Living in the twenty-first century, life unplugged seems impossible without the Internet, mobile phones, i-products or other types of electronic gadgets for long. While language educators are overwhelmingly occupied with investigating the impact of computers and mobile learning, here is a call to address the value of face-to-face instruction in second language education. The key function of second language learning is to interact with one another in the target language. Younger generations are, however, becoming indulged in and even addicted to the technological tools without significant improvement in language competency and communication skills when compared with predecessors who have less accessibility of such tools that are so prevalent nowadays. The current empirical study explores the possibility of ‘avatar teacher’, alternatives to over-reliance on online tools and limitations of technology on ESL education. Recommendations of innovative ways to engage learners with controlled amount of technology are made to language education professionals.
This paper presents the findings of a PhD research (2013) which investigates the phenomenon of Arabic learning as a foreign language (AFL) within the present global context and the complexity of the Arabic language learning situation compounded by the contrasting socio-political forces that underpin the learning of Arabic in the world today. The empirical part of the study was carried out in all seven educational institutions in Melbourne that offered Arabic language programs to adult learners in 2008-2009. A total of 160 learners and eight teachers participated in the study. Multiple methods (qualitative and quantitative) were employed for data collection; an online survey was administered to 160 learners of Arabic across the seven institutions and in-depth one-to-one interviews were conducted with sixteen learners and eight teachers of Arabic who taught at the above institutions. The research explored various educational and social attitudinal aspects involved in Arabic language learning and produced a rich description and analysis of learners’ attitudes, motivations and orientations in an attempt to reach an in-depth understanding of their motivational thinking and of the meanings they make of their experiences. The conceptual background of the study is informed by L2 motivation theories and research in educational and social psychology of second language acquisition.]]>
Recent rapid growth in the accessibility of online learning tools has assisted in the teaching and learning of te reo Maori, New Zealand’s endangered indigenous language. This paper outlines changes made in an initial teacher education Maori language course to increase students’ motivation and facilitate greater autonomous learning. A Moodle-based platform now provides students with links to free-access websites, commercial vocabulary learning software, and other tools and resources to augment lectures and workshops. Qualitative and quantitative results from a survey of students will be reported, showing the value students ascribed to each facet of this blended approach relative to changes in their Maori language proficiency, understanding of Maori culture, and ability to teach Maori. This paper will be of particular interest to teachers and teacher educators wanting to utilise online technologies to enhance students’ language learning experiences and outcomes.
We will listen to extracts from the authentic interviews with Italian native speakers in Fra Amici 2, plus a few of the constructed dialogues and narratives in Fra Amici and in Fra Amici 2. The emphasis will be on the interviews with Italian native speakers. The Audio Tour will be accompanied by a Workshop Outline describing the interviewees and showing the themes and topics covered. Teachers will be invited to describe their classroom use of these types of resources.
This session will see an update on the current state of play with the Australian Curriculum:Languages.
Campsie Public School is one of four NSW bilingual schools. The bilingual program is offered as an option alongside the traditional curriculum. The school’s language focus is Korean and the language is taught to selected classes each day. The program builds on a broad body or research which indicates that bilingual education stimulates intellectual development, generates greater flexibility in thinking, gives learners a better understanding of their first language, and develops listening skills.
This paper presents the preliminary results of a collaboration between a native Chinese speaking PhD students and a second language Chinese teacher in South Australia with input from her university supervisor.There has been growing interest in using authentic texts in language teaching. This research is about locating, using and evaluating authentic texts created by native speakers for a social purpose as the basis for the teaching and learning program. This paper presents authentic texts which have been chosen to complement the topic The World of Work and student work samples from 2 tasks which are based on these texts. It examines some of the practical issues in finding, adapting and using such resources and provides some anecdotal feedback from students. Although the texts are in Chinese, English versions will be provided so the paper will be relevant for all second language classes at senior secondary level.
What lessons can be learned by returning to the role of student? Can this experience be used to inspire our day to day teaching? What innovative ideas from an immersion program can we incorporate into our everyday language lessons? Can these be used to interact and raise the language proficiency of our students? What about our own proficiency? This session will share the wealth of ideas and resources that are the product of a program which brings together hundreds of language teachers from all over Australia in their respective language groups for an experience that will benefit them, their students and their colleagues for years to come. The session is aimed at participants who seek to learn about ways to up-skill themselves as teachers through both language and cultural learning. Take home resources will also be provided.]]>
This paper outlines a study designed to assist teachers of languages implement substantial change in their teaching practice, with recognition of contextual factors in their own setting. Design features of both a longitudinal perspective and sensitivity to teaching context were intended to reflect understandings of teachers’ learning as experiential, individual and developmental. Given this view, a range of context sensitive methods were used including the use of lesson study, a form of participatory action research that provides a window on teachers’ micro practices in order to examine deeply held beliefs and understandings that influence practice. This paper describes the experience of two native speaker teachers of Chinese as they undertake to review, understand and enhance their current teaching practice in relation to their specific language, context and their own learners. The discussion focuses on the nature of the substantial changes observed in curriculum, teaching and learning and in the teacher.]]>