Friday, October 14th
10:45 AM-6:15 PM
The impact of ICALL practice on the EFL classroom: From individualized practice to communicative language use.
Diana Pili-Moss, Torben Schmidt (Leuphana University Lüneburg), Carolyn Blume, Lisa Middelanis (University of Dortmund), Detmar Meurers (University of Tübingen)
Intelligent Computer-Assisted Language Learning (ICALL) can effectively support individual language learners by providing feedback on specific grammar constructions (Choi 2014, Heift & Hegelheimer 2017). Yet, given the goal of foreign language instruction to support language use in functional task contexts, a key question is whether digital individual language practice can be linked to language use in communicative settings. In the present study, we investigated this link using the FeedBook (Meurers et al., 2019), an EFL ICALL platform that offers a suite of digital exercises providing scaffolded feedback on grammar as pre-task activities into task cycles. Seventy-seven 7th-grade EFL students (3 intact classes matched for amount and type of classroom instruction) used FeedBook during the course of four training periods (two weeks each) to individually practice specific language means on the curriculum (e.g., simple past, conditionals, questions). After each training period, the students engaged in classroom-based oral and written target tasks that were transcribed and coded to identify the use of the practised linguistic targets. Platform-administered pretests and posttests assessed the performance for the specific language means before and after each cycle. Mixed-effect models were used to identify the relationships between predictors of interest (e.g., amount of language practice) and outcome measures (language gains and transfer in communicative activities). The presentation discusses findings from Cycle 3 and 4 and addresses the following two questions: (a) to what extent is digital language practice positively related to language gains measured by digitally-administered tests (efficacy), and (b) to what extent are digital language practice and language gains positively related to use of linguistic structures in classroom-based written communicative activities (transfer)?
Affordances of digital media in second language academic writing: Instructors’ perspective
Priscila J.B.M. Costa (University of South Carolina)
Research in second language writing is the object of study of scholars in education, applied linguistics, composition studies, writing center studies, among other fields. Similarly, studies about educational technologies are the interest of multiple scholarly areas. Instructional technologies have permeated language instruction for decades and they are in constant evolution. They are an integral part of the learning process from the design to the evaluation (Reiser & Dempsey, 2017). Furthermore, the study and discussions about technologies in second language learning have become even more relevant after the shifts the outbreak of COVID-19 imposed on education. Nonetheless, the literature that combines the affordances of new media, second language writing, English for academic purposes in the post-secondary level, and instructors impressions of technologies is scarce. This qualitative study investigates the perspectives of English language instructors in the intersection of these topics. Five English language instructors who teach adult international students at post-secondary institutions in North Carolina, Florida, and California shared their experiences with and perceptions of digital media in the teaching of English writing for academic purposes. Additionally, they identified underlying factors that inform their choices of resources. I collected individual interviews, weekly reflections, and teaching artifacts and analyzed the data through the theoretical lens of multimodal literacies (Cope & Kalantzis, 2000; Jewitt & Kress, 2003; Kress, 2010) using a semiotic approach (Kress & Bezemer, 2015). The participants highlighted positive aspects of digital literacies in their classrooms as well as their concerns. The findings echo what Kalantzis and Cope (2015) describe as the affordances of new media, and they add insight into the multimodal nature of second language writing and intercultural communication. This study is relevant because we must identify and unpack what second language instructors name as their experiences and perceptions, which can inform programs for teacher education and professional development.
Automatic enrichment of word lists with morphological derivatives for computer-assisted learning of vocabulary: Design-based research
Nadezhda Dobrynina (Iowa State University)
Vocabulary is one of the biggest challenges in learning a second language. Computer-assisted language learning (CALL) of new vocabulary items is an effective and widely used approach to this challenge (Allum, 2004). One tool that has been empirically demonstrated to be highly effective is Linguatorium Lexis (Chukharev-Hudilainen & Klepikova, 2016). Unlike off-the-shelf vocabulary learning software (e.g., bundled with textbooks), Lexis gives the instructor full control over the contents of word lists and the parameters of student experience. Additionally, Lexis leverages natural language processing (NLP) and adaptive learner modelling to generate more effective exercises. One downside of the approach of the Lexis system is that the instructors are required to spend considerable time on entering word lists: Each word needs to be entered along with its part of speech, WordNet synsets, images, usage examples, etc. While all these elements are needed for exercise generation, increased instructor time commitment negatively affects practicality. To address this limitation, this paper presents the first iteration of a design-based research (DBR) study wherein Lexis is extended with automatically generated activities that present the learners with morphological derivatives of the words included in teacher-provided word lists. The teacher only needs to enter a single word from a “word family,” allowing the system to deliver fully automatic instruction on this word’s derivatives. NLP techniques used for activity generation are reported and evaluated, along with an end-to-end evaluation of the usability and perceived effectiveness of two types of activities. In line with DBR principles, this initial iteration includes a small number of participants (N=6).
