Volume 24 Number 3, October 2020

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 15
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    Teaching languages online: Professional vision in the making
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2020-10-15) Meskill, Carla ; Anthony, Natasha ; Sadykova, Gulnara
    The growing popularity of online language learning means that both experienced language professionals and novices are developing and delivering all or part of their language classes online. This study set out to query practicing online language educators as to how they view themselves; that is, their professional vision of themselves and their craft. One hundred seventy-four online language educators responded to a survey, nine of whom also participated in a synchronous online interview. Responses to questions regarding professional vision varied by stance (teacher-, student-, content-, and medium-centric) with the majority of respondents reporting viewing themselves chiefly as student-centered in their work. Pervasive descriptors of professional vision—comprised of individual stances and qualities, along with how these are enacted in practice—paint a vibrant picture of professionalism in online language education. Respondents report valuing authentic and multimodal affordances, opportunities for tailored instruction/feedback, and highly productive interactions with students, interactions otherwise not feasible in live classrooms. Variations in professional vision are discussed along with implications for online language educator support and development.
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    Embodied interaction: Learning Chinese characters through body movements
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2020-10-15) Xu, Xinhao ; Ke, Fengfeng
    This experimental study examined the design and effectiveness of embodied interactions for learning. The researchers designed a digital learning environment integrating body joint mapping sensors to teach novice learners Chinese characters, and examined whether the embodied interaction would lead to greater knowledge acquisition in language learning compared to the conventional mouse-based interaction. Fifty-three adult learners were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The study adopted a pretest, an immediate posttest, and a delayed posttest on knowledge acquisition. Although higher scores were found for the embodied interaction group in both posttests, only the delayed posttest showed a statistically significant group difference. The findings suggested that active embodied actions lead to better knowledge retention compared with the passive visual embodiment. The body-moving process works as an alternative and complementary encoding strategy for character understanding and memorization by associating the semantic meaning of a character with the construction of a body posture.
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    Online learning negotiation: Native-speaker versus nonnative speaker teachers and Vietnamese EFL learners
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2020-10-15) Chi, Pham Kim ; Loi, Nguyen Van
    Online English language teaching can now be facilitated by communication technology, which allows easy access to interaction with native speakers. Nevertheless, this industry subscribes to an assumption that native speaker English teachers (NESTs) are the gold standard of language whereas the non-native speaker English teachers (NNESTs) are inferior educators (Walkinshaw & Duong, 2014). Rare research has provided evidence of the negotiation produced by NESTs versus NNESTs with EFL learners online and its impact on the learners’ output. Thus, the current study narrows this empirical gap. Drawing upon a database of 30 five-minute interaction sessions between 30 teachers (15 NESTs and 15 NNESTs) and 30 basic level Vietnamese EFL adult learners, the study revealed similar negotiation of meaning functions as reported in previous research. However, the NESTs used more elaboration while the NNESTs used more confirmation checks, clarification requests, and reply clarification. Qualitative analysis further indicated that the NNESTs provided more productive support, encouraging the learners’ output, than the NESTs did. This implies that although online voice interaction creates an environment for EFL learners to practice, language educators and teachers, regardless of status, should heed how to handle it so that online learners can benefit from both comprehensible input and opportunities for pushed output.
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    The effects of virtual exchanges on oral skills and motivation
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2020-10-15) Canals, Laia
    The present study aims to assess the benefits of participating in a virtual language exchange (VE) for practicing oral skills with native speakers by measuring learners’ motivation to learn the language, communicate, and collaborate. The oral language development of advanced learners of English at a Spanish university was compared with a control group from the same class who did not participate in the VE. This study’s motivation was two-fold: 1) pilot testing the VE project before making it mainstream and offering it as an integral part of this university’s language courses, and 2) testing whether that increased advanced learners’ purpose and motivation to communicate with others in the target language. Data were gathered from learners’ oral grades and two questionnaires to report on the participants’ experiences and examine the VEs’ potential to support the development of oral skills. Quantitative analyses of learners’ oral grades and questionnaires revealed that the VE contributed to boosting their oral skills, increased their motivation to learn the foreign language, and added a sense of purpose to collaborate with other learners while carrying out communicative tasks. Findings also suggest that improvement in oral skills was more noticeable among lower-proficiency learners taking part in the VE.
