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Handbook of Research on E-Learning Methodologies for Language Acquisition

Rita de Cssia Veiga Marriott University of Birmingham, UK Patricia Lupion Torres Pontificia Universidade Catlica do Paran (PUCPR), Brazil

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Handbook of research on e-learning methodologies for language acquisition / Rita de Cassia Veiga Marriott and Patricia Lupion Torres, editors. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 978-1-59904-994-6 (hardcover) -- ISBN 978-1-59904-995-3 (e-book) 1. Language and languages--Computer-assisted instruction. I. Marriott, Rita de Cassia Veiga. II. Torres, Patrcia Lupion. P53.28.H365 2008 418.0078'5--dc22 2007052786 British Cataloguing in Publication Data A Cataloguing in Publication record for this book is available from the British Library. All work contributed to this book set is original material. The views expressed in this book are those of the authors, but not necessarily of the publisher. If a library purchased a print copy of this publication, please go to http://www.igi-global.com/agreement for information on activating the library's complimentary electronic access to this publication.

Editorial Advisory Board

Clarissa Jordo Universidade Federal do Paran, Brazil Felicia Zhang University of Canberra, Australia Gavin Dudeney The Consultants-e, Spain Jacques Viens Universit de Montral, Canada Jeannette Littlemore University of Birmingham, UK Panayiotis Zaphiris City University London, UK

Peppi Taalas University of Jyvskyl, Finland Piet Kommers University of Twente, The Netherlands Steve Mann University of Warwick, UK Terry Kidd University of Texas, USA Vera Menezes Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil

List of Reviewers

Adail Sebastiao Rodrigues Junior Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, Brazil Ademilde Silveira Sartori Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina (UDESC), Brazil Alejandro Martins Sociedade Educacional de Santa Catarina (SOCIESC), Brazil Ana Maria Carneiro Costa Silva Universidade do Minho, Portugal Astrid Gesche Queensland University of Technology, Australia Beatriz Regina Tavares Franciosi Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Brazil Betty Rose Facer Old Dominion University, USA Bryan Carter University of Central Missouri, USA Christine Rosalia New York University, USA Edemilson Jorge Ramos Brando Universidade de Passo Fundo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil Euline Schmid University of Education Heidelberg, Germany Fabricio Ricardo Lazilha Centro Universitario de Maringa (CESUMAR), Brazil Gerson Pastre de Oliveira Faculdade de Tecnologia de Jundia (FATEC), Brazil

Irene Mamakou University of Peloponnese, Greece Janae Gonalves Martins Sociedade Educacional de Santa Catarina (SOCIESC), Brazil Jenifer Prettyman Matthew Bolton College, UK Jing Wang Allegheny College, USA Kevin Wilkinson Anglia Ruskin University, UK Lorena Llosa New York University, USA Lucia Izabel Czerwonka Sermann Centro Universitrio Franciscano do Paran (UNIFAE), Brazil Mahieddine Djoudi University of Poitiers, France Malinee Prapinwong Indiana University Bloomington, USA Mar Gutirrez-Colon Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Italy Marcos Vinicius Santos Kucharski Universidade Tuiuti do Paran, Brazil Margareth Murphy Griffith University, Australia Mauro Jos Kummer Pontificia Universidade Catlica do Parana (PUCPR), Brazil

Renata Chylinski LaTrobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia Ria Hanewald LaTrobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia Robert Zheng University of Utah, USA Rosngela Schwarz Rodrigues Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil Sarah Guth University of Padova, Italy

Snea Thinsan Indiana University Bloomington, USA Victoria Russell The University of South Florida, USA Xiaotian Guo New Vision Language Centre, UK Yasunori Nishina University of Birmingham, UK

List of Contributors

Abdous, Mhammed / Old Dominion University, USA ................................................................................. 339 Akayolu, Sedat / Middle East Technical University, Turkey ........................................................................ 291 Alastuey, M Camino Bueno / Public University of Navarre, Spain............................................................. 480 Altun, Arif / Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey ....................................................................................... 291 Barata, Ana / Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Portugal ............................................................. 497 Baturay, Meltem / Gazi University, Turkey ................................................................................................... 186 Boyer, Jeff / University of Florida, USA ........................................................................................................ 132 Braga, Junia de Carvalho Fidelis / Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil ..................................... 22 Camarena, Margaret M. / Old Dominion University, USA .......................................................................... 339 Carter, Bryan / University of Central Missouri, USA.................................................................................... 443 Carvalho, Carlos Vaz de / Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Portugal......................................... 497 Chaka, Chaka / Walter Sisulu University, South Africa ................................................................................. 539 Chylinski, Renata / Monash University, Australia ........................................................................................ 387 Dalolu, Ayegl / Middle East Technical University, Turkey ....................................................................... 186 Djoudi, Mahieddine / Universit de Poitiers, France.................................................................................... 352 Elseth, Dayton / Mohawk Valley Community College, USA........................................................................... 443 Facer, Betty Rose / Old Dominion University, USA ...................................................................................... 339 Gesche, Astrid / Queensland University of Technology-Brisbane, Australia ................................................ 524 Grigoriadou, Maria / University of Athens, Greece ...................................................................................... 456 Guth, Sarah / Universit degli studi di Padova, Italy .................................................................................... 424 Hanewald, Ria / La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia................................................................. 104, 387 Irala, Esrom Adriano / Pontificia Universidade Catlica do Paran (PUCPR), Brazil............................... 307 Isharyanti, Neny / Satya Wacana Christian University, Indonesia................................................................ 271 Jarvis, Huw / University of of Salford-Greater Manchester, UK ................................................................... 367 Juhary, Jowati / The National Defence University of Malaysia, Malaysia ................................................... 151 Laine, Piv / Seinjoki Polytechnic, Finland ................................................................................................ 497 Leffa, Vilson J. / Universidade Catolica de Pelotas, Brazil ............................................................................. 39 Li, Zhuo / University of Florida, USA ............................................................................................................ 132 Liu, Feng / University of Florida, USA........................................................................................................... 132 Llosa, Lorena / New York University, USA .................................................................................................... 322 Mamakou, Irene / University of Peloponnese, Greece .................................................................................. 456 Marriott, Rita de Cassia Veiga / University of Birmingham, UK ................................................................. 120 Martins, Antnio Carlos Soares / Centro Federal de Educao Tecnolgica de Januria/Fapemig, Brazil .............................................................................................................................. 22 Matas, Cristina Poyatos / Griffith University, Australia ............................................................................... 253 Murphy, Margaret / Griffith University, Australia........................................................................................ 253 Nishina, Yasunori / University of Birmingham, UK....................................................................................... 204

Nyongwa, Moses / University of Manitoba CUSB, Canada ........................................................................... 165 Okada, Alexandra / The Open University, UK ................................................................................................ 84 Paiva, Vera Lucia Menezes de Oliveira e / Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais/CNPq/FAPEMIG, Brazil ................................................................................................................... 53 Prez-Paredes, Pascual / Universidad de Murcia, Spain ................................................................................... 1 Petrucco, Corrado / Universit degli studi di Padova, Italy ......................................................................... 424 Plana, Mar Gutirrez-Colon / Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain ................................................................ 409 Ramos, Andreia Ferreira / Faculdade Luterana So Marcos/RS, Brazil ..................................................... 120 Rodrigues-Junior, Adail Sebastiao / Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, Brazil ....................................... 53 Rosalia, Christine / New York University, USA ............................................................................................. 322 Snchez-Tornel, Mara / Universidad de Murcia, Spain ................................................................................... 1 Santos, Marcus Vinicius dos / Ryerson University, Canada ......................................................................... 165 Schmid, Euline Cutrim / University of Education Heidelberg, Germany ....................................................... 69 Schultz, Rosa / University of Vienna, Austria ................................................................................................. 509 Seppnen, Ann / Tampere Polytechnic, Finland ............................................................................................ 497 Simon, Heli / Seinjoki Polytechnic, Finland ................................................................................................. 497 Swertz, Christian / University of Vienna, Austria .......................................................................................... 509 Toifl, Katharina / University of Vienna, Austria ............................................................................................ 509 Torres, Patrica Lupion / Pontificia Universidade Catlica do Paran (PUCPR), Brazil .................... 120, 307 Viana, Vander / Universidade Catlica do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ................................................................ 219 Wang, Jing / Allegheny College, USA ............................................................................................................ 237 Woungang, Isaac / Ryerson University, Canada ............................................................................................ 165 Yildirim, Soner / Middle East Technical University, Turkey.......................................................................... 186 Zyngier, Sonia / Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ................................................................. 219

Table of Contents

Foreword ...........................................................................................................................................xxiii Preface ................................................................................................................................................ xxx Acknowledgment ............................................................................................................................xxxiii

Section I E-Language Learning: Theories, Tools, and Pedagogical Resources Chapter I Understanding E-Skills in the FLT Context ............................................................................................ 1 Pascual Prez-Paredes, Universidad de Murcia, Spain Mari Snchez-Tornel, Universidad de Murcia, Spain Chapter II The Emergence of Social Presence in Learning Communities ............................................................. 22 Antnio Carlos Soares Martins, Centro Federal de Educao Tecnolgica de Januria/Fapemig, Brazil Junia de Carvalho Fidelis Braga, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil Chapter III CALL as Action .................................................................................................................................... 39 Vilson J. Leffa, Universidade Catolica de Pelotas, Brazil Chapter IV Investigating Interaction in an EFL Online Environment ..................................................................... 53 Vera Lucia Menezes de Oliveira e Paiva, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais/CNPq/FAPEMIG, Brazil Adail Sebastiao Rodrigues-Junior, Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, Brazil Chapter V Interactive Whiteboards and the Normalization of CALL.................................................................... 69 Euline Cutrim Schmid, University of Education Heidelberg, Germany

Chapter VI OpenLearn and Knowledge Maps for Language Learning................................................................... 84 Alexandra Okada, The Open University, UK Chapter VII Learning Objects: Projects, Potentials, and Pitfalls ............................................................................ 104 Ria Hanewald, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia Chapter VIII English-Language Teaching with Learning Objects at PUCPR ......................................................... 120 Patrica Lupion Torres, Pontificia Universidade Catlica do Paran (PUCPR), Brazil Rita de Cassia Veiga Marriott, University of Birmingham, UK Andreia Ferreira Ramos, Faculdade Luterana So Marcos/RS, Brazil Chapter IX Amusing Minds for Joyful Learning through E-Gaming ................................................................... 132 Zhuo Li, University of Florida, USA Feng Liu, University of Florida, USA Jeff Boyer, University of Florida, USA Chapter X A Non-Language Learning Courseware and its Challenges ............................................................... 151 Jowati Juhary, The National Defence University of Malaysia, Malaysia Chapter XI A Pliant-Based Software Tool for Courseware Development ............................................................ 165 Marcus Vinicius dos Santos, Ryerson University, Canada Isaac Woungang, Ryerson University, Canada Moses Nyongwa, University of Manitoba CUSB, Canada

Section II E-Language Learning: Developing Skills and Competencies Chapter XII Designing a Constructivist Vocabulary Learning Material ................................................................. 186 Ayegl Dalolu, Middle East Technical University, Turkey Meltem Baturay, Gazi University, Turkey Soner Yildirim, Middle East Technical University, Turkey Chapter XIII A Lexical Study Based on Parallel Corpora, DDL, and Moodle ........................................................ 204 Yasunori Nishina, University of Birmingham, UK

Chapter XIV EFL through the Digital Glass of Corpus Linguistics......................................................................... 219 Vander Viana, Universidade Catlica do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Sonia Zyngier, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Chapter XV Electronic Strategies to Improve Chinese Reading Skills .................................................................. 237 Jing Wang, Allegheny College, USA Chapter XVI Politeness in Intercultural E-Mail Communication ............................................................................ 253 Margaret Murphy, Griffith University, Australia Cristina Poyatos Matas, Griffith University, Australia Chapter XVII Interactional Modifications in Internet Chatting ................................................................................. 271 Neny Isharyanti, Satya Wacana Christian University, Indonesia Chapter XVIII The Functions of Negotiation of Meaning in Text-Based CMC ......................................................... 291 Sedat Akayolu, Middle East Technical University, Turkey Arif Altun, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey Chapter XIX The Use of the CMC Tool AMANDA for the Teaching of English.................................................... 307 Esrom Adriano Irala, Pontificia Universidade Catlica do Paran (PUCPR), Brazil Patrica Lupion Torres, Pontificia Universidade Catlica do Paran (PUCPR), Brazil Chapter XX Assessing the Quality of Online Peer Feedback in L2 Writing .......................................................... 322 Christine Rosalia, New York University, USA Lorena Llosa, New York University, USA Chapter XXI The Impact of Podcasting on Students Learning Outcomes .............................................................. 339 Betty Rose Facer, Old Dominion University, USA M'hammed Abdous, Old Dominion University, USA Margaret M. Camarena, Old Dominion University, USA Chapter XXII Listening Comprehension of Languages with Mobile Devices .......................................................... 352 Mahieddine Djoudi, Universit de Poitiers, France

Chapter XXIII Computers and Independent Study: Student Perspectives .................................................................. 367 Huw Jarvis, University of Salford-Greater Manchester, UK Chapter XXIV Creating Supportive Environments for CALL Teacher Autonomy .................................................... 387 Renata Chylinski, Monash University, Australia Ria Hanewald, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia Chapter XXV Frustration in Virtual Learning Environments .................................................................................... 409 Mar Gutirrez-Colon Plana, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain

Section III E-Language Learning: Methodological Approaches and Future Tendencies Chapter XXVI Social Software and Language Acquisition ........................................................................................ 424 Sarah Guth, Universit degli studi di Padova, Italy Corrado Petrucco, Universit degli studi di Padova, Italy Chapter XXVII The Usefulness of Second Life for Language Learning ..................................................................... 443 Bryan Carter, University of Central Missouri, USA Dayton Elseth, Mohawk Valley Community College, USA Chapter XXVIII Project-Based Instruction for ESP in Higher Education ..................................................................... 456 Irene Mamakou, University of Peloponnese, Greece Maria Grigoriadou, University of Athens, Greece Chapter XXIX WebCT Design and Users Perceptions in English for Agriculture .................................................... 480 M Camino Bueno Alastuey, Public University of Navarre, Spain Chapter XXX The LAFEC Experience for Language Skills Acquisition .................................................................. 497 Heli Simon, Seinjoki Polytechnic, Finland Piv Laine, Seinjoki Polytechnic, Finland Ann Seppnen, Tampere Polytechnic, Finland Ana Barata, Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Portugal Carlos Vaz de Carvalho, Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Portugal

Chapter XXXI Language Teaching in Live Online Environments.............................................................................. 509 . Christian.Swertz,.University.of.Vienna,.Austria . Rosa.Schultz,.University.of.Vienna,.Austria Katharina Toifl, University of Vienna, Austria Chapter XXXII Adapting to Virtual Third-Space Language Learning Futures............................................................ 524 . . Astrid.Gesche,.Queensland.University.of.Technology-Brisbane,.Australia Chapter XXXIII Portable Handheld Language Learning: From CALL, MALL to PALL............................................. 539 Chaka.Chaka,.Walter.Sisulu.University,.South.Africa Compilation of References ............................................................................................................... 554 About the Contributors .................................................................................................................... 595 Index ................................................................................................................................................... 608

Detailed Table of Contents

Foreword ...........................................................................................................................................xxiii Preface ................................................................................................................................................ xxx Acknowledgment ............................................................................................................................xxxiii

Section I E-Language Learning: Theories, Tools, and Pedagogical Resources Chapter I Understanding E-Skills in the FLT Context ............................................................................................ 1 Pascual Prez-Paredes, Universidad de Murcia, Spain Mari Snchez-Tornel, Universidad de Murcia, Spain Pascual Prez-Paredes and Maria Snches Tornel investigate the e-skills necessary for foreign language learning as part of an ongoing research project sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Education. The authors first clarify the terms skill, strategy, and computer expertise in the CALL domain, then discuss the adaptation of course book material used by English language students taking their CEF C1 level in the Lengua Inglesa III 2006/2007 in order to produce more student-centered and constructivist computer-mediated e-material. From data gathered from a questionnaire investigating e-communication, computer use, FL-specific skills, and Attitudinal/strategic indicators, the authors draw on feedback and analyze their e-skills model questionnaire. Chapter II The Emergence of Social Presence in Learning Communities ............................................................. 22 Antnio Carlos Soares Martins, Centro Federal de Educao Tecnolgica de Januria/Fapemig, Brazil Junia de Carvalho Fidelis Braga, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil Antonio Martins and Junia Braga discuss social presence in blended and online learning environments in light of the Complexity Theory and the Community of Inquiry Framework. The authors analyze the affective, interactive, and cohesive dimensions in computer-mediated communication (CMC) within two learning communities. They discuss the conclusions relating to the pedagogical implications based on the corpus analyzed.

Chapter III CALL as Action .................................................................................................................................... 39 Vilson J. Leffa, Universidade Catolica de Pelotas, Brazil Vilson Leffa discusses the dichotomies that exist in computer-assisted language learning (CALL) for individuals working on their own or working collaboratively and interactively as part of a community. Arguing that to focus on one dichotomy only would be a reductionist approach, or an or approach, he proposes instead an and approach to CALL. From this perspective, he points out that CALL could then focus on the action of doing something via a mediating tool, and thus become the CALL Action Approach. Chapter IV Investigating Interaction in an EFL Online Environment ..................................................................... 53 Vera Lucia Menezes de Oliveira e Paiva, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais/CNPq/FAPEMIG, Brazil Adail Sebastiao Rodrigues-Junior, Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, Brazil In this chapter, Adail Rodrigues Jr. and Vera Paiva seek to take the discussion on footing, originally presented by Goffman 1981, one step further by applying it to online environments. They propose that footing is the element that clearly shows how learning is taking place and how interaction unfolds while interactants are contributing to meaning construction. They consider the categories of social footing, teaching, and cognitive footing, and give examples from their corpus of work by Brazilian EFL students in an online academic forum to illustrate their argument. Chapter V Interactive Whiteboards and the Normalization of CALL.................................................................... 69 Euline Cutrim Schmid, University of Education Heidelberg, Germany The potential of interactive whiteboard technology (IWB) to support language learning and the teaching of English for academic purposes (EAP) is investigated by Euline Schmid in light of Baxs theory of the normalization of computer-assisted language learning (CALL). The concept of integrated CALL and the invisibility of technology in the classroom environment is examined against the claim that IWB supports teacher-centered approaches in addition to highlighting the need for devising appropriate teacher training programs. Chapter VI OpenLearn and Knowledge Maps for Language Learning................................................................... 84 Alexandra Okada, The Open University, UK Alexandra Okada examines the open learning movement for language teaching and for fostering language-learning communities using the software tool Compendium developed for the project OpenLearn by the Open University, UK. This is used for knowledge mapping; flashmeetings, which allow for videoconferencing to take place (offering resources such as whiteboard and voting system); and MSG,

an instant messaging application with geolocation maps similar to a personal radar that shows who is online and where. The application of these free tools for language teaching and an evaluation of student participation are demonstrated. Chapter VII Learning Objects: Projects, Potentials, and Pitfalls ............................................................................ 104 Ria Hanewald, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia Ria Hanewald provides a theoretical view of learning objects and repositories, exploring their potential and application in language education. She discusses issues such as pedagogical neutrality, language, content, culture, quantity, and quality in relation to the production of learning materials, introducing innovative resources and collections of repositories online, and encouraging practitioners to contribute to these. In addition, she discusses the features of learning objects in light of the issues raised, her goal being to foster leading-edge practice and stimulate future research in the area. Chapter VIII English-Language Teaching with Learning Objects at PUCPR ......................................................... 120 Patrica Lupion Torres, Pontificia Universidade Catlica do Paran (PUCPR), Brazil Rita de Cassia Veiga Marriott, University of Birmingham, UK Andreia Ferreira Ramos, Faculdade Luterana So Marcos/RS, Brazil Patricia Torres, Rita Marriott, and Andreia Ramos give an evaluation of the Learning Objects (LOs) used at the Pontifical Catholic University of Parana, with specific reference to the LO used for English language learning. This is delivered via a Web-based student support system called Sistema de Apoio ao Aluno via WEB or SAAW, which is a development tool offered in the universitys virtual learning environment. The authors discuss the findings, which are based upon qualitative feedback from postgraduate students and the conclusions drawn from the results. Chapter IX Amusing Minds for Joyful Learning through E-Gaming ................................................................... 132 Zhuo Li, University of Florida, USA Feng Liu, University of Florida, USA Jeff Boyer, University of Florida, USA The potential of e-gaming for foreign language learning is investigated in this chapter by Zhuo Li, Feng Liu, and Jeff Boyer. Following a discussion of the use on traditional games for language learning, the authors examine the role of student motivation in order to situate e-gaming in the context of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL). The challenges encountered within the concept of e-gaming, such as game design, teacher training, and assessment, are also explored. In addition, a number of online resources for use by the foreign language instructor is provided, highlighting the potential of these for foreign language teaching.

Chapter X A Non-Language Learning Courseware and its Challenges ............................................................... 151 Jowati Juhary, The National Defence University of Malaysia, Malaysia Jowati Juhary reports on the implementation of a nonlanguage learning software (NLLS) as used for the teaching of English to a group of 118 cadets in the National Defense University Malaysia (NDUM). The author discusses the main findings of a quantitative survey, which highlights the technical, theoretical, and pedagogical challenges faced in this project, and discusses the implications arising from this practice. Chapter XI A Pliant-Based Software Tool for Courseware Development ............................................................ 165 Marcus Vinicius dos Santos, Ryerson University, Canada Isaac Woungang, Ryerson University, Canada Moses Nyongwa, University of Manitoba CUSB, Canada Marcus Santos, Isaac Woungang, and Moses Nyongwa examine Pliant, open source software for webbased courseware development and Academia, a web portal based on Pliant. The features of these tools and their feasibility for e-learning and language acquisition are assessed via the findings of a case study carried out in Translation Studies in a course on Localization, developed at the CUSB School of Translation in Winnipeg, Canada.

Section II E-Language Learning: Developing Skills and Competencies Chapter XII Designing a Constructivist Vocabulary Learning Material ................................................................. 186 Ayegl Dalolu, Middle East Technical University, Turkey Meltem Baturay, Gazi University, Turkey Soner Yildirim, Middle East Technical University, Turkey Ayegl Dalolu, Meltem Baturay, and Soner Yldrm focus on Web-based vocabulary learning via WEBVOCLE, a project funded by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey. The authors examine this concept in light of its positive attributes. Based on vocabulary learning and retention theories and the constructivist approach, the emphasis is upon learner-centeredness, contextualized knowledge and meaning construction, opportunities for production, and ongoing/periodic recycling, which takes into account how vocabulary is learned, recycled, and practiced. The effectiveness of WEBVOCLE is analyzed via qualitative research, and the implications of the findings are discussed.

Chapter XIII A Lexical Study Based on Parallel Corpora, DDL, and Moodle......................................................... 204 . Yasunori.Nishina,.University.of.Birmingham,.UK In this chapter, Yasunori Nishina proposes the idea of using data-driven learning (DDL), Parallel Corpus, and Moodle for Bilingual Lexical Studies in a computer-assisted language learning (CALL) environment such as Moodle. More specifically, he argues that EFL students benefit more if they first base their studies on parallel corpora and then move on to the use of monolingual corpora. Using examples from Japanese and English of Error Analysis from Learners and Native Speakers Corpora, and Translation Analysis from a Parallel Corpus, the author demonstrates how Moodle can be beneficial in the study of corpus linguistics in the bilingual classroom. Chapter XIV EFL through the Digital Glass of Corpus Linguistics......................................................................... 219 . . Vander.Viana,.Universidade.Catlica.do.Rio.de.Janeiro,.Brazil . Sonia.Zyngier,.Universidade.Federal.do.Rio.de.Janeiro,.Brazil Vander Viana and Sonia Zyngier examine the use of corpora in the EFL classroom. Via an analysis of the British National Corpus (BNC) online database, the authors give examples of how this can be exploited for language learning and teaching, in addition to advocating its use as a method for developing student autonomy. Chapter XV Electronic Strategies to Improve Chinese Reading Skills................................................................... 237 . Jing.Wang,.Allegheny.College,.USA Jing Wang investigates the use of online/off-line hyperlinked dictionaries and authentic e-materials by Chinese EFL students. By introducing a series of studies and comparing and discussing the achievement of beginners, intermediate, and advanced learners in terms of their reading comprehension and vocabulary recall, the author argues that these e-tools are better suited for intermediate-level students. In the conclusion, she proposes some e-activities supported by e-materials and considers new possibilities for language tutors in the teaching of EFL to Chinese intermediate-level students. Chapter XVI Politeness in Intercultural E-Mail Communication............................................................................. 253 . Margaret Murphy, Griffith University, Australia . Cristina Poyatos Matas, Griffith University, Australia Margaret Murphy and Cristina Matas focus on how to assess linguistic politeness in e-mail communication and how an awareness of e-mail politeness can assist e-teaching practices. By implementing The Tool Kit, developed over four years, e-mail excerpts are assessed using a 10-level criteria to give a Total Politeness Percentage. Limitations of The Tool Kit are discussed as well as its application for second language teaching online.

Chapter XVII Interactional Modifications in Internet Chatting ................................................................................. 271 Neny Isharyanti, Satya Wacana Christian University, Indonesia Neny Isharyanti analyzes the synchronous exchanges that take place between non-native speakers of English when engaged in two communicative language tasks aimed at promoting language acquisition. The tasks are a jigsaw task and a decision-making task. The author analyzes the types of interactional modifications in the negotiation of meaning from the transcripts taken, and compares and discusses the results achieved. Chapter XVIII The Functions of Negotiation of Meaning in Text-Based CMC ......................................................... 291 Sedat Akayolu, Middle East Technical University, Turkey Arif Altun, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey Using computer-mediated discourse analysis (CMDA), Arif Altun and Sedat Akayoglu focus on the types of negotiation of meaning in exchanges among Native Speakers (NS) and Non-Native Speakers (NNS) of English in a synchronous computer-mediated communication environment. Two research questions are investigated: first, what types of negotiation of meaning exist; and second, whether there is a difference between NS and NNS of English in the negotiation of meaning functions. The findings of this study provide both parallel and emerging results that are consistent with the existing literature and could be further explored to advantage by teachers/lecturers preparing their students for online communication. Chapter XIX The Use of the CMC Tool AMANDA for the Teaching of English.................................................... 307 Esrom Adriano Irala, Pontificia Universidade Catlica do Paran (PUCPR), Brazil Patrica Lupion Torres, Pontificia Universidade Catlica do Paran (PUCPR), Brazil Esrom Irala and Patricia Torres analyze and discuss the use of the AMANDA program (Environment for Mediation and Analysis of Argumentative Discussions) for foreign language learning. This intelligent system, which mediates group debates over the Internet in a mainly automatic procedure, issues reports enabling the teacher to follow the discussion and to evaluate each students participation. The feedback from its implementation with intermediate- and postintermediate-level students is discussed, and possible ways of implementing AMANDA in the language class are suggested. Chapter XX Assessing the Quality of Online Peer Feedback in L2 Writing .......................................................... 322 Christine Rosalia, New York University, USA Lorena Llosa, New York University, USA In this chapter, Christine Rosalia and Lorena Llosa introduce an instrument used to formatively assess the quality of peer feedback in a second language online asynchronous writing learning environment. The Online Peer Feedback Assessment (OPF Assessment) is explained by means of examples from peer reviews, and its rubrics are introduced and examined. The authors suggest that the OPF Assessment can

potentially be used in a variety of contexts as a formative tool to improve not only the quality of peer feedback but also the writing proficiency of both writers and reviewers. Chapter XXI The Impact of Podcasting on Students Learning Outcomes .............................................................. 339 Betty Rose Facer, Old Dominion University, USA M'hammed Abdous, Old Dominion University, USA Margaret M. Camarena, Old Dominion University, USA Betty Rose Facer, Mhammed Abdous, and Margaret Camarena of the Old Dominium University explore the potential benefits of podcasting for foreign language learning and study habits. Based on qualitative and quantitave data derived from a pilot project developed with an Italian beginners class and a French advanced-level group, the authors examine student use of podcasts and the effect of this on their study practices, acquisition of language skills, and knowledge. Interesting conclusions are drawn from the findings, enabling the authors to make suggestions for the future use of iPods/MP3 players and podcasting in the improvement of foreign language learning and education. Chapter XXII Listening Comprehension of Languages with Mobile Devices .......................................................... 352 Mahieddine Djoudi, Universit de Poitiers, France Mahieddine Djoudi presents an approach to listening comprehension in foreign language learning using mobile devices. The author first situates mobile learning (m-learning) in distance learning (dlearning) and contextualizes listening comprehension within the language skills. He fully discusses this approach, which incorporates the use of information technology, the Internet, and mobile devices in order to examine the course management system (CMS) and its functionalities such as Podcasting Tool and Interactive Logbook. In conclusion, the author suggests an approach to the evaluation of listening comprehension. Chapter XXIII Computers and Independent Study: Student Perspectives .................................................................. 367 Huw Jarvis, University of Salford-Greater Manchester, UK The use of computer-based materials (CBMs) by students involved in self-study in language resource centers (LRCs) is examined in this chapter. Huw Jarvis specifically investigates the use of CBMs by undergraduates and postgraduates, both native and non-native speakers of English, in the study of Arabic, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and English as a Foreign Language (EFL). He discusses findings from a qualitative and quantitative study carried out in 2005 to support the conclusion that LRCs are effective in the development of both language skills and learner autonomy. Chapter XXIV Creating Supportive Environments for CALL Teacher Autonomy .................................................... 387 Renata Chylinski, Monash University, Australia Ria Hanewald, La Trobe University, Australia

Renata Chylinski and Ria Hanewald discuss the development of an online portal that aims to support teacher autonomy in computer-assisted language learning (CALL) programs. Designed to promote professional development and centralization of access to all CALL material across four campuses, the project had three stages over a six-month period: concept design, platform design, and project evaluation. Their findings, based on the qualitative data gathered from the research, are fully documented. Chapter XXV Frustration in Virtual Learning Environments .................................................................................... 409 Mar Gutirrez-Colon Plana, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain Mar Gutirrez-Colon proposes a theoretical viewpoint of the problems facing students engaged in virtual courses in addition to discussing what is currently believed to be characteristic of a good e-learning environment. Based on the findings of a questionnaire at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona, Italy, in which EFL students evaluated blended courses delivered using the Moodle platform, GutirrezColon reaches conclusions as to what can motivate or demotivate students to e-learning.

Section III E-Language Learning: Methodological Approaches and Future Tendencies Chapter XXVI Social Software and Language Acquisition ........................................................................................ 424 Sarah Guth, Universit degli studi di Padova, Italy Corrado Petrucco, Universit degli studi di Padova, Italy Web 2.0 technologies and social software for language education provide the focus for this chapter. Advocating their benefit for language learning, Sarah Guth and Corado Petrucco offer an analysis of two projects carried out with advanced English Language students at the University of Padua, Italy, in which Skype, a wiki, blogs, and social software tools were used. The assessment criteria implemented and the challenges faced when using networked technologies in formal education are fully documented and discussed. Chapter XXVII The Usefulness of Second Life for Language Learning ..................................................................... 443 Bryan Carter, University of Central Missouri, USA Dayton Elseth, Mohawk Valley Community College, USA Bryan Carter and Dayton Elseth examine the use of the 3D virtual reality world Second Life for language learning. After considering the role of distance learning, social learning, and e-gaming in education, the authors report on two studies. The first was conducted with students on a Composition Course over a period of two years, and the second with a group at beginner level learning German as a foreign language. Both studies took place at the University of Central Missouri. The chapter concludes with a discussion on the future of distance education and its challenges.