Evaluating uses of spaCy NLP software to integrate grammar and reading
Eric Bodin (University of Iowa)
This presentation will discuss the design, implementation, and evaluation of three different classroom tasks that use the spaCy Natural Language Processing (NLP) library to identify various grammatical features in order to increase learner’s focus on form while reading an authentic extended text. We will use Chapelle’s chart of “Questions for judgmental analysis of CALL appropriateness” (Chapelle 2001, p.59) to evaluate the design and implementation of the activities. The first activity uses an AI grammatical evaluation and visual representation of the grammatical relationships of a single sentence selected by students from an authentic content area text as “one of the most grammatically complicated sentences in the text”. Students then evaluate the AI analysis and discuss the insights and possible errors in the analysis along with teacher guidance. The second activity uses an entire chapter of a novel from an upper level ESL course and makes available visual grammatical relationship information by inserting a hyperlink after each sentence of the online text. Questions related to this activity are then addressed in class later. The third activity again uses an entire chapter of a novel from an upper level ESL course but this time provides students with specific grammatical features labelled in the text one at a time (e.g. Adjective Clauses, Prepositional Phrases, or Conditionals). These students were also provided relevant review information and questions to apply the review to their reading. Participants will leave with a few specific activities that can be incorporated into their classroom as well as a broader understanding of the promise of AI influence on the ESL profession.
The role of multimodal input and learner proficiency in L2 vocabulary learning
Katherine Kang (University of Pennsylvania)
The easy access to and use of multimedia in instruction is often taken as a benefit that technology may bring to the language learning environment. However, recent research has more closely examined the conditions under which multimodal input may contribute to learning (e.g., Yun, 2011; Ramezanali et al., 2021). The present study also examines the role of multimodal input for L2 vocabulary learning while considering the potential moderating role of learner proficiency. The participants were 60 learners (34 advanced learners and 26 high intermediate learners) who were randomly assigned to one of three learning conditions or a control group. Participants in the learning conditions completed an online fill-in-the-blank task where word information was presented in three different ways: (a) textual input provided during the task, (b) textual input provided during the task followed by pictorial input, and (c) textual and pictorial input provided before the task. The results indicated that presentation mode affected learning outcomes with proficiency level playing a moderating role. These findings are interpreted from the perspective of cognitive load theory and implications for online task design are discussed.
An investigation on positive interdependence amongst students of Italian as a foreign language in blended learning with Virtual Reality
Ilaria Compagnoni (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)
Described as a situation of mutual reliance for the purpose of achieving common goals, positive interdependence constitutes the backbone of collaborative language learning as linguistic interactions unfold in task-based group work. However, in the transition of educational systems to hybrid modalities of learning and teaching, future scenarios of language education demand flexibility and activity diversification to support students’ positive interdependence in remote spaces where isolation and online fatigue might hinder opportunities of language use. On this matter, the present study will suggest procedures for utilising the interactional affordances of Virtual Reality (VR) in language learning methodologies that blend in-person with online activities to foster students’ positive interdependence through the mastery of mediation strategies and the related grammatical forms necessary to conduct them. Specifically, an interventional plan of task-based language activities conducted on the platform Immerse (https://www.immerse.online/) will be presented as a way to enable students to learn Italian by socially interacting in VR settings, as they alternate immersive activities with in-person meetings. Evidence of the effectiveness of VR for boosting positive interdependence is planned to be conducted through the results of observations and pre and post-tests of control and experimental groups consisting of students of Italian as a Foreign Language in Italy and Sweden. The aim of the project is twofold. Firstly, it foresees to show how interactional VR affordances can offer students opportunities to train and situate their language skills in socially relevant contexts before applying them to real-world situations mutually interdepend to reach task-based goals. Secondly, it hopes to offer teachers’ methodological suggestions to conduct hybrid language learning instruction with VR adopting a Task-Based Language Learning approach.
EFL teacher technology use in online classrooms in Japan: Perceptions and attitudes
Lee Harvey Alexander, J. Andras Molnar, Daniel Leigh Paller (Kinjo Gakuin University)
The decisions that language instructors make regarding teaching are rooted in their beliefs, knowledge, and attitudes towards teaching gained through education, contextual factors, and classroom practices (Borg, 2015). Drawing on theories in language teacher cognition (LTC), the aim of this research project is to investigate language teachers’ beliefs, knowledge and attitudes towards implementing technology within their teaching practice. Due to teaching online since April 2020 because of COVID-19, language teachers have been forced to use a variety of technology, in some cases familiar, but in many cases new. This project, focusing on language teaching in Japan, investigates teachers’ perceptions towards technology implementation within their teaching context. A mixed-methods approach will be used to answer the following research questions: (1) what are teachers’ beliefs, knowledge, and attitudes towards implementing technology? (2) how do teachers’ beliefs and attitudes about technology affect their practice? Data will be collected through the use of surveys and semi-structured interviews. Over the past 20 years, the research in the area of LTC has grown widely, yet remains limited regarding technology use. Therefore, this research project will contribute toward filling the gap in the area of LTC and technology.
Using plagiarism tools to assist with writing competence
Steven K. Sharp (Governors State University)
Academic writing is challenging to teach. Students come with different perspectives of what is correct. The notion of attribution and sharing knowledge is very cultural in how it is handled (Sowell, 2018). Not all cultures have the same rules regarding citing and attribution (Sowell, 2018). Developing students’ skills with writing and responsibly citing works is a challenge exacerbated by technological access to resources online (Abduldayan et al., 2019). Plagiarism software can help teach students the proper way of attribution in combination with teaching the appropriate methods of paraphrasing and citing others’ works. Plagiarism checkers scan a particular document for evidence of different writing styles (Saini et al., 2016) or compare it to a separate database with an ample supply of potentially copied resources (Elmunsyah et al., 2018; Saini et al., 2016). Allowing students the opportunity to improve their writing using the checkers will give them agency. The presenter will discuss activities for using plagiarism software to evaluate student work and using it and other tools to develop students writing. The presenter talked with attendees regarding their interests and best practices in using plagiarism software and the quirks of some types of software in use.