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    Data-driven learning of academic lexical bundles below the C1 level
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2020-10-15) Lay, Keith J. ; Yavuz, Mehmet A.
    This study investigates the possibility and efficacy of paper-based, in-class, data-driven learning (DDL) of academic lexical bundles below the C1 level of proficiency described by the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR; advanced high ACTFL). A two-stage experimental design involving three groups (n = 41) and 24 two-to-four word academic items was implemented. First, the question of whether this type of learning works with these items below the C1 level is addressed through a nonequivalent-groups quasi-experimental design covering a five-week period. The results indicate that this technique is effective at the B2 level, but not at the A2-B1 level. Next, an equivalent-groups experimental design compares this style of learning to conventional techniques at the B2 level. The results of this stage suggest that paper-based, in-class DDL is more effective than conventional learning with academic lexical bundles at the B2 level.
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    Exposure to L2 online text on lexical and reading growth
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2020-10-15) Cong-lem, Ngo ; Lee, Sy-Ying
    With the fast-paced development of technology in today’s society, there has been emerging a shift from paper-based reading to digital online reading. While the benefits of exposure to print have been well-established in previous studies, how online reading may impact individuals’ literacy development is largely underexplored. The current study investigated if the amount of English reading experience on the Internet could predict EFL students’ lexical knowledge and reading comprehension ability. Participants were ninety-seven Vietnamese undergraduate students who were administered a website checklist and a vocabulary size test. Their reading comprehension scores were also collected as measures of their reading abilities. Descriptive statistics, hierarchical linear regression and structural equation modelling were utilized for data analysis. The results indicated that exposure to L2 online text was a significant predictor of the participants’ vocabulary size as well as their reading comprehension growth during a course of two years. Pedagogical implications are discussed.
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    Technology-mediated task-based language teaching: A qualitative research synthesis
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2020-10-15) Chong, Sin Wang ; Reinders, Hayo
    In the past 10 to 15 years, researchers have begun to explore the possibility of synthesizing research on task-based language teaching (TBLT) and computer-assisted language learning (CALL) in the interests of advancing the development of both fields as well as informing practice. In particular, there has been an increasing number of naturalistic, classroom-based studies, which have demonstrated the affordances of TBLT in particular contexts, but whose findings may be less generalizable. Against this backdrop, a qualitative research synthesis of these classroom-based studies is warranted. The current study adopts grounded theory (GT) as the methodology to systematically synthesize qualitative findings from 16 technology-mediated TBLT studies published between 2002 and 2017 in second and foreign language contexts. This resulted in the identification of (a) the characteristics of technology-mediated TBLT, (b) the affordances and limitations of technology-mediated TBLT, and (c) the factors affecting the effectiveness of technology-mediated TBLT. Following this synthesis, a possible research agenda is proposed and practical implications are suggested.
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    Adolescent English learners’ language development in technology-enhanced classrooms
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2020-10-15) Carhill-Poza, Avery ; Chen, Jie
    Despite their demographic importance in U.S. classrooms, little is known about how the strengths and needs of English learners are engaged through technology, particularly as it is embodied by one-to-one devices such as iPads and Chromebooks. An exploratory study of English learners in technology-enhanced classrooms was undertaken at an urban secondary school with a strong ongoing commitment to student-centered uses of technology. The study used quantitative classroom observations and student surveys to explain variation in English language development among English learners and across classrooms. Findings show that the features of technology-enhanced classrooms that best supported language development were aligned with student-centered and strengths-based teaching; the use of technology in the classroom alone was insufficient. Our findings also bring to light individual characteristics of English learners that shaped their language development in technology-enhanced classrooms. These individual characteristics include academic engagement and language use with friends, as well as student work and being over-age for their grade.
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    Review of New ways in teaching with games
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2020-10-15) Nedry, Casey
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    Review of Blended basic language courses: Design, pedagogy, and implementation
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2020-10-15) Henshaw, Florencia