Chapter XXVIII Project-Based Instruction for ESP in Higher Education ..................................................................... 456 Irene Mamakou, University of Peloponnese, Greece Maria Grigoriadou, University of Athens, Greece Irene Mamakou and Maria Grigoriadou describe and discuss a student-centered Language for Specific Purpose (LSP) course developed in e-Class, a learning management system. The authors introduce the methodological proposal, which is based on social-constructivist pedagogy and on collaborative and project-based learning, and discuss its implementation based on qualitative and quantitave research findings. Chapter XXIX WebCT Design and Users Perceptions in English for Agriculture .................................................... 480 M Camino Bueno Alastuey, Public University of Navarre, Spain M Camino Bueno examines the implementation of an English for Specific Purposes (ESP) course on Agriculture at the University of Navarre using WebCT as the virtual platform. The author focuses specifically on the usefulness of student input at the end of each of the three years implementation, commenting on the observed changes in organization of content taking place in each course. An evaluation of the results achieved from both quantitave and qualitative research is given in conclusion. Chapter XXX The LAFEC Experience for Language Skills Acquisition .................................................................. 497 Heli Simon, Seinjoki Polytechnic, Finland Piv Laine, Seinjoki Polytechnic, Finland Ann Seppnen, Tampere Polytechnic, Finland Ana Barata, Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Portugal Carlos Vaz de Carvalho, Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Portugal The Languages for eCommerce Course (LAFEC), as presented by Heli Simon, Piv Laine, Ann Seppnen, Ana Barata, and Carlos Vaz de Carvalho, is part of the Leonardo da Vinci program. The course focuses on the acquisition of language skills for trainees in initial vocational training and those in the labor market in the specific field of e-commerce. It is offered to students from participating higher education institutions and developed in a virtual learning environment, Moodle. LAFEC aims to develop the writing skills necessary to convey information in e-commerce Web sites, while considering the needs and cultural background of the target audience. The authors detail the six modules comprising this methodological approach and follow this with a discussion of the challenges identified in its first implementation (October 2006 through April 2007), based on feedback from participants. Chapter XXXI Language Teaching in Live Online Environments ............................................................................. 509 Christian Swertz, University of Vienna, Austria Rosa Schultz, University of Vienna, Austria Katharina Toifl, University of Vienna, Austria

Christian Swertz, Katharina Toifl, and Rosa Schultz discuss the design and implementation of LANCELOT (LANguage learning with CErtified Live Online Teachers), an online language training program for teachers funded by the Leonardo da Vinci Programme of the European Commission. LANCELOT implements an e-learning methodology known as Web-Didactics, which allows students to choose from different paths when learning a topic. The three strands of the LANCELOT course (technology, language teaching methods, and intercultural communications) are presented along with its tools, methodology, and assessment criteria. The feedback from its first implementation is analyzed and will be refined and made available to all interested parties under the Creative Commons License for public use. Chapter XXXII Adapting to Virtual Third-Space Language Learning Futures............................................................ 524 . . Astrid.Gesche,.Queensland.University.of.Technology-Brisbane,.Australia In this chapter, Astrid Gesche discusses learning within the concept of third spaces in hyperspaces. She compares learning in conventional third spaces with learning in virtual third spaces, considering the effects of aspects such as cultural diversity. She addresses the question of data and information privacy, and proposes three fluid and interdependent categories for teaching and learning in online virtual environments: Affective, Cognitive, and Operational. Chapter XXXIII Portable Handheld Language Learning: From CALL, MALL to PALL............................................. 539 Chaka.Chaka,.Walter.Sisulu.University,.South.Africa Chaka Chakas research area focuses upon the topic of handheld and portable language learning aids. The author first reviews and discusses the current literature on Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) and Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL). Second, he examines in detail the latest research on pocket PCs; mobile phones; PDAs; iPods; and Nintendo DS, PSP, and J2ME for their application and potential in language learning. In conclusion, he argues that the future of m-learning lies in Pen-Assisted Language Learning (PALL), and outlines future MALL trends. Compilation of References ............................................................................................................... 554 About the Contributors .................................................................................................................... 595 Index ................................................................................................................................................... 608

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Foreword

E-LEarning (rEsEarch) and ForEign LanguagEs: an introduction


In this opening piece, I attempt to offer an introduction to the Handbook of Research on E-Learning Methodologies for Language Acquisition, edited by Rita de Cassia Veiga Marriott and Patricia Lupion Torres, from the perspective of a nonparticipant observer. I am very grateful for the invitation by the editors to share my comments on their ambitious project in this way, and I will do so not only on the basis of a careful reflection on the chapters featured in this book but also against the background of my own personal professional engagement as a teacher and researcher over many years, the latter in a leading specialist higher education institution, inter alia with the fields of foreign language (FL) teaching, learning, and research, as well as FL teacher education and development with particular reference to digital technologies and their application for (FL) teaching and learning. In so doing, my main points of reference will be the chapters of this handbook and their individual and collective contribution to the field. Partly due to lack of space and partly because the historical overviews and literature reviews featured by individual chapters already offer an engagement with at least some of the key literature in the field, I will refrain from providing my own topography here. This allows me to concentrate on the following observations: FL teaching and learning can be considered particularly suited to the use of technologies, new and old, with the focus in this introductory piece firmly on the former. Among other things, the skills and processes involved in FL teaching and learning align well with the characteristics and potential of digital technologies, be it in relation to traditional uses such as drill-practice (e.g., to enhance memorization of new lexical items); the systematic capturing and analysis of linguistic data, both at semantic and syntactic levels; or skill-based work around modeling to improve pronunciation, be it practicing listening through digital artefacts or speaking through the production of digital audio, practicing reading by accessing authentic material on the Internet, or developing writing through computer-mediated synchronous or asynchronous communication tools, to name but a few. The possibilities for the application of new technologies in FL teaching and learning are extensive; the list of examples given here is only indicative but it should suffice to support the previous assertion. In fact, I want to go further than just assert a particularly good fit between the characteristics and potential of new technologies, such as their communicative emphasis, multimodality, distributed nature, interactivity, and so forth, and FL teaching and learning here (for a detailed discussion, see Allford and Pachler [2007]) and instead posit that in view of the increasing proliferation, if not to say ubiquity and functional convergence of technological devices, FL learners as well as their educators can ill afford not to engage proactively with new technologies in the twin processes of FL learning and teaching. While this is not to argue that new technologies have reached the state of normalization, Bax (2003) argues in his oft-cited piece on the past, present, and future of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL)

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(i.e., that the technology has become invisible and truly integrated). While invisibility, or rather ubiquity, appears to be increasingly the case in the life-worlds of many learners, particularly of young and teenage learners in the so-called developed countries (Bachmair, 2007), these technologies have far from infiltrated the personal and professional life-worlds of their teachers. I focus on the term ubiquity rather than invisibility since although devices are becoming increasingly portable and wireless networks increasingly allow for anytime and anyplace connectivity, they remain physical entities with potentially disruptive influence on the ecology of formal learning situations. Wireless connectivity cannot readily be equated with true integration (Bax, 2003). Another, in my view, very important dimension that Baxs notion of normalization ignores or, at best, does not explicitly engage with, is the ideological baggage embedded in technology. While the notion of ubiquity runs the risk of the ideological undergirding remaining undetected, the notion of normalization bestows upon it mainstream status without really examining it critically. In Kress and Pachler (2007), drawing on Bruce and Hogan (1998), we argue that all technological tools embody certain social and cultural values, and we note that it is important to understand how technologies are designed, interpreted, used, constructed, reconstructed, and so forth. Although this current piece is by no means an attempt to deconstruct Baxs (2003) very helpful critical reassessment of Warschauers history of CALL, another important notion that warrants discussion here is what Graham (1997) calls dynamic obsolescence, (i.e., the problem of hardware and software constantly evolving and becoming out of date). This fact works fundamentally against normalization. The currentand futuretrend is firmly toward mobile, visual, and social technologies (cf. Web 2.0) (for a detailed discussion of these technologies, see Kress and Pachler [2007] and Owen, Grant, Sayers, and Facer [2006]). Suffice it to note that these trends arguably require new explanatory frames for the processes, context, and practices of (FL) learning and are associated with an entirely new set of technologies. For a discussion of these technologies in the context of FL teaching and teacher education, see Pachler, Barnes, and Field (2008). The pace of change is relentless, and it is inevitably difficult to do it full justice in a medium-term project such as this handbook that took two years from conception to completion. It is very pleasing to see, therefore, that some of the contributions (e.g., the chapters on Second Life, podcasting, handhelds, and social software) engage with new technologies, tools, and applications explicitly. My assertion is simply that there is a huge new research agenda emerging and that the challenge for researchers as well as learners and teachers continues, despite the publication of this very helpful and commendable volume. Although the current volume offers a very useful and impressive array of studies, in view of the preceding, it can at best be viewed as work in progress, and there remains an urgent need for more research in this constantly evolving field. In developing this new research agenda, one could do much worse than reflect on the efforts to date of various academics such as Bax (2003) to analyze the developmental trajectory of the use of new technologies in FL teaching and learning. Kern (2006), for example, asks the very pertinent question whether CALL should still be called CALL. In my view, the term is in need of a reappraisal, and I concur with Kern, who, with reference to Egbert (2005) and Warschauer (1999), argues that with the proliferation of tools, the focus on computers is no longer appropriate and the term CALL suggests a dislocation of technology from the normalcy of learners and teachers engagements with FLs and as outside the ecology of language use. The question arises, therefore, what should be used in its stead. The term e-learning appears to be used by contributors to this volume in the same generic sense as the UK government in its 2005 e-strategy (DfES, 2005). Another widely used term, at least in the UK context, is Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). My personal preference is for a more generic term such as digital technologies, as this allows for a wider range of use apart from information retrieval, processing, production, and communication. It seems to me to foreground that which is substantively different from older technologies (i.e., the digital format of the content and the possibilities that affords).

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What, then, of the importance of the contribution of this handbook collectively to the debate around the use of digital technologies in FL teaching and learning? In order to be able to answer this question, a closer look at the individual contributions is required. One thing is clear and can be stated with some confidence: the handbook brings together an impressive range of topics and types of technology from a wide range of contributors based on a rich diversity of contexts, languages, learners, and ages. This affords the reader an opportunity to familiarize himself or herself with a wide range of interesting examples. As it is not possible to provide a detailed discussion of all the contributions to this volume given the sheer number of contributions as well as the limited space available for an introduction, I shall confine myself to glossing and commenting briefly, in no particular order, on a few papers with particular emphasis on the newer technologies. Ria Hanewald discusses the potential of digital learning objects; in particular, by examining the tension of neutrality vs. certain value orientations. She argues in particular that while free digital learning objects in digital repositories are important to prevent the marginalization of language education online, attention to the cultural situatedness and pedagogical framing of FL learning and teaching are important, and therefore, particular attention needs to be paid to the conceptualization, standardization, and application of learning objects and repositories. Very useful about her piece is the introduction it offers to a range of selected online repositories, even if it is left to the reader to apply the useful criteria for evaluating them presented in the latter part of the piece. Chaka Chaka coins the acronyms MALL (Mobile-Assisted Language Learning) and PALL (Pen-Assisted Language Learning) as replacements for CALL. The chapter offers an attempt of a multidimensional definition of m-learning and envisions a future in which various portable and ubiquitous computing devices with new types of functionality leading to portable and pervasive, personalized, context-aware, just-in-time flexible language learning. Euline Cutrim Schmid discussed the use of interactive whiteboards (IWBs); in particular, what techniques in their use are available and how these facilitate the integration of multimedia into the curriculum, cater to diverse learning needs, enhance motivation, enhance interaction and collaboration with teachers having to guard against an emphasis on teacher-centered approaches, and an undue acceleration of pace. Betty Rose Facer and Mhammed Abdous examine the impact of podcasting in relation to the reinforcement of content through provision of self-paced access to authentic material and the improvement of pronunciation and vocabulary as well as of oral and aural skills. They describe the application of podcasting very much in the context of an alternative way of curriculum delivery, although they acknowledge that podcasts present a real opportunity for knowledge creation and dissemination by students. Sarah Guth problematizes the relationship between emergent social software as an extension to network-based approaches and FL learning, and stresses access to sites of real and authentic language production and uses they afford. She posits that the focus is on activities rather than applications that focus on the creation, sharing, and managing of knowledge. Alexandra Okada emphasizes the potential of open source educational resources and attendant knowledge mapping techniques for FL learning, such as concept, mind, argument, and Web mapping. For a detailed discussion of these techniques, see the Special Issue of Reflecting Education (http://reflectingeducation.net) on the topic published in 2007. The chapter outlines some open learning communities and their features, such as open products, integrity, transparency, nondiscrimination, and noninterference. As with a number of other areas in this volume, it will be interesting to see some of the concepts and notions critically discussed in future papers. Mar Gutirrez-Colon Plana discusses the use of VLEs in FL learning from a student perspective; in particular, the frustrations at times experienced by learners, and with reference to relevant background

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literature, she identifies good and bad practices. The discussion tends to focus on the potential technical and general stumbling blocks; a consideration of these factors may invite the reader to consider how best to teach aspects of listening comprehension online. Margaret Murphy and Cristina Poyatos Matas focus on the issue of politeness in intercultural e-mail communication, and they present, on the basis of their research with Australian and Korean subjects, an instrument to assess politeness and consider the pedagogical application of their instrument. The authors note the limitations of their instrument in terms of subjectivity and potential cultural bias. Interaction-based research in the context of online communities is, indeed, one of the main foci of the volume. In view of the prominence of this theme in the literature, this is not surprising. Adail Sebastiao, Rodrigues Jr., and Vera Paiva offer a conceptually interesting piece in which they use the notion of footing; in particular, social, teaching, and cognitive as a frame for trying to understand and explain online interaction. They argue that in view of the lack of prosodic segmentation and paralinguistic resources bound up in talk-in-context, there is a need for interlocutors to make their footing visible and explicit online. They interpret footing as the indexing of utterances to facilitate knowledge construction. They also relate their discussion to Hallidays (2004) transitory model. Arif Altun and Sedat Akayoglu in turn investigate the functions of negotiation of meaning across native and non-native speakers using computer-mediated discourse analysis in an attempt to provide a taxonomy for text-based synchronous CMC environments. Junia de Carvalho Fidelis Braga and Antonio Martins use Garrison and Andersons (2003) inquiry framework to explore the role of social presence in blended and online learning environments. Jing Wang examines the use of hyperlinked dictionaries in developing reading of authentic material for learners of Chinese. The study notes the variability of findings across proficiency levels, which is linked to the nature of characters and words in Chinese. With reference to Hubbard (2000), they use the term meaning technologies in relation to hyperlinked dictionaries. Last, but by no means least, for current purposes, Christine Rosalia and Lorena Llosa offer a very useful discussion of peer feedback in online writing. In particular, they describe an instrument developed to assess the quality of peer feedback. In order to enable the reader to make better sense of the diversity offered across theories, practices, methodologies, and contexts, the handbook would have benefited from a more substantial editorial offering an explicit frame of reference against which to read the various contributions. The handbook offers a collection of more or less systematic and inquiry-based reflections on pedagogical and didactic practices, which are, to a greater or lesser degree, aligned to certain theoretical conceptualizations drawn from (a combination of) constructivist, social interactionist, as well as (inter)cultural and/or semiotic approaches (Pachler, 2005). An extended foreword would have supported the reader in the process of meaning-making and categorization in this respect. This diversity of perspectives, in my view, is not necessarily a bad thing, and with Egbert (2005), who made the point in the context of research into technology-enhanced FL teaching and learning, I would argue the need for plurality in theoretical and methodological, pedagogical, and didactic perspectives. However, it is somewhat surprising that those few generic explanatory frames for technology-enhanced and online learning and teaching that do exist, the most prominent being Garrison and Andersons (2003) framework for research and practice and Laurillards (2002, 2007) conversational model, are conspicuous by their absence in all but very few of the contributions to this handbook, as is, by and large, reference to the fora in which they tend to be debated, such as the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks (JALN) (http://www.sloan-c.org/publications/jaln/) and the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Education (IRODL) (http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl). My contention here is that reference to and critical engagement with the world of educational research and practice more generally

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can only benefit the advancement of our understanding of FL-specific practices and processes and is a challenge to be taken up by future volumes. Let me finish my critical commendation of this volume by reminding us all that what matters is not technology itself, but rather how it is used. As others have rightly observed before me (Kern, 2006, 2000), technology-enhanced FL teaching is not a methodological approach in itself but must be seen as embedded in particular teaching methods and conceptualization of FL learning processes. Any research into the use of technology for FL teaching and learning must, therefore, take cognizance of these teaching methods and assumptions about how language learning takes place and treat them as important variables. It is, therefore, hoped that this volume will provide inspiration for further research into this important field of study.

Norbert Pachler Institute of Education, University of London, London


Norbert Pachler is a Reader in Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, where he is the co-director of the Centre for Excellence in Work-Based Learning for Education Professional. His research interests include foreign language pedagogy, teacher education and development, and new technologies in education, and he has published widely in these fields. He is currently co-editor of the Language Learning Journal (Routledge), associate editor of the London Review of Education (Routledge), and editor of Reflecting Education (WLE Centre).

rEFErEncEs
Allford, D., & Pachler, N. (2007). Language, autonomy and the new learning environments. Oxford: Peter Lang. Bachmair, B. (2007). M-learning and media use in everyday life. In N. Pachler (Ed.), Mobile learning: Towards a research agenda (pp. 105152). London: WLE Centre. Retrieved from http://www.wlecentre. ac.uk/cms/files/occasionalpapers/mobilelearning_pachler_2007.pdf Bax, S. (2003). CALLPast, present and future. System, 31, 1328. Bruce, B., & Hogan, M. (1998). The disappearance of technology: Toward an ecological model of literacy. In D. Reinking, M. McKenna, L. Labbo, & R. Kieffer (Eds.), Handbook of literacy and technology: Transformations in a post-typographic world (pp. 269281). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Retrieved from http://www.isrl.uiuc.edu/~chip/pubs/disappearance.shtml Chambers, A., Conacher, J., & Littlemore, J. (Eds.). (2004). ICT and language learning: Integrating pedagogy and practice. University of Birmingham Press. Chapelle, C. (1997). CALL in the year 2000: Still in search of research paradigms? Language Learning & Technology, 1(1), 1943. Retrieved from http://llt.msu.edu/vol1num1/chapelle/ Chapelle, C. (2001). Computer applications in second language acquisition. Foundations for teaching, testing and research. Cambridge: CUP. Chapelle, C. (2003). English language learning and technology. Lectures on applied linguistics in the age of information and communication technology. Amsterdam: John Bejamins Publishing.

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Davies, G. (1997). Lessons from the past, lessons from the future: 20 years of CALL. In A.-K. Korsvold, & B. Rschoff (Eds.). (1997). New technologies in language learning and teaching. Strasbourg: Council of Europe. Retrieved from http://www.camsoftpartners.co.uk/coegdd1.htm DfES. (2005). Harnessing technology: Transforming learning and childrens services. London. Retrieved from http://www.dfes.gov.uk/publications/e-strategy/docs/e-strategy.pdf Egbert, J. (2005). Conducting research on CALL. In J. Egbert, & G. Petrie (Eds.), CALL research perspectives (pp. 38). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Garrison, D., & Anderson, T. (2003). E-learning in the 21st century: A framework for research and practice. London: Routledge/Falmer. Halliday, M. (2004). An introduction to functional grammar (Third Edition). London: Arnold. Hubbard, P. (2000). The use and abuse of meaning technologies. Proceedings of the Ontario TESL Conference. Retrieved May 10, 2007, from http://www.stanford.edu/~efs/phil/MT.pdf Ioannou-Georgiou, S. (2006). The future of CALL. ELT Journal, 60(4), 382384. Kern, R. (2006). Perspectives on technology in learning and teaching languages. TESOL Quarterly, 40(1), 183210. Kern, R., Ware, P., & Warschauer, M. (2004). Crossing frontiers: New directions in online pedagogy and research. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 24, 243260. Retrieved from http://www.gse.uci. edu/person/markw/frontiers.pdf Kress, G., & Pachler, N. (2007). Thinking about the m in m-learning. In N. Pachler (Ed.), Mobile learning: Towards a research agenda (pp. 732). London: WLE Centre. Retrieved from http://www. wlecentre.ac.uk/cms/files/occasionalpapers/mobilelearning_pachler_2007.pdf Laurillard, D. (2002). Rethinking university teaching. A conversational framework for the effective use of learning technologies (2nd Edition). London: Routledge. Laurillard, D. (2007). Pedagogical forms of mobile learning: Framing research questions. In N. Pachler (Ed.), Mobile learning: Towards a research agenda (pp. 153176). London: WLE Centre. Retrieved from http://www.wlecentre.ac.uk/cms/files/occasionalpapers/mobilelearning_pachler_2007.pdf Owen, M., Grant, L., Sayers, S., & Facer, K. (2006). Opening education: Social software and learning. London: Futurelab. Retrieved from http://www.futurelab.org.uk/research/opening_education.htm Pachler, N. (2005). Theories of learning and ICT. In M. Leask, & N. Pachler (Eds.), Learning to teach using ICT in the secondary school (2nd Edition) (pp. 189206). London: RoutledgeFalmer. Pachler, N., Barnes, A., & Field, K. (2008). Learning to teach modern foreign languages in the secondary school (Third Revised Edition). London: Routledge. Thorne, S., & Payne, J. (2005). Evolutionary trajectories, Internet-mediated expression, and language education. CALICO Journal, 22, 371397. Warschauer, M. (1999). CALL vs. electronic literacy: Reconceiving technology in the language classroom. Retrieved from http://www.cilt.org.uk/research/resfor2/warsum1.htm

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Warschauer, M. (2004). Technological change and the future of CALL. In S. Brown (Ed.), New perspectives on CALL for second and foreign language classrooms (pp. 1525). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Retrieved from http://www.gse.uci.edu/person/markw/future-of-CALL.pdf Warschauer, M., & Healey, D. (1998). Computers and language learning: An overview. Language Teaching, 31, 5771. Retrieved from http://www.gse.uci.edu/person/markw/overview.html Warschauer, M., & Kern, R. (Eds.). (2000). Network-based language teaching: Concepts and practice. Cambridge: CUP. Zhao, Y. (2003). Recent developments in technology and language learning: A literature review and meta-analysis. CALICO Journal, 21(1), 727.

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Preface

Language teaching has seen the development of a variety of methodologies and approaches over the past decades. These have included the grammar translation method, the total physical response method, the silent way, and the communicative approach. These practices have involved the use of a range of tools, including the cassette player and VCR and DVD players, and have concentrated on the development of language skills, grammar, vocabulary, and communicative competence. They have also, in the main, relied upon teachers and course books as the principal sources of information and guidance. After the birth of computer-assisted language learning (CALL) in the late 1970s, foreign language teaching and learning saw the introduction of the use of micro and networked computers and the development of hardware and software designed specifically for language instruction. Since the end of the 1990s, with the popularization of synchronous and asynchronous communications and the Internet, a number of CALL research papers and projects have focused on the use of e-mail for language teaching and the establishment of cross-cultural communication activities (Chapelle, 2001). More recently, CALL methodologies have gone a step further, this time to embrace not only the new technology but also methodologies and approaches brought about by the use of the Internet and virtual learning environments. These take into consideration the needs and interests of both students and institutions within the context of a technological and democratic society. It was in this context that the idea for putting together a publication germinated. The initial thoughts of organizing this book stem from several research projects carried out by the editors on computer-mediated learning. From the first investigations, Marriott and Torres sought to propose methodologies that would develop a students critical sense, methodologies that would overcome the more traditional teaching methods centered in the reproduction of content. They were also looking for innovative solutions using information and communication technologies, aiming to give support to their own methodological proposals. In 2004, Marriott created the Language Learning Lab (LAPLI)1 (Laboratrio de APrendizagem de LInguas). LAPLI is a hybrid (50% face-to-face [F2F] and 50% distance learning) methodology for intermediate and advanced language learning students, developed in a collaborative virtual learning environment (VLE). Involved in its 12 activities, students research on topics of their own interest associated with linguistics or education and select authentic material from trustworthy sources online, saving them in the VLE for all to access and work on. They work at word, paragraph, and text level, and are involved in several activities such as concept mapping2; questioning and answering; creating grammar exercises; and developing summaries, reviews, articles, and PowerPoint presentations. Learners work individually, interactively, and collaboratively among themselves and in small groups formed according to shared interests or involvement in the activities. LAPLIs activities are designed to challenge students to go beyond their limitations while developing their fluency and accuracy in reading, writing, and oral skills. LAPLI is based on Torres distance learning methodology LOLA3 - The Online Learning Lab (Laboratrio Online de Aprendizagem4) was created in 2002. Both LAPLI and LOLA are based on

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constructivist, collaborative, and meaningful learning approaches, placing the students in the center of the process, developing their autonomy, responsibility, and social skills. Following the development and evaluation of these proposals, several new research projects have been undertaken, which has led to an increase in the number of publications in this area. It was in light of these new investigations that the idea of editing this publication took shape and the Handbook of Research on E-Learning Methodologies for Language Acquisition was conceived. First, let us explain what we mean by e-learning, methodologies, and language acquisition. Elearning means in its broadest sense to explore new approaches to learning supported by technologies (HEFCE, 2005), involving the innovative use of information and communication technology (ICT) for F2F, hybrid, and distance learning initiatives in order to be able to transform learning and teaching (HEFCE, 2005). Methodology is perceived in its general meaning to encompass approaches, methods, techniques, procedures and models (Harmer, 2001) within which theoretical and pedagogical approaches combine, supporting and guiding the use of teaching resources available, and a set of procedures designed to achieve the expected learning outcomes is found. As for language acquisition, we understand this to mean a natural developmental process of gaining knowledge and mastery of a speech system in a living environment (Pham, 1994), whereas language learning, also covered in this publication, is a largely conscious process that involves formal exposure to rules of syntax and semantics followed by specific applications of the rules, with corrective feedback reinforcing correct usage and discouraging incorrect usage (Felder & Henriques, 1995). Therefore, in this Handbook of Research on E-Learning Methodologies for Language Acquisition, we gather research on innovative theoretical and practical approaches to language learning and teaching in the area of CALL, using current available teaching resources for F2F, distance, and hybrid courses. The 33 chapters are written by 60 prominent, internationally known authors from all six continents of the world and cover both language learning and language acquisition as well as language teaching. They cover a variety of topics such as the use of computer mediated communication, Web2.0, social software, mobile learning, virtual learning environments, e-gaming, mapping techniques, hyperlinked dictionaries, interactive whiteboards, corpus linguistics, learning objects, virtual reality environments, and podcasting. They report on research and studies focusing on the theory and methodologies for the learning, teaching, and acquisition of languages online, fostering students foreign language competencies and communicative skills as well as their autonomy, responsibility, and social skills. The Handbook of Research on E-Learning Methodologies for Language Acquisition covers the areas of pedagogy, methodology, assessment, current and future challenges of online language learning, and teaching. It is divided into the following three foundational areas under the e-language learning umbrella heading: Section I Theories, Tools, and Pedagogical Resources; Section II Developing Skills and Competencies; and Section III Methodological Approaches and Future Tendencies. This publication aims to contribute to the education of language students, novice teachers, academics, and researchers who not only wish to keep abreast of current developments but also want to introduce innovative methodologies and approaches into their own practice. It aims to promote insights into current e-learning practices and methodologies for language teaching, learning, and acquisition, and to foster the development of both theoretical and practical issues concerning learning, skills development, interaction, communication, collaboration, and evaluation of foreign/second language education online, encouraging professional discussion and progress in this fast developing field.

Rita de Cssia Veiga Marriott and Patrcia Lupion Torres Editors

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rEFErEncEs
Felder, R., & Henriques, E. (1995). Learning and teaching styles in foreign and second language learning education. Foreign Language Annals, 28(1), 2131. Retrieved from http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Papers/FLAnnals.pdf Harmer, J. (2001). The practice of English language teaching (3rd Ed.). Harlow: Longman. HEFCE. (2005). HEFCE strategy for e-learning. Retrieved November 2007, from http://www.hefce. ac.uk/pubs/HEFCE/2005/05_12/05_12.doc Pham, L. (1994). Infant dual language acquisition revisited. The Journal of Educational Issues of Language Minority Students, 14, 185210. Retrieved from http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/pubs/jeilms/vol14/ pham.htm

EndnotEs
1

For information on LAPLI, see Marriott, R., & Torres, P. (2006). LAPLI The Languages Learning Lab: A methodological proposal for a hybrid course in a virtual environment. In P. Zaphiris, & G. Zacharia (Eds.), User-centered computer aided language learning (pp. 133151). Hershey, PA: Information Science Publishing. For information on LAPLI focusing on concept mapping activities, please refer to Marriott, R., & Torres, P. (2008). Enhancing collaborative and meaningful language learning through concept mapping. In A. Okada, S.B. Shum, & T. Sherborne (Eds.), Knowledge cartographySoftware tools and mapping techniques. Springer-Verlag. LOLA was awarded 1st place in the category Research by ABED, the Brazilian Association for Distance Learning (Associao Brasileira de Educao a Distncia) and by EMBRATEL, a Brazilian telephone communications company, in 2003. For information on LOLA, see Torres, P.L., & Marriott, R. (2007). The LOLA strategy and e-learning knowledge management. In T. Kidd, & H. Song (Eds.), Handbook of research on instructional systems and technology (pp. 656669), Volume II. New York: Information Science Reference.

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Acknowledgment

We would first like to thank the many authors who contributed to this publication for their enthusiasm for the project, and also the Editorial Advisory Board and the reviewers who gave so much of their time. Grateful thanks are extended to Norbert Pachler, not only for writing the foreword but also for his guidance during the latter stages of production; to the editorial team at IGI Global for their support; and to Janet Schofield for advice. In addition, we thank our families for their support throughout the process: John, Ritas husband, for his insights and encouragement during all the writing process, and children Rebecka and Nicholas for their understanding and patience during the endless weekends dedicated to the book; Patricias husband, Gilberto, for his support and dedication, and children Tattiana and Patrick for their love and understanding during the time spent away from them. We are also grateful to our mothers Maria de Lourdes Silva Veiga and Maria Helena Ribas Lupion and Ritas brother Fernando Cesar Silva Veiga for being there. Finally, our most heartfelt thanks to four close family members who have enjoyed our happiness and encouraged us from the beginning. They are the late Jos Schwansee Torres, the late Kenneth Kolbe Marriott, the late Jos Lupion Jr., and the late Jose Irineu Ribas Veiga. We are sure they would be very proud of the completed venture.

Rita de Cssia Veiga Marriott and Patrcia Lupion Torres Editors

Theories, Tools, and Pedagogical Resources

E-Language Learning:

Section I

Understanding E-Skills in the FLT Context


Pascual Prez-Paredes Universidad de Murcia, Spain Mara Snchez-Tornel Universidad de Murcia, Spain

Chapter I

abstract
The research we report is a pilot study carried to test English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students reception of an electronic foreign language teaching (FLT) task. In doing so, our aim was to collect information that can allow us to refine our own e-skills model, a model that adapts to the specific learning context of our students by focusing on the objectives, competence, and learning activities that our students engage in, in their everyday learning experience. In this way, our e-skills model is field-specific and context-survey-driven. The factor analysis results suggest that, although our four-factor solution explains much of the variance, the original dimensions of e-skills in our FLT context should be reformulated and further adjusted.

introduction: putting E-skiLLs in thE broad picturE


Within the context of the European Union (EU), e-skills have become one of the main areas of discussion of the so-called ICT Task Force, which was created in June 2006 to foster a debate on the use of information and communication technologies in all major types of activities across the EU. In

the words of the European Commission, the ICT Task Force is one of several actions undertaken to create a more favorable EU business environment under the Growth and Jobs initiative proposals for specific actions, such as designing a long-term e-skills strategy and promoting interoperability.1 A report produced by this group in October 2006 stated that a steadily growing demand for people with e-skills (ICT skills) is a long-run trend for

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Understanding E-Skills in the FLT Context

business of all sizes and sectors [where] non-ICT related professions will increasingly require at least basic user e-skills.2 There is, therefore, a strong link between a knowledge-based economy which has made education and training a lifelong process rather than a one-off activity3 and technology-enabled learning (e-learning) [which] can significantly contribute to lifelong learning and make it a reality.4 Although e-skills have been successfully implemented in other professional and academic areas, it remains to be seen what the potential for foreign language teaching (FLT) is. In 2003, the European e-Skills Forum was established by the European Commission to promote the effective use of ICT and its successful introduction in all major areas of human activity, especially in the business and industrial sectors. As the focus is the promotion of enhanced labor policies, education and training are key factors in this process. In the European E-Skills 2004 Conference5 held in Thessalonica, Greece, e-skills were defined as encompassing a wide range of capabilities (knowledge, skills, and competences) whose dimensions span a number of economic and social areas. However, the ways individuals interact with ICT vary considerably, depending on the work organization and context of a particular employer, or home environment, as the Synthesis Report of the E-Skills Forum reckons. This notion of variation will precisely be of great interest in the following paragraphs as we want to shed some light on adjacent or related terms by surveying the FLT and CALL literature that has dealt with them. Moreover, we want to create our own model of e-skills, a model that adapts to the specific learning context of our students by focusing on the objectives, competence, and learning activities our students engage in, in their everyday learning experience. In this way, our e-skills model is field-specific and context-survey-driven. One of the major challenges of our research is to try and narrow down the usefulness and epistemology of the e-skills term in our field by:

(1) analyzing existing work, (2) submitting our e-skill frame proposal to the learners evaluation, and thus (3) in the future, building a data-driven construct that can serve as a starting point for future research. Concerning the first area, once we have discussed mainstream FLT practices, we want to make an effort to outline a notion of eskill in FLT on three different well-defined areas: (a) new curricular needs and the transformation process (Timuin, 2006), (b) the well-known normalization issue first introduced by Bax (2003), and (c) the new model for communicative competence (Kenning, 2006) and the need to establish a social context for the adaptation of ICT skills to continuous change. This component of our research is distinctively part of a theoryinformed process which seeks to define problems explicitly (Widdowson, 2003). Regarding the second item abovesubmitting our e-skill frame proposal to the learners evaluationwe want to feed on the discussion above to later on submit to our Common European Framework (CEF) Level C1 university learners of English a framework for the understanding of e-skills in their learning process. Our drive here is to adapt an e-skills scheme that meets the specific needs of the students mentioned previously. This scheme goes beyond the widespread user skills approach that covers the utilization of common generic software tools and the use of specialized tools supporting functions within industries other than the ICT industry. We will first stay on more familiar ground by going deeper into the research carried out in the field of FLT and CALL.

background FLt Mainstream context


Existing terms such as skill, strategy, and computer expertise have traditionally been and still are of paramount importance to the field of language learning and teaching. In particular, the concept

Understanding E-Skills in the FLT Context

of skill is broad and appears in several different domains within FLT. In general terms, a skill can be defined as a special ability to do something well, especially as gained by learning and practice; expertise is a great skill in a specific field, while strategy is skillful planning or a particular plan for gaining success in a particular activity.6 Other definitions for these terms are shown in Table 1 (entry number is provided). The different definitions vary in their appraisal of the actors and activities that these terms involve. As the definitions from Table 1 and from the Longman Dictionary of English Language and Culture show, these three terms are well related. If we take the term skill, we see how the terms ability and training are in the core of most definitions. This goes to show that, as we will later see in the discussion of skills within the FLT context, those who want to achieve ability in a field need to go through the appropriate training and practice. As for expertise, it is clear that the notions of great skill or special knowledge Table 1. Term definitions
Skill OED
7

are common. As inferred from these definitions, there is a relationship between skill and expertise, as there is a question of degree that differentiates them. Therefore we see that expertise is situated along the know-how ladder in a higher position than skill, as expertise is related to the mastering of a skill. Our third term, strategy, is related to the military field and has to do with the development of a plan to achieve a goal or success on a particular activity. The most frequent terms in the definitions we collected are success and plan or planning. As students are expected to achieve a certain degree of mastering of the languagethat is, developing certain skills or even achieving an expert levelstrategies will be instrumental in the process. In FLT, skill is used to refer to the four basic language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Mainstream FLT authors (Hedge, 2000, among others) devote special attention to each of the skills separately by considering their main features by offering models to manage them in

Expertise

Strategy 2. The art of a commander in chief, the art of projecting and directing the larger military movements and operations of a campaign. 3. The office of a strategies.

7. Knowledge or understanding of something.

COBUILD8

special ability in a task, sport, etc., esp. ability acquired by training. 2 2. something, esp. a trade or technique, requiring special training or manual proficiency. 1. An ability that has been acquired by training. 2. Ability to produce solutions in some problem domain; the skill of a well-trained boxer; the sweet science of pugilism.

1. Special skill, knowledge, or judgment; expertness.

2. A particular long-term plan for success, esp. in business or politics. 3. a plan or stratagem.

WEBSTERS9

1. Skillfulness by virtue of possessing special knowledge.

1. An elaborate and systematic plan of action. 2. The branch of military science dealing with military command and the planning and conduct of a war.