Implementation of technology in glocalising EMI in multilingual university settings: A case study of economics
Fiona Tang, Shelley Huo (Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College)
Economics is a major course directed toward the undergraduate students enrolled in the Financial Mathematics program at an English-medium instruction (EMI) university in Mainland China. It is an example of cross-disciplinary instructional initiatives that integrate finance, economics, mathematical theory, statistics, and computer science through the medium of English to cultivate global financial professionals for the future. This course attempts to deliver the fundamental principles of economic theories at both micro and macro levels, as well as to develop students’ critical thinking skills in analyzing current global economic affairs. Theoretically guided by the ROAD-MAPPING framework (Dafouz & Smit, 2016, 2020), this study aims to examine the use of digital technologies in the design and implementation of the course in the EMI at multilingual university settings. Through semi-structured interviews with instructors, a focus-group discussion with students, class observation, and an online questionnaire, the study will discuss how technology supports Chinese-speaking instructors and students to appropriately address language-related issues in teaching and learning practices such as lecture comprehension and acquisition of discipline-specific vocabulary. Pedagogical suggestions will be further provided, including how tertiary practitioners and policymakers can exploit digital tools to “glocalise” English-medium education in a multilingual environment.
Using and evaluating interactive videos in and outside of English learning classrooms: Theory and course design
Shanshan He (University of Western Ontario)
This poster presentation focuses on the appraisal of using interactive videos in English learning and teaching. Interactive videos are videos containing different interactive elements (e.g., pop-up quiz questions, additional pictures, and supplemental texts) to enhance learners’ understanding of the new content. This presentation will first provide a short demonstration of an interactive video created in the HTML5 Package (H5P). This video is designed to develop English learners’ listening ability and expand their vocabulary knowledge. Then, I will explain the Cognitive theory of multimedia learning and the interactionist theory underlying the design of interactive videos. Next, I will discuss how interactive videos can be evaluated using Hubbard’s (2019) framework that consists of learner fit, teacher fit, and appropriateness judgments. The last part of the poster will outline some principles of designing interactive videos and explain how to integrate them into language course design aiming to teach English both in and outside of classrooms.
Saturday, October 15th
8:45 AM-6:15 PM
Research for course design in a global online language teacher education course
Mark Winston Visonà, Carol Chapelle, Abdulrahman Alharthi, Fatemeh Bordbarjavidi, Jeanne Beck, Sondoss Elnegahy, Agata Guskaroska, Haeyun Jin, Șebnem Kurt, Yasin Karatay, Volker Hegelheimer, Junghun Yang (Iowa State University)
Online language teacher education courses are designed to model pedagogy in part by assigning participants opportunities to learn specific-purpose English, create complex projects, experience interpersonal communication for learning, and reflect on their own learning. Course materials, participants’ performance, and its evaluation by teachers are critical to learning. To gain insights about learning in one such course, this colloquium presents research that extends beyond quantitative analytics to investigate multiple aspects of performance in addition to the course materials themselves. The research uses methods in applied linguistics to explore a Global Online Course (GOC), “Using Educational Technology in the English Language Classroom,” which has been developing the technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) of English language teachers around the world for over five years. A central challenge is to provide appropriate instruction to participants in diverse contexts that are not fully known to the course developers (Karatay & Hegelheimer, 2021). To learn how the GOC intersects with participants’ local needs, knowledge, and interests, the six studies in this colloquium investigated samples of linguistic data from course materials, students’ written contributions, and teachers’ evaluations.The first presentation uses corpus linguistic methods to investigate the likely accessibility of the vocabulary used throughout the course for the participants. The researchers created a corpus (called CyGOC) consisting of the GOC course materials and discussion board posts. Based on their comparison of vocabulary in the CyGOC with common academic and general word lists, they identified vocabulary requiring special treatment in the course. The following three presentations describe research intended to increase understanding of the assessment of participants’ performance and learning in the GOC. The first of these used the tools of language assessment research to investigate how well the assessment rubric functions to guide teachers’ ratings of participants’ work. Based on analysis of teachers’ re-ratings of a sample of 45 written assignments in one module of the GOC and their responses to interview questions, the researchers identified an undesirable degree of variation in the way teachers rate the assignments. Results suggest the need for revisions and raise issues for assessment in large-scale online learning. The second study investigating teachers’ evaluation of participants’ performance focuses on text that participants may copy from the example response provided by the course designers. This mixed-methods study documented how much and what kind of copying participants did, while interviews with raters revealed how these raters dealt with the instances of copying in evaluating the assignments. Results indicate possibilities for improving the design of the assignment and the rating rubric as well as insights for the designers and teachers of asynchronous online courses. The third study investigating a major assignment used a qualitative content analysis to identify evidence of learning content covered in the module introducing the use of corpus-based grammar teaching. Setting aside the holistic rubric used in the operational course, the researchers analyzed the corpus-based grammar teaching materials created by the GOC participants to assess the degree of learning of key concepts. The researchers found evidence that some participants lacked an understanding of how to use corpus data for teaching across various levels and teaching contexts. Based on the findings, specific technological pedagogical English grammar knowledge is recommended for the course lecture along with the samples of ready-to-use DDL materials. The final two presentations also set the operational rubric for a major assignment aside to examine what the language and content of participants’ responses can reveal. Both studies investigated a reflective writing assignment that students are prompted to write about their experience in an online asynchronous collaborative writing experience. The first study used a focused discourse analysis of linguistic expressions indicating participants’ evaluation of learning objects. The results showed their evaluative expressions about the pedagogical content, suggesting the value of stance-taking discourse analysis for obtaining evidence of how specific aspects of a complex learning episode in an online course are perceived by the participants. The second study, conducting a focused discourse analysis of different aspects of the reflective writing assignment, identified attitudes and context-specific factors affecting participants’ future use of the collaborative writing pedagogy. Results suggest refinements in the design of the collaborative writing activity and highlight contextual factors to address in the revised course.
