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Utilizing Internet Resources and Activities for Learner-Centered EFL Learning. Meei-Ling Liaw 廖美玲 English Department National Taichung University. Jack Richards 30 Years of TESL/TEFL: A Personal Reflection.

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utilizing internet resources and activities for learner centered efl learning

Utilizing Internet Resources and Activities for Learner-Centered EFL Learning

Meei-Ling Liaw 廖美玲

English Department

National Taichung University

jack richards 30 years of tesl tefl a personal reflection
Jack Richards30 Years of TESL/TEFL: A Personal Reflection
  • The emergence of humanistic methods: Self-access learning, self-directed learning, learner autonomy
  • Learner-centered teaching was contrasted with teacher-centered teaching. i.e., teaching in which primary decisions are carried out by the teacher based on his or her priorities.
  • Learner-centeredness refers to the belief that attention to the nature of learners should be central to all aspects of language teaching.
learner centeredness may be reflected by
Learner centeredness may be reflected by:
  • Recognizing learners’ needs, goals, and wishes
  • Recognizing learners’ prior knowledge
  • Recognizing learners’ learning styles and learning preferences
  • Recognizing learners’ views of teaching and the nature of classroom tasks
what does learner centered education look like
What does "learner-centered" education look like?
  • learners are active partners in the learning process
  • course/program/institution is continually renewed through feedback from learners
  • flexibility to accommodate the changing schedules of all learners
to make it possible
To make it possible…
  • Tools (technologies) are available as the learner needs them
  • A variety of learning opportunities for discussion - asynchronous and synchronous, collaboration, interaction, and multi-media capability
The Internet provides an unrestricted number of sources of information and data on most topics.
  • The Internet allows learners to seek information, meet experts in their subject matter, view information with webcam's, participate with online activities, and gain access to real documents.
internet world stats reports that
Internet World Stats reports that
  • TAIWAN TW - 22,858,872 population - Area: 36,175 sq km, Capital City: Taipei - GNI p.c. US$ 13,392 ('99)
  • 15,400,000 users as of June/07, 67.4% penetration, per TWNIC.
  • at end-2004, the IDC Information Society Index (ISI) rated Taiwan as having the world’s best wireless Internet penetration.
  • Taiwan has undoubtedly one of the most advanced telecommunications networks in Asia.
autonomous technology assisted language learning atall
Autonomous Technology-Assisted Language Learning(ATALL)

the development and use of technological tools to facilitate foreign language (FL) or second language (L2) learning

research on the development and use of such tools.

the use of technologies and other resources to foster learner autonomy
The use of technologies and other resources to foster learner autonomy

Supporting self-directed learning with an electronic learning environment

Fostering autonomy through collaborative language learning


can be used by students in conjunction with formal L2 study or by learners who are not taking L2 classes

activities can be used as an integrated component of formal L2 courses or for supplemental study (and perhaps extra credit) within L2 courses

encompasses all forms of electronic technology that can be used to facilitate L2 proficiency.

a familiar tool rich internet resources for autonomous efl learning
A familiar tool: Rich Internet resources for autonomous EFL learning
  • http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/esl/index.html
  • http://www.edict.com.hk/vlc/
  • http://www.englishstudydirect.com/OSAC/academicesol.htm
  • http://www.wordchamp.com/lingua2/Home.do
  • http://cla.univ-fcomte.fr/english/herethere/03.htm
  • http://www.praatlanguagelab.com/record.htm
  • http://candle.ntcu.edu.tw/candle_c1/
a new tool using concordance programs
A New Tool: Using concordance programs
  • An approach to CALL that can be considered innovative is the use of concordance programs - dubbed Data Driven Learning by Tim Johns. This approach dates back to the early 1980s and is now widely used, especially by teachers of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).
A concordance is a list of words taken from a piece of authentic language (corpus), displayed in the center of the page and shown with parts of the contexts in which they occur. This is also known as a Key Word In Context or KWIC concordance.
Two things are required to produce a set KWIC: A piece of concordance program and a corpus of (electronic) texts.
  • Examples of concordance programs
    • Wordsmith
    • Concordance
    • MonoConc
    • Simple Concordance Program (SCP)
    • PhraseContext
what is a corpus
What is a corpus?
  • A corpus can be either just one text or a collection of texts.
  • How big a corpus needs depends on what it is to be used for.
  • Chris Tribble* argues that a specialist micro corpus of about 25,000-30,000 words will be quite adequate for most educational purposes
Bilingual or multilingual concordances are known as parallel concordances
  • A corpus provides language workers with evidence of how language is really used. Traditional grammars and dictionaries tell us what a word ought to mean, but only experience can tell us what a word is used to mean.
  • *Tribble C. (1997) "Improvising corpora for ELT: quick-and-dirty ways of developing corpora for language teaching". In Melia J. & Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk B. (eds.) PALC 97 Proceedings, Lodz: Lodz University Press. Paper presented at the Practical Applications in Language Corpora (PALC 97) conference, University of Lodz, Poland: http://www.ctribble.co.uk/text/Palc.htm
list of uses of concordancing for language teaching
List of uses of concordancing for language teaching*
  • The teacher can use a concordancer to find examples of authentic usage to demonstrate features of vocabulary, typical collocations, a point of grammar or even the structure of a text.
  • The teacher can generate exercises based on examples drawn from a variety of corpora, for example gap-filling exercises and tests.
Students can work out rules of grammar or usage and lexical features for themselves by searching for key words in context. Depending on their level, they can be invited to question some of the rules, based on their observation of patterns in authentic language.
  • Students can be more active in their vocabulary learning: depending on their level, they can be invited to discover new meanings, to observe habitual collocations, to relate words to syntax, or to be critical of dictionary entries.
Students can be invited to reflect on language use in general, based on their own explorations of a corpus of data, thus turning themselves into budding researchers.
  • * Information retrieved from http://www.ict4lt.org/en/en_mod2-4.htm
online concordancers and corpora
Online concordancers and corpora
  • British National Corpus: The British National Corpus (BNC) is a 100 million word collection of samples of written and spoken language from a wide range of sources, designed to represent a wide cross-section of current British English, both spoken and written. http://www.natcorp.ox.ac.uk
  • Collins Cobuild:Cobuild uses a corpus of about 200 million words of written and spoken UK, US and NZ English in dictionary compilation. Collins Cobuild corpora are now accessible only by subscription.
  • KWICFinderhttp://miniappolis.com/KWiCFinder/KWiCFinder.html
how can concordancing contribute to language teaching and learning
How can concordancing contribute to language teaching and learning?
  • "Real" language and authenticity of the learning context
    • native speakers’ use of the language
    • Think about how you explain to your students that people don’t “eat” medicine but “take” medicine.
  • Analytical powers
    • hypothesis-testing device
Language awareness
    • encourage learners to "notice" forms, rather than simply use them.
    • Example: Students may notice that “very” does not go before “like.”
  • Curiosity and learner independence
example of concordance activity
Example of concordance activity
  • Exercise A
  • Search for “never+should”.
  • How many hits did you get? ______________
  • Try other combinations, such as “never+would”, “never+should”, “never+could”, “always+could” etc. and note how many hits you get.
  • Write down some of the citations here:



Exercise B

  • Now reverse the order. Search for “could+never” etc.
  • How many hits? _________
  • As for the word order of small adverbs of frequency and modals, the conclusion is that _______________ usually precedes ______________________.
  • Look at the examples you noted in Exercise A. Think of reasons why the author(s) used that position of the adverb of frequency. Write them here:



Exercise C

  • Use the same method to discover the position of adverbs of frequency in compound verbs.
  • e.g. Never+has/has+never/always+could etc. And now think about the answer to this question: is there a difference between UK and US usage?
an approach with a lot of potential internet based collaboration
An approach with a lot of potential: Internet based collaboration
  • Students can interact with real English speaking audiences.
  • Students are involved in writing and reading with a purpose.
  • Students are engaged in meaningful learning activities.
Students are provided with opportunities to communicate and interact in the target language in real communicational activities.
  • Teachers have a tool to create intrinsically interactive, motivating activities.
  • http://candle.ntcu.edu.tw/candle/
resources for cross cultural interaction and project work
Resources for cross-cultural interaction and project work
  • ePALS Classroom Exchangehttp://www.epals.com
  • Global Connections and Exchange Programshttp://exchanges.state.gov/education/citizens/students/programs/connections
  • GEM – Global Education Motivatorshttp://www.gem-ngo.org/
  • Global Gatewayhttp://www.globalgateway.org.uk/
  • Global Junior Challengehttp://www.gjc.it
  • iEARN – International Education and Resource NetworkiEARN-USA: http://us.iearn.org

iEARN International: http://www.iearn.org

iEARN Projects: http://www.iearn.org/projects/

TakingITGlobal http://about.takingitglobal.org/


journals dedicated to call
Journals dedicated to CALL
  • Language Learning and Technology (Online Journal)
  • ReCALL (European Association for Computer Assisted Language Learning)
  • CALICO Journal (Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium)
  • Teaching English with Technology (IATEFL Poland)
  • CALL-EJ On-line (Online Journal)
  • Computer Assisted Language Learning: An International Journal (Taylor and Francis)
  • CALL Review: the SIG Journal (The IATEFL Special Interest Group's Newsletter)
  • IALLT Journal (International Association for Language Learning Technology)
  • JALTCALL Journal (Japan Association of Language Teaching - Computer-Assisted Language Learning Special Interest Group)
  • ON-CALL (Australia) Archives only - now incorporated into CALL-EJ: http://www.cltr.uq.edu.au/oncall/home.html
  • Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (Blackwell - Computer Assisted Learning in general rather than CALL)
professional associations
Professional Associations
  • CALICO: US-based professional association devoted to CALL. Manages a regular annual conference.
  • EUROCALL: Europe-based professional association devoted to CALL. Manages a regular annual conference.
  • IALLT: US-based International Association for Language Learning Technology. IALLT is a professional organization dedicated to promoting effective uses of media centers for language teaching, learning, and research. Manages regular conferences.
  • APACALL: Asia-Pacific Association for CALL.
  • JALTCALL: Japan-based professional association devoted to CALL. Coordinates an annual conference and the JALTCALL Journal.
  • PacCALL: Professional CALL association in the Pacific: from East to Southeast Asia, Oceania, across to the Americas.
  • PacCALL Australia: Australian Chapter of the Pacific CALL Association
  • Learning Technologies Special Interest Group The Learning Technologies Special Interest Group of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language. This UK-based group runs a variety of events and produces a regular newsletter.
  • TESOL Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, CALL Interest Section.
  • WorldCALL: A worldwide association devoted to CALL and embracing other leading professional associations. The WorldCALL 2008 conference will take place in Japan.
  • SLaTE Speech and Language Technologies for Education