Understanding E-Skills in the FLT Context

class. In this traditional approach to the study of skills, a division into receptive skills (reading and listening) and productive ones (speaking and writing) is common. If we bear in mind the general definition of skill, we can see that, up to a point, there is a link between the way in which Hedge (2000) conceives the development of reading skills and the concept of skill itself. This link is seen in the two senses in which Hedge conceives reading as an interactive process: from a top-down perspective (schematic knowledge) or from a bottom-up (language knowledge) perspective. In the first case, reading is seen as interactive because the student links words or expressions found in the text with his schematic knowledge, or as Hedge (2000) quotes from Cook, his mental representations of typical situationsused in discourse situations to predict the contents of the particular situation which the discourse describes (p. 190). Therefore, if a skill is a special ability obtained through practice or learning, we could say that practice has a clear influence on the development of schemata in the mind of the learner, and consequently on the development of the skill as a whole. Further, the richer those mental images are, the greater the possibility of establishing useful relationships between them and elements from the reading task, which would put the student in a better position to develop the task successfully and eventually to achieve a good command of the skill under consideration. From a bottom-up perspective, reading is an interactive skill because of the fact that a good knowledge of the language system makes the student able to recognize lexical items or syntactic structures he finds in the text, helping him to make sense of it, as Hedge (2000) states. In this case, we see the importance of practice and learning, the two ways to develop a skill. When acquiring reading competence, the greater the knowledge about the language, the easier to identify and understand certain words or structures in the text; in other words, declarative knowledge plays a great role in skill developing (Williams, 2001; Ellis,

Basturkmen, & Loewen, 2002). A second relevant aspect in her view is the purpose of reading. There are different categories of reading depending on the intention of the reader, such as receptive reading, reflective reading, skim reading, scanning, or intensive reading. Each of these types of reading involves the use of certain strategies, for instance skimming is largely based upon a top-down strategy. Traditionally, reading tasks have consisted basically of providing students with a text that has been assessed by means of comprehension questions. This is an interesting area for researchers that want to go deeper into the new models of communicative competence that emerge as a result of new communication paradigms (Kenning, 2006). What used to be considered a static skill could now become a more complex and evolving concept that requires constant re-definition and skill scaffolding. Certainly, not all the skills are managed in the same way by FL practitioners. Hedge (2000) points out that the writing skill is often relegated to homework and takes place in unsupported conditions of learning (p. 301). She goes on to suggest the need to raise the students awareness on the existence of certain strategies, and to encourage them to develop these strategies whereby they can become more efficient writers. It is in this context that strategies and skills converge. As we saw at the beginning of this section, a strategy is a skillful planning or a particular plan for gaining success in a particular activity. Hence the importance of developing these strategies10 to gain a good command of this skill in particular. As happens with reading and listening, practice and the use of declarative knowledge of the language serve as facilitators in the development and improvement of writing. Besides, research shows that attention to form can be integrated successfully and is effective in programs where the emphasis is on communication (Williams, 2001). If we move from mainstream perspectives, such as those of Hedge (2000) or Oxford (2001), to those maintained by Widdowson (2000, 2003),

Understanding E-Skills in the FLT Context

we find certain disparity in the way of facing skills. In the entry for Skills and Knowledge in Language Learning,11 Widdowson diverges from the traditional view of the four-skill division as the touchstone for language learning. This author maintains that, although this division is well-established (Byram, 2000, p. 549) in determining the objectives of language learning, it might not be well-founded (p. 550) and introduces the concepts of mode and medium of manifestation. Widdowson states that the division of skills in productive and receptive skills is merely based on the channel or medium of manifestation, aural or visual, and that there is a need also to consider the mode of interaction and not only the roles of the participants in communication as physical producers or receivers (p. 550). Consequently, the author defends that literacy in a language has to do with the ability of the student to act according to the principles that rule different types communicationthat is, the modes of interaction, whether written or oral. Again, we find some grounding to re-define the notion of skill as a dynamic concept. Widdowson (2000, 2003) holds the opinion that learners should be taught how language is used by native speakers in different social contexts and that an appropriate way to attain this is by means of task-based learning. Tasks are intended to put the students in a position to use language in a real-like communicative situation, hence the focus on the adequacy of language to each social context and not only on the linguistic code in isolationas structuralists defend. Nevertheless, this position poses the problem of the impossibility to teach the appropriate for every communicative context. In Widdowson (2003) we find a discussion of the limits of the well-known presentation-then practice-then-production (PPP) scheme and classroom task-based learning. Despite the pedagogical implications for the design of material and methodology, which evidently lie outside the scope of this chapter, the fact that real issues and real activities enhance language

learning leads us to a felicitous occasion when we suddenly discover that most of the e-skills are, by definition, real tools that real people use on an everyday basis. Widdowsons authoritative view matches the expectations posited on the socio-cognitive model of CALL. Authors such as Kern and Warschauer (2000) stress the role within this paradigm of computer networks that allow for interactive human communication (p. 11), and the incorporation of online activities for their social utility as well as for their perceived particular pedagogic value (Kern & Warschauer, 2000, p. 13). Some CALL-specific terms that we will review later fall within this paradigm. While the scope of skills in the phrase language skills remains ample, the status for expertise, or more specifically, computer expertise (CE), is similar. However, despite the gradation of this concept, it remains central in the area of CALL as it is an essential requisite to the implementation of ICT-based learning. If expertise is a great skill in a particular field,12 computer expertise is, accordingly, a great ability in the use of computers. It is now when we see a more clear reflection of what we posited in the previous introduction to the concepts of skill, strategy, and expertise. From the discussion above emerges a model for understanding these terms which, a priori, is independent of the CALL teaching model (see Figure 1). So, how skilled is an expert? How expert should students be in order to show CE? The following definition taken from Ruiz Madrid (2005), which quotes the U.S. Department of Education, is clarifying: computer expertise is the group of computer skills and the ability to use computers and other technology to improve learning, productivity and performance (p. 133). In the same work, we find a division of CE according to the foundations of the NETS (National Educational Technology Standards) Project. The NETS Project has been conducted within the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and aims at defining standards

Understanding E-Skills in the FLT Context

Figure 1. A framework for understanding e-skills

for students, integrating curriculum technology, technology support, and standards for student assessment and evaluation of technology use.13 Among these standards we find14: 1. 2. 3. Basic operations and concepts, Personal and professional use, and Applications in instruction and learning.

The first heading includes running software, managing and manipulating data, publishing results and evaluating the technology; the second includes the use of productivity tools, telecommunications, assisting devices for problem solving, collaboration, research and lifelong learning (Ruiz Madrid, 2005, p. 134). The third heading is more oriented towards the integration of a variety of software applications, and learning tools,15that is, towards the application of computers and related technologies to support

instruction.16 Different studies have incorporated CE in their analyses: Sahin and Thompson (2006) report low levels of CE in a study of college teachers as a factor that deters the implementation of CALL in the curriculum. Beatty (2002)17 explores the notion of expertise in the area of collaboration and states that determining expertise is classified as a collaborative strategy because it helps to clarify what each partner knows or does not know about a task. Learners who start off by determining expertise are better able to collaborate because they are better positioned to evaluate what they and the other person knows. Expertise here is seen both as necessary and an element for rapport-building in peer or group work. However, it seems to us that the very fact that CE is negotiated and established plays against the interest of CALL as it indicates that normalization is yet to come (Chambers & Bax, 2006). It follows that, in the field of CALL, expertise performs a similar role as skill does in the field of FLT.

Understanding E-Skills in the FLT Context

Finally, two additional concepts related to the area of computer expertise address the new online collaboration paradigm: electronic literacy and skills of electronic literacy. The former, coined by Chapelle (2001, p. 2), refers to the communication in registers associated with electronic communication, while the latter comprises the skills needed for successful interaction online: for example, how to participate in online discourse and how to access the technology (Simpson, 2005, p. 327). Simpsons study is much based upon Vygotskyan theories on language learning through social collaboration, as he proposes that this social collaboration cannot only be applied to language learning in particular, but also to learning in general. Accordingly, in the same way interaction allows students to improve their language skills, it can also have a very positive impact on their skills of electronic literacy, helping them to enhance what Chapelle called electronic communicative competence (Simpson, 2005, p. 330). There is, consequently, a link between both Chapelles and Simpsons concepts, since skills of electronic literacy can be placed within the broader area of electronic communicative competence. Once more, there is evidence of the importance of the impact of new technologies in most basic aspects of our everyday lives, and of the importance of developing students electronic skills to an optimal level that allows us to get the most out of the ICT resources available for EFL. Simpsons study was grounded on basic concepts of Vygotskys Socio-Cultural Theory. Vygotsky considers collaboration as the key to learning and proposes the need for scaffolding, that is, the process of supportive dialogue which directs the attention of the learner to key features of the environment, and which prompts them through successive steps of a problem (Mitchell & Miles, 2004, p. 195). The point Simpson makes is that this scaffolding or collaboration can be extrapolated to the acquisition of the basic skills necessary to work with computers within

the field of language learning. Thus, he splits skills of electronic literacy into the knowledge of discourse management and the knowledge of technology, encompassing both access to the technologythe computer hardware and an Internet connection, and also a technical capacity enabling a participant to download particular software, to log on to the system and to join an online group, among other things (Simpson, 2005, p. 337). Both types of knowledge can be achieved through collaboration in a computermediated communication environment. To finish this overview on computer expertise, we should briefly mention the present-day situation and the new needs of students. Chapelle (2001) draws our attention to the fact that the evolution of technology has an effect on language learning and, therefore, current trends should take into account the new needs of students. One of the authors who has devoted his attention to the way in which the evolution of technology has a direct effect over students lives in general is Warschauer (1999). He maintains there is a direct relationship between the use of ICT resources in the classroom and multi-literacies, including electronic literacy, which all language users need in the Western World. This position represents a step forward, as Warschauer considers literacy in new technologies as something that most students live with in their everyday routine. As we infer from the three perspectives we have mentioned so far, great advances in this field have taken place over the past 20 years. We see how we have moved from a position where the main interest was the access or lack of access to technology in a educational context, from an intermediate position concerned with the use of such technology in everyday life to a more recent trend which assumes that the use of technology is common to most students and centers around the specific needs of students using ICT in an educational context. This is to have an effect on the way e-skills spread across education as they become more visible. In this respect, research

Understanding E-Skills in the FLT Context

shows that the more familiar students are with computer use, the more readily they will incorporate e-skills into their skill repertoire (Fernndez Carballo-Calero, 2005). The last concept we are concerned with is strategy. As we have seen beforehand, a strategy is a sort of plan designed to achieve an aim, specifically a skillful planning or a particular plan for gaining success in a particular activity. We assume here that this concept is strictly related to the field of language learning in general and to the field of CALL in particular, for adult students use, conscious or unconsciously, certain plans to achieve their goals when learning. In a similar way and more closely related to the topic of language learning, strategies are defined by OMalley and Chamot, quoted in Vinther (2005, p. 253), as the special thoughts and behaviors that individuals use to help them comprehend, learn or retain new information. He adds that a strategy for learning must be positive, since the objective is to point to elements which purposely and encouragingly help the student forward towards the goal of accomplishing new understanding and competence. This remark is worth mentioning, since it clearly reflects the nature of the term strategy at its most essential meaning. If we go deeper into the field of strategies within language learning, we see how Vinther (2005) considers three different types of strategies in his analysis of students use of CALL: affective strategies, cognitive strategies, and memory strategies. Affective strategies are the students emotional thoughts or utterances as a result of the students interaction with the computer. Within affective strategies, Vinther differentiates indirect statements (sighs and laughs) from direct statements (verbal utterances). As part of future work into CALL-based tasks and e-skills, the individuals that took part in our research also were invited to express their cognitions as regards the different activities being completed. Cognitive strategies are instrumental in integrating old and new knowledge and restructure information, and

include reasoning inductively and deductively, guessing from context and analyzing. In turn, memory strategies are usually the first step in learning declarative knowledge and help learners link [in a simplistic, stimulus-response manner] a new item with something new (Oxford, 2001, p. 167). So far, we have tried to go deeper into the definitions of skill, strategy, and computer expertise, three concepts of huge importance that often appear in the literature of CALL. Our aim was to delimit each of them independently, and to clarify some of the possible relationships and overlapping among them that may sometimes cause problems in approaching the topic of instructed second language acquisition (c.f., skill and expertise distinction is neutralized in CALL). Our own scheme proposal, evaluated by the learners themselves, seeks to offer students and the FLT community an informed proposal for the effective integration of so-called e-skills in our own FLT context. It is this evaluation on the part of learners that we discuss in depth in this work, together with the description of the process that we have adopted throughout our experience. Based on the discussion above, we decided on the rationale for our e-skills model as integrative of two types of ICT skillse-communication and computer user skillsas well as FL-specific skills and attitudinal/strategic indicators.

aiM oF thE studY and Working dEFinition For E-skiLLs


As the main aim of our research is to establish the foundations to understand e-skills in the FL classroom, we have integrated the discussion presented above into a model that can be submitted to advanced learners of English. This model subsumes the previously discussed notions of skill in FLT, that of (computer) expertise and that of

Understanding E-Skills in the FLT Context

strategy under the same heading: e-skills. One of the main tenets of the e-skill approach is that it does not exclude non-ICT practitioners. Rather, it includes all activity sectors and is user oriented: e-skills are the capabilities required for effective application of ICT systems and devices by the individual. ICT users apply systems as tools in support of their own work, which is, in most cases, not ICT.18 From this, it follows that there exists an array of capabilities that matches the efficient use of ICT systems in performing tasks that are field specific. The challenge was to generate an appropriate e-task instrumental in identifying these context-bound capabilities/abilities (Chambers & Bax, 2006). We want to emphasize the fact that e-skills support individuals work, which presents itself a propaedeutic value of interest and in connection with Widdowsons (2003) notion of learning English as a pedagogic construct where personal investment is a most crucial feature. Based on the discussion presented earlier, and in the specific context of our research, the operational notion of e-skills that we have adopted can be formulated as the group of abilities that encompasses both top-down as well as bottom-up language processing in a digital learning environment and which are instrumental in the process of FL task resolution.

rEsEarch MEthodoLogY
As already stated, in this work we report on a pilot study carried out to test the students reception of a CALL-based task in order to collect information that can allow us to refine our e-skills model. Based on Timuins (2006) guidelines for the implementation of CALL in FLT, we believe that this process must be: (a) teacher driven, (b) student oriented, and (c) context specific (following Chambers & Bax, 2006). The steps that were taken are summarized in Figure 2 and discussed immediately after.

Analysis of Subject-Specific objectives


Our research analyzes the feedback of students (n = 9) taking a compulsory course of English language (CEF C1 level) 01D6 Lengua Inglesa III during the 2006-2007 academic year, a course where CALL-driven classroom instruction plays no significant role. It must be said that this is the last English course that these students will take before their graduate studies and, accordingly, they are expected to achieve the C1 level mentioned above, which posits a great burden in terms of study hours and exam preparation. As the e-skills model is highly dependent on the field of application, we set out then to identify the objectives of our academic subject where eskills could make a relevant contribution.

sEtting For thE rEsEarch


The target population informing this work is a group of third-year university learners of English (n = 9, mean age = 22.0) who are taking an undergraduate course in English Studies at the University of Murcia, Spain. Before leaving tertiary education, these students will be taking two further years. Their curriculum is one that emphasizes a balance between literary and cultural studies, on the one hand, and linguistic and language on the other.

Identification of Related E-Skills


The first group of objectives is specific objectives related to the analysis of the language as a code. This is a very comprehensive block encompassing both theoretical and practical objectives of a lexical-grammatical and pragmatic nature. Thus, the acquisition and use of advanced vocabulary, the noticing of nuances of connotation and denotation, the command of different communicative

Understanding E-Skills in the FLT Context

Figure 2. A framework for e-skills model refinement

domains, and the difference of formal and informal registers are areas covered by this first block of objectives. For these objectives to be fulfilled in a CALL-driven environment, students are expected to check word meanings, identify specific contexts of use, and find collocates. Among the varied electronic resources existing, the ones that are more closely related to the development of this first objective are online dictionaries, online thesauri, concordancers, or using the Web as a corpus. The second block of objectives is specific objectives related to reading. Here we find direct reference to some aspects covered before in the background information section, such as the one concerned with approaching different types of reading in the communicative process. For these objectives to be fulfilled in a CALL-driven environment, students are expected to find both general and context-specific information, get the gist of the topic dealt with in the text, check word meanings,

and interpret prosody. Among the varied electronic resources existing, the ones that are more closely related to the development of this second objective are online dictionaries, encyclopedias and newspapers, and online corpora. Table 2 shows the subject objectives where we found that implementing CALL-based activities would be feasible, as well as their corresponding, well-delimited functionality. These functionalities have been described as micro skills (Prez-Paredes et al., 2003) as each of them requires some sort of specific, well-limited learning and practice for its mastery.

Experiment design
Once we had decided on the target objectives underlying the e-task, we went on to adapt a set of activities from the subject course book. To minimize the impact of the novelty of a CALL-

0

Understanding E-Skills in the FLT Context

Table 2. Language course objectives where CALL can make a contribution

E-RESOURCES Online Dictionary Descriptor: dictionary Search

FUNCTIONALITY Check meanings or uses

Find similar words or words within the same Online Thesaurus Descriptor: search & find a suitable word Concordancer Descriptor: search & build hypothesis on which words co-occur together semantic field

Find concordances of words Find collocates Find contexts of use Interpret prosody

Webcorp Descriptor: search & build hypothesis on which words co-occur together

Find concordances of words Find collocates Find contexts of use Interpret prosody Get information on reading, speaking and writ-

Online Encyclopedias Descriptor: search & select useful info

ing topics, facts, and so forth To solve doubts Get information on writing topics, facts

Online Newspapers/Magazines/Journals Descriptor: search & select useful info

Observe the register of different types of texts

based task, we decided that we should keep this adaptation as close as possible to the original format of activities in the course book. In adapting this group of activities to a CALL environment, our main goal was to move the focus of the traditional classroom-based book activities from a pair/group work, teacher-managed setting to a more individualized and constructivist computer-mediated learning environment. A rationale for the e-task that we designed can be found in Figure 3. For operational purposes, we decided to focus on the reading skill as the starting point for our task. From the perspective of the researchers, the

fulfillment of this task should require putting into practice the micro-skills in column 2 of Table 3. The task matches the reading skills can-do statement for ALTE19 L4 / CEF-C1: the student can read quickly enough to cope with an academic course, to read the media for information or to understand non-standard correspondence. The students were given no indication on the resources to use, their URLs, or their names. In this way, we wanted to give them the chance to approach the task in exactly the same way as they would have done if they had to complete it either in the classroom, where no reference resources are available, or at home, where they are free to



Understanding E-Skills in the FLT Context

Figure 3. A description of the e-task

decide on the references and materials to use. One of the issues that we want to address is whether our students perceive CALL as normalized (Bax, 2003) and do it in the very context where their learning takes place (Chambers & Bax, 2006, p. 467). In so doing, we purposefully stressed the gap between classroom book-driven activities and our proposal for a CALL-driven implementation.

data-collection tool and Administration of the Task


During the fourth week of the second term of the 2006-2007 academic year, students were instructed to access the computer lab facility and invited to sit down at computer stations that had already been set up by the researchers in order to avoid tedious computer starting operations. Nine students out of a potential total of 12 attended the two-hour lesson. It must be stressed that the students had not been informed that this task would be carried out in the computer lab. The collection tool we designed for our research is found in Appendix A. The tool reflects

the dimensions that we consider of relevance for the e-skill model we want to evaluate. As in the case of other experiences (Timuin, 2006), we designed a questionnaire intended to collect the students perception of the task and their view of the skills involved in its resolution. The questionnaire was administered immediately after the completion of the task. The questionnaire reflects our e-skill rationale (see Table 3). The questionnaire gathers information from well-limited areas discussed earlier in this work. First, we find the ICT-skills components relevant to our field, which include e-communication ICT skills and computer use skills. They differ in the role and purpose given to the computer. Second is the FL-specific component, where we have included items that measure the use of computers for academic purposes (5), software use, including a browser and a word processor (16), perception of difficulty of the task (17), time management in connection with the task (18), and creativity in using resources to solve the task (24). Third, a group of items point out to the sort of attitude



Understanding E-Skills in the FLT Context

Table 3. E-skills rationale


Relevant ICT Skills: E-Communication Relevant ICT Skills: Computer Use FL-Specific Skills Attitudinal/Strategic Indicators

ICT SKILLS COMPONENT 1 Items 2 4 6 7 8 9 10 COMPONENT 2 13 COMPONENT 3 5 COMPONENT 4

1 (never) to 5 (several times a day) Likert scale description Items 11 12 13 14 15 19 21* 22* 16 17 18 24* 20 23 25* 26 27 28 29

Likert scale description

1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree)

and CALL-oriented planning manifested by the learners in approaching the e-skill task: we expect item 20 to play no role on the use of e-skills, but the rest fully address attitudinal variables such as perceiving computers as time savers (23), preferring working with computers to traditional study methodology (25), enjoying e-tasks more than book-based tasks (26), considering the lab a useful tool for learning (27), having a desire to engage in further e-tasks (28), and relating the e-task to new ways of approaching the FL experience (29). The values of the items with an asterisk are reversed when computing their means.

2,4,6,7,8,9,10. The questionnaire can be found in Appendix A. In an exploratory study like this (n = 9), the median is even more revealing than the mean itself as it gives us the typical distribution of answers. The analysis of these tables shows that the items that obtain lower scores are those that involve the use of computers in the university context: items 3 (I use the university computer labs.) and 5 (I use computers for academic purposes.). The educational institution itself is not free from

rEsuLts descriptive data

Table 4. Frequency scores for e-skills component 1


Mean Q2 4.22 3.44 3.78 3.56 2.00 3.67 2.11 Median 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00 2.00 4.00 2.00

Tables 47 show the mean values of the scores for every component and item. For every component (1,2,3,4), you can find below the mean and the median scores for each of the items. For example, Table 4 shows the mean and median values for the items (Q) in component 1, that is,

Q4 Q6 Q7 Q8 Q9 Q10



Understanding E-Skills in the FLT Context

Table 5. Frequency scores for e-skills component 2


Mean Q1 Q3 Q11 Q12 Q13 Q14 Q15 Q19 Q21 Q22 3.44 2.33 4.11 4.11 3.89 4.11 3.44 3.00 2.33 3.22 Median 4.00 2.00 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00 3.00 2.00 3.00

Table 6. Frequency scores for e-skills component 3


Mean Q5 Q16 Q17 Q18 Q24 3.11 4.00 3.56 3.11 4.22 Median 2.00 4.00 4.00 3.00 4.00

Table 7. Frequency scores for e-skills component 4


Mean Q20 Q23 Q25 Q26 Q27 Q28 Q29 Q30 3.11 3.67 3.11 3.56 3.89 3.89 3.89 3.89 Median 3.00 4.00 4.00 3.00 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00

criticism, as computer facilities simply are not up to standard, according to our survey. It is interesting to note that for item 8 (I use my e-mail to communicate with my teachers), the mean and the median are the same, which posits a great challenge on instructors in our research context. Item 10 (I use videoconference (Messenger, VideoCam, Skype, etc.).) shows that computermediated videoconferencing is still in the process of becoming a major communication channel for our students, while item 21 (Speaking while doing the activities made me feel uncomfortable.) shows that multitasking, a feature of professional e-skills, is still a problem. In the other items, the medians are 4, indicating either high frequency or a strong agreement on a positive polar statement. Scores for items 18 (I had enough time to complete the activities.), 19 (The performance of the computer was satisfactory.), and 20 (The design of the task was attractive.) point to the fact that students would have liked to have a longer period of time to complete the task (18) or would have liked to use a more cutting-edge PC.1 Item 22 (I feel lost when working with Internet resources.) did not cast a polarized result, and neither did item 26 (Working with a computer makes the activities more attractive than working with the textbook.), with a mean score of 3.56, which shows that while having the computer expertise to manage a computer, students see CALL as distant. Item 29 (This experience has opened up new ways into learning English.) shows that close contact with a CALL-driven task may encourage learners to further use e-skills in their everyday language learning.

data reduction Method


In order to corroborate the existence of underlying, latent dimensions in our e-skills model, we performed a factor analysis to identify whether our insights actually are translated into the questionnaire we designed. Factor analyses are widely used in social and empirical sciences to identify and



Understanding E-Skills in the FLT Context

reduce the dimensions of a given construct. By performing this analysis, a multi-faceted problem can be better studied and understood. Lim and Shen (2006, p. 217) used a principal component factor analysis with varimax rotation in order to identify relationships among items, and therefore, Table 8. Rotated matrix, four-factor solution
PA Components 1 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 Q6 Q7 Q8 Q9 Q10 Q11 Q12 Q13 Q14 Q15 Q16 Q17 Q18 Q19 Q20 Q21 Q22 Q23 Q24 Q25 Q26 Q27 Q28 Q29 Q30 ,306 ,799 ,805 ,388 ,931 ,784 ,684 ,630 ,678 ,154 ,744 ,166 ,326 -,332 ,819 ,216 ,230 ,286 -,341 ,021 -,062 ,757 ,114 -,723 -,088 ,042 ,378 ,243 ,033 -,316 2 ,773 ,398 -,102 ,326 ,030 -,209 ,147 ,018 ,593 -,363 ,215 ,006 -,027 -,739 ,184 -,190 -,049 ,234 -,139 -,051 -,167 ,392 ,767 -,301 ,753 ,807 ,804 ,720 ,617 ,710 3 -,391 ,007 ,295 -,155 -,095 ,278 ,472 ,300 ,067 ,709 -,149 ,147 ,743 -,007 ,115 -,921 -,078 ,795 ,402 -,048 ,782 ,027 ,291 ,176 -,153 -,097 ,138 -,100 ,283 ,342 4 -,157 ,396 ,271 ,356 ,035 ,100 -,083 ,682 ,121 ,492 -,162 -,796 ,075 -,053 -,408 ,188 -,660 ,343 -,622 -,450 -,276 -,149 -,301 ,230 ,132 ,391 -,025 ,341 ,564 -,479

the subscales or factors which could be taken as summary measures of the items. A principal component analysis rests upon the identification of linear combinations of variables, the items included in the questionnaire, looking for a maximum variance in each combination. In our case we performed the same statistical analysis although we specified a four- and a three-factor solution to gain insight into our questionnaire dimensional nature. Table 8 shows the rotated matrix which emerged from the analysis. This is the starting point for the identification and classification of the dimensionsthat is, the factors that explain the construct, in other words, the dimensions that make up our model. The loading index is the correlation coefficient between the item in the questionnaire and the factor. For membership purposes, it is irrelevant whether the loading polarity. All items above obtained >.30 loadings in at least one of the factors. This is the factor structure that emerges from our data. The second component underlying our proposal, Relevant ICT skills: Computer use, appears scattered in all factors, while components 1 and 3, Relevant ICT skills: E-communication and FL-specific skills, this latter to a lesser degree, retain many of their original members. Factor 4 presents little coherence and is a candidate for reformulation.

FuturE trEnds
Felix (2005) has pointed out that the focus of Computer-Assisted Language Learning research has increasingly shifted from an interest in the learning efficiency and new technologies to an interest in the very process of learning. This is the area that will develop more significantly in forthcoming years. As formal learning becomes more influenced by social work and entertainment collaboration frameworks, it seems essential to incorporate



Understanding E-Skills in the FLT Context

Table 9. Members and loadings for Factors 14


FACTOR 1 FACTOR 2 FACTOR 3 FACTOR 4

Q5

,931

Q26

,807

Q18

,795

Q8

,682

Q15

,819

Q27

,804

Q21

,782

Q20

-,450

Q3

,805

Q1

,773

Q13

,743

Q19

-,622

Q2

,799

Q23

,767

Q10

,709

Q17

-,660

Q6

,784

Q25

,753

Q16

-,921

Q12

-,796

Q22

,757

Q28

,720

Q11

,744

Q30

,710

Q7

,684

Q29

,617

Q9 Q4 Q24

,678 ,388 -,723

Q14

-,739

these factors into e-skills models that reflect more faithfully the engagement of a new generation of students with new technologies. These, and particularly the spread of Web 2.0, are to have an important impact on the range of skills that learners bring to the foreign language classroom. New models of e-skills in FLT should take into account research frameworks such as the one included in this chapter, as well as learners technology use prior or simultaneous to instruction and the role of collective knowledge and collaboration. In this way, relevant contributions can be made to a new communicative competence (Kenning, 2006) by dealing with the traditional marginalization of technological matters in the descriptions of communicative competence in FLT.

concLusion
This research presents the results of a pilot study where an e-skill model questionnaire was answered by language students so as to help our understanding of the relationship between nontraditional skills and new CALL environments. By doing so, we intended to assess the e-skills dimensional structure that underlies the completion of language e-tasks designed by FLT instructors and implemented in CALL classrooms. The results suggest that, although the four-factor solution explains 74.9% of the variance, the different original dimensions of e-skills in our FLT context(1) Relevant ICT skills: E-communication, (2) Relevant ICT skills: Computer use, (3) FL-specific skills, and (4) Attitudinal /strategic



Understanding E-Skills in the FLT Context

indicators should be reformulated and further adjusted. Our original components do not appear to cluster around corresponding dimensions in all four components. In particular, only components 1 and 4 appear to cluster together significantly. It must be stressed, however, that the population of this survey is by no means representative in terms of statistical significance, and accordingly, the factor analysis should feed on more informants in the future. The results also suggest that CE fails to become substantial as a component of its own. This might be an indication that using computers outside the FLT context has become normalized (Bax, 2003), and depending on the group of students, it might not be an issue any more. At the same time, it appears that the attitudinal/strategic dimension manifests itself as strong and coherent. It might be of interest in future research to explore the correlations of the different factors and the individual items to fully appreciate the nature of their interweaving. Again, it is crucial that we develop more substantial research that makes use of a larger sample of informants. Our research presents a framework to implement e-tasks, or group of activities, in instructional learning environments where CALL plays no methodological role. Figure 1 presents a whole model for e-kills refinement which ranges from the identification of the curricular objectives of the course where e-skills are to be used to the very moment when instructors and researchers are presented with data that can allow them to refine their initial stands. On a general level, the e-skill rationale presented in the background and literature review of this work can serve as the starting point for researchers to start implementing their own datadriven construct. For us, this is the beginning of a process that will take us to conduct further research in both the components of the e-skills model and the data collection instrument.

acknoWLEdgMEnt
This work is part of an ongoing research project funded by the Spanish Ministry of Education: ESkills for Advanced Common European Framework of Reference for Languages C1 Learners of English as a Foreign Language: Identification, Implementation and Evaluation.

rEFErEncEs
Bax, S. (2003). CALL: Past, present and future. System, 31(1) 13-28. Beatty, K. (2002). Describing and enhancing collaboration at the computer. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 28(2). Retrieved June 15, 2007, from http://www.cjlt.ca/content/vol28.2/ beatty.html Chambers, A., & Bax, S. (2006). Making CALL work: Towards normalization. System, 36, 465479. Chapelle, C. (2001). Computer applications in second language acquisition: Foundations for teaching, testing and research. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ellis, R., Basturkmen, H., & Loewen, S. (2002). Doing focus-on-form. System, 30(4), 419-432. Felix, U. (2005). What do meta-analyses tell us about CALL effectiveness? ReCALL, 17(2), 269-288. Fernndez Carballo-Calero, M.V. (2005). Does familiarization with CALL improve students attitudes towards CALL? Porta Linguarum, 4, 69-75. Hedge, T. (2000). Teaching and learning in the language classroom. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



Understanding E-Skills in the FLT Context

Kern, R., & Warschauer, M. (2000). Theory and practice of network-based language teaching. In R. Kern & M. Warschauer (Eds.), Network-based language teaching: Concepts and practice (pp. 1-19). New York: Cambridge University Press. Levy, M. (1997). CALL: Context and conceptualization. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Lim, K., & Shen, Z. (2006). Integration of computers into an EFL reading classroom. RECALL, 18(2), 212-229. Mitchell, R., & Myles, F. (2004). Second language learning theories. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Oxford, R. (2001). Language learning strategies. In R. Carter & D. Nunan (Eds.), The Cambridge guide to teaching English to speakers of other languages (pp. 166-172). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Prez-Paredes, P. et al. (2003). La redaccin como proceso: Recursos electrnicos comentados para el ingls acadmico. LFE: Revista de lenguas para fines especficos, 9-10, 217-250. Ruiz Madrid, M.N. (2005). Aprendizaje autnomo en el aprendizaje de lenguas asistido por ordenador. Un estudio de casos comparativo de las conductas de los aprendices en el contexto de ingls como lengua extranjera. Castelln: Universitat Jaume I. Sahin, I., & Thompson, A. (2006). Using Rogers theory to interpret instructional computer use by COE faculty. JRTE, 39(1), 81-104. Simspon, J. (2005). Learning electronic literacy skills in an online language learning community. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 18(4), 327-345. Timuin, M. (2006). Implementing CALL in an EFL context. ELT Journal, 60(3), 262-271.

Vinther, J. (2005). Cognitive processes at work in CALL. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 18(4), 251-271. Warschauer, M. (1999). Electronic literacies. Language, culture, and power in online education. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Widdowson, H.G. (2003). Defining issues in ELT. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Williams, J. (2001). The effectiveness of spontaneous attention to form. System, 29(3), 325-340.

kEY tErMs
Computer Expertise: Refers to the mastering of the use of computers. In the context of CALL, this term is tightly connected to the abilities the students need to have in order to be able to work efficiently with a computer in the process of language learning. Among these abilities, taking the NETS projects division, we can mention those related to the management of basic software, the use of computers in the personal and professional contexts, and the capability of using computers in instruction-related contexts. E-Skill: The group of abilities that encompass both top-down as well as bottom-up language processing in a digital learning environment and which are instrumental in the process of FL task resolution. E-Task: A task designed to be performed on a computer. These types of tasks appear in special formats, such as hypertext formats. The process of e-task solving is closely related to the use of electronic resources, as students can turn to this type of resource to overcome possible difficulties they might find during the completion of the task.



Understanding E-Skills in the FLT Context

Factor Analysis: Data-reduction technique used to interpret underlying dimensions in a construct. Normalization: Based on Bax (2003), a future vision of future development of CALL in FLT. Skill: A complex term whose scope spans different domains. Within the field of FLT, skill refers to the four basic abilities students must develop to achieve a good command of the language. From a more general perspective, skill refers to any ability acquired by training or practice, allowing individuals to perform well in multifarious types of tasks. In this context, a skill is an ability that is acquired through practice and by using declarative knowledge. Strategy: A plan designed to achieve a goal. Thus, in the context of second language learning, we can take the term strategy as a plan the students devise to solve the tasks and challenges they are presented in the process of language learning.

10

11

12

13

14

EndnotEs
1

3 4 5

http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction. do?reference=IP/06/1635 Task-Force on ICT Sector Competitiveness and ICT Uptake. Working Group 5 Skills and Employability (p. 5). Ibid. Ibid. http://eskills.cedefop.europa.eu/eskills2004/ index.htm Definitions from The Longman Dictionary of English Language and Culture. Second edition first published in 1998; sixth impression, 2003.