Online EFL grammar learning applying the just-in-time teaching strategy
Ferran Gesa, Mª del Mar Suárez, Neus Frigolé (Universitat de Barcelona)
Among the various possible alternatives to the unforeseen situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers in the Early Years Education degree at the Universitat de Barcelona chose to teach part of the course online following the Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) strategy (Novak et al., 1999), and have continued applying this strategy to date. This paper will explore how EFL grammar teaching through the JiTT flipped classroom methodology was perceived by students during academic year 2020-2021. JiTT is a learner-centered strategy based on the idea that students work autonomously at home in preparation for the upcoming classroom meeting. First, their task is to understand the theoretical and/or practical material provided by the instructor to then reflect upon their difficulties, thus allowing the teacher to adjust the lesson to the students’ needs. However, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, little attention has been paid to JiTT’s possible effects on EFL grammar learning success rate and students’ satisfaction, with grammar being an area usually perceived as necessary but tedious by learners (Jean & Simard, 2011), and in need to be taught following more innovative ways (Pawlak, 2021). This paper aims at filling the existing gaps by exposing 74 prospective Early Years teachers to JiTT EFL grammar lessons and analyzing their potential benefits from the data obtained from JiTT quizzes and satisfaction questionnaires. Results will be discussed in the light of how teaching EFL grammar through JiTT contributes to success rates in the given course. The potential of JiTT will also be tackled as a good strategy to be used in online foreign language teaching.
The effect of social presence on the online learning experiences of full-time masters students
Sang SANG (University of Edinburgh)
The COVID-19 pandemic evoked significant challenges for universities worldwide. Due to government restrictions during this period (2020-2021), the majority of university programmes were forced to rapidly change from traditional classroom teaching to online teaching. Effective online learning is, however, dependent on social presence; being one of the most important determinants of successful online learning regardless of discipline. This research aimed to identify and explore the role of social presence in both asynchronous and synchronous classes, and how social presence affects students’ online learning experiences. Further, this study aimed to provide recommendations for teachers wanting to improve the social presence in online classes. A qualitative survey and semi-structured interviews were conducted to better understand students’ online learning experiences. Results showed that social presence strengthens students’ experiences of belonging in the online learning community, as well as improves the students’ sense of engagement with their education. In turn, social presence reduced loneliness and promoted satisfaction. Social presence also helped students improve their academic comprehension and motivation when attending online courses during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study presents several suggestions from participants, such as turning on the camera during synchronous classes, and limiting the number of group members. Combined, these suggestions can help instructors design effective online courses. The study concludes by providing suggestions for future research that may enhance social presence in online learning communities.
Designing and implementing a global online language teacher education course on writing pedagogy
Amy Walton, Sarah S. Davis, Elena Cotos, Carol Chapelle, April Tan (Iowa State University)
Global online courses (GOC) offer participants the potential of equity in access to education and English teaching institutions the opportunity to engage with learners worldwide. GOCs offered by the Department of State’s Online Professional English Network (OPEN) Program address a wide range of topics and skills. Academic writing in English is a foundational skill that provides access to scholarship for researchers (Lillis & Curry, 2010), professional development for practitioners, and social justice for participants (Martin, Maton, & Doran, 2020). The increased prominence of online language learning intensifies the need for effective ways of teaching academic writing and academic writing pedagogy in asynchronous online platforms. This presentation will describe how our theory-based design of “Developing and Teaching Academic Writing,” an asynchronous course for the OPEN Program, implemented four andragogical strategies: (1) explicit teaching of core academic writing concepts with scaffolding to achieve comprehension by all participants, (2) modeling of pedagogical strategies for academic writing, (3) experiential learning through academic writing tasks targeting participants’ interests and needs as members of an academic community and culture, and (4) application of participants’ knowledge and experience to their own teaching context and students. This presentation will show the links across theory, design, development, and implementation of the course as presenters share their principled design framework, online pedagogy, and challenges in piloting learner-centered, project-based activities tailored to academic writing teachers whose students have varying needs, from planning to study in the United States to writing research papers for publication. Based on the experience with the course, presenters will highlight areas in need of research for global online course development.
