocating mother-tongue instruction (during a child's formative years), in reality, the majority of South African children are still being educated in a second language (in most cases English). Moreover, despite the fact that a significant percentage of our country's budget is spent on the education sector and that both policy makers and educationalists have emphasized the importance of learning English in this globalized world, the poor overall academic performance and English literacy level of a large number of school leavers are still a major concern. As we move forward in an attempt to comprehend the nuances of English language and literacy development in our country, it is imperative to explore both extrinsic and intrinsic factors that contribute or impede the effective development of English as a second language. In the present study, the researchers set out to investigate how intrinsic factors such as motivation and self-concept contribute to or affect English language learning amongst high school learners in South Africa. Emanating from the above the main research question that guided this research is the following: Is there a significant relationship between high school learners' self-concept, motivation, and English second language performances? In order to investigate this hypothesis, this study utilized quantitative research methodology to investigate the interplay of self-concept and motivation in English language learning. For this purpose, we sampled 201 high school learners from various schools in South Africa. Methods of data gathering inter alia included the following: A biographical questionnaire; the Academic Motivational Scale and the Piers-Harris Self-Concept Scale. Pearson Product Moment Correlation Analyses yielded significant correlations between L2 learners' motivation and their English language proficiency, including demonstrating positive correlations between L2 learners' self-concept and their achievements in English. Accordingly, researchers have argued that the learning context, in which students learn English as a second language, has a crucial influence on students' motivational levels. This emphasizes the important role the teacher has to play in creating learning environments that will enhance L2 learners' motivation and improve their self-concepts.

Keywords: Language Learning, Motivation, self-concept, English second language learners (L2)

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6 A Review of Blog Assisted Language Learning Research: Based on Bibliometric Analysis

Authors: Bo Ning Lyu

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Blog assisted language learning (BALL) has been trialed by educators in language teaching with the development of Web 2.0 technology. Understanding the development trend of related research helps grasp the whole picture of the use of blog in language education. This paper reviews current research related to blogs enhanced language learning based on bibliometric analysis, aiming at (1) identifying the most frequently used keywords and their co-occurrence, (2) clustering research topics based on co-citation analysis, (3) finding the most frequently cited studies and authors and (4) constructing the co-authorship network. 330 articles were searched out in Web of Science, 225 peer-viewed journal papers were finally collected according to selection criteria. Bibexcel and VOSviewer were used to visualize the results. Studies reviewed were published between 2005 to 2016, most in the year of 2014 and 2015 (35 papers respectively). The top 10 most frequently appeared keywords are learning, language, blog, teaching, writing, social, web 2.0, technology, English, communication. 8 research themes could be clustered by co-citation analysis: blogging for collaborative learning, blogging for writing skills, blogging in higher education, feedback via blogs, blogging for self-regulated learning, implementation of using blogs in classroom, comparative studies and audio/video blogs. Early studies focused on the introduction of the classroom implementation while recent studies moved to the audio/video blogs from their traditional usage. By reviewing the research related to BALL quantitatively and objectively, this paper reveals the evolution and development trends as well as identifies influential research, helping researchers and educators quickly grasp this field overall and conducting further studies.

Keywords: Language Learning, blog, literature review, bibliometric analysis

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5 Using Happening Performance in Vocabulary Teaching

Authors: Mustafa Gultekin

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It is believed that drama can be used in language classes to create a positive atmosphere for students to use the target language in an interactive way. Thus, drama has been extensively used in many settings in language classes. Although happening has been generally used as a performance art of theatre, this new kind of performance has not been widely known in language teaching area. Therefore, it can be an innovative idea to use happening in language classes, and thus a positive environment can be created for students to use the language in an interactive way. Happening can be defined as an art performance that puts emphasis on interaction in an audience. Because of its interactive feature, happening can also be used in language classes to motivate students to use the language in an interactive environment. The present study aims to explain how a happening performance can be applied to a learning environment to teach vocabulary in English. In line with this purpose, a learning environment was designed for a vocabulary presentation lesson. At the end of the performance, students were asked to compare the traditional way of teaching and happening performance in terms of effectiveness. It was found that happening performance provided the students with a more creative and interactive environment to use the language. Therefore, happening can be used in language classrooms as an innovative tool for education.

Keywords: Language Learning, English, happening, vocabulary teaching

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4 Corpora in Secondary Schools Training Courses for English as a Foreign Language Teachers

Authors: Francesca Perri

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This paper describes a proposal for a teachers’ training course, focused on the introduction of corpora in the EFL didactics (English as a foreign language) of some Italian secondary schools. The training course is conceived as a part of a TEDD participant’s five months internship. TEDD (Technologies for Education: diversity and devices) is an advanced course held by the Department of Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Trento, Italy. Its main aim is to train a selected, heterogeneous group of graduates to engage with the complex interdependence between education and technology in modern society. The educational approach draws on a plural coexistence of various theories as well as socio-constructivism, constructionism, project-based learning and connectivism. TEDD educational model stands as the main reference source to the design of a formative course for EFL teachers, drawing on the digitalization of didactics and creation of learning interactive materials for L2 intermediate students. The training course lasts ten hours, organized into five sessions. In the first part (first and second session) a series of guided and semi-guided activities drive participants to familiarize with corpora through the use of a digital tools kit. Then, during the second part, participants are specifically involved in the realization of a ML (Mistakes Laboratory) where they create, develop and share digital activities according to their teaching goals with the use of corpora, supported by the digital facilitator. The training course takes place into an ICT laboratory where the teachers work either individually or in pairs, with a computer connected to a wi-fi connection, while the digital facilitator shares inputs, materials and digital assistance simultaneously on a whiteboard and on a digital platform where participants interact and work together both synchronically and diachronically. The adoption of good ICT practices is a fundamental step to promote the introduction and use of Corpus Linguistics in EFL teaching and learning processes, in fact dealing with corpora not only promotes L2 learners’ critical thinking and orienteering versus wild browsing when they are looking for ready-made translations or language usage samples, but it also entails becoming confident with digital tools and activities. The paper will explain reasons, limits and resources of the pedagogical approach adopted to engage EFL teachers with the use of corpora in their didactics through the promotion of digital practices.