15 16 17 18

19

The Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press, Ely House, London WI. First edition 1933; reprinted 1963, 1970. Collins English Dictionary. Fifth edition first published in 2000; HarperCollins Publishers 1979, 1986, 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000. http://dictionary.reverso.net/englishdefinitions/skill Websters Online Dictionary, http://www. websters-online-dictionary.org/ Among the repertoire of strategies, we can find planning, generating ideas, organizing information, selecting appropriate language, making a draft, reviewing it, and editing (Hedge, 2000, p. 302). Byram, M. (2000). Routledge Encyclopaedia of Language Teaching and Learning. London: Routledge. The Longman Dictionary of English Language and Culture. Second edition first published in 1998; sixth impression, 2003. What is the NETS Project? http://cnets. iste.org/index.shtml Standards for Basic Endorsement in Educational Computing and Technology Leadership, http://cnets.iste.org/ncate/old/ n_literacy-old.html See 14 See 14 Electronic document European E-Skills Forum, E-Skills for Europe: Towards 2010 and Beyond, Synthesis Report (2004, p. 5) http://www.alte.org/can_do/alte_cando. pdf



Understanding E-Skills in the FLT Context

appEndiX a: post-task E-skiLL ModEL QuEstionnairE


Name : BLOCK 1. GENERAL QUESTIONS 1.1 Rate the following statements according to this scale: 1: never 2: from time to time 3: almost every day 4: every day 5: several times a day
1 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. I use a computer at home. I can connect to the Internet at home. I use the university computer labs. I use computers for leisure purposes. I use computers for academic purposes. I check my e-mail I use my e-mail to communicate with my friends/family. I use my e-mail to communicate with my teachers. I use Microsoft Messenger or similar instant message software. I use videoconference (Messenger, VideoCam, Skype, etc.). 2 3 4 5

1.2 Rate the following statements according to this scale: 1: strongly disagree 2: disagree 3: neutral 4: agree 5: strongly agree
1 11. I can perform basic operations with a computer (run programs, play CD-ROMS or DVDs, copy CDs, scan documents/pictures, attach files to emails). 12. 13. 14. I can use a word processor satisfactorily. I can use search services like Google satisfactorily (i.e., I know tips to improve searches, etc.). I can typewrite, this is no problem. 2 3 4 5

BLOCK 2. YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THE TASK 2.1 Rate the following statements according to this scale: 1: strongly disagree 2: disagree 3: neutral 4: agree 5: strongly agree

0

Understanding E-Skills in the FLT Context

1 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. Operating the software was easy. The instructions were clear. The level of difficulty of the activities was adequate to my English language learning profile. I had enough time to complete the activities. The performance of the computer was satisfactory. The design of the task was attractive. Speaking while doing the activities made me feel uncomfortable. I feel lost when working with Internet resources. Electronic resources save time in comparison with other resources. I would have liked to have a list of suggested Internet resources. I prefer working with a textbook and with traditional resources. Working with a computer makes the activities more attractive than working with the textbook. The language lab is a valuable option to complement traditional lectures in the classroom. I would like to do more English language learning activities with computers. This experience has opened up new ways into learning English.

2.2 SUGGESTIONS





The Emergence of Social Presence in Learning Communities


Antnio Carlos Soares Martins Centro Federal de Educao Tecnolgica de Januria/Fapemig, Brazil Junia de Carvalho Fidelis Braga Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil

Chapter II

abstract
The discussions presented herein emerged from two empirical studies in progress:Online Learning Communities in the Realm of Complexity and The Complexity of Learning Environments in the Graduate Program in Applied Linguistics at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil. One of the major pillars of both studies centers around Complexity Theory. Initially arising from the natural sciences, Complexity Theory has been gaining ground in the comprehension of human and social sciences. This chapter presents some ideas regarding the role of social presence in both blended and online learning environments, in line with the Community of Inquiry Framework (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000). Moreover, the authors hope to contribute to a better understanding of patterns that emerge from social interactions as well as of the ideas embedded in learning communities as complex systems.

introduction
The Community of Inquiry, as reported by Garrison et al. (2000) and Rourke, Anderson, Garrison, and Archer (2004), who provide a detailed report of social presence, sets the stage for this

chapter to discuss the emergence of social presence in blended and online learning communities in asynchronous medium. A great number of studies dedicated to the investigation of social presence, in the terms of the Community of Inquiry, focused mainly

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The Emergence of Social Presence in Learning Communities

on quantitative methodology to interpret social expressions in a qualitative manner (Heckman & Annabi, 2002; Rourke & Anderson, 2002; Rourke et al., 2004). Considering these discussions, our chapter presents a complementary contribution that aims to analyze, in the light of complexity, the content of some messages exchanged in blended and online learning communities. By qualitatively analyzing the manifestation of social presence in this setting, we attempt to show possible patterns that may arise.

Children are able to integrate the latest technologies into their existences. What might this mean for formal education, in terms of the pragmatic activity and with regard to common understandings of the purposes of schooling? In this direction, Complexity Theory in its transdisciplinary nature can assist in better understanding the events that take place in blended and online learning environments. A complex system is dynamic, non-linear, open, and presents emergent properties. Moreover, this type of system is capable of adapting, which leads to self-organization, and ultimately to the emergence of new patterns and behaviors (Holland, 1997). An adaptive complex system is made up of agents who interact dynamically and adapt with one another as well as with the environment, as they seek mutual accommodation to optimize the benefits that will ensure their survival. An ever-increasing number of articles over the past years have sought to analyze the second language acquisition process, as well as the language learning classroom in general, in the light of chaos and complexity theories (Cameron, 1999, 2004; Larsen-Freeman, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2006; Paiva, 2002, 2005a, 2006a, 2006b; Parreiras, 2005). Although other works had already reflected on the implications of chaos and complexity on teaching and language learning (Bowers, 1990; Connor-Linton, 1995; Lewis, 1993; Van Lier, 1996), it was Larsen-Freeman (1997) who brought these theories to the forefront of Applied Linguistics. In her article, Larsen-Freeman (1997) draws attention to the many similarities between complex systems found in nature and second language acquisition. One of the implications of this perspective, she writes, is that it discourages reductionist explanations of teaching events and language learning. In discussing issues relative to inter-language, individual differences, and the effects of instruction, Larsen-Freeman (1997)

coMpLEXitY and appLiEd Linguistics: transdicipLinarY diaLogs


At first glance, complexity is a phenomenon that encompasses a great quantity of interactions and interference among its agents. For Morin (1990), complexity effectively includes the interweaving of events, actions, interactions, retroactions, determinations, and random events that constitute our world, full of phenomena. Complexity has its place in science due to research that has attempted to explain questions which challenge all conventional categories (Waldrop, 1992). Davis and Sumara (2006, p. ix) argue that complexity thinking has captured the attention of many researchers whose studies reach across traditional boundaries. Examples of phenomena under investigation in the education arena include: How do social collectives work? The assumption that the actions and potentialities of social groups are sums of individual capacities has been challenged as it is becoming more evident that collectives can exceed the summed capacity of their members. What might this mean for classrooms, school boards, communities, and so on? What is the role of emergent technologies in shaping personalities and possibilities?



The Emergence of Social Presence in Learning Communities

contends that in non-linear systems, such as second language learning, the behavior of the whole emerges from the interactions of the parts. Thus, by studying the parts in isolation, one by one, we will merely be discussing each part as opposed to the manner in which the parts interact. After the publication of Larsen-Freemans work, several papers have reflected upon the implications of complexity in understanding the relations between language learning and teaching. In Brazil, the first to study complexity in Applied Linguistics was Paiva (2002), who sought to understand the process of foreign language learning as a complex system. This perspective would be further developed in her later works (Paiva, 2004, 2005, 2006). In this same manner, Kramsch (2002) and van Lier (2004), using the ecology metaphor, sought to re-think teaching and learning through complexity. In 2006, the journal Applied Linguistics dedicated an entire special edition to Complexity Theorys contributions to Applied Linguistics, demonstrating this theorys role as a system of interpretation for studies seeking a broader comprehension of the factors involved in the second language learning process. The basic notions of Complexity Theory will be taken as a viewpoint to understand the role of social presence in investigating online and blended communities, especially as reported by Garrison et al. (2000) and Rouke et al. (2004).

onLinE and bLEndEd LEarning coMMunitiEs as coMpLEX sYstEMs


Technology as a mediating resource for the construction of shared1 knowledge is stressed by Lvy (1993), who contends that cyberspace, unlike classic media, introduces an all to all type of interaction, where participants can be both senders and recipients, thus leading to a collective intelligence.

In this light, Palloff and Pratt (1999, p. 5) argue that distance learning is invariably active: the keys to the learning process are the interactions among students themselves, the interactions between faculty and students and the collaboration in learning that result from these interactions. Computer-mediated communication (CMC), particularly computer conferencing, has become a versatile medium for the delivery of both distributed and on-campus education. One such advantage is that text-based communication offers opportunities for reflection in terms of the Community of Inquiry (Garrison et al., 2000). The creation of learning communities is one of the most debated pedagogical interventions used by educators and researchers to contemplate philosophical change related to knowledge construction. This line of thinking suggests that we construct and maintain knowledge through negotiation and not merely by examining the world. Other key aspects embedded in learning communities are those involving interaction, the relationships of reciprocity, and collaboration, essential components in the process of constructing shared knowledge (Cross, 1998; Wenger, 1998). These precepts of learning communities align themselves with the assumptions found in the literature regarding online learning communities. Joint enterprise,2 the relationships of reciprocity, and the sharing of common purposes, vital aspects if a learning community is to function productively, have also been identified by Rogers (2000) in online dialogs. According to Harasim, Teles, Turroff, and Hitz (2005), the words community and communication stem from the same root, comunicare, which means to share. The authors emphasize that people are naturally attracted by the media, sources of communication, and community formation. Paiva (2006a) adds that technological resources provide new opportunities and challenges for the learning process such as collaborative instructional projects, which boost the collective intelligence.



The Emergence of Social Presence in Learning Communities

Like online learning communities, blended learning communities have arisen to combine different instructional modalities. The concept of blended learning, as explained by Graham, Allen, and Ure (2003), refers to combining instructional modalities (or delivery media), combining instructional methods, and combining online and face-to-face instruction. In this chapter, the term blended learning will be used to refer to educational experiences which combine faceto-face conversation classes with online classes, thus reducing the time spent inside a classroom. This interaction seeks to maximize the potential of both environments. Both blended learning and online learning are imbued with elements that are common to those found in the notions of complexity. The life of a learning community, like other complex systems, is sustained by the interactions among its agents as well as by the relation of interdependence that emerges from these interactions. Moreover, learning communities are open and sensitive to feedback, and are constantly exchanging energy (information, input ) with other systems. Other properties of the systems such as redundancy3 and diversity, as pointed out by Davis and Sumara (2006), are also described in the literature on learning communities. The sharing of responsibility and the relation of reciprocity, as described by Wenger (1998) and Cross (1998), may serve to illustrate instances of redundancy in such pedagogical environments, be they face-to-face, blended, or online. Respect for diversity, on the other hand, is considered by Wenger (1998) to be a crucial element within a learning community, as it is by way of accepting new ideas and embracing the changes and challenges brought on by different perspectives that a community will develop and learn. Literature on complexity thus can trigger relevant insight into understanding online and blended learning communities alike.

thE coMMunitY oF inQuirY ModEL: sociaL prEsEncE


The increasing interest on the part of higher education institutions in computer conferencing led Garrison et al. (2000) to propose the Community of Inquiry framework. Assuming that within this community learning takes place through the interaction of the three core elementscognitive presence, teaching presence, and social presence the Community of Inquiry framework, inspired by Dewey (1933), attempts to serve as a tool to investigate the quality of the learning process in text-based environments. In Garrison et al.s (2000, p. 4) terms, cognitive presence is defined as the extent to which the participants in any particular configuration of a community of inquiry are able to construct meaning through sustained communication. The second component, teaching presence, consists of two general functions in the educational experience: (1) designing, usually performed by a teacher, and (2) facilitating, a function shared by the teacher and the participants. The third element, social presence, is defined as the ability of learners to project themselves socially and emotionally in a community of inquiry. Although this definition may embrace the affective and social aspects of social presence, it lacks the common purpose and cohesive aspects imbued in the notion of a learning community. For this reason, we adopted the expanded definition proposed by Garrison (2006, p. 2), for whom social presence is the ability to project ones self and establish purposeful relationships. The main function of social presence in Garrison et al. (2000) is to support cognitive objectives through its ability to instigate, sustain, and support critical thinking within a community of learners. As Rourke et al. (2004) argue, communication theorists seem to agree that setting the atmosphere for discussion is an important element in all modes of teaching and learning based on peer



The Emergence of Social Presence in Learning Communities

collaboration. Based on these issues, the discussions regarding blended and online collaborative experiences presented herein will focus on the aspects that appear to promote the emergence of social presence. The longtime attempt to understand human social interactions was set in motion with the development of modalities of mediated technology. In conversational analysis, reports from Schegloff and others (Sacks, Schegloff, & Jefferson, 1974; Schegloff, 1968; 1973; Schegloff, Jefferson, & Sacks 1977) sought to understand the nature of telephone and face-to-face conversations. Rourke et al. (2004) cite a variety of reports in communication theory which studied a number of machines, including facsimile machines, voicemail, and audio-teleconferencing in organizational settings, through the concept of immediacy from Mehrabian (1969). This concept, developed to analyze face-to-face interaction, refers to those communication behaviors that enhance closeness to and nonverbal interaction with another (p. 203). These behaviors involve nonverbal channels, such as facial expressions, body movements, and eye contact, which lead to more effective and more immediate interactions among the interlocutors. Rourke et al. (2004) examine many early works that argued that the critical difference between face-to-face communication and computer-mediated communication was the absence of social context cues. According to Rourke et al. (2004), however, recent revisions of social presence question to what extent these results from previous studies can be generalized to all media and to all their applications. One difference between face-to-face contexts and online contexts, highlighted by Garrison (2006, p. 27), is that communication for social presence in an online context is less frequent and more deliberate and intentional compared to a face-to-face context where physical presence more naturally stimulates expressions of social presence.

Garrison further points out that an online experience does offer opportunities for reflection in a manner not at all possible in face-to-face environments, which require verbal agility, spontaneity, and self-confidence to address a group. Thus, an online learning environment reflects a group-centered pattern of interaction as opposed to an authority-centered one in a face-to-face environment. Moreover, there is a greater tendency to lean on the commentaries of others in online environments as compared to the turn-taking dynamics in face-to-face environments. In this manner, according to Garrison (2006, p. 25), there is evidence indicating that online learning may in fact have an advantage in supporting collaboration and creating a sense of community. Rourke et al. (2004), in one of the key works on assessing social presence in computer conferencing, propose three broad categories of communicative responses: affective responses, interactive responses, and cohesive responses. These categories, although relabeled to better reflect the nature of the emergent indicators defined by the authors, correspond directly to Garrison et al.s (2000) original categories. In this chapter, the term dimension, instead of responses, is preferred as the events under investigation involve more than simple responses. The affective dimension involves personal expressions of emotion, feelings, beliefs, and values, and includes indicators such as expressions of emotion, use of humor, and self-disclosure. The interactive dimension includes communication behaviors that provide evidence that others are present, such as agreement/disagreement, approval, and referencing of previous messages, as well as involves indicators such as: continuing a thread, quoting from others messages, asking questions, complimenting, and expressing appreciation. The cohesion present here encompasses communication behaviors that build and sustain a sense of group commitment, such as greetings and salutations and group or personal reference. The interweaving of events, actions, and in-



The Emergence of Social Presence in Learning Communities

teractions in the notions of complex systems is present in the interrelationship of social, cognitive, and teaching presences in a Community of Inquiry (Garrison et al., 2000). Although the categories and indicators suggested in the Community of Inquiry model are in a certain way presented in a static and non-realistic manner, when we consider, for example, that the selection of text segments used to illustrate the indicators in Rourke et al. (2004) is fabricated, the ideas embedded in this model appear to signal the presence of agents (learners, cultural artifacts, contexts), offering possibilities to identify several qualities such as dynamism, self-organization, emergence, and so on, which are common to complex systems. The next part of this chapter will present an overview of classic and contemporary thought with the aim of promoting a better understanding of the core ideas of complexity.

contEXtuaL issuEs
The discussion presented herein has emerged from the analysis of two distinct studies: Online Learning Communities in the Realm of Complexity and The Complexity of Learning Environments. The first study discusses the main characteristics and functions of online learning communities as well as the emergence of social presence, teaching presence, and cognitive presence in terms of Communities of Inquiry (Garrison et al., 2000). This studys core analysis focused on the interaction of 50 undergraduate students who participated in a 20-week course for pre-service teachers at the School of Languages and Literatures, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, in the first semester of 2004. This course involved theoretical and practical issues of teaching and learning a second language. These students were divided into small groups of three to five participants and interacted in an online environment without the direct intervention of the teacher.

The second study, a longitudinal ethnographic work, discusses the content of the interactions of 08 undergraduate students in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) academic writing course at the School of Languages and Literatures, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, during the second semester of 2004. This study was designed in a blended format so as to give students the opportunity to interact both online and face-to-face, and thus focuses on learner interaction and collaboration in peer-review activities in both face-to-face and online asynchronous classes. Rather than directly comparing the learning environments, or attempting to discover which is more effective, this research focuses both on their possibilities and constraints, as well as on the value of their combination. In keeping with the perspectives of this chapter, a special inquiry was formulated by choosing two distinct scenes: one related to blended learning and the other related to online learning. Regarding the online experience, the corpus of UFMGPRAT English 1, one of the subcommunities investigated in the study Online Learning Communities in the Realm of Complexity was chosen. Throughout the course, participants made use of a discussion list to carry out the tasks assigned in the teaching practice course. For each task, the instructional design involved: (1) posting an individual contribution to the discussion list, (2) discussing these contributions, and (3) posting a collective contribution to a forum for feedback from teachers and members of other subcommunities. In the second study, activities alternated between face-to-face and online classes. Face-toface classes entailed reading and discussing theory as well as presenting seminars. The online classes were conducted in an electronic forum where texts produced by students were posted. Also present here was a discussion list via e-mail intended to resolve problems and doubts that would inevitably arise between one face-to-face encounter and another. For the sake of analysis, the data from



The Emergence of Social Presence in Learning Communities

this studys online and face-to-face experiences is presented separately. Enlightened by complexity theory, this analysis considers blended learning as a unit, as all events occurring within both online and face to face is intimately interrelated.

(2) Ellen: I am a bit stunnedI got home from college, wrote, sent andThe msn disappearedI couldnt believe itI almost cried. (original text in Portuguese) (3)

Findings
This section will be dedicated to pinpointing evidence of the affective, interactive, and cohesive dimensions as well as patterns that may emerge with the support of social presence.

Ellen: I am going to have to punish you (laughing). (original text in Portuguese) Concerning blended learning, expressions of emotion, feelings, and humor can also be clearly observed in the participant speech of this community. Excerpts 4 and 5 illustrate the presence of the affective dimension, especially expressions of emotion in the face-to-face experience. In excerpt 4, for example, the emotion is expressed not only linguistically, but also non-linguistically, through pauses and laughter in short statements, which are typical of face-to-face conversations. The teachers manifestation upon facing a students difficulty in performing one of the tasks proposed by the course is immediate, which draws direct correlation to the concept of Mehrabians (1969) immediacy, which contemplates communicative behavior related to the specific proximity of interaction possibilities in the face-to-face experience: (4) Nathalie: Ana, Im in trouble! I dont know how to do it. Ana: You are not, Nathalie! Nathalie: Yes! Ana: I think youre Nathalie: I dont know. Ana: I think youre in the right way. (Laughter) Ana: I think youre in the right way. Write it on the board please.

affective dimension
Regarding the exclusively online experience of the UFMGPRAT English 1 subcommunity, it can be observed that emotions, feelings, and humor seem to be expressed emphatically, as can be found in excerpts 1 and 2. Any divergence that could otherwise have been resolved by means of looks, tone of voice, or any other resource typical of a face-to-face interaction tends to be expressed textually: (1) Lisa: Gee, sorry if I offended ya. Didnt mean to say that all your sentences were bad. On the contrary! What I meant was that we had (in all) a lot of sentences and we would have to be more selective because if we flood the students with visual aids we may end up not getting the result expected. As I said before, when I answer e-mails quickly (most of the time, unfortunately) I end up simplifying the text and it gets a tad too forward. Please dont get me wrong. Im really enjoying working with you guys! Expressions of humor and self-disclosure are also constant in the interactions observed in the UFMGPRAT English 1, as illustrated in 2 and 3:



The Emergence of Social Presence in Learning Communities

(5) Chris: People are trying to convince me not to talk about (laughs) things that I want to talk about. Expressions of emotion can also be observed in excerpts 6 and 7 in the difficulties the students encounter in performing the tasks. In both cases, non-linguistic elements can be observed, such as pauses and laughter, which aid in the expression of emotion: (6) Chris: We are supposed to continue mine because this is my best. But Im not going to talk about drama (laughter) ah please help me! How can I do this thesis statement? Im going crazy (laughter). The interactions observed in the online experience in blended mode do not demonstrate the marked affective dimension seen in the face-toface experience. Yet, due to the absence of certain non-verbal resources typical of a face-to-face interaction, the affective dimension tends to be more linguistically marked, which may indicate that this dimension is more marked in text-based online interactions. This can be observed in excerpts 7 and 8 when one student writes the teacher an e-mail about her difficulty in drafting a composition: (7) Amanda: I am in doubt about how to do my composition. I have surfed the whole Net and cant find anything. Please, give me some help. (original text in Portuguese) (8) Ana: Amanda I answered your e-mail but it returned to me as undelivered mail. So, Im sending it to you in the text factory. I hope it can still help you.

It is interesting to note that this message was sent to the teachers private e-mail account and not to the discussion list as shown in excerpt 8 sent by the teacher to the discussion list. This event seems to show that, in affective terms, the students preferred to interact directly with the teacher since the proposal of the discussion list, in its course design, had the objective of offering opportunities to resolve problems regarding the completion of tasks.

interactive dimension
The core of the interactive dimension is related to the evidence that the other is involved in the common principles of the community. In this manner, indicators, such as using the reply feature to post messages, quoting directly from the conference transcript and referring explicitly to the content of others messages, are all types of interactive responses in CMC (Rourke et al., 2004). Of the 189 messages exchanged by the PRATUFMG English 1 subcommunity, 55 present these indicators, mainly referring to the content of others messages and the reply feature to post messages. Evidence of complementing and expressing appreciation, indicators that communication is being reinforced in a text-based medium, seem to play a key role in the process of integration in the aforementioned community. Upon demonstrating appreciation for the work of their colleagues, participants of the community express their interest, engagement, reciprocity, and commitment to the proposals of the groups, as illustrated in excerpts 9 and 10: (9) Ellen: Lisa a nd Julia , cong rat ula tions, your texts are very good and Im sure theyre gonna be useful. I totally agree with what you wrote.



The Emergence of Social Presence in Learning Communities

(10) Julia: All the sites are interesting (some I knew others I just now visited) I thought the bloglesworld was great and I suggest it be on the list. (original text in Portuguese) Two other indicatorsexpression of agreement and asking questionsemphasized by Rourke et al. (2004) were also observed in the messages from community participants. In addition to the expressions of agreement, it could also be observed that expressions of divergence can instigate, sustain, and give support to critical thinking within the community, one of the major goals of the collaborative experience. In excerpt 11, for example, one community participant manifests not only agreement but also intention to produce knowledge through her classmates suggestion: (11) I agree with you about treating the cultural transversal plurality theme suggested by Lisa. Okay, Im going to base my part on it. (original text in Portuguese) Likewise, the manifestations of divergence, although categorized as indicators of cognitive presence in the model formulated by Garrison et al. (2000), express displeasure and, as in expressions of agreement, may give rise to the development of critical thinking. In excerpt 12, one participant reacts to a long list of expressions suggested by her classmates. These phrases, part of the completion of one of the group tasks, served to facilitate the interaction among the students in the classroom: (12) I think that we have to make a selection of the phrases from the whole because we cant bombard the students with phrases, right? (original text in Portuguese)

In blended learning, it can be observed that, in the face-to-face environment, the interactive dimension is also manifested in a non-linguistic form. The evidence that the other is attending, for example, is perceived through looks, gestures, and so forth. The elements of the interactive dimension that most commonly appear linguistically in this context are asking questions and expressing agreement, as we can see at the end of excerpt 12 as well as in excerpts 13 and 14. In excerpt 13 the student expresses her agreement with the ideas from a classmate, while in excerpt 14 Nathalie agrees with a commentary from the professor regarding her text: (13) Chris: Ok Ok I agree with you. (14) Nathalie: Yeah its kind of confuse In excerpts 15 and 16, we can see examples of questions that appear frequently in the interactive dimension of the face-to-face classroom: (15) Anglica: Its a good idea? (16) Anglica: How can I improve? In the online experience, the interactive dimension is much more linguistically present than in the face-to-face experience. One common indicator in this context was complimenting and expressing appreciation, as exemplified in excerpts 17 and 18: (17) Your text is much better now. Congratulations!

0

The Emergence of Social Presence in Learning Communities

(18) Anglica, your text is very good with just few mistakes. Congratulations!! In this context, which involved the peer editing of their texts, the students frequently wrote commentaries complimenting their colleagues or highlighting the positive aspects of the text before making any corrections or giving any sort of suggestion.

(19) Lisa: United we stand!!!! (20) Ellen: A big hug, all for one and one for all!!!! Go girls. (21) Lisa: Together we will overcome the difficulties. I hope soIm going to continue to try to resolve these little problems and I hope that they will not hurt us because weve worked hard, right? This attachment to group cohesion can be interpreted as a need for the group to stand on its own two feet until the end of the course. This fact seems to be related to the pedagogical proposal of the course which established the own life of each subcommunitythat is, autonomous communities without the direct intervention of the teacher. The social expressions that emerged from the participants interactions in the aforementioned asynchronous learning community seem to offer collaboration and support to the emergence of patterns such as the negotiation of meaning, the overcoming of conflicts, and the development of group cohesion. One of the major joint enterprises that emerged from these interactions within UFMGPRAT English-1 is distributed leadership. The community participants chose to alternate leaders so that each member could participate equally in group activities. Thus, the role of the management of a learning community, many times taken on by the teacher, is distributed among the community participants. Although UFMGPRAT English-1 was the subcommunity investigated for the discussions debated in this chapter, it is important to emphasize that the emergence of distributed leadership occurred in most subcommunities from the course for pre-service teachers, original corpus for the study Online Learning Communities in the Realm of Complexity.

cohesive dimension
As pointed out by Garrison et al. (2000) and Rourke et al. (2004), the cohesive expression can be exemplified by activities that construct, develop, and sustain group behavior all at the same time. It can be observed that the vocative cases were constant through the entire life of the PRATUFMG English-1 subcommunity. In addition, there were a number of moments in which the community participants addressed the group using pronouns that refer to the collective, such as we, our, and us, as well as the use of the verb in the third-person plural in messages written in Portuguese. Another indicator of the group cohesion could be identified through communication using phatic expressions and salutation. Many times the community participants spoke to the group using expressions such as Hi everybody or Hi all. Also observed was Hi, Powerpuff Girls, referring to the cartoon The Powerpuff Girls, saving the world before bedtime. It is interesting to note that this nickname was not defined in the interactions that occurred in the course discussion forum, demonstrating an intimate identity within the subcommunity. In addition to this nickname, the participants of the UFMGPRAT English-1 group constantly search for motivational and cohesive expressions in the language, which can be considered a new indicator of social presence pointing toward the development of group cohesion. These manifestations can be observed in examples 19, 20, and 21 (original texts were in Portuguese):



The Emergence of Social Presence in Learning Communities

In blended learning, the cohesive dimension is not as linguistically marked as it is in the faceto-face experience. Vocative cases are inevitably used, as can be seen in excerpt 22: (22) Ana, in my essay I used this. Nevertheless, this use of vocative cases occurred only when attempting to call the attention of the other since the face-to-face conversation dynamics offered diverse nonverbal resources to indicate to whom certain comments were directed. One very common element used was to address or refer to the group using inclusive pronouns, as shown in excerpts 23 and 24: (23) Anglica: And the name (opens the folder and begins to flip through the pages) I bring it for you Ana: For us (laughter). (24) Ana: Weve seen the classification essay right? Weve seen the process analysis essay In the online experience, even in the electronic forum where the tasks involved only the edition of texts from classmates, the students commonly used the vocative cases, as demonstrated in excerpts 25 and 26: (25) Anglica, these are some suggestions that might improve your text. (26) Amanda, your text is very good, but I think the use of that is the way it is a valid experience in the second paragraph is not very clear, maybe you could change the words.

discussion
Both learning communities investigated, blended and online, contain characteristics commonly found in adaptive complex systems. These characteristics can be observed in the corpus investigated in this chapter. The results presented herein demonstrate that the communities are in a constant movement of statethat is, dynamicity, which can be illustrated through the events of the aforementioned divergence and convergence. Emergence can be considered the most preponderant aspect in the investigated corpus. Distinct patterns of leadership arise within the studied contexts. In blended learning, leadership centered on the teacher appears in face-to-face classes. Likewise, as reported in a number of studies regarding classroom interaction (van Lier, 1988; Tsui, 1995; Chaudron, 1988; Dalacorte, 1999), the classroom interactive dynamics are, essentially, centered on the teacher who, in general, controls the turn-taking dynamics. In online activities in the blended experience, there arises a more decentralized leadership. In this context, the presence and coordination of the activities by the teacher occurs, but not at the same intensity as in face-to-face classes. These findings are in accordance with studies that indicate a trend toward a greater participation of learners in online classes (Sullivan & Pratt, 1996; Warschauer, 1996; Paiva, 1999; Fernndez-Garca & Arbelaiz, 2003). In the online community where there was no direct intervention from the teacher, a pattern of distributed leadership emerged. It is important to emphasize that the aforementioned management patterns were supported by social expressions: affective, interactive, and cohesive. These expressions, in addition to being interrelated, as defended by Rourke et al. (2004), manifest themselves in an interdependent manner, and are based on a constant interweaving in an attempt to comply with the diverse common purposes of both blended and online learning communities.



The Emergence of Social Presence in Learning Communities

Another emerging aspect is the fact that social presence is more linguistically apparent in online interactions than in face-to-face interactions. In face-to-face interactions, diverse non-verbal paths, such as looks, facial expressions, and gestures, play key roles in marking social presence or immediacy, as defined by Mehrabian (1969). These results are aligned with previous studies (Davis & Thiede, 2000; Martins, 2005, 2006) which indicate that, due to restrictions in contextualization (Gumperz, 1982), common in face-to-face interactions, expressions of emotion and politeness tend to appear more linguistically marked. The results also point out that the expressions of affection, expressions that involve efforts in interactions, and interactions that address the collective, aid in the development process of group cohesion, thus promoting the collaborative experience and opportunities for the construction of shared knowledge. In this sense, the discussions based on the data presented in this chapter follow in line with the findings from Garrison et al. (2000) and Rourke et al. (2004), which indicate that social presence may trigger and sustain the construction of shared knowledge. As the purpose of this discussion has been to prompt some reflection on complexity thinking and social presence, we hope that this study will serve as an incentive for future investigations in other contexts, as the discussion presented herein is based on a small sample from two distinct case studies which was specifically investigated in this chapter.

social presence with different learners and in different learning contexts. Although social presence has been considered to be intrinsically interrelated with cognitive presence, as well as with teaching presence in Garrison et al.s model, this chapter focuses on social presence only. Therefore, further studies wishing to examine the remaining components of the Community of Inquiry model in both online and blended environments are to be encouraged. In the discussions presented in this chapter, the Community of Inquiry has been scrutinized under the notions of complexity. Considering that our focus was on emergent phenomena in both online and blended learning, research into other characteristics of complexity in learning communities is valid. The use of Complexity Theory as the foundation for the study of online learning is still quite recent, hence an open field for further investigations still exists.

concLusion
Initially brought to the field of Applied Linguistics from isolated initiatives, complexity thinking has gradually established itself as a consistent epistemological basis for the understanding of contexts and events involved in teaching and language learning activities. These events, as regards the process of second language learning, much like the universe as a whole, are complex in nature. The complex nature of phenomena has led classic scientists to establish methodological procedures that reduced the phenomena to the investigative conditions of the time. Scientific and technological advances stemming from these efforts established the reductionist view of classic science as a reliable paradigm. The emergence of another viewpoint allows us to investigate certain aspects of a phenomenon, which in many cases is not in fact contemplated within a sole paradigm.

guidELinEs For FuturE rEsEarch


In this chapter we have presented some differences between the processes of socialization in online learning and blended learning. However, further inquires on this topic are still needed, especially those conducted regarding the characteristics of



The Emergence of Social Presence in Learning Communities

This idea aligns with Halliday (2001) in the sense that second language teaching is too complex and multifaceted to be analyzed according to one sole perspective, be it what it may. In this light, Larsen-Freeman, (2002b) emphasizes that one of the contributions of complexity is that it enables us not only to review our concepts of teaching and learning a second language but also to perceive the underlying concepts of the more traditional paradigms. In this focus, we share Demos (2002) idea that knowledge and learning are considered activities that are imbued in non-linear processes, both in the process of formation and reconstruction as well as in its internal interweaving, due to the fact that they signal typically complex phenomena because they are not exhausted in logical alignments. The discussions related to social presence in both blended and online environments presented in this chapter aim to reiterate the social nature of these types of pedagogical interventions and the potential for the use of CMC in educational practices as far as the construction of shared knowledge is concerned. The creation of blended and online learning communities must therefore be guided by a perspective that embraces instructional designs that, in turn, foster social interactions, considering that out of the issues of effectiveness, interactivity, and cohesion, there may emerge patterns such as reciprocity, commitment, as well as different patterns of negotiation of meaning (e.g., convergence and divergence) and patterns of management (e.g., decentralized and distributed leadership), elements that may trigger the process of critical thinking, one of the major goals of the collaborative experience in the education arena. In this light, the issues herein presented enhance the value of social interactions in textual asynchronous environments and acknowledge the complex nature of blended and online learning communities. As these issues involve both theoretical issues and important practical pedagogical implications, we hope the discussion proposed

in this chapter will contribute to research on elearning methodologies for language teaching and learning as well as pinpoint issues and challenges for others to address and build upon.

rEFErEncEs
Bowers, R. (1990). Mountains are not cones: What can we learn from chaos? In J.E. Alatis (Ed.), Proceedings of the Georgetown University Round Table on Language and Linguistics (pp. 123-136). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press. Cameron, L. (1999). The complex dynamics of language use on tasks. Retrieved November 10, 2004, from http://www.education.leeds.ac.uk Chaudron, C. (1988). Second language classrooms. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cross, K.P. (1998). Why learning communities? Why now? Retrieved June 10, 2006, from http://www. doso.wayne.edu Connor-Linton, J. (1995). Complexity, linguistics and language teaching. In J.E. Alatis, C.A. Straehle, & B. Gallenberger (Eds.), Proceedings of the Georgetown University Round Table on Language and Linguistics (pp. 596-604). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press. Dalacorte, M.C.F. (1999). A participao dos aprendizes na interao em sala de aula de ingls: Um estudo de caso. Tese (Doutorado), Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil. Davis, B., & Sumara, D. (2006). Complexity and education: Inquiries into learning, teaching, and research. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Davis, B., & Thiede, R. (2000). Writing into change: Style shift in asynchronous electronic discourse. In M. Warschauer & R. Kern (Eds.), Network-based language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



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Demo, P. (2002). Complexidade e aprendizagem: A dinmica no linear do conhecimento. So. Paulo: Editora Atlas. Dewey, J. (1933). How we think. A restatement of the relation of reflective thinking to the educative process. Boston: D.C. Heath. Fernndez-Graca, M., & Arbelaiz, A.M. (2003). Learners interactions: A comparison of oral and computer-assisted written conversations. ReCALL, 15(1), 113-136. Garrison, R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical thinking in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2), 87-105. Garrison, D.R. (2006). Online collaboration principles. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 10(1). Graham, C.R., Allen, S., & Ure, D. (2003). Blended learning environments: A review of the research literature. Unpublished Manuscript, Provo, UT. Gumperz, J. (1982). Discourse strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Halliday, M.A.K. (2001). New ways of meaning: The challenge to applied linguistics. In A. Fill & P. Mhlhusler (Eds.), The ecolinguistics reader: Language, ecology and environment (pp. 175202). London: Continuum. Harasim, L., Teles, L., Turroff, M., & Hitz, S. (2005). Redes de aprendizagem: Um guia para ensino e aprendizagem. So Paulo: Editora Senac. Heckman, R., & Annabi, H. (2002, November). How do ALNs change the role of the teacher in case study discussion. Proceedings of the 8th Sloan-C International Conference on Asynchronous Learning Networks, Orlando, FL. Holland, J. H. (1997). Ordem oculta: como a adaptao origina a complexidade. Trad. Jos Luiz Malaquias. Lisboa: Gradiva.