A task-based syllabus for a graduate course in language learning and technology
Kristin Rock (Georgetown University)
Several scholars have highlighted the facilitative, reciprocal relationship between computer-assisted language learning (CALL) and task-based language teaching (González-Lloret & Ortega, 2014; Ziegler, 2016). Furthermore, recent research has expanded the scope of technology-mediated task-based language teaching (TBLT) to include audio- and video-based communication and virtual environments (Pardo Ballester, 2019). As opportunities for the application of technology-mediated TBLT have increased, so too has the need for language teacher education on using technology to support language learning goals. This individual paper will present the development of a task-based syllabus for a graduate-level, teacher education course on language learning and technology. The course, designed to cover theoretical and practical issues surrounding the use of technology in diverse language learning contexts, also addressed ethical considerations related to access and digital literacy and controversies surrounding the use of online linguistic tools (e.g., translators) and automated assessment. In addition to discussing the readings selected to meet course objectives, the presentation demonstrates the way in which carefully designed tasks supported students in disentangling the concepts of teaching and learning. The two principal assignments for the course, a review of an online language learning product and a project centered on the creation of online language learning materials, will be described in detail. Participants will leave the presentation with key course materials, which they are free to adapt for teaching a similar course at their home institution.
Teacher training as you like it
Catherine Clements (University of Minnesota)
Teachers learn to teach by teaching, and teacher education, including TESL education, typically includes practice teaching or practicum courses as a crucial component. Despite its utility, this practical experience is difficult for teachers in training to obtain (Angelova & Zhao, 2016, pp. 167-168). One way for TESL students to do practice teaching is by working directly with local multilingual partners in a practicum class under the guidance of experienced teachers. Another method is through online collaboration with peers in different countries via telecollaboration (Yang 2020; Wu 2021). Due to the difficulty in obtaining placements, student teachers are rarely able to choose the modality they prefer to complete their practicum. This presentation describes the creation and implementation of a practicum in which TESL undergraduate students at a US university were given the choice to pair either locally with multilingual learners or online with international partners in Mexico. The unique project, based upon Kolb (1984)’s theoretical framework of experiential learning, was designed to expand the teachers’ ELT skills while allowing participants to work with partners who could represent their future students. This presentation details the challenges and successes of the project, and the affordances of the different modalities of collaboration. Participants’ experiences were analyzed using mixed-method research (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2017), including quantitative survey data and qualitative interview data regarding their perceptions of the exchanges. Data results show that the collaboration allowed the teachers in training to greatly expand their awareness about ELT and teaching in new and unexpected ways. The presentation concludes with guidelines for teacher trainers to develop and implement collaborative peer exchange programs in their own contexts, anywhere in the world.
Design-based research for online FLE course: Theoretical and practical approach
Anissa Hamza, Julia Pustche (University of Strasbourg)
In this paper, we evaluate the effectiveness of adaptative techno-pedagogical tools designed to support European students in learning FLE in a distant and online course. The objective of the FLE course – as a part of the EPICUR project – is to provide students from 9 European partner universities with linguistic and cultural skills necessary to their potential mobility towards a French university. The study provides a thorough and reflective overview of the various procedures we have set forth to construct the program of the course. It is a design based research (Mc Kenney & Reeves, 2019: 13) which analyses how combining pedagogical and non-pedagogical technological tools to teach FLE in an online course makes it attractive and get the students involved in their learning process both at the linguistic and the cultural levels. Indeed, the evolution of different educational tools and software has motivated teachers to integrate educational technology into their lessons. Technology has fundamentally changed the way we learn and teach, making it more appealing, but also challenging. One of the impacts technology-based teaching approach has on student learning seems to bring the language and its culture to the students’ ‘doorstep’, and when it comes to be successfully integrated into classrooms, students can develop a lifelong love of learning. Accordingly, our teaching methods seek to develop different profiles as problem-solvers, critical thinkers, collaborators, and creators. The selected pedagogical tools include Visio-conference tools (BBB and Zoom) and learning platforms (Moodle and Google Classrooms) while the non-pedagogical include cellphones and Opendo – (originally dedicated to the management of distance meetings). The enrolled participants target the B2 level (CEFR , upper-intermediate), the course is a 24 hours training (2hours per week), with the addition of a tutoring activities (an hour per week). The study puts together qualitative (observation and interviews) and quantitative (questionnaires and weekly satisfactory surveys) investigation of the different courses to provide creative and relevant activities based on scientific knowledge, empirical findings, and the know-how that the combination of the two generates in learners (Mc Kenney & Reeves, 2019: 13). The study also brings to light the importance of exploring some theoretical notions related to e-learning such as “zoom-fatigue” (Bennett 2021) and “affordance” (Hartwick 2018), among others.
Harnessing theory, research, and technological affordances to support online learning of language function
Lily Compton, Elena Cotos (Iowa State University)
Higher education worldwide continues to seek scalable solutions to ensure that international teaching assistants (ITAs) are effectively trained to deliver instructional content to undergraduate students. Online teacher education courses can ensure scalability. To ensure successful language learning, online courses for ITAs should be designed to both enable the integration of various language-related affordances of technology and account for the types of exchanges characteristic of pedagogic discourse. Given that ITAs need to use language to organize, manage, and regulate learning activities depending on different instructional settings and purposes (e.g., presenting content, leading discussions, clarifying questions), online language courses need to create opportunities to develop their functional language ability (Butler et al., 2000; Lazaraton & Wagner, 1996). This paper focuses on an online, self-paced ITA course at a large midwestern university. The course builds on ITAs’ results on an institutional computer-assisted test of oral language proficiency (Yang & Cotos, 2018). ITAs certified between lower-intermediate and advanced levels are placed accordingly into three sections of the course, each section respectively focusing on prosody, interactive oral communication skills, and presentation skills. Most importantly, the course applies tenets from second language acquisition and systemic functional linguistics theories and translates empirical results from ITA studies of authentic lab, recitation, and lecture discourse (Cotos & Chung, 2018, 2019) in the design of tasks centered on specific instructional purposes and language functions. In addition to demonstrating how theory and research are integrated, we showcase how asynchronous and synchronous tasks, as well as the affordances of audio-visual and video-conferencing tools, enhance ITAs’ independent scaffolded practice in one section of this course. These present important directions for future investigations needed to inform course design decisions regarding the distribution of synchronous and asynchronous tasks in online teaching of language functions as part of speaking skills.