Keywords: Education, Language Learning, Teacher Training, digital didactics

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3 Promoting 21st Century Skills through Telecollaborative Learning

Authors: Saliha Ozcan

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Technology has become an integral part of our lives, aiding individuals in accessing higher order competencies, such as global awareness, creativity, collaborative problem solving, and self-directed learning. Students need to acquire these competencies, often referred to as 21st century skills, in order to adapt to a fast changing world. Today, an ever-increasing number of schools are exploring how engagement through telecollaboration can support language learning and promote 21st century skill development in classrooms. However, little is known regarding how telecollaboration may influence the way students acquire 21st century skills. In this paper, we aim to shed light to the potential implications of telecollaborative practices in acquisition of 21st century skills. In our context, telecollaboration, which might be carried out in a variety of settings both synchronously or asynchronously, is considered as the process of communicating and working together with other people or groups from different locations through online digital tools or offline activities to co-produce a desired work output. The study presented here will describe and analyse the implementation of a telecollaborative project between two high school classes, one in Spain and the other in Sweden. The students in these classes were asked to carry out some joint activities, including creating an online platform, aimed at raising awareness of the situation of the Syrian refugees. We conduct a qualitative study in order to explore how language, culture, communication, and technology merge into the co-construction of knowledge, as well as supporting the attainment of the 21st century skills needed for network-mediated communication. To this end, we collected a significant amount of audio-visual data, including video recordings of classroom interaction and external Skype meetings. By analysing this data, we verify whether the initial pedagogical design and intended objectives of the telecollaborative project coincide with what emerges from the actual implementation of the tasks. Our findings indicate that, as well as planned activities, unplanned classroom interactions may lead to acquisition of certain 21st century skills, such as collaborative problem solving and self-directed learning. This work is part of a wider project (KONECT, EDU2013-43932-P; Spanish Ministry of Economy and Finance), which aims to explore innovative, cross-competency based teaching that can address the current gaps between today’s educational practices and the needs of informed citizens in tomorrow’s interconnected, globalised world.

Keywords: Language Learning, telecollaboration, network mediated communication

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2 The Use of Mobile Applications for Language Learning in 21st-Century Teacher Education for Sustainable Development in Africa

Authors: Carol C. Opara, Olukemi E. Adetuyi-Olu-Francis

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The need for ICT in Teacher Education due to the nature of 21st-century learners who are computer citizens is essential. The recent increase in the use of Mobile phones has equally revealed the importance of Mobile Applications for learning purposes. However, teacher-trainees and the trainers need to be well-grounded in basic ICT skills for an appropriate outcome. This study seeks to assess the use of Mobile Applications for language learning in Teacher Education teaching-learning process. A 22-item e-questionnaire was used to elicit information from teacher-trainers and teachers-trainees from Faculties of Education in Nigerian Universities. Major findings of this study include: That teacher-education sector is not adequately prepared for manipulative use of ICT and Mobile Applications for teaching and learning process; etc. It was recommended among others that, teacher-trainers should be trained and re-trained on the manipulative use of Mobile devices and the several applications for teaching-learning purpose, especially language education.

Keywords: Sustainable Development, Teacher Education, Mobile Application, Language Learning, ICT, Information and Communications Technology

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1 Renovating Language Laboratories for Pedagogical and Technological Advancements in the New Era

Authors: Paul Lam, Chi Him Chan, Alan Tse

Abstract:

Language laboratories have been widely used in language learning, starting in the middle of the last century as one of the earliest forms of educational technology. They are designed to assist students’ language learning with technological innovations. Traditional language laboratories provide individual workstations that allow students to access multimedia language resources. In this type of facility, students can train their listening and speaking abilities, and teachers can also assess the performance of an individual student. Although such a setting promotes a student-centered pedagogy by encouraging students to work at their own pace and according to their own needs, it still favours a traditional, behaviourist language learning pedagogy which focuses on repetitive drilling. The change of pedagogies poses challenges to both the teachers and the facilities. The peer-learning pedagogy advocates that language learning should focus on the social aspect, which emphasizes the importance of everyday communication in language learning. The self-access, individual workstation language laboratories may not be able to provide the flexibility for interaction in the new pedagogies. Modern advancement in technology is another factor that drove our language laboratory renovation. In particular, mobile and wireless technology enabled the use of smaller and more flexible devices, making possible much clever use of space. The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) renovated nine existing language laboratories to provide lighter and more advanced equipment, movable tables, and round desks. These facilities allow more flexibility and encourage students’ interaction. It is believed that the renovated language laboratories can serve different peer learning activities and thus support peer-learning pedagogies in language teaching and learning. A survey has been conducted to collect comments from the teachers who have used the renovated language laboratories and received forty-four response. The teachers’ comments reveal that they experienced different challenges in using the renovated language laboratories, and there is a need to provide guidance to teachers during the technological and pedagogical transition. For example, teachers need instruction on using the newly installed devices such as touch-monitor and visualizer. They also need advice on planning new teaching and learning activities. Nevertheless, teachers appreciated that the renovated language laboratories are flexible and provide more spaces for different learning activities.

Keywords: Language Learning, language laboratories, peer-learning, student interaction

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