Kramsch, C. (Ed.). (2002). Language acquisition and language socialization: Ecological perspectives. London: Continuum. Kuhn, T.S. (2005). A estrutura das revolues cientficas (9th ed.). So Paulo: Perspectiva. Larsen-Freeman, D. (1997). Chaos/complexity science and second language acquisition. Applied Linguistics, 18, 141-165. Larsen-Freeman, D. (2002a). Language acquisition and language use from a chaos/complexity theory perspective. In C. Kramsch (Ed.), Language acquisition and language socialization (pp. 33-46). London: Continuum. Larsen-Freeman, D. (2002b). Part one: Commentaries. In C. Kramsch (Ed.), Language acquisition and language socialization (pp. 88-95). London: Continuum. Larsen-Freeman, D. (2006). The emergence of complexity, fluency, and accuracy in the oral and written production of five Chinese learners of English. Applied Linguistics, 27(4), 590-619. Lvy, P. (2003). A inteligncia coletiva: Por uma antropologia do ciberespao (4th ed.). So Paulo: Loyola. Lewis, M. (1993). The lexical approach. Hove Language Teaching. Macgill, V. (2005). A history of chaos and complexity. Retrieved May 20, 2005, from http://complexity.orcon.net.nz/history.html Martins, A.C.S. (2005). Interao e discurso eletrnico: Prticas sociais e identitrias em aulas online. In J.M.C. Quintino & M.I.A. Muniz (Eds.), Estudos lingsticos (pp. 9-35). Montes Claros: Faculdades Unidas do Norte de Minas. Martins, A.C.S. (2006). Discurso e construo de identidades no ciberespao. In L.C. Travaglia, E.S. Bertoldo, F. Mussalim, M.A.F. Rocha, & M.V. Arajo (Eds.), Lingstica: Caminhos e descaminhos em perspective (pp. 1-11). Uberlndia: EDUFU.


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Mehrabian, A. (1969). Some referents and measures of nonverbal behavior. Behavior Research Methods and Instrumentation, 1(6), 205-207. Paiva, V.L.M. de O. (1999). CALL and online journals. In R. Debski & M. Levy (Eds.), WorldCALL: Themes for the new millennium (pp. 249-265). The Netherlands: Swets & Zeitlinger. Paiva, V.L.M. de O. (2002). Caleidoscpio: Fractais de uma oficina de ensino aprendizagem. Memorial, Faculdade de Letras, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil. Paiva, V.L.M. de O. (2005a). Modelo fractal de aquisio de lnguas. In F.C. Bruno (Ed.), Ensinoaprendizagem de lnguas estrangeiras: Reflexo e prtica (pp. 23-36). So Carlos: Claraluz. Paiva, V.L.M. de O. (2006a). Comunidades virtuais de aprendizagem e colaborao. In L.C. Travaglia (Ed.), Encontro na linguagem: Estudos lingsticos e literrios (pp. 127-154). Uberlndia: UFU. Paiva, V.L.M. de O. (2006b). Autonomia e complexidade. Linguagem e Ensino, 9(1), 77-127. Palloff, R., & Pratt, K. (1999). Building learning communities in cyberspace: Effective strategies for the online classroom. San Francisco: JosseyBass. Parreiras, V.A. (2005). A sala de aula digital sob a perspectiva dos sistemas complexos: Uma abordagem qualitativa. Tese (Doutorado). Belo Horizonte: FALEUFMG. Prass, A. (2005). Histria da fsica. Retrieved May 12, 2006, from http://fisicanet.terra.com. br//historia Prigogine, I. (1996). O fim das certezas: Tempo, caos e as leis da natureza. So Paulo: Editora da Unesp. Prigogine, I., & Steners, I. (1984). A nova aliana: A metamorfose da cincia. Braslia: Editora Universidade de Braslia.

Rogers, J. (2000). Communities of practice: A framework for fostering coherence in virtual learning communities. Educational Technology & Society, 3(3), 384-392. Rossi, P. (2001). O nascimento da cincia moderna na Europa. Traduo de Antonio Angonese. Bauru: EDUSC. Rourke, L., & Anderson, T. (2002). Exploring social interaction in computer conferencing. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 13(3), 257-273. Rourke, L., Anderson, T., Garrison, R., & Archer, W. (2004). Assessing social presence in asynchronous text-based, computer conference. Journal of Distance Education, 14, 2. Sacks, H., Schegloff, E.A., & Jefferson, G. (1974). A simplest systematics for the organization of turn-taking in conversation. Language, 50(4), 696-735. Schegloff, E. (1968). Sequencing in conversational openings. American Anthropologist, 70(6), 1075-1095. Schegloff, E.A., Jefferson, G., & Sacks, H. (1977). The preference for self-correction in the organization of repair in conversation. Language, 53(2), 361-383. Schegloff, E.A., & Sacks, H. (1973). Opening up closings. Semiotica, 8(4), 289-327. Sullivan, N., & Pratt, E. (1996). A comparative study of two ESL writing environments: A computer-assisted classroom and a traditional oral classroom. System, 29, 491-501. van Lier, L. (1988). The classroom and the language learner: Ethnography and second language acquisition. London: Longman. van Lier, L. (1996). Interaction in the language curriculum: Awareness, autonomy and authenticity. London/New York: Longman.



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van Lier, L. (2000). From input to affordance: Social-interactive learning from an ecological perspective. In J.P. Lantolf (Ed.), Sociocultural theory and second language learning (pp. 245259). Oxford: Oxford University Press. van Lier, L. (2002). An ecological-semiotic perspective on language and linguistics. In C. Kramsch (Ed.), Language acquisition and language socialization (pp. 140-164). London: Continuum. van Lier, L. (2004). The ecology and semiotics of language learning: A sociocultural perspective. Boston: Kluwer Academic. Waldrop, M. (1992). Complexity: The emerging science at the edge of order and chaos. New York: Simon and Schuster. Warschauer, M. (1996). Comparing face-to-face and electronic discussion in the second language classroom. CALICO Journal, 13(2), 7-26. Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Cognitive Presence: Defined by Garrison et al. (2000) as the extent to which the participants in any particular configuration of a community of inquiry are able to construct meaning through sustained communication. Cohesive Responses: This category encompasses communication behaviors that build and sustain a sense of group commitment, such as greetings and salutations, and group or personal reference. Interactive Responses: This category of social presence, in terms of Community of Inquiry, refers to communication behaviors that provide evidence that others are attending, such as continuing a thread, quoting from others messages, asking questions, or complimenting and expressing appreciation. Learning Community: dynamic whole that emerges when a group of people share common practices, are independent, make decisions jointly, identify themselves with something larger than the sum of their individual relationships, and make long-term commitments to the well being of the group (Shaffer & Anundsen, 1993, as cited in Palloff & Pratt, 1999). Social Presence: Concept defined by Garrison et al. (2000) as the ability of learners to project themselves socially and emotionally in a community of inquiry. Garrison (2006) expanded this notion, defining it as the ability to project ones self and establish purposeful relationships. Teaching Presence: Involves designing and facilitating the educational experience (Garrison et al., 2000).

kEY tErMs
Affective Responses: This category of social presence, in terms of Community of Inquiry, involves personal expressions of emotions, use of humor, and self-disclosure. Blended Learning: Refers to combining instructional modalities (or delivery media), combining instructional methods, and combining online and face-to-face instruction (Graham et al., 2003). This term has been used in the e-learning literature to refer specifically to educational experiences that combine face-to-face conversation classes with online classes, thus reducing the time spent inside a classroom. This interaction seeks to maximize the potential of both environments.

EndnotEs
1

The term shared is used in this chapter to refer to the type of knowledge that stems from negotiation and/or exchange in the solution of problems.


The Emergence of Social Presence in Learning Communities

Joint enterprise in this context is seen as a result of a collective process of negotiation that reflects the full complexity of mutual engagement (Wenger, 1998). Redundancy in this text is used in Davis and Sumaras (2006, p. 138) terms: In social grouping redundancies include common language, similar social status, shared responsibilities, constancy of setting and so on.





CALL as Action
Vilson J. Leffa Universidade Catolica de Pelotas, Brazil

Chapter III

abstract
The objective of this chapter is to offer a new approach for research in Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL). It starts with the assumption that CALL has traditionally emphasized unresolved dichotomies such as tutor vs. tool or individualized instruction vs. collaborative learning. It is argued that a unifying theory, capable of incorporating these conflicting views, is needed. For this purpose, Activity Theory, based on Vygotskys ideas and developed by Leontiev, is proposed. It is suggested that research in CALL should focus neither on the individual nor on the community, but on the mediating tool that links them in situated context. CALL is seen as a cultural artifact that needs to be naturalized by the language teaching community.

introduction
Mainstream theories in foreign language teaching tend to emphasize either the individual (focusing on such aspects as individualized instruction, learning styles, self-directed strategies) or the community (including methodologies such as community language learning, collaborative learning, study teams). The introduction of computers into foreign language instruction seemed to have contributed further to this dichotomy,

raising awareness of the differences between a student working alone in front of the computer or interacting with others in a community of learners. The basic motivation for writing this chapter is the assumption that an emphasis on either the individual or on the community results in a reductionist approach to the problem, incapable of addressing the complexity of CALL. What is proposed, then, is to emphasize the point where they intersect. For the individual to interact with the community, he or she has to do something (ac-

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CALL as Action

tion), through some kind of mediation (tool). This is described here as the action approach. CALL as mediated action introduces a new paradigm in language teaching and research, putting the focus neither on the student nor on the teacher, but on the relation between them in the learning community. The chapter is structured in two main parts: (1) CALL as divided theory and (2) CALL as mediated action. The first part reviews classifications that have been proposed to explain CALL and its development, starting with the tutor/tool dichotomy and evolving to the concept of CALL as an invisible technology. Whereas in the tutor perspective, the computer is still seen as a traditional teacher, conducting drill practice with individual students, in the tool view the computer is seen as an instrument used by people to communicate with each other. The movement from tutor to tool also signals a movement from a focus on the individual to a focus on the community, with an emphasis on collaborative learning. The second part tries to build the concept of CALL as mediated action, using the Activity Theory perspective: human beings are different from other species because they create tools and are modified by the tools they create, thus evolving and producing history. CALL is described as a cultural artifact, with resources of its own, including higher interactivity and connectivity. It integrates with other components in the learning community, transforming the way teachers and students work and think. From this collective perspective, teaching and learning become a unified activity, distributed not only among the community members but also on the artifacts available in the environment. The main objective of the chapter is thus to describe CALL as a mediating tool, standing between subject (usually the student) and object (usually the content to be learned). In this chapter, we argue that change, and consequently learning, will be more easily implemented if the emphasis is neither on the teacher, as has traditionally been

done, nor on the student, as proposed by studentcentered approaches, but on the instruments that link student to content, and the whole learning community, including teacher, other students, rules, and division of labor. We believe that an emphasis on the instrument, for its capability in binding all the elements in the community, offers a more comprehensive view of CALL in situated practice, with more possibilities both for teaching and research purposes.

caLL as a housE diVidEd


The idea of CALL as either an individual or a social activity can be related to CALL classification attempts, three of which are detailed here, not only for their historical impact on the area, but mainly for their relevance to the line of reasoning developed in this chapter. They are the magister/pedagogue distinction, as proposed by Higgins (1988), the CALL phases described by Warschauer (1996), and the approaches suggested by Bax (2003). The acknowledged need for a theory to explain CALL (Levy, 1997) has led some investigators to propose different theoretical frameworks, which resulted in different classifications. One of the earliest was postulated by Higgins (1988), who viewed the computer as playing two opposite roles in CALL, either as magister or pedagogue. Thus, the magister: wears an academic gown to show that he is qualified in subject knowledge. Visible in his top pocket is his salary check, symbolizing the security of tenured appointment. In one hand he holds a handkerchief, symbol of the care and concern which (we hope) he feels for individual learners. In the other he carries a cane, symbolizing the authority to evaluate, praise and censure. In front of him is the book, the symbol of the order of events, the structure which is imposed on him by the syllabus makers and which he will impose

0

CALL as Action

on the learners by means of the lesson plan. (Higgins, 1988, p. 13) To explain pedagogue, Higgins resorts to the figure of the Greek slave, who was used to assist children in their daily learning activities: So think of a man in sandals and a cheap cotton robe, walking five paces behind the young master. He carries the young masters books for him, but no cane. The young master snaps his fingers and the pedagogue approaches. He answers the young masters questions, recites a poem, translates words, plays a game, or even, if that is what the young master demands, gives a test. The young master snaps his fingers again, and the pedagogue goes back to his place. He hopes he has given satisfaction, since otherwise he may starve. (Higgins, 1988, p. 14) According to Higgins, a computer is a magister when it plays the role of a tutor, controlling and guiding the student through a series of drills. The interaction between machine and student is typically conducted through exchanges, as in the IRF (Initiate/Respond/Follow-up) model proposed by Sinclair and Coulthard (1975) for traditional classroom discourse. It can be easily seen that the basic classroom exchange, in its three sequential moves, is faithfully reproduced in the CALL environment: (1) computer sets the task (initiate move), (2) student tries to accomplish the task (respond move), and (3) computer evaluates (follow-up move). Considering that, in this case, the machine is not a mediational means between teacher and student, but an actor in the exchange, we can argue that there is an attempt to replace the teacher with the computer; the one-to-one classroom interaction is seamlessly extended to one-to-one computing, with an emphasis on individual learning. On the other hand, computer as pedagogue inverts the master/slave relation between student and machine. Unlike the IRF model, control is

now handed over to the student, who initiates the exchange and tells the computer what to do; the computer responds by trying to accomplish the task. The student finally evaluates the results and may or may not be satisfied with the job done by the machine, now seen as an obedient slave, ready to make things easier for its master. When Higgins proposed the magister/pedagogue dichotomy, in fact based on a previous paper (Higgins, 1983), the Internet, as we know it, was not yet available. Today, with Orkut, discussion lists, and distance learning, the pedagogue metaphor would certainly serve the purposes of collaborative teaching with its emphasis on the collective aspects of learning. Warshauer classifies CALL in three phases, which he refers to as behavioristic, communicative, and integrative. The behavioristic phase is characterized by the heavy use of drills, following the audio-lingual model, with the computer playing the role of tutor. According to Warschauer (1996, p. 4): Programs of this phase entailed repetitive language drills and can be referred to as drill and practice (or, more pejoratively, as drill and kill)A computer can present such material on an individualized basis, allowing students to proceed at their own pace and freeing up class time for other activities. The communicative phase emphasizes the use of authentic materials and interactive activities, with the computer playing different roles, not only as a tutor but mainly as a tool for students discussions, writing, and other creative activities. Through the use of authentic materials, the emphasis is not on teaching the language per se, but on using the language, taking advantage of materials that were not produced for students. In this role, the programs do not necessarily provide any language material at all, but rather empower the learner to use or understand language (Warshauer, 1996, p. 6).



CALL as Action

The integrative phase combines multimedia (integrating text with graphics, sound, animation, and video) with the impact of the Internet (allowing language learners to communicate with other learners 24 hours a day). The use of computermediated communication clearly favors collective learning over individualized instruction: It also allows not only one-to-one communication, but also one-to-many, allowing a teacher or student to share a message with a small group, the whole class, a partner class, or an international discussion list of hundreds or thousands of people. (Warshauer, 1996, p. 9) A third classification for CALL activities, of special interest here, was proposed by Bax (2003). He also uses a three-element categorization, but defines CALL as restricted, open, and integrated. The restricted variety is related to Warschauers behavioristic CALL, but is not limited to the underlying theory, since it includes activities that cannot be described as behavioristic. The term restricted is preferred because of the limitations that are still observed, considering, for example, the software used, the feedback offered to the students, and the role played by the teacher. By contrast, the open variety is more flexible in all of these aspects, integrating them with simulations and games. It is on the integrated type, however, that Bax differs most from Warschauer, and offers an interesting perspective on CALL. Whereas Warschauer sees integrative in terms of technology, that is, the ability to integrate text with audio and video, for example, Bax describes integrated in terms of socio-cultural aspects, emphasizing not the ability to integrate, but rather the ability to be integrated. The technology, which is visible in Warschauer, becomes invisible in Bax (2003, p. 24): This concept [integrated CALL] is relevant to any kind of technological innovation and refers to the stage when the technology becomes invisible,

embedded in everyday practice and hence normalized. To take some commonplace examples, a wristwatch, a pen, shoes, writingthese are all technologies which have become normalized to the extent that we hardly even recognized them as technologies. In theory CALL has gone a long way, developing from Higginss (1988) metaphor of the magister, placed in center stage, to Baxs (2003) idea of CALL as an invisible technology. In fact, it starts developing from the center (computer as conspicuous tutor), moves to the margin (computer as an obedient slave, walking five paces behind its master), and finally reaches invisibility (computer as a naturalized tool). Along this journey from visible tutor to invisible tool, there is also a movement from individual action to social activity. Computer as tutor usually emphasizes individualized instruction, with the student working alone in front of the screen. Computer as tool, on the other hand, tends to emphasize collective learning, with students forming a community of learners, working cooperatively, exchanging ideas, and learning together through continual negotiations. The development from tutor to tool goes hand in hand with the development from individual learning, with an emphasis on cognition, to social transformation, with an emphasis on historicity and collective learning. In classroom practice, however, the historical development of CALL does not reflect the ideas defended in mainstream theory. Considering what happens in the classroom, the tendency is towards stability: (1) keep things as they are, not as they should be; (2) if change is inevitable, improve from what is available, not by replacing things; and (3) merge dichotomies instead of strictly adhering to one side or the other. In mainstream theory (Kuhn, 1962), the tendency is in the opposite direction: (1) new things must be proposed and tried out, because there is no evolution without change; (2) scientific revolutions depend on paradigm replacement, not on their improvement; (3) dichotomies represent incompatible, mutually exclusive positions.



CALL as Action

The concept of development as substitution can be detected in the idea that we have moved from computer as tutor to computer as tool, replacing one by the other. This is more a theoretical construction than a practical fact. The development of CALL, as the development of most cultural artifacts in the history of civilization, is better characterized by the idea of evolution, where old artifacts are not replaced by new ones, but incorporated into them. It seems that separation is a theoretical necessity. If we want to investigate CALL, we must find a way to divide and classify it, describe each one of these parts, and then hopefully relate these parts to one another, creating a system or a model. We may devise categories such as types of CALL (behavioristic, communicative, and integrative in Warschauers terminology or restricted, open, and integrated, in Baxs). We may also create dichotomies such as tutor vs. tool or individual vs. society. All this breaking up and possible reassembling is part of the theoretical procedure. We may assume that the theorists job is to make all these things visible, so that they can be described and analyzed. In classroom practice, however, it is the opposite. As will be explained later, separation does not work. Using CALL with students is like taking them on a journey into invisibility. Software and computers have to become transparent so that students can see through them; they cannot be in the way between students and the content they need to learn. Tutor/tool or individual/society dichotomies are not adhered to, but ignored or blended together (e.g., Hubard & Hiskin, 2003). The point made here is that both adherence to the fragmentation paradigm, where parts of the whole are separated and analyzed, as done in theory, and adoption of the blending model, where things are put together, as done in practice, are misleading. It can be argued, for example, that the different classifications proposed by different authors are different because the criteria they use to classify them are arbitrary. Although we may

defend the idea that science is after all a subjective truth, dependent on the argumentative skills of the author, the possibility of having innumerable classifications is problematic and may be characteristic of the early stages of a new science, still in a consolidation process, as is probably the case with CALL. Different classifications may lead not only to an excessive concern with the parts, in detriment of the whole, but also preference for some parts in detriment of others, which may result in a blind mans view of reality, taking the tree for the forest. In a dichotomy, when we chose one side, this side becomes the whole and the other is erased. On the other hand, adopting a blending model, in which both the whole and the parts are considered, is a practical necessity. In the classroom, for example, the teacher cannot always address the whole group; sometimes individual questions from individual students must be answered. Integrative exercises, such as summary writing, may go hand in hand with discrete item activities, such as gapfilling and multiple-choice tests. In CALL terms, computer as tutor is intensively used in some courses, along with collaborative tasks in which students work together with other students. What is needed is a theory, robust enough to incorporate both sides of the dichotomy, no matter how they oppose each other, no matter how apparently incompatible they are. Such a theory is based on the idea of mediation. The concern is neither the individual nor the community, neither the student nor the content to be learned, but the relation between them. Learning does not occur directly but through a mediational artifact, which stands between student and learning as a bond, cementing them. This idea of mediational artifact as cement is important because, although we cannot change either a persons nature or the nature of an object, we can change the mediational artifact that links them together. Considering, for example, a student learning a foreign language, it is obvious that we cannot change either the foreign language or the student. We might wish to erase



CALL as Action

some verb irregularities in the language we teach to make our job easier, but that is not possible. We might wish to have different students, but that is not possible either. We have to take language and students as they are. The only place where changes are possible is in the artifacts we use: books, learning activities, computer software. If we want to change the way students learn, we have to change the artifacts they use.

caLL as a uniFYing tooL


This section addresses the main point of this chapter, which is to present a unified theory for CALL, merging long-standing dichotomies such as tool vs. tutor and individualized instruction vs. collective learning. Unifying different points of view is not an easy task in any area of human activity and seems to be even more difficult in the area of educational research. A view of available literature shows that researchers in education tend to group themselves in different scientific paradigms (Piagetean, Vygotskyan, Chomskyan, etc.), surrounding themselves with a shield that automatically blocks out all the others. Any suggestion to mix different paradigms into one eclectic approach may be discarded as intellectual obscenity, according to a saying attributed to Krashen (Barasch & James, 1994). The attempt to describe CALL as mediated action questions this feudalized view of science and offers a multifaceted perspective, viewing research as bricolage (Kincheloe & Berry, 2004). It is proposed that what is traditionally defined as static, lifeless, and a-historical, frozen in space and time, becomes a dynamic, living, and historical entity. The parts are no longer isolated from each other, but integrated into a living organism that reacts to the surrounding environment: what functions as tool in one context may function as tutor in another and vice versa. Describing CALL as a unifying tool in a living organism is obviously more complex than describing it as a

static entity. Previous views on related cultural artifacts such as books, classroom lectures, and language teaching activities have to be revised and reconceptualized for a post-digital perspective. What follows is an attempt to describe CALL in this direction. Due to human tendency to anthropomorphize objects, the tutor/tool dichotomy can be applied to many cultural artifacts, including books, television, radio, tape recordersand CALL. Books are of special interest here, both for what they have in common with computers and for the differences that set them apart when they are anthropomorphized. Teachers are familiar with books and can easily integrate them in their classroom activities; they know exactly when to treat them as physical objects or psychological realities, and know exactly when they are talking in a figurative or in a literal way. As regards computers, however, they are unsure, mainly because the boundary between the figurative and the literal worlds becomes unclear. When they say, for example, that a book is a teacher, they know they are talking metaphorically, but if they hear that a computer is a teacher, they may not know how to interpret the sentence. Is it a metaphor or can the computer really act as a teacher? The differences between book, computer, and teacher are dealt with here, considering the notion of anthropomorphization, resistance to new technologies, and the need to appropriate the new technology. The basic idea is that a computer should not be seen as a substitute for either book or teacher, but as a technology that integrates them into a greater unit. Considering that the tutor/tool dichotomy is confusing, it is replaced by the words teacher, artifact, and tool. No difference is made between the words tool and instrument, both seen as mediation. As mediation, a tool can be either an object (book, computer) or a subject (teacher, student). Both books and computers are cultural artifacts that can be anthropomorphized, but there are some differences in this anthropomorphization process that must be taken into account. First,



CALL as Action

as regards books, there is an association between object and subject that is not found in computers. Books, unlike computers, are individual entities written by people, which makes it easy to associate any book with its author. We may say that we love Shakespeare, Chaucer, or Charles Dickens, referring to the books they have written, thus erasing the difference between the author and his work. There is no need for the author to be present when he is read; he can be represented by the work he produced. Literally speaking, author and book belong to opposite worlds; one is a subject, the other is an object. Metaphorically speaking, however, they share the same subjective nature. It is also important to notice that no reader is diminished and no author is depreciated when a book is referred to as a person. Computers, on the other hand, are not individual entities; they are artifacts manufactured by a few big companies and registered as trademarks. They have general characteristics (more or less memory capacity, higher or lower speed), but they cannot be easily associated with an author, as happens with books. We may know that Steve Jobs is the maker of Apple Computers, but if we say that we love Steve Jobs, we are probably referring directly to the person, not to the machine that he made. The author is not visible in the computer. Although a given computer usually leaves the factory with a specified serial number, that number is restricted to the documentation; it is not used in our daily interaction with the machine. Computers are not born with individuality; they are produced on an assembly line, all alike, within the specifications of a given model. Individuality is added later, when we buy them, adding accessories, and mainly with use, when we customize them to our needs. Computers do not come ready-made for use, unlike books that come ready-made to be read. There are no metaphors involved here; they literally grow with use, reacting and changing to our personal wishes and needs. Computers are not prt--porter artifacts.

Anthropomorphization is easier with books than with computers. We accept without any sign of discomfiture the notion of a book as a dear friend, always ready to help us, more than we do with computers. The metaphor of a book as a patient friend has probably been used since the days people started reading books. The segment book is a friend, for example, produced more than 26.2 million hits in a Google search in early 2007. Some examples: A book is a friend. (American proverb) A book is a friend; a good book is a good friend. It will talk to you when you want it to talk and it will keep still when you want it to keep still; and there are not many friends who know enough to do that. (B.A. Billingsly) A book is a friend you can trust, a friend you can turn to for advice and inspiration whenever you like. (Anonymous) Each book is a friend that converses with and teaches me. (Warren Wiersbe)

Being friendly and trusty are subjective characteristics that are attributed to an object, through anthropomorphization, as we have traditionally done with animals (Easter Bunny, Mickey Mouse) and toys (Pinocchio, the Hardy Tin Soldier), including, lately, household objects (SpongeBob). This process of anthropomorphization is seen as something natural. In the case of books, it is also seen as desirable, based on the assumption, in most cultures, that books are essentially good and should be loved and respectednot for their physical reality, just leaves of paper bound together, but for their psychological content. On the other hand, as regards computers, they may easily spark feelings of disapproval, whether anthropomorphized or not. Some examples: Most schools would probably be better off if they threw their computers into the dumpster. (Michael Fellows, computer scientist,



CALL as Action

University of Victoria, British Columbia, 1997) When I put a child in front of a computer, what am I subtexting to the child? Please go hideI have something more important to do. I have something more important than you! (Clifford Stoll, astronomer, writer, leading authority on computer security, in a lecture at the Buffalo Arts Center, 1996)

A Google search, using the same string above, but replacing book with computer, produced only 26 hits for computer is a friend, as compared to the 26.2 million for book is a friend. Out of these 26 occurrences, only one put the computer in a clear positive light: For me, computer is a friend who helps me do my work easily, gets me connected with my friends around the world, helps me plan the daily memo, guides in my sons school projects and what not!1 Considering that we are used to attributing human qualities to animals and objects, including books and computers, the question that begs answering here is why we act one way when we refer to books and a different way when we refer to computers. When we say that a book is a friend ready to teach us, we are treating the book not as an artifact but as a teacherand that is totally acceptable. On the other hand, if we treat a computer as a teacher, not as an artifact, that is usually seen as undesirable. We see it as commendable if books are metaphorically treated as human beings, replacing the teacher, and we encourage students to read books, which is as solitary as playing with a computer. As far as anti-social behavior is concerned, there is more solitude in front of a book than in front of a computer screen. There are certainly many explanations for treating books and computers so differently, although they are both cultural artifacts. One important difference is that a book is a static,

physically inanimate object. We can attribute human qualities to it, but they are not really there; they are only in our minds. The black marks on the page mean nothing by themselves, unless we give them meaning. When we say that a book is a teacher, we are speaking metaphorically. Computers, on the other hand, are dynamic, physically animate objects. They react to input, analyze the data we enter, and can provide different answers to similar questions, generated by a random seed working within certain parameters. When we say that a computer is a teacher, we may be speaking not only metaphorically but also literally. When we interact with a book, the interaction is not really with the book but with a representation of the book that we have built inside ourselves; the book remains untouched as a physical reality. It does not interact back. When we interact with a computer, the computer changes physically, as a result of our interaction; it may add new information to a data bank inside the unit, for example, and then capitalize on this information for the next user, literally becoming a different computer. Unlike a book, the computer interacts back. This ability to interact is not well understood yet and may generate fear, which in turn may lead to resistance. Some people believe that artificial intelligence will turn computers into amazing thinking machines that will eventually replace human beings (Shneidermann, 2002). Computers are interactive machines that can be programmed to simulate some human actions, using algorithms that compare the data entered by the user with the data stored in their random access memories, thus providing automatic feedback based on these comparisons. It may be striking to some people that computers can simulate rather long conversations with human beings, playing different roles. One of the earliest programs, exploiting this side of artificial intelligence, for example, was ELIZA (Weizenbaum, 1966), in the role of a psychiatrist. The excerpt2 below reproduces a possible dialogue with the machine:



CALL as Action

ELIZA: How do you do? Please state your problem. Person: I spend too much time with computers. ELIZA: Why do you mention computers? Person: You are one. ELIZA: Does it please you to believe I am one? Person: Yes. ELIZA: You seem to be quite positive. Person: I suppose I am. Although the idea of artificial intelligence as a replacement for human action has generally been seen with skepticism (Shneidermann, 2002), the fear still remains in some quarters. It may be difficult, for example, to separate the metaphoric from the literal in the ELIZA excerpt above, when we interact with the program on a computer screen and receive immediate answers to the questions we pose. Consequently, what should be seen as a simple preprogrammed algorithm in the machine may be seen as intelligence. When fear is associated with the difficulty that people meet in trying to use the new tools, the result is usually resistance to their use. People who feel that they are excluded from the community of successful users will tend to play down the role of a given tool in that community. Sometimes, however, resistance may be found in the initiated themselves. Platos criticism against the use of writing for its undesirable effects on memory is a famous historical example: your invention [writing] will produce forgetfulness in the souls of those who have learned it, through lack of practice at using their memory, as through reliance on writing they are reminded from outside by alien marks, not from inside themselves by themselves: you have discovered an elixir not of memory but of reminding. To your students you give an appearance of wisdom, not the reality of it; having heard much, in the absence of teaching, they will appear to know much when for the most part they know nothing, and they will be difficult to get along with, because they have acquired the

appearance of wisdom instead of wisdom itself. (Plato, trans. Rowe, 1986, pp. 275a-b) What Plato said of writing in 400 BC is very similar to what Postman, a well-known cultural critic, said of computers in 1992: It is important to remember what can be done without computers, and it is also important to remind ourselves of what may be lost when we do use them (Postman, 1992, p. 120). One possible explanation for why we are ready to accept the metaphor of books as teachers is because we are not afraid of books and know how to use them; books have already been naturalized, normalized in Baxs terms. We talk about books as we talk about the objects we use everyday. Centuries of contact with books in our civilization, the years we spend in school learning how to read them, the way we see them displayed in bookstore windows, buy and borrow them, exchange and discuss them, all this has contributed to naturalize books as part of our daily lives. We are so used to books that it causes us no discomfort at all to refer to them as our friends or teachers. On the other hand, when we see how computers are used, either in fiction or in real life, we realize immediately that they are different from booksthey interact directly with the user, answering questions, providing feedback, and so forth, with no apparent human intervention. Some authors have defined this human-machine exchange as interactivity, as opposed to interaction, which is human to human (Wagner, 1994). The computer moves from a simple bearer of messages (e-mails, academic texts, encyclopedias, etc.), to a data processing machine (word processors, presentation programs, design applications, music making software), and reaches subjectivization, simulating human actions. A computer is a medium in which a variety of methods, approaches, and pedagogical philosophies may be implemented (Garrett, 1991, p. 75).