Facilitating perceived teaching, social, and cognitive presence online by designing effective learning environments
Julie McCarroll, Peggy Hartwick (Carleton University)
In response to the COVID-19 shift to online teaching, researchers were motivated to create successful online learning contexts that are socially and cognitively engaging. Building on earlier findings investigating cognitive presence in an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program, researchers set out to understand how course design impacts teaching presence (TP), social presence (SP), and cognitive presence (CP), as perceived by students and instructors according to the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework (Garrison et al., 2000). According to Garrison et al., these three presences are mutually reinforcing and facilitate deep and meaningful learning when they intersect. Indeed, Noteboom and Claywell (2010) found that high levels of CP were reported by students who also experienced high levels of social and teaching presences. In this talk, we present data from a CoI survey administered to both students and teachers and an analysis of our course design. Instructor participants reported lower levels of TP than students, but higher levels of SP and CP, suggesting that instructors overestimate the extent to which students were comfortable, interested in, and motivated to explore topics. Presenters speculate on how course design might better align with the CoI. These results help to demonstrate the relationship between effective course design and perceived CoI. Results can inform best practices in the future for sustained TP, SP, and CP in online learning environments.
Empirically-based guidelines for the design of tasks in computer-based L2 listening environments
Monica Stella Cárdenas-Claros, Kimberley Dassonvalle, Belén Cáceres-Ramírez, Paula Rodriguez-Arias (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso)
Existing criteria have been used to ground the design of language learning tasks both in face-to-face contexts (e.g. Ellis & Shintani, 2013) and in technology-mediated contexts (e.g. González-Lloret & Ortega, 2014). Also, they have primarily addressed the design of output-based tasks. However, as in other areas of research in English Language Teaching, task design in L2 listening remains under-researched. In this presentation, we introduce a set of empirically-based guidelines for the design of tasks for computer-based L2 listening environments. The guidelines were constructed based on the personal goals of high-beginner listeners of English. The participants, 68 high school learners from Chile, completed an entry questionnaire and participated in three 9-member focus group sessions where they explored, reflected, and shared their personal goals and their expectations of computer-based L2 listening materials using established techniques from Educational Engineering. This information was complemented with teachers’ interviews. The verbal data were transcribed, analyzed, and emerging characteristics identified. The preliminary set of guidelines not only captures characteristics that are intrinsic and exclusive to second language listening but also takes advantage of specific affordances of computer-based listening environments such as levels of support and guidance. Our guidelines are discussed with regards to the criteria for the design of language learning tasks, criteria for the design of technology-based TBLT, and L2 listening pedagogy. The audience will be invited to validate the guidelines, enrich them based on their own teaching and research experience, and assess their relevance to their teaching contexts.
An exploratory study of Korean EFL preservice teachers’ reflections on flipped learning
Eunjeong Park (Sunchon National University)
Higher institutions have strived to effectively utilize technology with various formats, such as flipped learning, blended learning, micro colleges, and massive open online courses (MOOCs), to prepare college students to be flexible and open to the use of technology in different fields and disciplines. Among them, this study particularly focuses on flipped learning. Flipped learning is referred to as an inverted classroom or upside-down classroom, indicating an instructional approach to maximize learning via technology (Du, 2018). This study explored preservice teachers’ experiences and perceptions of flipped learning in the pandemic. Thirty Korean EFL preservice teachers participated in the survey research; fifteen of them joined the interviews in this study. For data analysis, survey data were analyzed along with descriptive statistics. Then, thematic analysis was used to explore recurring themes and patterns in the interview data. The findings revealed that the preservice teachers deeply considered flipped learning as useful for self-regulation and autonomy. They also discussed the advantages and challenges of flipped learning. In terms of online sessions for previewing, however, they perceived the need for instant feedback from their professor and interactions with their peers. Lastly, the preservice teachers argued that the online sessions before the class should be closely connected to their learning in class. Pedagogical implications are also discussed in this study.
Reframing an online course for English acquisition: Incorporating the voices of adolescent Emergent Bilingual Learners
Miriam Eisenstein Ebsworth (New York University), Chencen Cai (Guangdong University of Foreign Studies), Patricia Duffy (United Nations Language Programme), Lauren McCoy (Manhattan Academy for Arts and Language)
Engaging the affordances of the Internet to enhance second language learning has been recommended for many years (Chapelle, 2019) while a language-through-content methodology is accepted practice. The recent focus on equity adds a crucial dimension. Nevertheless, studies documenting how online thematic courses promote these goals for adolescent learners are limited. The online course, Action Through Words: Learning English While Learning about the United Nations (ATW), addresses the challenge of equity in school as it supports the use of technology and English development for learners while providing information on the work of the UN to promote peace, health, and international understanding. This action research study involved diverse adolescent EB learners (De Leyn et al. 2022) in an Advanced Placement (AP) English class, acting as user/consultants, utilize web-based materials to promote academic skills and a global orientation towards working for a more peaceful world. This phase of the research partnered with a public High School for Emergent Bilinguals (EBs) in the Northeastern US. Data from this project will also inform an evaluation and revision of the online course with the goal of making it more attractive and useful to diverse teens worldwide while exploring the potential importance of empowering students with an active role not only in their own learning but also in developing a learning tool for others. Participants’ role as consultants captured their interest as collaborators in a meaningful online educational process, providing concrete suggestions for improving the content and design of the website to make it more attractive to other adolescents.
