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On Implementing an ESL Teacher Education Program Using Information Technology. Andreas Schramm [email protected] Ann Mabbott [email protected] Hamline University St. Paul, Minnesota. Overview. I. Background II. Course Development III.Course Support IV. Course Delivery

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On Implementing an ESL Teacher Education Program Using Information Technology

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On Implementing an ESL Teacher Education Program Using Information Technology

Andreas Schramm

[email protected]

Ann Mabbott

[email protected]

Hamline University

St. Paul, Minnesota


I. Background

II. Course Development

III.Course Support

IV. Course Delivery

V. Conclusion

I. Background

  • Elements of a Quality Online Teacher Education Program

    • Interaction among students and between the professor and the students is central.

    • Education is student-centered and constructivist in nature.

    • There is an emphasis on practical application as well as a strong theoretical background.

Background of our Program

  • MA in ESL with teacher licensure located in Minnesota

  • 3 separate tracks for teachers of:

    a. K-12 students in the US,

    b. Immigrant and refugee adults in the US, and

    c. overseas learners of English.

Background of our Program

  • Most of our students are practicing ESL teachers by the time they finish, if not before.

  • Most are adding the MA in ESL to previous credentials in teaching or applied linguistics.

  • Students live both close to and far from campus.

  • Competencies Included in the ESL Teacher Education Language as Content (21 credits)

    • Teaching Methodology (14 cr.)

    • Research/MA Thesis (8 cr.)

    • Practice Teaching (1-10 cr.; not online)

II. Course Development

  • Must be planned and deliberate within theoretical framework

  • We conducted initial analysis to identify theoretical framework

  • There are similarities and differences between traditional and online courses

  • Differences:

    • access,

    • medium,

    • interaction amount,

    • learner control,

    • interactivity

      (e.g., Herring, 1996; Warschauer, Shetzer, & Meloni, 2000),

    • expanded teacher roles, etc.

      (Bennett & Lockyer, 2004)

  • Similarities

    • motivation,

    • setting designed for learning,

    • language communication,

    • visuals, etc.

      (e.g., Brumfit, Phillips, & Skehan, 1985; Herring, 1996)

  • Web course developers tend to focus on differences

  • We focus on similarities (see also Bennett and Lockyer, 2004)

  • This facilitates envisioning teaching and learning online

  • Two parts to a successful theoretical framework:

    • student-centered constructivist educational philosophy(Mezirow, 2000, Bennet and Lockyer, 2004)

    • courses as communicative situations(Hymes, 1972)

  • Similarities revealed by ethnographic analysis of course communication: (Schramm, 2005; Schramm and Mabbott, 2005)

    • Setting-participant communication components

      • public vs. private

      • student-instructor

      • student-student

  • Setting-event combinations

    • lectures

    • whole-class meetings

    • small-group discussions

    • informal exchanges


  • Lectures:

    • public, instructor-student one-way communication delivered

      • statically as Web page

      • as slideshow-sound combination

      • synchronously via web-conferencing


  • Whole-class meetings:

    • public, instructor-student, student-student multi-directional delivered

      • dynamically via bulletin board or

      • via chat room

      • synchronously via web-conferencing


  • Small-group meetings:

    • public, instructor-student, student-student multi-directional delivered to student subset

      • dynamically via bulletin board or

      • via chat room

      • outcome collated collaboratively via Wiki


  • Informal exchanges:

    • public, student-student, multi-directional delivered

      • dynamically via bulletin board, chat room, or web-conferencing to students only

      • pair-share tasks via text boxes and immediate student-initiated text feedback


  • Off-to-the-side & Office hours:

    • private, instructor-student & student-student implemented using

      • individual email

      • web-conferencing

  • More similarities detected by communicative ethnography

    • forms and topics:

      • language & humor

      • content

      • visuals


  • Language:

    • informal

    • humorous

      (Koetter 2002)


  • Content & Visuals kept intact:

    • speech sounds in linguistics via streamed sound files

    • streamed educational videos

    • video-taped ESL teaching techniques

    • Jeopardy game slideshow for syntax review

    • Flash exercises, e.g. drag-and-drop

III. Course Support

  • Course recreation takes two phases

    • course design

    • program planning and coordination

  • Three expertises needed

    • course design

    • technological implementation

    • pedagogical understanding

  • Additional Staffing Needs

    • Faculty need more time

      • higher discussion participation

      • assessment items handling

    • Staff

      • adminstrative, e.g. orientation, student questions

      • tech support

  • Library staff

    • online or phone reference desk work

    • library orientation materials

  • Instructional Technology Staff for

    • re-creation of course activities, materials

    • electronic preparation of additional materials (audio, video, orientation, etc.)

    • identification and implementation of instructional hardware

IV. Program Delivery

  • Main program objectives

    • deliver course content

    • allow interaction with material

    • facilitate learning interactively

    • address multiple learning styles

    • advise on academic theses

  • Comparable delivery

    • Learning Management System Blackboard:

      • classroom

      • video

      • audio

      • handouts

      • slideshows

      • images

      • illustrations

      • exercises

  • web-conferencing software Elluminate Live!:

    • real-time interactivity

    • application-sharing

    • screen-sharing

  • Other Software

    • Flash animation, e.g. pair-share exercises

    • Wiki for collaboration on documents

    • digitization software for preparation, delivery of video and audio materials

  • Comparable Library Resources

    • multiple full-text databases

    • electronic document delivery

    • e-books

V. Conclusion

  • Frydenberg (2002) lists nine domains of quality are the basis for setting course standards.

    Today we addressed the first two:

    • design and development

    • instruction and instructor services

  • Others need to be addressed as well:

    • executive commitment

    • technological infrastructure

    • student services

    • program delivery

    • financial health

    • legal and regulatory requirements and

    • program evaluation

Program Evaluation

  • Program evaluation and continual improvement more challenging than for campus programs

  • but necessary to ensure program quality.

Reference List

  • Bennett, S. & Lockyer, L. (2004). Becoming and online teacher: Adapting to a changed environment for teaching and learning in higher education. Educational Media International, 41(3), 231-244.

  • Brumfit, C., Phillips, M., & Skehan, P. (Eds.). (1985). Computers in English language teaching. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

  • Frydenberg, J. (2002). Qualitative standards in eLearning: A matrix of analysis. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning 3 (2), Retrieved February 21, 2003, from http://www.irrodl.org/content/v3.2/frydenberg.html

  • Herring, S. (Ed.). (1996). Computer-mediated communication: Linguistic, social and cross-cultural perspectives. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Reference List

  • Hymes, D. (1972) Introduction. In C. Cazden, V. John, & D. Hymes (Eds.), Functions of language in the classroom (pp. xi–xvii). New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

  • Kötter, M. (2002) Tandem learning on the internet. Frankfurt/M.: Peter Lang Publishing.

  • Mabbott, A. & Schramm, A.(2005).Course quality in online English-as-a-Second-Language teacher education. In M. Bigelow & C. Walker (Eds.), Creating teacher community: Selected papers from the Third International Conference on Language Teacher Education. Minneapolis, MN: Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition.

Reference List

  • Third International Conference on Language Teacher Education. Minneapolis, MN: Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition.

  • Mezirow, J. (2000). Learning to think like an adult: Core concepts of transformation theory. In J. Mezirow (Ed.), Learning as transformation (pp. 3–33). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

  • Schramm, A. (2005). Making online students connect: Ethnographic strategies for developing online learning experiences. In B. Holmberg, M. Shelley, & C. White (Eds.), Languages and distance education: Evolution and change. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

  • Warschauer, M., Shetzer, H., & Meloni, C. (2000). Internet for English teaching. Alexandria, VA: TESOL.

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