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Outside the Box Rethinking Language Learning in the 21 st Century

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  1. Outside the BoxRethinking Language Learning in the 21st Century Dr. Sue E. K. OttoThe University of Iowa sue-otto@uiowa.edu

  2. Factors that influence our thinking • “Digital native” students • Education trends and imperatives • Second language teaching and learning

  3. What is a digital native? Marc Prensky Frontline: digital_nation – life on the virtual frontier Aired on PBS, February, 2010

  4. Digital Immigrants and Natives The single biggest problem facing education today is that our Digital Immigrant instructors, who speak an outdated language (that of the pre-digital age), are struggling to teach a population that speaks an entirely new language. ... Digital Immigrant teachers assume that learners are the same as they have always been, and that the same methods that worked for the teachers when they were students will work for their students now. But that assumption is no longer valid. Today's learners are different. Marc Prensky, Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/

  5. Instructional preferences Many educators prefer: • slow, controlled release of info from limited sources • to provide text before pictures, sounds and video • to provide info linearly, logically and sequentially • to teach “just-in-case” • feel compelled to teach to the curriculum guide/tests Digital learners prefer: • receiving info quickly from multiple multimedia sources • processing pictures, sounds color, and video before text • random access to hyper-linked multimedia information • to learn “just-in-time” • learning that’s relevant, active, instantly useful and fun From “Closing the digital divide” Jukes & McCain, 2008

  6. Education trends/imperatives • Education reform • Student-centered, (inter)active instruction • Collaborative tasks • Performance-based assessment • New literacies • Doing more with less

  7. Education Reform for the 21st Century • Conventional • Teacher-directed • Didactic teaching • Short blocks of instruction on a single subject • Individual work • Teacher as knowledge dispenser • Ability groupings • Assessment of fact knowledge/discrete skills • Reform • Student exploration • Interactive instruction • Extended blocks of authentic and multidisciplinary work • Collaborative work • Teacher as facilitator and mentor • Heterogeneous groupings • Performance-based assessment From Using Technology to Support Education Reform, a report by Means et al. for the U.S. Department of Education, 1993.

  8. Literacy The condition or quality of being literate, especially the ability to read and write.

  9. Information Literacy Association of College and Research Libraries Skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information that include the abilities to: • Determine the extent of information needed • Access information sources in many formats effectively and efficiently • Critically evaluate information and sources • Use information to achieve a specific goal • Understand the legal and social issues involved in using information and making ethical and legal use of it

  10. New Media Literacies – MIT Style

  11. Information Literacy Skills They are not just skills for the classroom. And they’re not just skills for the workplace. They’re skills that involve creative expression, they’re skills that involve citizenship, they’re skills that connect people together at something larger than the individual level. Henry Jenkins, MIT

  12. Information literacy and language learning: Ability to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information in the target language, interpreting it in the context of the target culture.

  13. Doing more with less . . . • Teach more students • Do it for less money • Respond to • needs of individual students • demands of the globalized marketplace • Use technology to accomplish the above

  14. Hybrid courses • Reduced number of face-to-face class meetings • Deliver more instruction online • Listening and reading practice • Speaking practice/performance with voice tools • Grammar tutorials and practice • Assessment • Quizzes (online) • Oral assessments and chapter test (online in testing center) • Midterm/final oral exam (face-to-face) • Final exam (paper & pencil)

  15. SLA theories, approaches and issues Sociocultural Theory Associate-Cognitive CREED pragmatics Processability Theory Universal Grammar interlanguagedevelopment Input Processing Complexity Theory feedback learner characteristics Autonomous Induction Theory Language Socialization Systemic-Functional Skill Acquisition Theory motivation, beliefs Interactionist Theory Concept-Oriented Approach Conversation Analysis critical period

  16. The Big Picture • Digital natives: their skills and expectations • Education reform • Changing realities and expectations of educational institutions • Current trends in language pedagogy, changes prompted by SLA research

  17. Fundamental changes • Instructional mission • Class time • Time outside of class

  18. Change in instructional mission: [from knowledge to knowledge-able] Focus on how, not what: • Skills and strategies • How to communicate effectively • How to observe, bootstrap, cope • How to look for, evaluate and interpret/analyze information • Practice (DeKeyser: Skill Acquisition Theory)

  19. Rethinking class time Less teacher talk/lecturing More group interaction and exploration Information technology available to both teacher and students

  20. Rethinking practice outside of class (CALL exercises) Podcasts YouTube Public discussion forums Blogs Wikis FaceBook Concordancers/corpora Creative projects Virtual worlds (e.g., Second Life) Chat, IM, Skype Twitter, texting Web research Games

  21. Russian Language in Context Lesson author: Lyudmila Klimanova FLARE SLA doctoral candidate, University of Iowa • AdvancedRussian students • Project on Vladimir Zherebtsov • Popular actor: http://zherebtsov-vladimir.narod.ru/index2.html • Forum: http://zherebtsov.borda.ru/ • Main tasks: • Visit website and gather personal information to answer questions. • Explore and find out information about the forum; register. • Students read recent postings for 3 discussion threads, write 1-2 posts per thread, monitor responses to their posts, document their forum activities. • Culminating reflections: differences between this forum and US forums; thoughts on the various tasks; what students learned/gained

  22. Up and Down Sides • Students explore/participate in authentic fan forum • Culturally authentic environment • Authentic language use • Interaction with Russian native speakers • Exposure to Russian pop culture • Student acceptance in forum not immediate • Some students not interested/not engaged • Difficulty in tracking participation (teacher)

  23. The Spanish Civil War Learning objectives: • develop an understanding of the ideological debates informing the war • experience a select number of works about the war • analyze relationships among art, politics, and propaganda Learning space with: • Round tables (seat 9) • Networked laptops (3 per table) • Multiple large computer/video displays • Whiteboards Tom Lewis

  24. TILE learning spacesTransform, Interact, Learn, Engage Seeing peers and self as additional important sources of authority and knowledge Student as active contributor, problem solver, and discussant High expectations for preparation for class and in-class participation Collaborative work with peers

  25. Clickers: spot checking/discussion

  26. Other class activities • Short introductory presentation (1 ppt slide, teacher) • Sight read Hernández poem “Nanas de la cebolla” (whole class) • Read/watch/listen to 4 internet texts—audio, video, readings— related to Hernández (teams) discuss and take notesteams report to class (teacher-orchestrated) • Watch scene from film Tierra ylibertad(whole class); recap pros and cons of private ownership (teams/whiteboard) • [Quizzes and first exam] • Homework/outside of class: • Readings • Aperitivos (warm-up questions to prepare for next class) • Wiki • Midterm and final exams

  27. 75 minute class period: Student group work: 50 minutes Class discussion (teacher orchestrated): 20 minutes Teacher lecture: <5 minutes Technology in play for: ~60 minutes(significant practice with tech resources and tools)

  28. Mentiraproject (Sykes & Holden) • Mobile game: Fictional murder mystery set in Los Griegos neighborhood of Albuquerque • Played by students • with iPod Touch (using GPS capability) • out on the streets of Los Griegos • http://www.mentira.org/

  29. Rethinking The world we have created is a product of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking. Albert Einstein