Task-based English online teaching during Covid-19：the achievable and unachievable
Ding Feng, Danting Zahu (Guangdong University of Foreign Studies)
Embedded in transactional distance (TD) theory, this paper attempted to document how teachers and students adapted to an online task-based English course in a Chinese university during the Covid-19. Ten teachers of the course were interviewed at three different times. Perceptions of students were collected through questionnaire and interview to triangulate teachers’ data. Findings show that: (1) students were generally satisfied with online teaching, but nearly 40% of them reported lowered motivation compared with previous offline teaching; (2) most teachers adopted a more teacher-centered teaching mode and reported a less sense of accomplishment; (3) teachers were more receptive to blended teaching for this course in the future after this online teaching experience. This study has implications for maximizing the communicative nature of online language courses, and informing a better design for blended task-based language courses.
Is there a link between learners’ patterns of interaction and text quality?
Nuhi Bllaca (University of Vienna)
Previous research has shown that the more collaborative patterns of interaction learners form the more correct resolution of language-related episodes (LREs) they produce (Watanabe & Swain, 2007). Additionally, research on collaborative writing in face-to-face (FTF) and computer-mediated mode (CMC) has established a positive relationship between patterns of interaction and the quality of the written text (Abrams, 2019; Watanabe, 2019). However, these results have been drawn from studies involving small samples of participants from university context, while research in secondary school contexts is almost non-existent. Therefore, the present study aims to bridge this gap by investigating the process and product of the written texts in terms of grammatical accuracy produced by 54 adolescent EFL learners as they complete a meaning-focused task in pairs using Google Docs. Building on previous research (e.g., Abrams, 2016; Abrams, 2019) the present study will analyze: (a) learners’ revision histories to establish their level of contribution and engagement with other’s contribution in terms of task content, (b) the accuracy of linguistic edits they make, and (c) their linguistic focus as they make language revisions and edits. Finally, a follow-up questionnaire will be administered to explore learners’ preferences and perceptions towards collaborative writing in FTF and CMC. Key words: collaborative writing, grammatical accuracy, patterns of interaction, preferences of mode.
Assessments in Online Language Courses: A Research Synthesis
Carol Chapelle, Haeun Kim (Iowa State University)
An important decision online language course designers have to make is how, when, and why to include assessments. Familiar assessment practices from face-to-face teaching provide a starting point, but affordances of technology present new challenges and opportunities for assessment that require a stronger foundation in principles of language assessment than many course designers have. This paper systematically investigates the types of assessments used in online language courses and the rationales researchers/course designers provide for their assessment choices. Specifically, the goal was to 1) reveal the range of assessment purposes, technology-mediated methods, constructs assessed, and rationales for the assessments; and 2) interpret these current practices through a lens of learning-oriented assessment–a perspective highlighting the role of assessment for supporting learning (Carless, 2007; Turner & Purpura, 2016). Our research synthesis on assessments in online language courses began with searches of two electronic databases most commonly used in applied linguistics and language education: LLBA and ERIC. A search string consisting of topic-relevant terms (e.g., test, assessment, evaluation, measurement, exam, MOOC, online course, distance learning) was used to search within the title, abstract, subject heading, and keywords of articles published between 2015 and February 2022. The search was limited to 15 peer-reviewed journals found in exploratory searches to contain studies with assessments in online language learning/teaching contexts. We identified 20 articles reporting research on online language courses and MOOCs that included assessments and were therefore of interest for the study. We will present the outcomes from our analysis consisting of 1) an overview of the assessment purposes, methods, constructs, and assessment rationales appearing in the research, and 2) an analysis of the extent of support the assessments provide for learning from a learning-oriented assessment perspective. The example assessments and analysis will motivate recommendations for course design and research on online language courses.
Exploring collaborative writing between large groups in online distance learning
Fang Mei (The Education University of Hong Kong), Jinlan Tang (Beijing Foreign Studies University), Qing Ma (The Education University of Hong Kong)
Collaborative writing has been widely adopted as an instructional strategy in many educational settings and has attracted great attention of second/foreign language researchers. It involves different aspects of the writing processes, including collaborative planning, idea generation, joint writing, revision, as well as editing (Storch, 2013). Research has demonstrated various benefits of collaborative writing, including the enrichment of writing perspectives, the development of language/communication skills, the raising of audience awareness, and the improvement of language accuracy. However, such collaborative writing tasks typically involve small groups and there is a scarcity of research investigating collaborative writing between large groups and how their interaction processes relate to the quality of the writing product. The current study adopted a mixed-method approach to examine the intra-group interaction processes in two large groups on a CALL writing assignment and how the interactions could influence their writing outcomes. In this study, the interaction data collected through a public forum and private chat groups were coded and examined quantitatively and qualitatively in terms of language functions such as acknowledging, agreeing, questioning, and suggesting. In addition, the two group writing products were evaluated as learning outcome and two follow-up group interviews were conducted. Results show that the high-performance group demonstrated an expert/participant pattern, while the low-performance group adopted a dominant/passive pattern. In addition, the interview data reveals the exact interaction patterns and how these patterns shape student learning outcomes. Some implications are provided regarding how to design collaborative writing tasks to promote interaction and foster high levels of collaborative knowledge construction to facilitate students’ online writing and L2 learning for large groups.