CALL as Action

We live in a world where the border between subject and object seems to have become movable, making it difficult to decide whether we are receding towards ourselves, relinquishing the human in us to the objects that surround us, or expanding our humanity and incorporating these same objects. When we wear contact lenses, for example, it is difficult to decide whether our eyes end before the lenses or continue beyond them, creating what Kuuti (1996) referred to as functional unit. The point is that it probably does not matter: we do not interact with our lenses; we interact through them. They are artifacts like telephones, books, and computers. Likewise we do not interact with these artifacts, but through them, no matter how sophisticated they may be. We may talk to computers as we talk to other objects: metaphorically. But we may also talk to computers as we talk to people, that is, literally. A computer is both a book and a teacher; sometimes it acts as a book (just bearing text, for example), but sometimes it also acts as a teacher (providing individualized feedback, evaluating tasks, etc.). Either as book or as teacher, a computer can always be seen as a mediating tool. A good student does not study for the teacher but uses the teacher as a means for reaching a given objective, the same way a home builder uses an architect to design a house or a sick person uses a doctor to get well. A computer, either as a teacher or as an artifact, can always be seen as a mediating tool. A tool does not exist by itself; it was created for some purpose, empowering people in a community to attain a given objective more efficiently. It is apparently obvious that people, including both the individual and the community, should be on the foreground. But this may not always be so. When we do research on how people learn, for example, it may be more productive to put people in the background, so that the tools they use can be brought to the foreground. If we want to teach a child to ride a bicycle, having a bicycle is essential for the child to acquire the skills of riding. We have to sit the child on the bicycle and

do some amount of practice. The childs behavior will be shaped by the use of the bicycle, to the point that it becomes an extension of her legs and arms and she will be able to ride by herself, without any help. Learning to read or speak a foreign language may require the acquisition of different skills, but they can only be done with the mediation of some kind of tool. Tools are important because it is only through them that we can change the individual, the community, and the world. Neither hand or mind alone suffice; the tools and devices they employ finally shape them (Francis Bacon, as quoted by Brunner, 1987). We do not need surgery to change anybodys hand; we can change the hand by changing the gesture made by the hand. In the same vein, we do not need surgery to change peoples brain; we can change it by changing their mind. And this is done with the mediation of tools. Mediated action has received a lot of attention lately, as part of the Activity Theory paradigm in education. Vygotsky and Leontiev are the main historical references here, complemented by contemporary authors such as Kuuti (1996), Engestrm (1999), Wertsch (1998), and Cole (2003). For them, learning is mediated by tools (both psychological such as language, strategy use, etc., or technical ones such as books and computers). The subject who uses these tools is not an isolated individual but a member of a given community (EFL classroom, language lab, etc.). The members in the community (teachers, administrators, etc.) all share the same objective (learning a foreign language). For the community to subsist, a set of rules must be created, dividing responsibilities between its members. When a new tool is introduced (podcasts, RPG, iPods, etc.), it must be mastered by all members in the community, according to the role played by each member (a teachers knowledge of an authoring system, for example, may need to be different from the students). Any action, any task in the community only makes sense if viewed from a holistic perspective and cannot be separated



CALL as Action

from its final objective (shared by everybody in the community). There seems to be a considerable difference between what is actually done in CALL and what could be done. The reasons for this difference are many, including restrictions from the technology itself and human resistance to its use. In terms of technology, we are still working with an emergent system, lacking in fundamental aspects such as interoperability, standard compliance, and hardware interconnectivity. In terms of human resistance, we tend to compare the computer to the teacher and then rejoice on what it cannot do. Adopting a new technology implies a new way of working and thinking. Producing a learning object to be used on the computer is not necessarily more difficult than preparing an activity to be used with paper and pencil, but it is certainly more complex. A computer program is not a replacement for either the book or the teacher. It has resources of its own, including higher interactivity and connectivity, which have to be adequately exploited. In a socio-cultural perspective, CALL should be seen as a cultural artifact that integrates with the other components in the learning community, including other artifacts and other members (teachers, students, etc.). From this collective perspective, teaching and learning become a unified activity, distributed not only among the community members but also on the artifacts available in the environment. Introducing a new tool is always a challenge, subject to more or less resistance from the members in the community. It usually means acquiring new skills, from the operational (more automatic) stages to higher intentional levels, with the result that by doing different things, we end up thinking differently. When any new artifact (pencil, television, computer, or CALL) is introduced in a community, not only the whole body is involved, but the environment as well and everybody in it.

FuturE trEnds
Looking ahead is a general pastime in the area of computer-mediated communication and learning, as can be seen in popular books such as Gates (1995) The Road Ahead, Negropontes (1995) Being Digital, and Shneidermans (2002) Leonardos Laptop. In CALL, even components of some current models are sometimes projected into the future, as is the case with Bax (2003), for example, who described his Integrative CALL as something that does not yet exist to any significant degree, but represents instead an aim towards which we should be working (p. 22). The future is a challenge because the more unpredictable it is, the more the need to predict it. In terms of CALL, and in the line of reasoning defended here, the trend is towards the idea that computers will be instrumental in the formation of different kinds of communities. Learning to speak a foreign language is acquiring admittance into the community of the speakers of that language, which can be done with computers, through local, regional, and global networks. In the early days of CALL, the emphasis was on the individual and consequently on individualized learning. Later, with the introduction of the Internet and the socio-cultural perspective on education, the emphasis moved to the community and collaborative learning. Considering that computers are instrumental in connecting individuals and communities, the trend, in terms of research and teaching, is to move beyond the individual and the community and focus on what has the potential of introducing the individual into society and society into the individual, along Morins (1990) hologrammatical principle. This principle states that not only the whole contains the part, but that the part also contains the whole. Thus, for a language student to be part of a foreign language community, this student must appropriate the language and the values that constitute this community. The community, on



CALL as Action

the other hand, to be ecologically competent to allow for interaction between individuals, needs to develop some cultural artifacts that function as messaging tools for individuals and communities to talk to each other, incorporating the parts into the whole. There is a big difference between CALL as is and CALL as it can be. CALL as is still confines itself to the individual-vs.-society dichotomy, favoring the part in detriment of the whole. CALL as it can be focuses on what links individual to society, accounting for both the part, which contains the whole, and the whole, which contains the part. The trend is clearly towards CALL as it can be.

interact with the community, he or she must do something (action) through some kind of mediation (tool). This can be referred to as the action approach, in which the emphasis is neither on the individual nor on the community, but on the relation between them.

rEFErEncEs
Barasch, R.M., & James, C.V. (1994). Beyond the monitor model: Comments on the current theory and practice in SLA. Boston: Heinle & Heinle. Bax S. (2003). CALLPast, present and future. System, 31(1), 13-28. Bruner, J. (1987). Prologue to the English edition. In L.S. Vygotsky (Ed.), The collected works of L.S. Vygotsky (vol. 1). New York: Plenum. Cole, M. (2003). Cultural psychology: A once and future discipline. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Engestrm, Y. (1999). Activity theory and individual and social transformation. In Y. Engestrm, R. Miettinen, & R.L. Punamki (Eds.), Perspectives on activity theory (pp. 19-38). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Gates, W. (1995). The road ahead. New York: Penguin Books. Higgins, J. (1983). Can computers teach? CALICO Journal, 1(2), 4-6. Higgins, J. (1988). Language, learners and computers: Human intelligence and artificial unintelligence. Singapore: Longman. Hubard, P., & Siskin, C.B. (2003, May). Another look at tutorial CALL. Proceedings of WorldCall 2003, Banff, Canada. Kincheloe, J.L., & Berry, K.S. (2004). Rigour and complexity in educational research: Conceptualizing the bricolage. Berkshire, UK: Open University Press.

concLusion
Summarizing, the idea put forward in this chapter is that CALL is not aimed at replacing either the teacher or the book. The idea that computers should act like human beings, the humanoids in science fiction, or the agents in some versions of artificial intelligence research may be interesting as entertainment or research projects, but not very useful in practice and is being discarded (Shneiderman, 2002). The basic idea is that we need tools to help us, not humanoids to replicate our actions. CALL has often been described in terms of dichotomies: tutor vs. tool or individual vs. community. These dichotomies can be referred to as the or approach, where either the individual or the community is excluded, which is a logical impossibility, since one cannot exist without the other. Another possibility is to go the other way around and emphasize both the individual and the community, reasoning that we may refer to it as the and approach. Again, this is problematic because nothing is left out and would probably result in redundancy and duplication of effort. What we propose here is that neither the individual nor the community should be emphasized, but the point where they intersect. For the individual to

0

CALL as Action

Kuhn T. (1962). The structure of scientific revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Kuuti, K. (1996). Activity Theory as a potential framework for human-computer interaction research. In B. Nardi (Ed.), Context and consciousness: Activity Theory and human-computer interaction (pp. 17-44). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Levy, M. (1997). Computer-assisted language learning: Context and conceptualization. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Morin, E. (1990). Introduction la pense complexe. Paris: ESF. Negroponte, N. (1995). Being digital. New York: Alfred A. Kopf. Plato. (1986). Phaedrus (trans. and commentary by C. J. Rowe). Warminster: Aris and Phillips. Postman, N. (1992). Technopoly: The surrender of culture to technology. New York: Random House. Sinclair, J., & Coulthard, M. (1975). Towards an analysis of discourse. Oxford: University Press. Shneiderman, B. (2002). Leonardos laptop: Human needs and the new computer technologies. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Wagner, E.D. (1994). In support of a functional definition of interaction. American Journal of Distance Education, 8(2), 6-26. Warschauer M. (1996). Computer-assisted language learning: An introduction. In S. Fotos (Ed.), Multimedia language teaching (pp. 3-20). Tokyo: Logos International. Weizenbaum, J. (1966). ELIZAA computer program for the study of natural language communication between man and machine. Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery, 9, 6-45.

Wertsch, J.V. (1998). Mind as action. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

kEY tErMs
Activity: Minimal unit of investigation in socio-cultural theories, involving a subject, an object, mediational tools, and the community with its rules and division of labor. Activity Theory: Socio-cultural theory initiated by Vygotsky and his colleagues, based on the idea that human activity is situated in social context and mediated by psychological and physical instruments such as language, dancing, books, or computers. Cultural Artifact: Mediational object used by a member of a community to interact with other members. Examples of cultural artifacts are pencils, books, iPods, computer operating systems, and so forth. Distributed Cognition: Cognitive theory emphasizing the idea that cognition expands from the individual to the community and its artifacts. Distributed Learning: Decentralized instructional model in which teachers, students, and the resources are located in different places. Sometimes a synonym for distance learning. Learning Community: Group of people who share common educational goals and typically work in a collaborative, non-hierarchical fashion to achieve these goals. Learning Object: Reusable learning unit, usually digital, that can be combined into a bigger unit. Mediated Action: Use of cultural artifacts (pencil and paper, data projector, computer programs, etc.) for the purpose of attaining a given objective such as demonstrating a theorem or learning a foreign language.



CALL as Action

Orkut: An Internet social network created by Google, in which users display their profiles, receive and send messages, post testimonials, and create communities.

EndnotEs
1

http://www.indusladies.com/forums/technology-for-you-and-me/2914-computersmere-machine-mans-best.html http://jerz.setonhill.edu/if/canon/eliza.htm





Investigating Interaction in an EFL Online Environment1


Vera Lucia Menezes de Oliveira e Paiva Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais/CNPq/FAPEMIG, Brazil Adail Sebastiao Rodrigues-Junior Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, Brazil

Chapter IV

abstract
This pedagogical and methodological chapter aims at contributing to increasing Web teachersawareness of the different ways teachers and students can make themselves visible in the virtual environment by describing three categories of footing in online educational forums, namely, social footing, teaching footing, and cognitive footing. The categories are explained in line with the definition of footing, originally presented by Goffman (1981) and extended to online environments by Paiva and Rodrigues-Junior (2004, 2007). The data stems from a 60-hour online reading and writing course for undergraduate students of English as a Foreign Language in Brazil and was selected having in mind the categories discussed throughout the chapter, with special emphasis on the role played by the teacher and her students during the course. The analysis has shown that footing can be clearly perceived as an interactive category for online environments by means of textual analysis, with special focus on the transitivity model developed by Halliday (2004) and the social, teaching, and cognitive presences investigated by Garrison (2006) and his colleagues.

Copyright 2009, IGI Global, distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Global is prohibited.

Investigating Interaction in an EFL Online Environment

introduction
Face-to-face interaction has been investigated for a long time, with a main emphasis on speech acts (Austin, 1962), talk-in-interaction (Sacks, Schegloff, & Jefferson, 1974; Schegloff, Jefferson, & Sacks, 1977), and conversation (Grice, 1975). Another seminal work in this research field is Forms of Talk by Goffman (1981), especially his work on footing, which he defines as participants alignment, or set, or stance, or posture, or projected self. Goffman advocates that changes in footing are marked by shifts in tone, pitch, volume, rhythm, stress, tonal quality, and code switching. He says that change in footing is very commonly language linked; if not that, then at least one can claim that the paralinguistic markers of language will figure (Goffman, 1981, p. 128), in which gaze shift and facial expression play a part. Online interaction, on the other hand, differs from face-to-face encounters because it lacks prosodic segments and the paralinguistic resources often found in talk-in-context. Although we defend that footing is a phenomenon which can also be studied in online interaction, we contend that new categories are needed in order to understand how it works in this new environment. Online education has been using different kinds of online conferencing, such as messenger, e-mail, chat, and forum. What most interests this educational field is the kind of context where students and teachers interact in simultaneous modes (one to one, one to many, and many to many) at anytime, anywhere. Paiva and Rodrigues-Junior (2004, 2007) have investigated which roles the footings of participants play while they are interacting with their peers in online academic forums. According to them, within online interaction, interpretive resources usually present in a given context are transferred to utterances produced by interlocutors in virtual interaction (Paiva & Rodrigues-Junior, 2004, p. 175, our translation). We can take, as an example, the use of capital letters when virtual

interactants intend to emphasize specific feelings. Paiva and Rodrigues-Junior (2007, p. 156) offer an example of this transference, when one of the students of an online course writes Subject: HELP!!!!!!!!!!! The capital letters and the exclamation marks point to the emphasis the student gave to her problem, as if she were crying for help in any difficult situation. Moreover, nearly all paralinguistic features easily identified in casual talk (due mostly to the cues immediate contexts provide) become linguistic and discursive elements often used by interlocutors when they are virtually communicating with their peers, like, for instance, emoticons, interjections, punctuation, capital letters, and so forth. Paiva and Rodrigues-Junior (2007) have also given close attention to the generic structures of online forums and to which extent these generic features influence interlocutors alignments and their positioning in virtual interaction. One of the main findings Paiva and Rodrigues-Junior (2004, 2007) have presented is the fact that online forums comprise a myriad of hybridized generic elements frequently perceived in the linguistic and discursive choices their users make. On this basis, this pedagogical as well as methodological chapter deals with the way interlocutors in online academic forums build knowledge as they negotiate meanings while exchanging information with each other. We posit that this meaning negotiation becomes easier to grasp if interlocutors make their footings visible and explicit to their peers, by utilizing linguistic and discursive elements that necessarily lead to this explicitness. We also intend to explore furtherbuilding on the work of Garrison (2006) and Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2001)the interactive elements often held by interlocutors and the discursive resources they bring to interaction as a means of overcoming the absence of contextual features within this sort of online communication. The chapter, thus, seeks to be a step forward in the analysis of online academic forums and their important roles to knowledge



Investigating Interaction in an EFL Online Environment

construction, whose interconnected parts are split into five sections: 1. 2. The introduction, in which we present the aims of the chapter and its structure; Theoretical background, in which we discuss and extend the notion of footing (Goffman, 1981) and the original and in-depth discussion we have held around this issue (Paiva & Rodrigues-Junior, 2004, 2007); Method, in which we present how data was collected and the context from which it stems; Analysis and discussion, in which we present some strips of online interaction and the roles footing play to the understanding of this kind of virtual interaction; and Final remarks, in which we present the conclusions we arrived at for the moment.

3.

4.

5.

Footing
In his seminal paper entitled Footing, Goffman (1981) introduced the concept of footing into the social sciences, opening up interesting possibilities of looking at social encounters and their interactants. Footing is more commonly related to participants alignments, their social projection, and the way they represent themselves while taking a role in a social encounter. Duranti (1997, p. 296) also posits: Footing, in other words, is another way of talking about indexingthe process whereby we link utterances to particular moments, places, or personae, including our own self at a different time or with a different spirit (e.g., emotional vs. distant, convinced vs., skeptical, literal vs. ironic). Duranti (1997) goes on providing general applications of the concept onto contextual features. Interestingly, however, is the fact that footing is naturally related to language, or languagelinked (Goffman, 1981, p. 128), with special emphasis on phonemic clauses. Duranti affirms

as well, as we could have noticed, that footing is a kind of interactive process whereby utterances represent the constitution of the social encounter in line with major contextual forces that undoubtedly play a part. Still, when we pay close attention to online interaction, utterances as well as other semiotic elementsfor instance, emoticons, capital letters, sounds, and so forthare the only discursive signs capable of capturing the effects of interactants communicative intentions. Whenever there is intention, footing appears as the process whereby we link utterances to particular moments (Duranti, 1997, p. 296). Bearing this in mind, Paiva and Rodrigues-Junior (2004, 2007) attempted to develop a methodology to analyze footing in online educational forums, with particular interest in how students responded to each others claims as the activity unfolded. In general, Paiva and Rodrigues-Junior (2004, 2007), by focusing on discussions about online educational forums, found out that: 1. Epithets, adverbs, pronouns of treatment, capital letters, abbreviated words, and so forth, play a part for the establishment of footing as a significant element in online interaction. Given its dialogical constitution, online educational forums naturally demand from its interactants the construction of discursive structures that necessarily lead to the manifestation of their communicative intentions, as the interaction unfolds. A discursive topic is usually presented as the point of departure for the interaction, which in fact determines the subject of discussion and the interactants responses to it. An online educational forum is a hybrid genre, since its formation encompasses a range of generic features from academic articles, essays, e-mails, and chats. This generic feature is an example of the complexities usually encountered in online

2.

3.

4.



Investigating Interaction in an EFL Online Environment

5.

educational forums, because the whole interaction will be subjected to the limits as well as possibilities this mixture of genres raises. Finally, lexico-gramaticalization, more specifically the transitivity system, as presented by Halliday (2004) in the continuum or cline of lexico-grammar, plays a significant role in the identification of footing in online educational forums, and its active participation influences the construction of footings in the ongoing interaction. Contrary to this position, Goffman (1981, p. 128) considers that sentence grammar wont help us all that much to the investigation of linguistic

aspects of footing. Paiva and Rodrigues-Junior (2004, 2007), on the other hand, have shown that lexico-grammar helps identify the linguistic hints that signal interactants footings in virtual interaction. Halliday (2004, p. 170) explains that [t]he transitivity system construes the world of experience into a manageable set of PROCESS TYPES. The transitivity model is formed by six interconnected process types, defined in Table 1. Another point that merits closer examination is the power relations commonly achieved when footing is under thorough scrutiny. In his paper, Goffman (1981) touches very slightly on

Table 1. The transitivity model


Types of Processes (verbs) Material Processes Description They construe a quantum of change in the flow of events as taking place through some input of energy (Halliday, 2004, p. 179), with mostly an action performed by a subject onto someone or something. They construe a quantum of change in the flow of events taking place in our own consciousness (Halliday, 2004, p. 197). They serve to characterize and to identify (Halliday, 2004, p. 210) general nouns, be they human or inanimate subjects. They are processes of (typically human) physiological and psychological behavior (Halliday, 2004, p. 248), regarded as a mixture of material and mental processes. They are clauses of saying (Halliday, 2004, p. 252), usually contributing to the creation of narratives by setting up distinctive dialogues and reported speech. They only represent that something exists or happens (Halliday, 2004, p. 256). Examples of processes (verbs) appear, emerge, develop, cut, modernize, brush, sweep, open, close, leave

Mental Processes

see, notice, believe, expect, wish, hope, like, hate, perceive, think

Relational Processes

be, become, remain, taste (like), turn into, represent, constitute, express, signify, stand for smile, cry, laugh, listen, dream, breathe, sing, dance, faint, talk

Behavioral Processes

Verbal Processes

praise, insult, say, speak, report, announce, question, inquiry, ask, criticize

Existential Processes

exist, remain, stand, lie, emerge, grow, erupt, prevail, flourish, ensue



Investigating Interaction in an EFL Online Environment

this issue by discussing hierarchical relations between interlocutors. In this chapter, however, power relations will become all too visible when students interact with the teacher in the forum, since the teacher plays the role of moderator and consequently filters the interaction in order for it to serve the courses aims. In this case, it is rather important for the teacher to be a sage on the side, as Warschauer and Whittaker (2002, p. 371) put it, and not a sage on the stage. It is true that students are eager to learn, but for this to happen they should be brimming with confidence and self-esteem. In what follows, these points will be viewed with critical eyes, principally because learning in online educational forums derives from the collaborative interaction between teacher and students. As a consequence, footing is the element that clearly shows how learning is taking place and how interaction unfolds while interactants are contributing to meaning construction.

cognitiVE, sociaL, and tEaching prEsEncEs


For the purpose of exploring further the notion of footing and its relevance to educational contexts, let us now consider the categories developed by Garrison et al. (2001). The authors state that in online education there are three essential elements, which they define as cognitive, social, and teaching presences. In our view, these presences could be interpreted as stances of footing, given their role to the construction of meaning in interaction when interactants are discursively construing the social encounter where meaning negotiation is taking place. Garrison (2006), inspired by the work of Dewey (1933) on reflective teaching, defines cognitive presence as the exploration, resolution and confirmation of understanding through collaboration and reflection in a community of inquiry (p. 4). In another text, Garrison (2006b, p. 4) explains that cognitive presence is the process of collab-

oratively constructing meaning and confirming understanding in a sustainable community of inquiry, highlighting the importance of facilitation to maintain the construction of knowledge and interaction by means of discourse production. He adds that facilitation focuses and guides the progression of the discourse as well as providing timely input and information, and summarizing development. We can identify cognitive presence when students exchange information, connect or apply ideas, counter argument, collaborate, monitor, reflect, and so forth. Cognitive presence can also be identified as a kind of footing, that is, the ability to project ones self as a thinker, one who reflects upon what is being learned. In this case, mental processes play an important role to the identification of cognitive presence as a type of footing. An example extracted from our corpus clearly shows mental processes working as textual elements that translate a cognitive footing: Im sorry I see [mental process] that I misunderstood the tasks purpose. The mental process see translates into text a feeling of sorrow of one of the students attending the course. According to Rourke, Anderson, Garrison, and Archer (2001, p. 51), social presence is the ability of learners to project their personal characteristics into the community of inquiry, thereby presenting themselves as real people. Later on, Garrison (2006, p. 2) describes social presence as the ability to project ones self and establish personal and purposeful relationships. We prefer the latter definition because the former gives much attention to the learner without, in fact, taking into account the essential role teachers play in the process of learning. Moreover, Garrison et al. (2000, p. 89) explain that social presence comprises three categories: emotional expression, open communication (e.g., risk-free expression), and group cohesion (e.g., collaboration encouragement). The authors (2001, p. 58) divide them into three categories: affective (emotions, sense of humor, and self-disclosure); interactive (reply-



Investigating Interaction in an EFL Online Environment

ing, referring, asking questions, complimenting, expressing agreement, and expressing appreciation); and cohesive (vocatives, inclusive pronouns, phatics, and salutation). As we will demonstrate in the analysis, these categories may be textually represented by mental, verbal, material, and relational processes. One example from our data clearly shows this representation: Hi John, it was [relational process] nice to read [material process] your message. It was [relational process] touching because it is [relational process] authentic. Brief but straight to the point. I hope [mental process] you manage [material process] to see [mental process] them soon. Bye...John. The student expresses her various footings toward her classmate by employing different kinds of processes, like, for instance, affection (It was touching), cognition (I hope, I see), and actions (read, manage). These processes also point to softening strategies commonly used in online forums, through which interactants construct their discourses by means of modalization and politeness. In our opinion, the categories Garrison et al. (2000) and Rourke et al. (2001) present can shed light on the notion of footing, since any (virtual) social encounter abounds with moments of collaborative talk, encouragement, and affective expressions, mostly represented by politeness strategies and lexico-grammatical elements, such as verbs (processes), epithets, prepositional phrases, and the like. Anderson, Rourke, Garrison, and Archer (2001, p. 8) define teaching presence as the design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes. According to them, teaching presence is markedly present since the beginning of the course preparation, and continues during the course, as the instructor facilitates the discourse and provides direct instruction when required (2001, p. 8). Taking these authors as reference we can say that teaching presence has

three categories: design (setting curriculum and methods), facilitation (sharing personal meanings), and direct instruction (focusing discussion, establishing time parameters, utilizing medium effectively, and establishing netiquette). We would like to emphasize as well that teaching presence is clearly perceived in educational environments, mainly in classroom settings, due to the influence exerted by curricula, evaluation, teaching methods, personal meanings, and focused discussions on the construction of meaning negotiations in any educational context, and virtual education is no exception. Material processes, or processes of doing, seem to often appear in this kind of footing, since the teacher is expected to provide general instructions and give support to her students. Outstanding features of this kind of footing are represented by disguised imperatives, which commonly appear in declarative sentences and are generally constructed by material processes, as we may see in the following example: Each one is supposed to select [material process] one of the suggestions for [the] next task.

thE rEsEarch contEXt


Our corpus comes from a 60-hour online course on reading and writing in English that was taught at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil, over 15 weeks during 2006. The objective of the course was to offer authentic input and non-artificial opportunities for students to practice the English language. Those students were prospective English teachers, and it is usually difficult for them to find opportunities to use the language outside the classroom, so the Internet was a useful tool to bridge that gap. To promote online interaction among students, the syllabus was designed to integrate technological and communicative functions to the maximum extent possible. The activities (introducing, giving advice, writing and reading different genres, etc.)



Investigating Interaction in an EFL Online Environment

can be found on the course homepage at http:// www.veramenezes.com/rw.htm. The course was organized around a discussion list where all the interaction among the virtual communitystudents and teachertook place. The discussion list was hosted on the Yahoo!Groups site (http://groups.yahoo.com/ group/readwrite/) at no cost, but with the proviso that advertisements would come together with the messages. All the messages exchanged during the course were filed away on a page created by the software. Figure 1 shows the appearance of the course homepage and Figure 2 the discussion list homepage as generated by Yahoo!Groups. Students were assigned weekly tasks, and attendance to the course was only registered if each task had been posted until Wednesday. As the objective was to produce meaning, feedback focused on the content and not on the form of the task output. It does not mean, however, that the form was not important, but the university program offers the students different kinds of courses in which they have the opportunities to study the form in-depth. Students were told to keep a copy of each task and choose, at the end of the term, five of their

best tasks to be graded by the teacher (20 points each). They were told to keep in mind that it was the process rather than the product which would be analyzed for assessment and that there was no reason to be afraid of making mistakes as they could edit their tasks as many times as they felt necessary. The theoretical basis for the course is anchored in the sociocultural theory and in the strong version of the communicative approach as described by Howatt (1985, p. 279): The strong version of communicative teachingadvances the claim that language is acquired through communication, so that it is not merely a question of activating an existing but inert knowledge of the language, but of stimulating the development of the language system itself. For Howatt, the weak version could be described as learn to use English vs. the strong versions using English to learn it. In choosing the strong version, that is, using the language to acquire language per se, one must emphasize the following aspects: student-centered teaching, with the teacher as mediator; focus on the content with an emphasis on interaction; the concept of language as an instrument of communication and

Figure 1. Reading and writing course homepage



Investigating Interaction in an EFL Online Environment

Figure 2. Reading and writing discussion list homepage

not as a formal system; use of authentic material; and total tolerance for errors. Interaction through discussion groups encourages participants to work in a cooperative way and at the same time allows students to preserve their individuality. As Littlewood (1981, p. 93) says: The development of communicative skills can only take place if learners have motivation and opportunity to express their own identity and to relate with the people around them. It therefore requires a learning atmosphere which gives them a sense of security and value as individuals. The sociocultural theory was of paramount importance to the design of the course. First, because it sees learning as a cultural phenomenon, and second, because of the notion of a zone of proximal development, which Vygotsky (1978, p. 86) defines as the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through the problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration

with more capable peers. Although the concept was developed to describe how children learn, it has been applied to adult learning as well (see Lantolf, 2000). We would like to add to Vygotskys ideas the notion of collaboration developed by Freire (1970), in which this theoretician presents dialogue as the basis for his pedagogical proposal. Albeit Freire also takes into consideration the role leadership plays in the construction of knowledge; he clearly sees dialogue as the effective means by which educational actors furnish the collaborative transformation of the world.

thE corpus
Our corpus comprises 1,241 electronic messages exchanged among students and the teacher from August to November 2006. In order to select some excerpts which can exemplify the different kinds of footing, we used two different strategies: we read various messages and selected some of them

0

Investigating Interaction in an EFL Online Environment

to illustrate our discussion, and we also used the search mechanism available in the discussion list when we had in mind some keywords, such as processes, epithets, and nouns, which worked as discourse markers for footing.

anaLYsis
Our analysis will identify the kinds of footings that display the three different, but interconnected virtual presences as proposed by Garrison et al. (2001): social, cognitive, and teaching. In general we can see that the students footings oscillate mainly from a cognitive footing (ask for help, share doubts, justify mistakes or absences) to a teaching one (give information, clarify others doubts, give feedback, express sympathy), since the course is not teacher centered in order to promote collaboration among the students. Social footing overlaps the other two, mainly when the students address the participants.

(Good Morning teacher and classmates; Hello Professor Vera and Classmates!; Hi Professor Vera and colleagues!!!; Dear Vera and classmates; Hi, Vera and classmates!) The teacher, on the other hand, keeps her identity of a teacher by consistently starting her messages with Dear students, unless she is addressing a specific student. Self-disclosure is another way to project personal identity. One of the tasks was named Message in a bottle, in which the students were supposed to write a message to be thrown into the ocean. Most of them wrote poetic or philosophical messages addressed to anyone who would find the hypothetical bottle. Nevertheless, one of them decided to review his own dramatwo daughters living away from him in Japanby writing the following message: (1) I still hope that you decide to come back to Brazil somedaybefore I die. I still bring inside of me the hope of seeing you again. If you happen to read this message, please, get in touch. I love you and I never forget you!!!! This message was a starting point for several other messages directed to this specific student, who was held in deep affection by his classmates. This action of publicly demonstrated warm affection worked as a trigger for another kind of social presence, which is called affective footing.

social presence
Social presence is manifested in the virtual environment by means of different kinds of footing. When we read the messages, the first example of social footing we noticed was identity footing, which was generally perceived when students used either their student or their classmate identities.

Identity Footing
Students display different identities when greeting the participants in the online community. The different greeting forms are hints for ones identity footing. Students identify themselves as members of an online community (Dear all; Hello everyone!; Hi everyone!); or as students by addressing the teacher (Hi Professor Vera); as classmates (Dear peers; Hey mates; Hi + name of a classmate); or as both student and classmate

Affective Footing
As soon as his classmates got the message, they showed sympathy by sending messages as the ones in (2), (3), and (4): (2) Hi, John1! Your message in a bottle is very touching! I hope your daughters find it and decide to come to Brazil! Cheers, Mary



Investigating Interaction in an EFL Online Environment

(3) Hi John, I didnt expect to read this kind of message!! I was so touched that I cried!! I hope they come back at least to see you!!!! Best, Mary (4) Hi John, it was nice to read your message. It was touching because it is authentic. Brief but straight to the point. I hope you manage to see them soon. ByeJohn. It was interesting to observe that most of the affective messages were from female students and that male students were more economical in showing their feelings. In (4), for instance, one can see that the writer evaluates the message as a piece of writing, as if he were not touched by the classmates drama. However, in the last line he makes a wish giving support to the student. These characteristics are translated into text by means of transitivity, more precisely by the use of relational (I was so touched) and mental processes (I didnt expect). The transitivity system, therefore, works as a means of textualization of footings, since online interaction uses primarily texts to represent emotions, feelings, and wishes. Students express different kinds of emotions and they show the change of footing by using capitalization, repetition of characters, emotions, and punctuation. Capital letters work as a device for calling careful attention, as presented in (5), or for expressing prosodic features and intonation, like, for instance, THAAAT in (6). Repetition of punctuation and emoticons display feelings, as shown in example (7), where one may recognize whether or not the sender is happy for having received compliments from John. This example is interesting because capital letters indicate rising intonation, and the repetition of the letter A indicates vowel elongation:

(5) P.S.: IM SO SORRY BUT I COULD NOT JUST POST IT SINCE THE PICTURES WOULD NOT APPEAR. AS I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DO IT, I SEND IT AS AN ATTACHED FILE. DO NOT WORRY BECAUSE IT HAS NO VIRUSES. (6) I recognize Im not THAAAT poet, you know (hahah), but Ican I say I really tried to touch your hearts. (7) Good morning, John!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you again for all your compliments!!! :-)

Interactive Footing
Interactive footing examples can be found either in the teachers or in the students messages. However, given that the course is a collaborative one, many examples can be taken from the students postings, like compliments (examples (8) and (9)) made, respectively, by a student and by the teacher, as well as agreements, as shown in example (10). By the same token, the act of quoting others messages, like in examples (11) and (12), are common interactive footings in our forum: (8) Hi John! I found very interesting what you pointed out, that knowing how to scan and skim is very important for us as internet users : ) (9) I must say I am really impressed by the quality of the texts you have been producing. Several aspects have called my attention: creativity, rich



Investigating Interaction in an EFL Online Environment

vocabulary, accuracy and literary quality. It is a privilege to work with such a good group. (10) I agree with you that they exaggerated in the effects in some parts of the movie. (11) John, I think we have to produce the graphics ourselvesAs you said in you message, the sites just show you the models. (12) As Professor Vera said, your summary shows how motivated you are! Cheers, Mary. In examples (9) and (12), the use of verbal processes, respectively, I must say and As Professor Vera said, indicates that the teacher gave rise to her feelings (impressed) by using reported speech, which shows that changes of footing are discursive-dependent as well. In the same way, examples (11) and (12) reproduce the words of another participant, expressing somebody elses opinion. According to Goffman (1981, p. 151), when we shift from saying something ourselves to reporting what someone else said, we are changing our footing. Another change in footing is done with code switching. The teacher in our forum sometimes switches from English into Portuguese in order to force the students to pay attention to the course rules, as we can see in example (13): (13) Por favor, lembre-se de que quarta-feira o ltimo dia para enviar suas tarefas. (Please, remember that Wednesday is the deadline for the tasks.)