Workload in undergraduate composition courses: Estimating the time spent by students and teachers
Abram Anders, Amy Walton, Haeun Kim, Jeanne Beck, Zoe Zawadzki (Iowa State University)
This study investigates the workload of undergraduate students enrolled in introductory college composition courses and their instructors. Previous literature has studied teacher but not student workload in this context (Haswell, 2005; Suh et al., 2019). Investigating student workload can allow students to better allocate their time and promote language learning. Investigating teacher workload can help uncover issues concerning emotional labor, assessment, and feedback practices, which are highly relevant in English courses. Moreover, analyzing workload can promote instructional design strategies that can better support attention allocation and time management. This is especially relevant when pandemic-related challenges have led to reports of heightened workload for both groups (McMurtrie, 2021). The main questions addressed include how the different aspects of our course design, including assignment types and amounts of materials presented contribute to the weekly workload of instructors and students. Therefore, we analyzed the workload of activities across several weeks from two online composition courses in Spring 2021, which are required courses for all students, including L2 learners. To calculate workload, we created a custom heuristic based on Workload Estimator 2.0 (e.g., Barre, et al., n.d.). Results show student workload can vary by week and module, generally falling within suggested parameters but sometimes exceeding recommended amounts. Results also show that students spend the majority of their time reading; for teachers this was providing feedback on assignments, though this varied by experience level and type of feedback provided. Providing time estimates and indicating appropriate levels of focus (skimming vs close reading) may benefit students, which is something to consider in program and curricular designs, and individual instructor planning. Workload estimates can also inform designing reading and writing tasks requiring different levels of proficiency and engagement. Implications for L2 learners situated in introductory college composition courses will also be discussed.
The effect of corrective feedback accuracy on pronunciation improvement
Alif Silpachai, Reza Neiriz, MacKenzie Novotny (Iowa State University), Ricardo Gutierrez-Osuna (Texas A&M University), John Levis, Evgeny Chukharev-Hudilainen (Iowa State University)
Corrective feedback (CF) is essential for second language (L2) improvement. For second language pronunciation, it is unclear whether CF provided by L2 computer-assisted pronunciation training tools must be 100% accurate to promote improvement. This study tested the hypothesis that higher CF accuracy promotes better L2 pronunciation improvement after training (the excellent CF–excellent pronunciation hypothesis). Using a web-based interface, 30 native speakers of Chinese dialects did a pretest, were trained to produce nine sound contrasts in English using a web-based interface, and did an immediate posttest. The study manipulated feedback accuracy using a Wizard of Oz protocol in which human phonetically-trained listeners in a separate room provided CF on the trainees’ productions, but the trainees thought that the computer-based system provided the CF. Of the nine sound contrasts, three were presented with 100% accuracy, three with 66% accuracy (one of three responses were changed randomly), and three with 33% accuracy (two of three human feedback responses were changed). Different learners received different levels of accuracy on different sets of sounds. The trainees’ pre- and posttest productions were rated for accuracy by native speakers of English. The results partially supported the excellent CF–excellent pronunciation hypothesis. Productions were not significantly better when the trainees received CF with 100% versus 66% accuracy, but productions resulting from both 100% or 66% accuracy were better compared to CF with 33% accuracy. This suggests CF pronunciation tools may not need CF that is 100% accurate to be useful for learners, but particularly poor accuracy is unlikely to be helpful for learners, perhaps because learners will feel that they cannot rely on the feedback or will not know what changes they need to make to improve their production. Implications for the development of L2 pronunciation training software are provided.
Telecollaborative Intercultural Communication Projects: A case study between the US and Japan
Sarah S. Davis (Iowa State University), Joe Geluso (Nihon University College of Law)
Rapid technological advances have made international telecommunication increasingly accessible. Technology in turn has made intercultural collaborative projects more tenable than ever (Çiftçi & Savaş, 2018). In this presentation, we will report on an intercultural telecollaborative project between students at a large midwestern university in the US and a large private university in Tokyo, Japan. The students in the US (n = 8) were part of a technical communications course, and the students in Japan (n = 11) were part of an advanced English as a foriegn language course. Intercultural communications was an objective for both courses. The collaboration took place over five weeks. Mixed student teams were tasked with creating a 5-minute instructional video for foreign visitors to Japan. Earlier studies on telecollaboration have emphasized a need to train students in the use of digital tools (e.g., Chun, 2011); however, we purposefully did not train or encourage any particular tool, opting instead to observe student choices for project execution. Several project deliverables with content guidelines (e.g., topic proposal, storyboards) were required; however, teams freely chose how to complete the project (e.g., technology for communicating, recording, and editing, frequency of meetings, division of labor, etc.).We triangulate qualitative methods, including weekly student reflections, a summative reflection, and interviews, to discover students’ negotiation of team responsibilities, and technology choices, and provide insights into their work patterns and perceptions about this approach to teaching and learning. Generally, the students found the project engaging and motivating, and used a range of technologies to complete their tasks. Students also provided opinions on perceived areas where the project might be improved. The findings and insights from this study are situated within the broader literature and are relevant to course design, particularly with regard to intercultural competence, learner collaboration, and the teacher’s role in the learning environment.