Code switching appeared in an interaction among two students in (14): (14) Sure John! And, u r welcome! ;) See ya! Ni hao! :) haha Example (14) is particularly interesting because the author changes his usual footing in the forum by using typical abbreviations often used in informal contexts on the Internet. This somehow individualizes the interaction between the two students and keeps the teacher away from the interaction. At the same time, the student closes his message with a Japanese greeting, an index for his peer about the experience he had in Japan, by adding emoticons and a paralinguistic representation, both representing smiles. In other words, both forms of code switching project a footing of intimacy between the participants and help to build their social presence in the educational forum.

teaching presence
The most expected alignment or footing of a teacher is that of the one who gives instructions, as can be perceived in instance (15). This instruction-like footing serves as an attempt for the teacher to project herself as someone who has the obligation to help the students, to assess the efficacy of the process, like in example (16), to help students to utilize the media effectively, clearly seen in example 17, as well as to set curriculum, as noticed in example (18): (15) Mary, Welcome to our online course. All our tasks can be found on our homepage: http://www.veramenezes. com/rw.htm


Investigating Interaction in an EFL Online Environment

Just click at tasks. Do not forget to read our instructions. Any doubt, just get in touch. Cheers, Vera Menezes (16) Mary, We have received four identical messages. Please, do not send it again. Vera Menezes (17) John, If your classmates tips did not help you, try another free server for blogs. (18)

afraid that, I am sorry are used by the teacher to assess the students tasks and tell them that they have not accomplished the tasks as previously expected. By the same token, modalization serves as warnings to the students, principally when they are not observing the time parameters, as readily observed in examples (20) and (21). As far as we are concerned, by choosing these markers the teacher displays a friendly and polite footing, projecting a positive image of herself: (19) I think your first choice is too small to be called a scientific article. What about finding another good text to send to your classmates? (20)

Each student is supposed to select one of the suggestions for the next task. When we analyze the examples from the data, it is reasonable to assume that the teacher, besides giving support and detailed instructions to her students, exerts her power by constructing her discourse using imperatives. Although power relations are present in her discourse, the teacher also softens her imperatives by means of modalization, as we can notice when she utilizes polite expressions like Any doubt, just get in touch in example (15) and Please in example (16). Even utilizing softeners to filter the force of her arguments, the teacher provides prime examples of her power over the students, which leads us to figure out that teacher footing is closely interconnected with power relations. Consequently, teacher and students express and negotiate their inter-subjective footings in the virtual environment through modalization. Those markers show how the participants in that online community try to protect their faces when they modalize their utterances. Modalization is recurrent in teaching presence. Discourse markers such as I believe, I think, I am

I am afraid you are not reading our e-mails because last Tuesday morning I sent a message reminding the group about the deadline. (21) I am so sorry, but the deadline for the task was Wednesday (yesterday). You should have sent your doubts before. Please, do your tasks earlier in order to avoid problems. Using her power as a teacher, sometimes she does not modalize and changes her friendly footing into a more authoritative one and makes straight assertions, as we can see in example (22), an interaction between the teacher and Mary: (22) Teacher says: (a) Mary, This is not an article, but a book review. Mary sends another text and writes in her message:



Investigating Interaction in an EFL Online Environment

(b) I believe this one is an article, right Professor Vera? The teacher confirms: (c)Yes, now it is an article.

cognitive presence
Modalizing also appears in footings which project cognitive presence. As we can see, in example (22) the student also modalizes (I believe in (c)), but it seems that, due to the power relation differences, the students footing is different. When the teacher uses I believe, her option is to project a polite self, which did not happen in her interaction with Mary. But, when students choose to modalize their utterances, using I believe, I am sorry, I am afraid, it seems that their footings work as markers of humbleness or insecurity, as noticed in examples (23) and (24): (23) Im sorry I see that I misunderstood the tasks purpose. (24) As to my second question, Im afraid I did not make myself clear regarding my request on the words skimming and scanning. What I would really like to know is if there is a specific word in Portuguese for each counterpart in English. Nevertheless, when the interaction happens between two students, the footing displayed by modalization is again of politeness, as we can see in Johns reply to Mary in example (25): (25) Mary, Thank you very much for your feedback! But Im afraid that if we plant a tree for every mistake we make in our lives, suddenly there wont be any space at all for us to live in this

Cognitive presence can also be identified in footings which project ones self as a thinker, one who reflects upon what is being learned, who wants to learn and collaborate. It is interesting to notice that cognitive footings are generally translated into text by means of grammaticalization, mainly by the use of mental processes, like, for instance, Im sorry and Im afraid. In contrast to what Goffman (1981) has negatively stated about the role grammar plays in footing identification, transitivity serves as a means of textual basis in the emergence of several types of footing in online discourse, mainly social, teaching, and cognitive footings.

concLusion
The analyses undertaken have clearly demonstrated that footing is a social and discursive category that is only easily identified in online forums if textual analysis takes into account the presence of other elements within this category. The elements we refer to stemmed from Garrisons (2006) work on social, cognitive, and teaching presences. However, these elements per se seemed to be insufficient to demonstrate how footing is present in online discourse, which made us draw on grammaticalization, with special emphasis on the transitivity model developed by Halliday (2004), in a bid to pinpoint in our data the prime examples of footing. The data have shown that three different but interconnected types of footing are usually found in online educational forums, that is, social, teaching, and cognitive footings, each of them playing specific roles to the construction of knowledge within this virtual environment. As we could have perceived, the most common footing in our data is social footing, since students were concerned with ways of providing feedback and support to each other, irrespective of the teachers support. By the same token, students were able to adopt and improve corporate



Investigating Interaction in an EFL Online Environment

identities, that is, a shared sense of mutual support and confidence. Teacher footing was also present in our data, mainly noticed on the instructions and information given by the teacher. This kind of footing is of particular interest when one is attentive to power relations within online educational environments, which in fact leads to the role teachers play while performing their footing of instructors. Some special textual elements are common to this type of footing, principally modalizers and polite expressions, in order to soften the force of some words used in this footing modality. Lastly, cognitive footing was identified in our corpus as a means of softening the force of some arguments made by the students throughout their interaction primarily with the teacher. In this modality saving face strategies were employed to secure students against possible harms during the course of the interaction. This is also true when students interacted with each other, since their aim was to maintain complete harmony among them and to provide a warm environment for holding their discussion. This chapter, therefore, is expected to be a step forward in the investigation of footing in online contexts, which points to the need of future research on this issue. Besides, some other aspects such as gender and age differences might also be compared as far as footing is concerned. Course design might also be another influential factor in the elicitation of different virtual presences in an online educational forum. We are still learning how to behave in online educational forums, and research can show us what is underlying this online environment.

rEFErEncEs
Anderson, T., Rourke, L., Garrison, D.R., & Archer, W. (2001). Assessing teaching presence in computer conferencing context. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 5(2), 1-17. Retrieved May 5, 2007, from http://www.sloanc.org/publications/jaln/v5n2/index.asp Austin, J.L. (1962). How to do things with words. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Dewey, J. (1933). How we think: A restatement of the relation of reflective thinking to the educative process. Boston: D.C. Heath. Duranti, A. (1997). Linguistic anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogia do oprimido. Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra. Garrison, D.R. (2006a). Online community of inquiry review: Social, cognitive, and teaching presence issues. Retrieved March 19, 2006, from http://www.communitiesofinquiry.com/documents/Community%20of%20Inquiry%20Issues. pdf Garrison, D.R. (2006b). Online collaboration principles. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 10(1), 23-34. Retrieved April 18, 2007, from http://www.sloan-c.org/publications/jaln/ v10n1/index.asp Garrison, D.R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2001). Critical thinking and computer conferencing: A model and tool to assess cognitive presence. American Journal of Distance Education, 15(1), 7-23. Retrieved October 27, 2006, from http:// communitiesofinquiry.com/documents/CogPres_Final.pdf Garrison, D.R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical thinking in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 1-14.

acknoWLEdgMEnt
We would like to thank our colleague Rita de Cassia Augusto (Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil) for her comments on an earlier draft of this chapter.



Investigating Interaction in an EFL Online Environment

Goffman, E. (1981). Footing. In E. Goffman (Ed.), Forms of talk (pp. 124-159). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Grice, H.P. (1975). Logic and conversation. In P. Cole & J.L. Morgan (Eds.), Syntax and semantics III: Speech acts (pp. 41-58). New York: Academic Press. Halliday, M.A.K. (2004). An introduction to functional grammar (3rd ed.). London: Arnold. Howatt, A.P.R.(1984). A history of English language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Lantolf, J.P. (2000). Sociocultural theory and second language learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Littlewood, W. (1981). Communicative language teaching: An introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Paiva, V.L.M. de O., & Rodrigues-Junior, A.S. (2007). O footing do moderador em fruns educacionais. In J.C. Arajo (Ed.), Internet e ensino (pp. 144-164). Rio de Janeiro: Lucerna. Paiva, V.L.M. de O., & Rodrigues-Junior, A.S. (2004). Fruns on-line: Intertextualidade e footing na construo do conhecimento. In I.L. Machado & R. Mello (Eds.), Gneros: Reflexes em anlise do discurso (pp. 171-189). Belo Horizonte: Faculdade de Letras da UFMG, 2004. Rourke, L., Anderson, T., Garrison, D.R., & Archer, W. (2001). Assessing social presence in asynchronous, text-based computer conferencing. Journal of Distance Education, 14(3), 51-70. Retrieved April 8, 2007, from http://cade.icaap. org/vol14.2/rourke_et_al.html Sacks, H., Schegloff, E., & Jefferson, G. (1974). A simplest systematics for the organization of turn taking for conversation. Language, (50)4, 696-735.

Schegloff, E.A., Jefferson, G., & Sacks, H. (1977). The preference for self-correction in the organization of repair in conversation. Language, 53, 361-382. Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Warschauer, M., & Whittaker, P.F. (2002). The Internet for English teaching: Guidelines for teachers. In J.C. Richards & W.A. Renandya (Eds.), Methodology in language teaching: Anthology of current practice (pp. 368-373). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

kEY tErMs
Behavioral Processes: Processes of (typically human) physiological and psychological behavior (Halliday, 2004, p. 248), regarded as a mixture of material and mental processes. Examples of behavioral processes include: smile, cry, laugh, listen, dream, breathe, sing, dance, faint, talk. Cognitive Presence: Garrison (2006), inspired by the work of Dewey (1933) on reflective teaching, defines cognitive presence as the exploration, resolution and confirmation of understanding through collaboration and reflection in a community of inquiry (p. 4). In another text, Garrison (2006b, p. 4) explains that cognitive presence is the process of collaboratively constructing meaning and confirming understanding in a sustainable community of inquiry, highlighting the importance of facilitation to maintain the construction of knowledge and interaction by means of discourse production. Existential Processes: Only represent that something exists or happens (Halliday, 2004, p. 256). Examples of existential processes include: exist, remain, stand, lie, emerge, grow, erupt, prevail, flourish, ensue.


Investigating Interaction in an EFL Online Environment

Footing: More commonly related to participants alignments, their social projection, and the way they represent themselves while taking a role in a social encounter. In other words, footing is another way of talking about indexingthe process whereby we link utterances to particular moments, places, or personae, including our own self at a different time or with a different spirit (e.g., emotional vs. distant, convinced vs., skeptical, literal vs. ironic) (Duranti, 1997, p. 296). Paiva and Rodrigues-Junior (2004, 2007) have investigated which roles the footings of participants play while they are interacting with their peers in online academic forums. According to them, within online interaction, interpretive resources usually present in a given context are transferred to utterances produced by interlocutors in virtual interaction (Paiva & Rodrigues-Junior, 2004, p. 175, our translation). Moreover, nearly all paralinguistic features easily identified in casual talk, due mostly to the cues immediate contexts provide, become linguistic and discursive elements often used by interlocutors when they are virtually communicating with their peers, like, for instance, emoticons, interjections, punctuation, capital letters, and so forth (Paiva & RodriguesJunior, 2004, 2007). Material Processes: Construe a quantum of change in the flow of events as taking place through some input of energy (Halliday, 2004, p. 179), with mostly an action performed by a subject onto someone or something. Examples of material processes include: appear, emerge, develop, cut, modernize, brush, sweep, open, close, leave. Mental Processes: Construe a quantum of change in the flow of events taking place in our own consciousness (Halliday, 2004, p. 197). Examples of mental processes include: see, notice, believe, expect, wish, hope, like, hate, perceive, think.

Relational Processes: Serve to characterize and to identify (Halliday, 2004, p. 210) general nouns, be they human or inanimate subjects. Examples of relational processes include: be, become, remain, taste (like), turn into, represent, constitute, express, signify, stand for. Social Presence: According to Rourke et al. (2001, p. 51), social presence is the ability of learners to project their personal characteristics into the community of inquiry, thereby presenting themselves as real people. Later on, Garrison (2006, p. 2) describes social presence as the ability to project ones self and establish personal and purposeful relationships. Teaching Presence: Anderson et al. (2001, p. 8) define teaching presence as the design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes. According to them, teaching presence begins with the course preparation and continues during the course, as the instructor facilitates the discourse and provides direct instruction when required (2001, p. 8). Verbal Processes: Clauses of saying (Halliday, 2004, p. 252), usually contributing to the creation of narratives by setting up distinctive dialogues and reported speech. Examples of verbal clauses include: praise, insult, say, speak, report, announce, question, inquiry, ask, criticize.

EndnotE
1

In order to protect the students identities, the male students will be named John and the female ones Mary.





Interactive Whiteboards and the Normalization of CALL


Euline Cutrim Schmid University of Education Heidelberg, Germany

Chapter V

abstract
This chapter discusses the concept of integrated CALL by drawing upon data collected for a PhD research project that investigated the impact of interactive whiteboard (IWB) technology in the English language classroom. In the first part, the chapter presents and discusses data which indicate that the IWB technology represents a further step towards the integrated phase in the development of CALL envisioned by Bax (2003). According to Bax, this refers to the stage when the computer becomes invisible, embedded in the everyday practices of the educational context in which it is usedthat is, the computer becomes normalized. In the second part, the chapter discusses one factor that inhibited the complete normalization of IWB technology in the context investigated. The chapter concludes by making suggestions for further research.

introduction
Several authors who have attempted to analyze and understand the history of CALL (Levy, 1997; Warschauer & Healey, 1998; Bax, 2003) have pointed out that CALL has developed in various ways over time. Thus, in the 1960s, computers tended to be used for pattern practice drills, based on a behaviorist learning model which assumed that students learn through imitation and repetition. Later on, in the 1970s and 1980s,

CALL software began to be based on cognitive approaches to communicative language teaching aimed at allowing learners maximum opportunity to be exposed to the target language in a meaningful context so that they could construct their own individual knowledge. Some examples of CALL software in that era included text reconstruction programs and simulations. More recently, advances in technology, the expansion of the Internet, and the increase in computer-mediated communication (CMC) have changed the way in

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Interactive Whiteboards and the Normalization of CALL

which computers are used in language learning. Thus, in the 1990s, these developments, combined with a new socio-cognitive view of communicative teaching, which placed greater emphasis on language use in authentic social contexts, contributed to a shift from a focus on learners interaction with computers to one concerned with learners interacting with other humans via the computer. More recently, Bax (2003) made an important contribution to the analysis of the history of CALL by proposing the concept of Integrated CALL. According to him, this refers to the stage when the technology becomes invisible, embedded in everyday practice (p. 23). In fact, anecdotal evidence indicates that it would not be erroneous to say that teachers who make use of computer technology long for the day when computers are so integrated in all aspects of classroom life that they can go almost unnoticed, vs. the current situation where they are usually relatively obtrusive, involve specialized training, and so on. Bax (2003) sees CALL in relation to other technologies in society and stresses the possibility that computers may only become fully effective in language teaching and learning when they have become normalized. Bax (2003) also highlights that only the use of ICT (information and communication technology) in the language classroom would not be enough to normalize ICT in that context. In order for this to happen, teachers and learners would need to feel comfortable enough with the technology and use it as an integral part of the teaching/learning process, without fear or inhibition, and equally without an exaggerated respect for what it can do (p.12). Therefore, before reaching the stage of normalization, teachers and learners need to go through a complex process of technology integration in which they need to adapt to new ways of teaching and learning. This usually involves conflicts and challenges, which if not dealt with probably might inhibit normalization of new technologies in that specific context.

Chambers and Bax (2006) point out that one of the barriers to the normalization of CALL is the fact that computers are usually located in dedicated computer suites, which are not owned by the teachers and are not readily accessible by them. Countries such as the UK and Australia have tackled this problem by equipping classrooms with IWB (interactive whiteboard) technology. This is a relatively new technology in education, which has been used in many education institutions all over the world as a tool to bring the functionality of the computer into the regular classroom. The IWB is a touch-sensitive electronic presentation device. Fully functioning interactive whiteboards usually comprise four components: a computer, a projector, appropriate software, and the display panel, which is a large free-standing or wall-mounted screen up to 2 meters by 1 meter in size. Figure 1 illustrates how this technology works. The Promethean TM system (the brand of IWB that will be used in this research) uses electromagnetic sensing technology with an electronic pen. The company has also developed a whole suite of software and peripheral hardware to complement the use of an interactive whiteboard, such as ACTIVstudio software and the ACTIVslate1 and ACTIVote systems.2 The first interactive whiteboard was manufactured by SMART Technologies Inc. in 1991. Since the early 90s, classroom adoption of IWB technology has grown steadily in many European countries and throughout North America, and it is becoming increasingly commonplace in educational institutions, from primary schools through universities. The UK was the first school-level market to substantially invest in the use of IWBs. There has been a considerable investment in the installation of IWBs in schools in that country. The percentage of primary schools with IWBs increased from 48% in 2003 to 63% in 2004, and secondary schools from 82% in 2003 to 92% in 2004 (DfES, 2004). In 2005, the UK government allocated 50 million for the purchase of

0

Interactive Whiteboards and the Normalization of CALL

Figure 1. How IWB technology works: The computer images are displayed on the board by the digital projector. The images then can be seen and all applications on the computer can be controlled via touching the board, either with your finger or with an electronic pen/stylus. In addition, the touch-sensitive screen captures everything written or drawn on its surface in real time. All annotations can then be saved to your computer.

IWBs within the primary and secondary sectors. Other countries such as Australia, Mexico, China, France, and Portugal have also invested heavily in the installation of IWBs in schools. Mexico, for instance, recently set out an ambitious plan called Enciclomedia (Spanish), which equips each fifth and sixth grade classroom with a computer, an interactive whiteboard, a printer, and a projector. One of the main advantages of IWB technology that has been discussed in literature (Smith, Higgins, Wall, & Miller, 2005) is that it enhances and provides a more integrated environment for the use of different forms of CALLfor instance, the greater possibility of doing concordancing in whole-class mode, or the exploration of Internet resources, CALL software, and multimedia resources by the group in a whole-class setting. For this reason, Cuthell (2005) defines the IWB as the first ICT tool designed to support both teach-

ing and learning in the traditional whole-class classroom. He argues that when ICT resources are concentrated in computer labs, integrating ICT into lessons (and consequently normalizing it) becomes much more difficult. The facilities are owned by someone other than the class teacher. As a result, ICT is only used sporadically and is made a discrete activity, rather than one that is woven into the fabric of teaching and learning (p. 2). Recent research findings on IWB use in the UK context (Moss et al., 2007) have also drawn attention to the important role played by this technology in opening up the possibility of integrating technology more fully into teaching and learning in every curriculum subject. In this chapter, I discuss the concept of Integrated CALL by drawing upon data collected for a PhD research project that investigated the impact of interactive whiteboard technology in the English language classroom (Cutrim Schmid,



Interactive Whiteboards and the Normalization of CALL

2005, 2006, 2007, 2008). Firstly, I discuss the potential of the interactive whiteboard technology for facilitating the realization of the integrated phase in the development of CALL envisioned by Bax (2003). Secondly, I discuss one factor that inhibited the normalization of IWB technology in the context investigated. I conclude by making suggestions for further research.

LitEraturE rEViEW iWb technology research


The potential of IWB technology for facilitating classroom language learning is attracting increasing attention. Ioannou-Georgiou (2006) recently stated that IWB technology is currently competing with iPods for the number one spot in terms of attention in the CALL-related ELT field. In the October 2006 issue of CALL Review, the journal of the IATEFL Technologies Special Interest Group, four articles discussed the use of interactive whiteboards, offering a range of viewpoints on this technology. In the same publication, several prominent CALL theorists, such as Warschauer and Bax, said they expect that as the price drops further, IWBs will become commonplace in classrooms of many ELT institutions around the world. However, because IWB technology is a relatively new technology in education, there has so far been very little detailed classroombased research concerning the teaching-learning processes it is capable of stimulating in the FL context. The research reported herein (Cutrim Schmid, 2005) represents one of the first attempts to conduct a more rigorous investigation into the impact of IWB technology on language learning processes. The research investigated the use of IWB in English lessons in the higher education context, and the findings reveal several perceived pedagogical benefits of using the technology in

this context, such as helping learners to adapt to novel ways of teaching, learning, and working in the information technology society, and creating higher levels of active learner participation during the lessons. Another academic study on this topic is the work of Gray, Hagger-Vaughan, Pilkington, and Tomkins (2005), who investigated a group of language teachers in UK secondary schools as they integrated the use of the interactive whiteboard into their classroom practice. Their findings showed that the IWB has the potential to enhance teaching by supporting classroom management, pace and variety, and the drawing of attention to grammatical features and patterns. The teachers investigated also felt that the use of IWB had positive effects on pupils memorization skills and writing development (p. 1). Most literature (across the curriculum) is positive about the potential of IWB technology. Thus, some of the advantages associated with the use of IWB technology that it identifies are: a. Facilitating the integration of multimedia into the curriculum (Walker, 2003; Hall & Higgins, 2005, Gray et al. 2006); Catering to diverse learning styles (Wall, Higgins, & Smith, 2005); Enhancing motivation (Levy, 2002; Becta, 2003); Enhancing interaction and collaborative learning in the whole-class setting (Cutrim Schmid, 2006a); and Modeling ICT skills (Goodison, 2002a, 2002b).

b. c. d.

e.

Two of the reported drawbacks of IWB technology use are: a. b. Supporting teacher-centered approaches (Goodison, 2003); and Increasing the pace of teaching (Cutrim Schmid, 2005).



Interactive Whiteboards and the Normalization of CALL

As already pointed out, a strong claim that has been made about IWB technology is that it facilitates the integration of ICT into the curriculum because it lends itself well to whole-class or group teaching, and it is easily assimilated into the everyday life of the language classroom. As Moss et al. (2007, p. 92) point out, the technology is less disruptive in the classroom because: 1. It facilitates ICT use in group settings while allowing for clearer teacher control of the shape and direction of that interaction. Its nature makes it relatively easy to install in individual classrooms with minimum disruption to the use of the existing space. It is easy to use and more likely to find favor with teachers who otherwise struggle to incorporate technology into their classrooms.

2.

3.

researchers have long stressed the importance of recognizing language learning technology as an essential component of teachers array of teaching approaches, and not as a discrete activity, separate from everyday learning. In this context, Chambers and Bax (2006) urge CALL practitioners who have not managed to fully integrate ICT into the curriculum to ask themselves the following question: What are the factors which inhibit normalization in my own institution/and or classroom? Having reviewed a number of areas of literature in order to introduce the focus of this chapter and situate my research in the field of CALL, I will now move on to describe the research context in which this investigation has taken place and present the research methods used in this study.

thE studY aims of the study


The study reported in this chapter represents a classroom-based investigation of the potential of interactive whiteboard technology for supporting language learning in the teaching of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) to international students at Lancaster University (UK). The study was carried out in the summers of 2003 and 2004. In order to address the purposes of such a study, two main research questions were formulated: 1. How is the classroom teaching/learning process affected by the use of IWB technology? a. What kinds of interactions are produced when the technology is implemented? b. What kinds of pedagogical goals (e.g., to enhance collaboration) may the technology help to achieve? How do teachers, learners, and researchers perceive the introduction of IWB technology in the language classroom in terms of teaching-learning processes?


Dudeney (2006, p. 27) strengthens this argument by pointing out that the main difference between using a computer and a projector in class and using IWB technology is that: IWBs make the computer invisible, as all interaction with both the hardware and the software takes place within the familiar confines of the board itself, which is something teachers feel very comfortable with. Therefore, the main argument in favor of the use of IWB technology is that it facilitates the integration of new technologies into the curriculum because it allows teachers to use ICT in a way that does not change the ecology of the classroom so drastically. Technology integration is a core topic in CALL research and has been the theme of several wellestablished conferences in the field. For instance, the 2006 EUROCALL conference, entitled Integrating CALL into Study Programs, focused on strategies, tools, pedagogical knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for the effective integration of new technologies into language learning environments. Therefore, CALL practitioners and

2.

Interactive Whiteboards and the Normalization of CALL

Apart from addressing these pedagogical aspects, the research was also aimed at making theoretical and methodological contributions at a broader levelthat is, to the development of CALL research and practice in general. Thus, in order to do so, two other research questions were formulated to guide the study: 1. Does the IWB represent the beginnings of the ability to realize in practice the integrated phase in the development of CALL? Are the classrooms investigated an example of normalized CALL?

2.

rEsEarch contEXt and rEsEarch MEthodoLogY research context


All subjects involved in the study were enrolled in the eight-week version of the EAP/Study Skills program, whose main components are: (a) academic reading and writing, (b) listening comprehension, and (c) speaking skills. The students are also offered a number of complementary courses, two of whichUsing ICT for Academic Study in English (in 2003, Study 1) and Web Resources for Learning English (in 2004, Study 2)provided the sites for the research. All units aimed at exploiting the use of IWB technology to get students involved in novel literacy practices and helping them to develop their academic skills and learning strategies through the use of Web-based study resources. Therefore, the lessons were a mixture of upper-intermediate English language learning and development of awareness regarding ICT learning resources.

the board is actually the screen of the computer. This means that anything that can be done on a computer can be shown on an interactive whiteboard. In the context investigated, the large IWB screen acted as a focus for pupils attention, and the teacher and students used it as a multimedia platform and a wide range of ICT tools were employed, such as language learning CD ROMs, digital videos and audio files, normal computer programs (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), and Web-based products. The software that comes with an IWB enables the use of electronic flipcharts that simulate traditional white- or blackboard presentation. Flipcharts are a design area, or blank pages for creating teaching materials. The number of pages that can be used is unlimited. Flipcharts can be prepared before a lesson or they can be generated during the course of the lesson. In the context investigated, the teacher made intensive use of the software that came with the IWB, the ACTIVstudio software. By using this software, the teacher had access to a number of tools that enabled activities such as: a. Handwriting, color, and highlighting: The teacher could use as many as 16 pen colors to write on the board, and all annotations could be saved and/or printed and used in future lessons. The highlighter and pen colors were often used when the learners were involved in collaborative analysis of a single piece of writing. In the IWB-based classroom, the teacher could project a students first draft paragraph on the IWB (after scanning it), for the whole class to proofread. Handwriting recognition: Handwritten script could be converted to text, which was important for the clarity of presentation and for promoting the teachers organizational skills (e.g., for creating a record of the vocabulary introduced in each lesson and printing it out afterwards for the learners).

b.

interactive Whiteboard use


As Walker (2003) points out, one of the key issues to grasp when working with an interactive whiteboard is that the image the students view on



Interactive Whiteboards and the Normalization of CALL

c.

d.

e.

f.

Dragging and dropping: Objects, including text and pictures, could be moved around on the IWB screen; the teacher used this tool mainly for gap-filling and matching type exercises, or getting the students to rearrange digital objects on the IWB screen (e.g., rearranging a room according to the principles of Feng Shui). Hiding and revealing: By using the reveal tool,3 the spotlight tool, or the white-out effect,4 the teacher could ask the learners to predict or guess any content on the screen by revealing it bit by bit (e.g., images of famous people/paintings, answers to questions, etc.). These tools enhanced interactivity, and encouraged foreign language speaking and pupil involvement in whole-class teaching. Web browsing: Since the classroom had Internet access, the teacher could make plenty of use of Web resources, bringing the world to the classroom and creating a more authentic learning environment (e.g., by using a listening activity with daily news from a Web site such as the BBC, accessing online dictionaries, encyclopedias, Web-based videos, etc.). The teacher could also overwrite the Web sites to emphasize linguistic and cultural elements, and create snapshots of all annotations for future use. Hyperlinking: By using pre-designed electronic flipcharts, the teacher could provide learners with enhanced input through hyperlinking. The designed flipcharts contained links to various kinds of resources (e.g., links to Web sites, to sound, video, or image files, and links to other flipchart pages, which provided further information about a word/idiom/grammar concept). These links could then be activated or ignored depending on the actual responses of the learners. This allowed the smooth integration of sound/text/image with the aim of facilitat-

g.

h.

ing the memorization of lexical items and understanding of new grammar concepts. Snapshots: The camera tool was used to copy selected parts of a homepage, a picture, or a file from the computer directly to the whiteboard screen. This allowed opportunities for developing ideas around a single picture and also enabled the teacher to build up a bank of resources, as images could be placed in the image library of the software. Searching for resources: The software also provides a resource gallery with maps, pictures, diagrams, and audio files which could be searched and dragged and dropped to the electronic flipchart. Because of this easy access to images, visual input was often used to facilitate understanding of difficult concepts/words.

The IWB technology was thus used quite intensively in all stages of the lessons. Several electronic flipcharts were designed for all units; the teacher and students used the ACTIVboard (which replaced the traditional whiteboard) as a presentation device and as a platform for integrating different types of technology (e.g., video, sound, multimedia, Internet).5

research Methodology
Twenty-nine students and thirty-three students were involved in Study 1 and Study 2, respectively. Students were from all over the world, but most of them tended to come from mainland China and Taiwan. In order to be accepted into the program, the students must have achieved an IELTS score of at least 6.0 (postgraduates) or 5.5 (undergraduates). All the students in both studies were postgraduates, apart from one undergraduate in course 1, and their ages ranged from 20 to 36. The investigation involved a classroom-based qualitative study of the researchers own lessons and teaching. As teacher-researcher, she was



Interactive Whiteboards and the Normalization of CALL

responsible for designing and implementing the course, as well as collecting and analyzing the data. All the lessons were video-recorded, and after each lesson she wrote field notes that were mainly descriptive, but also contained some of her thoughts regarding the impact of IWB technology on the pedagogical process. Six critical observers in Study 1 and five critical observers in Study 2 were involved in the research. All of them were experienced language teachers and academic researchers with a good level of expertise in qualitative research. Their role was to observe lessons, write field notes, and fill out a questionnaire at the end of the lesson. A questionnaire was administered at the end of both modules to find out students overall response to the course and to the use of IWB technology in the lessons. In Study 1, the teacher-researcher also ran a focus group discussion with 12 students who volunteered to take part in it. In Study 2, she carried out semi-structured individual interviews with 10 students who volunteered for it, and each interview lasted for 30 minutes on average.

rEsEarch Findings iWb technology: Facilitating the normalization of caLL


In general, the research findings indicate that teachers and students perceived the use of IWB technology as a further step towards the normalization of CALL in comparison, for instance, to computer lab work. As Chambers and Bax (2006, p. 470) point out, for normalization to take place, CALL facilities will ideally not be separated from normal teaching space. Therefore, the fact that the IWB could be used in the normal language classroom (as a whole-class multimedia platform) was considered an advantage in terms of making ICT more invisible and normalized in the classroom.

In the context investigated, the IWB technology facilitated the integration of ICT into the curriculum because it enabled the teacher and learners to have easy access to multimedia resources, which were widely used during the sessions, and also to online resources, which were an important element of course content as well. The work with Web resources was well integrated into the syllabus, in the sense that it was seen to be a central part of the language lesson, and not something that was done as an extra. In other words, there was not a clear division between exploring the topic and the language, and exploring Web resources, for instance. While the students were learning about topics, such as university life in the UK, they were also learning about ways of finding information about the new words they were acquiring, by using online resources during the sessions. Another important aspect in the process of normalization of CALL pointed out by Chambers and Bax (2006) is the issue of room layout. According to them, for normalization to occur, the classroom will ideally be organized so as to allow for an easy move from CALL activities to non-CALL activities (p. 470). In the context investigated, the layout of the technology facilitated this process. For instance, by using the IWB technology, it became easier for the teacher to alternate between CALL-related activities (e.g., searching for information on a Web site) and nonCALL activities (e.g., having a group discussion about a certain topic). In fact, this was one of the advantages of IWB use pointed out by students in comparison to computer lab work. When asked whether they would prefer to work in a computer lab or with an interactive whiteboard, the majority of the students said they would prefer the latter. Although some students emphasized the importance of working individually, most students enjoyed the experience of working with ICT as a group and could also identify several advantages of this approach for their learning process.



Interactive Whiteboards and the Normalization of CALL

For instance, some students cited as an advantage of IWB technology the possibility it gives the teacher to have a higher degree of control over the students, since the students tend to follow their own ways when they are working individually on a computer. Thus, one of the students said: 1. S: I think with this technology the teacher can have more control of the students, than 2. with the computer, because the computer screen is a physical barrier between the 3. teacher and the studentsI prefer the computer because if I am not interested in 4. that topic I can do other things, but its not good for the learning and teaching. 5. T: Ah, yeah, for the dynamics, because everyone is doing different things? 6. S: And the computer screen is a physical barrier. 7. T: Physical barrier, you mean the computer screen, because you can go anywhere? 8. S: Yeah, and the teacher needs to have eye contact with the students. (Individual interview with Lauren6, Study 2) In lines 3-4, the student indicated that she would prefer to work from an individual computer because she could switch off if she was not interested in the lesson, and do other things. However she pointed out that this kind of arrangement would not aid the learning process since the computer would represent a physical barrier between the teacher and the students. This issue was also addressed by another student, who had a good deal of experience in using computer labs. Thus, she pointed out: 1. S: Its interactive between students and teacher, I think that is quite good, and I think in my country we use other ways, everyone has personal computer, and the teachers sit in their seats and we sit in our seats and the teacher says anything and we just dont care,

4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

we just play games or talk to each other, so I think the whiteboard is quite good for learning, to concentrate on the course, its quite good. T: Ah, cause everyone S: Everyone is committed to what the teacher is saying, what the teacher teaches, this kind of things. (Post-course interview with Jane, Study 2)

According to this student, the IWB classroom enabled a kind of social arrangement that encouraged students to commit to learning processes that were initiated by the teacher. In line 7, she pointed out that by using IWB technology everyone is committed to what is being taught. In other words, she highlighted that the strength of the technology was in its potential to support group cohesion (by having everyone involved in the same learning activity). The IWB technology was thus seen as a tool that facilitated the normalization of CALL in the context investigated. However, it must also be said that other parts of the research data point towards a variety of factors that inhibited the complete integration of this technology into the pedagogical process. In other words, in spite of the progress that was made in the direction of normalization, the classrooms investigated were still an example of un-normalized CALL. As the data will show, the main factor that inhibited normalization of IWB technology in the context investigated was the teachers (mis)understanding of the concept of technology invisibility (Bax, 2003).

technology invisibility
Throughout the process of technology integration, the teacher believed that the best way to make the IWB technology invisible would be by means of preventing technical mistakes and by making sure that nothing went wrong with the technology. In other words, she believed that if the lessons went on according to the script, it would be easier to

2.

3.



Interactive Whiteboards and the Normalization of CALL

keep the technology in the background and not in the foreground of the lesson. Since she realized that when technical problems came up during the sessions, it was much more difficult to achieve this goal, she tried to minimize the possibilities of technical incidents that could disturb the lesson or draw students attention to the technology. A good example of this kind of attitude was the use of the ACTIVslate on the course. Some students in Study 1 highlighted the potential of the ACTIVslate for getting them more engaged during the lessons. Therefore, by taking this into account, the teacher decided to subsequently give the students the opportunity to use the ACTIVslate in order to encourage active participation. She used it for a fill-in-the-blanks activity, for which the students would need to use the drag-and-drop tool of the software by using the ACTIVslate from their seats. However, since it was the first time they were using this remote device, they had some difficulty in handling it, which disturbed the lesson. In the following session, she decided not to use the ACTIVslate anymore for two main reasons: (1) because it had disturbed the previous session, at least from her perspective; and (2) because a critical observer would come to observe her lesson on that day, and she wanted the lesson to flow as smoothly as possible. Therefore, in that session the activity was carried out in a different way. She asked only one of the students to go to the board and do the exercises with the help of others. In Unit 4 of Study 2, she also had plans to use the ACTIVslate, but she gave up on the idea during the session. The following field note reveals the reasons why she made such decision: I had planned to use the ACTIVslate, but I didnt. I even thought of offering it to the students, in case they wanted to help those who were on the board. But in the first session, I was so worried about the time that I thought it would make things more complicated. So I decided not to use it. (Teachers analysis questionnaire, September 3, 2004, Unit 4, Study 2)


In another session, one of the students clicked on a wrong button while carrying out a task on the board and created a tickertape (i.e., a word or phrase continuously moving across the screen), so the word to cram kept moving on the whiteboard and the teacher did not know how to fix the problem. She even tried to ignore it, but the students kept looking at the word moving, and it was disturbing the lesson. To make things worse, the student who had caused the problem kept apologizing. So she decided to close the flipchart, the software, and start everything again. The following extract of her field notes reveals the way she felt right after the session: The students moved the links and I ended up losing the sound file for bell ring, then later a student clicked on it and suddenly there was this noisy bell and no one knew why that was happening, this made things a bit confusing for the students. (Teachers field notes, August 26, 2004, Unit 3, Study 2) Although this incident did not really disturb the lesson, as the problem was solved in just a couple of minutes, this is a good illustration of the risks that teachers who share the whiteboard space with the students may have to face. Because of incidents like this, the teacher started to limit students access to the whiteboard during the lessons so as to avoid technical problems and consequent focus on the technology. In addition to that, she opted for not giving the students clear explanations on how to use the IWB technology so that they could focus on the content of the lessons and not on the medium (technology), which she thought could distract them from learning. Therefore, her own understanding of the normalization of CALL in that context involved developing expertise on the use of IWB technology prior to teaching in order to avoid the occurrence of technical problems. However, she did not consider the development of students expertise as an important aspect of making the technology invisible and therefore normalized.

Interactive Whiteboards and the Normalization of CALL

On the other hand, the students had a different understanding of this concept. For them, invisibility or normalization of the technology involved two main aspects: (a) being able to operate the technology efficiently, and (b) being able to use it as a means for self-expression. During the interviews, several students emphasized that they wanted to learn more about how to operate the whiteboard. They thought they might have taken more advantage of the technology if they had learned how to handle it appropriately. In the following extract, one student pointed out that not having the ability to operate the IWB appropriately could create a barrier for some students, which could lead to less active participation during the lessons, since the students did not want to embarrass themselves in front of the whole group: 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. T: What kind of suggestions or recommendations would you give to this person so that this person would make the most out of these sections? What would you say to this person? S: To pay attention very well on how to use this technology, first thing, and hear very well the instruction that you are giving (laughing) T: Yeah, what do you mean by use the technology, to learn how to use the technology S: How to use the pen, how to T: Why? Why do you think this would be good to this person? S: The incorrect use could be a barrier for us, for example, when you make us to go to the board, for some people it was difficult to use it, so it could be T: A barrier? S: Embarrassing. (Post-course interview with Lauren, Study 2)

more opportunities to go to the front and use the whiteboard: 29. S: Sometimes you choose to click this word and sometimes we click not very strong and 30. it dont work, like this one, and sometimes you just write and the word becomes a typed 31. one, and if we use, perhaps we cant, we cant use veryveryhow can you sayvery 32. familiar? 33. T: Youre not very sure of how to use it or of how things happen. 34. S: Yeah. (Post-course interview with CJ, Study 2) In this sequence, the student made reference to the fact that some students had difficulty operating the whiteboard during the lessons. In line 1, she pointed out that when some students tried to use the drag-and-drop tool, they did not click on the words strongly enough and could not move them to the desired position. She then related these difficulties with the students lack of practice in using the whiteboard, since the students were not given enough opportunities to get familiar with the technology (lines 3-4). In line 2, she also mentioned the use of the handwriting recognition tool. In fact, this tool was only used by the teacher for writing new vocabulary on the board or for brainstorming activities. After eliciting contributions from the students, she used the electronic pen to write on the board, and the handwriting recognition was deployed to enhance the clarity of presentation. The students, however, were never given the opportunity to use the electronic pen in this way. Thus, the data indicate that the students wanted to feel reasonably comfortable using the electronic whiteboard. However, since they were not given enough opportunities to learn how to use the technology, they did not perceive their classroom as a context in which CALL was normalized. There-

26. 27. 28.

In this other extract, the student explained why he/she thought the students should be given



Interactive Whiteboards and the Normalization of CALL

fore, in spite of the potential of IWB technology for facilitating the normalization of CALL, as discussed in the previous section, this potential was only partly realized, as they could not become fully skilled in the operation of the technology in order to develop ownership of it.

FuturE trEnds
IWB technology is a relatively new technology in education. However, the financial (and pedagogical) investment that has been made in this technology in the last few years (e.g., in British Council language schools all over the world) seems to indicate that it will occupy an important role in educational practice in the years to come. Therefore, more studies of this kind need to be conducted so that more can be learned and discovered about both the potential of the technology and the possible challenges that might be involved in the process of IWB technology integration into the curriculum. In my view, future research should place special emphasis on the alleged potential of this technology for supporting teacher-centered approaches. Several authors have drawn attention to the fact that the IWB technology can be used in a way that merely supports the continuation of traditional approaches (Goodison, 2003; Armstrong et al., 2005; Moss et al., 2007). Although this can happen to any new technology that is integrated into the classroom, this would be aggravated by the fact that the IWB technology can be relatively easily assimilated into existing ways of working in comparison to other technologies, such as that of the Internet and iPods (Armstrong et al., 2005). In other words, instead of using the technology to create new practice, teachers could simply adapt the technology to handle old practice. As Moss et al. (2007, p. 96) point out, The clear advantage IWBs seem to have in terms of uptakethat their use fits quite easily with existing patterns of whole class pedagogymay also be their

weakness. Therefore, although the literature on IWB technology has been positive regarding its potential to facilitate the integration of ICT into the curriculum, it also warns against the danger of this technology being used to reinforce traditional pedagogical approaches based on one-way knowledge transmission. Referring again to the concept of normalization, it is important to highlight that Baxs view (2003) of Integrated CALL should not be understood merely as a process of technology assimilation into existing ways of teaching and learning. The concept of Integrated CALL goes beyond that, and suggests that normalization will only occur when the potential of new technologies are fully developed, when their use is fully integrated into the syllabus, and most importantly, that they are effectively used to enhance language learning.

concLusion and rEcoMMEndations


This chapter drew upon the concept of normalization (Bax, 2003) to discuss the potential of IWB technology for facilitating the integration of ICT into the language curriculum. The findings of this research indicate that the IWB technology represents the beginnings of the ability to realize in practice the integrated phase in the development of CALL. Two points have been highlighted in the discussion: (1) location and access (the IWB is not separated from normal teaching space), and (2) layout (the IWB allows an easy move from CALL activities to non-CALL activities). However, in spite of this potential, the IWB classroom investigated was still an example of un-normalized CALL.7 The teachers (mis)understanding of the concept of technology invisibility was analyzed as one of the factors that inhibited the normalization of CALL in that specific context. As Chambers and Bax (2006, p. 472) rightly point out, teachers (mis)conceptions of what CALL is, and what the role of the com-

0

Interactive Whiteboards and the Normalization of CALL

puter could be, may represent an important obstacle to normalization. It is thus hoped that this discussion will assist other practitioners aiming to move towards the normalization of CALL in their own settings. This discussion also indicates that the design and implementation of appropriate teacher training programs is an essential component of an effective process of the integration of IWB technology in the language classroom. In fact, a number of CALL studies have highlighted the key role played by teachers in the realization of the claimed educational potentials of new technologies (e.g., Cuban, 1986; Warschuaer, 1999; Meskill, Anthony, Hilliker, Tseng, & You, 2006). However, relatively little is known about how teachers interact with technology, what their needs are, and what factors influence their adoption and use of new technologies. There is thus a clear need for studies that focus on teachers perspectives in technology integration. The findings of such studies can be used by policymakers, teacher trainers, and others in providing in-service technology training programs that better address teachers specific pedagogical needs, concerns, and interests. Chambers and Bax (2006, p. 475) emphasize that if CALL is to be normalized, teacher training and development may best be offered in collaborative mode rather than in top-down, expert-to-novice mode. However, research findings on the use of IWB technology in schools (Moss et al., 2007; Armstrong et al., 2005) have shown that the quality of training programs provided to in-service teachers is still not ideal because they are not always tailored to participants needs; they are mainly based on one-day workshops and they do not provide appropriate follow-up and ongoing pedagogical and technical support. These authors also draw attention to the fact that without appropriate training, it is unlikely that teachers will either be aware of or be able to exploit the potential affordances of IWB technology to create new practice. Since the integration of

ICT into pedagogical practice through the use of IWB technology is a relatively new phenomenon in education, there seems to be a need for the development of technology training programs, which on one hand need to have a sound theoretical basis, and on the other need to be designed from the investigation of local teachers pedagogical needs and practice.

rEFErEncEs
Armstrong, V., Barnesa, S., Suntherland, R., Curranb, S., Millsc, S., & Thompson, I. (2005). Collaborative research methodology for investigating teaching and learning: The use of interactive whiteboard technology. Educational Review, 57(4). Bax, S. (2003). CALLPast, present and future. System, 31(4). Becta. (2003). Primary schoolsICT and standards: An analysis of national data from Ofsted and QCA. Coventry: Becta. Chambers, A., & Bax, S. (2006). Making CALL work: Towards normalization. System, 34(4). Chapman, D.W., & Mahlck, L.O. (2004). Adapting technology for school improvement. Retrieved February 25, 2007, from http://www.unesco. org/iiep/PDF/pubs/F165.pdf Cuban, L. (1986). Teachers and machines: The classroom uses of technology since 1920. New York: Teachers College Press. Cuthell, J.P. (2005). The impact of interactive whiteboards on teaching, learning and attainment. In Proceedings of SITE 2005 (pp. 1353-1355). Phoenix, AZ: AACE. Cutrim Schmid, E. (2005). An investigation into the use of interactive whiteboard technology in the language classroom: A critical theory of technology perspective. Unpublished PhD Thesis, Lancaster University, UK.



Interactive Whiteboards and the Normalization of CALL

Cutrim Schmid, E. (2006a). Investigating the use of interactive whiteboard technology in the language classroom through the lens of a critical theory of technology. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 19(1), 47-62. Cutrim Schmid, E. (2006b). Using a voting system in conjunction with interactive whiteboard technology to enhance learning in the English Language classroom. Computers and Education (doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2006.07.001). Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com Cutrim Schmid, E. (2007). Enhancing performance knowledge and self-esteem in classroom language learning: The potential of the ACTIVote system component of interactive whiteboard technology. System, 35, 119-133. DfES. (2004). Information and communications technology in schools in England 2004first release. Retrieved August 23, 2005, from http:// www.dfes.gov.uk/ Dudeney, G. (2006). Interactive, quite bored. IATEFL CALL Review, (Summer). Goodison, T. (2002a). Learning with ICT at primary level: Students perceptions. Journal of Computer Assisted Language Learning, 18, 282-295. Goodison, T. (2002b). Enhancing learning with ICT at primary level. British Journal of Educational Technology, 33(2), 215-228. Goodison, T. (2003). Integrating ICT in the classroom: A case study of two contrasting lessons. British Journal of Educational Technology, 34(5), 549-566. Gray, G., Hagger-Vaughan, L., Pilkington, R., & Tomkins, S. (2005). The pros and cons of interactive whiteboards in relation to the Key Stage 3 strategies and framework. Language Learning Journal, 32, 38-44. Ioannou-Georgiou, S. (2006). Editorial. IATEFL CALL Review, (Summer).


Hall, I., & Higgins, S. (2005) Primary school students perceptions of interactive whiteboard. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 2, 102117. Levy, M. (1997). Computer-assisted language learning: Context and conceptualisation. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Levy, P. (2002). Interactive whiteboards in learning and teaching in two Sheffield schools: A developmental study. Retrieved December 5, 2002, from http://dis.shef.ac.uk/eirg/projects/ wboards.htm Meskill, C., Anthony, N., Hilliker, S., Tseng, C., & You, J. (2007). Expert-novice teacher mentoring in language learning technology. In P. Hubbard & M. Levy (Eds.), Research in CALL teacher education (pp. 283-298). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Moss, G., Carrey, J., Levaaic, R., Armstrong, V., Cardini, A., & Castle, F. (2007). The interactive whiteboards pedagogy and pupil performance evaluation: An evaluation of the schools whiteboard expansion (SWE) project: London challenge. Institute of Education, University of London, UK. Smith, H.J., Higgins, S., Wall, K., & Miller, J. (2005). Interactive whiteboards: Boon or bandwagon? A critical review of the literature. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 21(2), 91-101. Walker, R. (2003). Interactive whiteboards in the MFL classroom. TELL & CALL, 3, 14-16. Wall, K., Higgins, S., & Smith, H. (2005). The visual helps me understand the complicated things: Pupils views of teaching and learning with interactive whiteboards. British Journal of Educational Technology, 36(5), 851-867. Warschauer, M. (1999). Electronic literacies: Language, culture, and power in online education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Interactive Whiteboards and the Normalization of CALL

Warschauer, M., & Healey, D. (1998). Computers and language learning: An overview. Language Teaching, 31, 57-71.

kEY tErMs
ACTIVote System: Wireless response system enabling students to respond to assessment and other questions. Results can then be displayed immediately on the ACTIVboard in graphical format. ACTIVslate: A5 graphic tablet that operates remotely with the ACTIVboard, enabling teachers and students to take control of the IWB from anywhere in the class. ACTIVstudio Software: Software used in conjunction with an IWB. It enables activities such as handwriting recognition, Web browsing, window annotation, dragging and dropping, and so on. See Appendix 1 for more information on these tools. Electromagnetic Whiteboard: Has a hard writing surface and requires the use of special pens that give the function of left and right mouse clicks. These pens emit a small magnetic field detected either by the frame of the whiteboard or by a grid of fine wires embedded beneath the surface of the board. Electronic Flipcharts: Design area or blank pages for creating teaching materials to be used with an IWB. The number of pages that can be used is unlimited. Flipcharts can be prepared before a lesson or they can be generated during the course of the lesson Integrated CALL: The stage when the technology becomes invisible, embedded in everyday practice (Bax, 2003).

Interactive Whiteboard: Touch-sensitive electronic presentation device. Fully functioning interactive whiteboards usually comprise four components: a computer, a projector, appropriate software, and the display panel, which is a large free-standing or wall-mounted screen up to 2 meters by 1 meter in size.

EndnotEs
1

The ACTIVslate is an A5 graphic tablet that operates remotely with the ACTIVboard, enabling teachers and students to take control of the IWB from anywhere in the class. The ACTIVote system is a wireless response system enabling students to respond to assessment and other questions. Results can then be displayed immediately on the ACTIVboard in graphical format. The reveal tool is designed to work in a similar way to the traditional method of using a piece of paper to mask off parts of an overhead projector presentation. It can be used slowly to expose the screen in one of four directions (down, up, left, and right). Using a thick pen on white to hide words or pictures. In class, the eraser tool is used to reveal the text or image again. See Cutrim Schmid (2005, 2006a, 2006b, 2007) for more detailed information on how the IWB technology supported language teaching and learning in the context investigated. All names have been changed in order to protect students anonymity. This statement does not imply that all IWB classrooms are examples of un-normalized CALL.





OpenLearn and Knowledge Maps for Language Learning


Alexandra Okada The Open University, UK

Chapter VI

abstract
This chapter presents new methodologies designed to facilitate language acquisition in open learning communities via open educational resources and knowledge mapping. It specifically focuses on the OpenLearn project developed by The Open University. This offers a virtual learning environment based on Moodle platform with free educational materials and knowledge media tools such as the instant messaging MSG, the Web videoconferencing application, FlashMeeting, and the knowledge mapping software tool Compendium. In this chapter, these technologies and mapping techniques are introduced in order to promote open language learning. Ways in which teachers and students can make use of these OpenLearn tools and resources are discussed and some benefits fully described.

introduction: thE opEn LEarning MoVEMEnt and LanguagE LEarning


Open content resources have been growing rapidly, opening up new possibilities for active language learning. Free innovative tools, open access content, and collaborative learning strategies provide new opportunities for learners engaging in widening communication and collective construction of knowledge (Willinsky, 2006; Cedergren, 2003). These new resources

and new methodologies can bring new ways to foster meaningful learning. The Open Content Initiative is a growing movement in the promotion of open learning which involves institutions, universities, researchers, teachers, and scientists in the free access to world knowledge resources (OMahony & Ferraro, 2003). Its aim is to provide free access to quality teaching materials from the public domain from which open educational resources can be customized, improved, and shared with local communities. These can be personalized to match

Copyright 2009, IGI Global, distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Global is prohibited.

OpenLearn and Knowledge Maps for Language Learning

local contexts and cultural aspects such as language, level of study, pre-requirements, learning outcomes, and so forth (Downes, 2006; Dholakia, King, & Baraniuk, 2006; Jarman, 2006). Open learning communities are defined as a set of people with common interests who interact collaboratively in order to learn together. There are five important features in an open learning community: open products, integrity, transparency, non-discrimination, and non-interference (Reagle, 2004, 2006). Open communities are open to receive new members, share information, reconstruct knowledge, and learn together developing open products. Participants ensure the integrity of the process and their contributions. They are transparent in self-organizing, making their own rules and defining their process. They do not discriminate between people, individuals, or groups. Members can interact and work under their own understanding or conceptualization without interference. They are active contributors (Aigrain, 2004; Stadler & Hirsh, 2002). Open learning environments can be considered a new methodology for informal learning. Academics, teachers, and students alike can benefit from the Open Educational Resource Movement. Teachers can select high-quality materials, use free tools and resources, and engage their students in open learning communities in order to develop skills such as: Selecting extra and relevant learning materials, Managing their own learning, Contacting new fellow students, and Developing learning communities.

Communicating with people from different countries, Practicing the language in real situations, Sharing their personal context and creating meaningful opportunities for learning, and Using technology collaboratively to improve their understanding together.

Knowledge mapping can be an efficient strategy for educators, learners, professionals, and researchers to deal with a large quantity of information on the Web, select what is relevant, and make connections structuring knowledge in a meaningful way (Okada & Buckingham Shum, 2006; Okada, 2007). Learning requires the ability to organize relevant information, connect it with previous knowledge, engage in critical thinking, and construct arguments. Students struggle with many of these skills. Knowledge cartography can greatly facilitate these processes of learning, research, and knowledge management. Well-designed maps are effective resources for building knowledge. They act as a concentrated database and are powerful graphic tools for classifying, representing, and communicating the connections between all kinds of information. Through knowledge mapping, learners can: Exploit the minds ability to establish relationships between thoughts and ideas; Build graphical schemes that enable understanding through spatial relations; Link arguments and relevant information together in flexible structures; Re present opi n ion s, alter nat ive perspectives, different contexts; and Reduce search time and reveal connections that might otherwise not be noticed (Okada, Buckingham Shum, & Sherborne, 2008).

More specifically in language learning, open communities can be very useful in promoting meaningful learning. Students can become active learners by:



OpenLearn and Knowledge Maps for Language Learning

In this chapter, some examples from OpenLear n an open educational environmentare analyzed in order to illustrate knowledge mapping techniques and open educational resources as applied to language learning. OpenLearn was developed by The Open University in Moodle, a course management system. This project was launched at the end of 2006, and open language learning communities are still developing. Thus, data at this moment are not enough for a case study. However, the intention of this work is to present possibilities and introduce new strategies that can be useful to foster language-learning communities.

English and based on The Open Universitys courses. LabSpace (http://labspace.open.ac.uk/) is the laboratory area to download LearningSpace materials to remix and reuse. Both areas integrate new technologies developed by the Knowledge Media Institute (KMi) to foster learning communities.

thE opEnLEarn proJEct and opEn LanguagE LEarning rEsourcEs


Project OpenLearn (http://openlearn.open. ac.uk), sponsored by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, provides free online learning material taken from The Open University courses. It also offers free knowledge media technologies on a large scale, connecting learners with learners and learners with educators. OpenLearn also aims to help teachers reconstruct their own materials from existing open educational resources, downloading, editing, remixing, and publishing new courses. The intention of OpenLearn is to enable a basis for worldwide collaborations over the development and dissemination of supported open learning in several fields including language learning. The OpenLearn based on the open source Moodle platform consists of two virtual learning environments: LearningSpace (http://openlearn.open. ac.uk/) hosts a list of open educational resources. It is an area to access free educational resources organized in units and areas of knowledge. These units are initially in

Through OpenLearn, students interested in learning a foreign language can access materials in their own time and find peers from different countries all over the world. It is an opportunity for informal and collaborative study in areas of common interest. Participants can learn at their own pace, alone or in communities. They can manage their own progress by keeping a learning journal, by discussing the topics with other online learners in forums, and by completing self-assessment exercises. In this way, participants can study high-quality materials free, develop their online communities, and manage their own language learning process (OpenLearn, 2007). The target audience of OpenLearn comprises governmental and non-governmental entities interested in promoting continuing professional development to: Public and private higher education institutes interested in Open Educational Resources (OER) partnerships; Academic teachers, tutors, training course designers, graduate and post-graduate students; Educational researchers; Professionals interested in specialization courses; and Anyone interested in learning.

In October 2006 OpenLearn published 900 learning hours in the LearningSpace; currently its goal is to make a further 8,100 hours of material available within the LabSpace by the end of 2008. The Open Educational Resources, published



OpenLearn and Knowledge Maps for Language Learning

mostly in English, are grouped into different categories: Arts and History, Business and Management, Education, Health and Lifestyle, IT and Computing. In the Modern Languages category, there are several language courses including English, French, German, and Spanish. The OpenLearn courses denominated units are self-contained and offer a mix of multimedia and Web-based materials. These open educational resources include texts, activities, quizzes, forum, videos, presentations in Web conferences, and knowledge maps. They are designated at a particular academic level and take from 3 to 15 hours of study time. The initial materials published were constructed from current OU courses plus other Web-based materials. However, OpenLearn expects to increase its OER through collaboration with interested participants willing to contribute to the open learning movement. OpenLearn integrates three free knowledge media technologies in Moodle: the instant messaging MSG, the video Web conference FlashMeeting, and the knowledge mapping software

tool Compendium. These free knowledge media technologies are accessible to everyone in LabSpace and LearningSpace.

coMpEndiuM: a LEarning Mapping tooL


Compendium (http://www.compendiuminstitute. org) is a knowledge mapping software tool, initially developed by Verizon in 1993 and then by the Knowledge Media Institute at The Open University in the UK. Through Compendium, language learners can represent their thoughts, ideas, and information. They can select and connect interesting resources and structure their knowledge of the content. Diverse mapping techniques can help learners to model problems, connect concepts, and map arguments in discussions. This knowledge-mapping tool can be used as an individual or group tool to summarize discussions in forum, chats, and Web videoconference; and to develop brainstorming activities to explore new ideas,

Figure 1. Compendiumdragging and dropping information to facilitate reading and interpretation through icons, comments, and tags



OpenLearn and Knowledge Maps for Language Learning

Table 1. Open content initiatives. More examples can be accessed at http://www.hewlett.org/Programs/ Education/OER/OpenContent/
MIT OpenCourseWare (USA) Rice Connexions (USA) ParisTech OCW (France) CORE (China) Japanese OCW Alliance (Japan) http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/ http://cnx.rice.edu/ http://graduateschool.paristech.org/ http://www.core.org.cn/en/index.htm http://www.jocw.jp/

organize key concepts from text, and structure arguments to write essays. Figure 1 shows an example of Compendium task. Compendium allows users to include any kind of files in the map, for example video, text, Web pages, figures, tables, graphics, and sound. Its key feature is its ability to categorize information through a set of different types of icons which represent questions, ideas, pros, cons, references, notes, decisions, lists, and maps. The tool allows users to develop their own sets of icons and groups these using stencils. Each icon in Compendium can be classified by keywords called tags. When the map contains a lot of information, users can search by tags and types of icons, which facilitates the construction of new maps based on specific themes. Knowledge maps are a very useful strategy to select, connect, and share meaningful information from open sources available on the Web. It is a way of integrating different viewpoints, interpretations, and meanings facilitating the process of sense making. (Compendium, 2007; Buckingham Shum, 2005a, 2005b). There are many free language materials not only in the OpenLearn project, but also in other open content initiatives developed by academic institutions, indicated in Table 1. In order to learn about specific topics, teachers can remix the most interesting learning resources by selecting, ordering, and sharing OER from different sources through maps. Then learners can visualize a meaningful sequence of different

possibilities and navigate easily through different resources, saving a reasonable amount of time. They can also download these maps and gather more language learning materials from various sources by dragging and dropping them onto Compendium, sequence them into their own learning path, and publish their maps helping their peers with new combinations. A learning path map is similar to my favorite list or the del.icio.us Web application. It can easily combine a sequence of the most exciting Web pages about language learning. However, this graphical representation is a more attractive and meaningful diagram (map) than a simple sequence of URLs (list). Moreover, it has the advantage of offering more possibilities: multiple sequences, extra information, personal comments represented by symbols and classified by categories. There are many mapping techniques used to create maps, such as mind mapping, concept mapping, Web mapping, and argument mapping. Theses mapping techniques can be very useful for teachers while designing learning activities, and for students when planning their tasks and answering questions while developing reading and writing skills. The next section will discuss further information on some mapping techniques. The examples illustrating each technique are from the OpenLearn unit, L550-3 Business EnglishPresenting the Decision. These maps were created by CoLearn Community and can be accessed in the LearningSpace (http://labspace. open.ac.uk/colearn).



OpenLearn and Knowledge Maps for Language Learning

knoWLEdgE Mapping tEchniQuEs appLiEd to LanguagE LEarning Mind Mapping


Mind mapping was developed by Buzan around 1974 in the popular book Use Your Head. Thoughts are often difficult to represent in a linear order and initially appear without logical structure. Mind mapping allows ideas to be represented non-linearly, using keywords, sentences, and pictures in graphic form. The elements are connected by lines and arrows, with short descriptions. Mind mapping is a useful technique by which to generate new ideas, like brainstorming. Through mind maps, students can generate a large number of keywords as an initial step for solving a problem. This technique is helpful in developing creativity, and learners can organize their initial ideas related to a subject to develop a project, write an essay, or prepare a presentation. For example, Figure 2 shows a mind map constructed to answer the activity: What questions

could you elaborate about relocation during an interview? Using Compendium, students can map their initial ideas, bringing in as many keywords as possible. Then, for each keyword, they can elaborate a question.

concept Mapping
Concept mapping was developed by Novak in the 1970s based on Ausubels theory of meaningful learning. This constructivist approach emphasized that learning with understanding only takes place when new concepts are connected to what is already known. Concept maps externalize a learners current knowledge structure, helping them to see connections with new information and make sense of it (Novak, 1990). Concept mapping is a mapping technique used to construct relationships between concepts. Learners can create concept maps to show important keywords from a Web page, explain their meaning, and connect them to other definitions from the Internet and to familiar keywords representing their existing knowledge.

Figure 2. Mind map created with Compendium, questions about relocation, Business English (http:// kmi.open.ac.uk/projects/osc/compendium/mmap/)



OpenLearn and Knowledge Maps for Language Learning

Figure 3. Concept map created with Compendium, questions about relocation, Business English (http://kmi.open.ac.uk/projects/osc/compendium/cmap/)

For example, the concept map created through Compendium in Figure 3 shows keywords used to describe reported speech. It represents a network of key concepts and the relationships between them.

dialogue Mapping
Dialogue mapping was developed by Conklin (2006) to solve wicked problems and share an understanding of these during discussion. It is also derived from the Issue-Based Information System (IBIS) developed by Rittel in the 1970s to solve ill-structured problems. IBIS is a rhetorical grammar with three core elementsissues, positions, and argumentsall of which can be rendered as textual outlines and graphical maps that grow with the conversation. Dialogue mapping is a sense-making strategy useful for structuring reasoning based on questions, statements, pros, cons, and conclusions. Dialogue maps can be applied to prepare and present a set of arguments, develop a logical line of reasoning, and facilitate critical thinking.

Learners can create these maps with Compendium to organize argumentation in face-to-face meetings and online conversations such as discussion forums, Web videoconferences, chats, or from texts and video clips. Dialogue maps can contain many kinds of resources such as videos, pictures, audio, graphs, text, forums, or Web conferences. Figure 4 is an example of a dialogue map. Figures 4 and 5 show the process in which a dialogue map was created from an audio clip about interviewing for relocation. This dialogue map was a useful strategy for taking notes and recording the main statements made during the conversation. After constructing the map, students can export using outline view, which shows a linear sequence of arguments. They can then produce a text using reported speech.

argument Mapping
Argument mapping was developed by J.H. Wigmore in 1913 to help in the analysis of legal arguments by showing the evidence for each claim and how it is related in the structure of the argument.

0

OpenLearn and Knowledge Maps for Language Learning

Figure 4. Dialogue map created with Compendium, interview about relocation (http://kmi.open.ac.uk/ projects/osc/compendium/dmap/)

Figure 5. Report speech generated from a dialogue map, outline view in Compendium

This mapping technique is also widely used in informal logic and in the teaching of philosophy and critical thinking (Harrell, 2005; van Gelder, 2001; Van Gelder, Bissett, & Cumming, 2004). Therefore it is another technique which can be used to develop critical and logic thinking. In an argument map, statements are organized in

a coherent structure based on claims, reasons, and objections. In order to develop reasoning, several questions can be asked: What is the main preposition? What are the evidences? What are the reasons for and against? Through questioning, stronger arguments can be selected and a better conclusion can be reached. Argument maps are



OpenLearn and Knowledge Maps for Language Learning

Figure 6. Argument map created with Compendium, outline view and reported speech on relocation (http://kmi.open.ac.uk/projects/osc/compendium/amap/)

also an efficient way to represent the key line of reasoning because they extract the logical and coherent essence of thinking, leaving out what is not relevant or what does not add value. Visualizing the process of thinking through argument helps students reflect on content and develop better structures. Figure 6 shows an example of an argument map about moving from small towns to big cities. As we can see, through this argument map created in Compendium, learners can draw their reasoning by structuring claims, objections, and reasons.

Web Mapping
The technique known as Web mapping developed in response to the rapid growth of the Internet. The huge number of Web sites and overflow of information can cause users to become lost in cyberspace. Web maps enable users to record

their navigation using icons, hypertext, and hyperlinks. Cartography tools permit selection of what is relevant in cyberspace, indexing and retrieving hypermedia Web material (Dodge & Kitchin, 2000). Web mapping is a useful technique to group and share important references from learning materials and from the Web. The example of a Web map in Figure 7, which was created in Compendium, shows interesting Web sites relating Business Englishpresenting Decisions grouped by categories such as activities, videos, Web pages, vocabulary lists, PDF files, and maps. Teachers and students can select not only material from the OpenLearn environment, but also from other learning resources available on the Web, such as concepts in Wikipedia, videos in YouTube, and pictures in Flickr.



OpenLearn and Knowledge Maps for Language Learning

Figure 7. Web map created with Compendium, interesting resources about Business EnglishDecisions (http://kmi.open.ac.uk/projects/osc/compendium/wmap/)

FostEring opEn LanguagE coMMunitiEs


Open educational resources and tools are not restricted to academic or scientific institutions, but comprise all learning communities. These include communities of practice, knowledgecreating communities, groups of peers, and all individual learners interested in learning about similar topics. However, there are challenges facing open learning communities. These challenges, such as finding new peers and interacting to keep the community alive, and managing their own learning through assessment, are discussed in the following subsections.

Finding new peers to interact and Learn Language together


In addition to Compendium, OpenLearn integrates two other knowledge media technologies, FlashMeeting and MSG. These tools can be used

to find new peers, foster language learning communities, and promote the collective building of knowledge. Firstly, MSG is an instant messaging application with geolocation maps that allow students to find fellow learners. Like personal radar, it shows who is online and where. With one click, language students can chat by sending instant messages. A key advantage of MSG, compared to other instant messenging systems such as MSN Messenger, AIM, and GTalk, is its full integration into the LearningSpace and LabSpace environments. Participants can see who is currently online and can immediately communicate synchronously. Participants can access a list of contacts automatically generated in MSG based on the courses they have enrolled in (MSG, 2007). Secondly, FlashMeeting is a Web-based videoconferencing application. This new media system offers instant meetingany time, any place, and any platform. The applet is implemented in Adobe Flash, a widely available and highly compatible



OpenLearn and Knowledge Maps for Language Learning

Figure 8. FlashMeeting is a Web videoconferencing application offering instant online meetings

Figure 9. FlashMeeting Memo applet showing a peer-to-peer event (left), chat (right), and timeline (bottom) (http://flashmeeting.open.ac.uk/)

type of browser plug-in. It is incredibly lightweight, efficient, and pleasing to the eye. Based on Flash MX Server technology, through FlashMeeting it is possible organize, record, edit, and share virtual meetings. Meeting recordings can be annotated with comments and tags. Every part

of the meeting is a URL, so any event, comment, text chat, or speaker in the meeting can be directly referred to (FlashMeeting, 2007). Figure 8 shows the FlashMeeting screen where participants were discussing the OpenLearn project. A language learner or a teacher can book a meeting and the



OpenLearn and Knowledge Maps for Language Learning

system generates a URL. This URL can then be shared to the language learning community by e-mail or via MSG. The replay is browsed by navigating through the names of the attendees or via the timeline which represents the length of each broadcast. There are different kinds of FlashMeeting events such as seminars held by experts, video lectures on a variety of topics, Webcast talks, interviews of e-learning specialists, moderated project meetings, peer-to-peer student meetings, and many other examples.

Figure 10. A FlashMeeting maps in Compendium

resources for open Learning assessment


Through FlashMeeting, participants can exchange interesting URLs, questions, possible answers, arguments, and some possible conclusions. FlashMeeting allows participants to create labels to mark specific segments in the meeting, and they can also type keywords in the FlashMeeting chat log. After the event, the FlashMeeting Memos generate a set of metadata, available in an XML file, which can be imported into Compendium and turned automatically into knowledge maps. Through these maps, participants can visualize a summary of key information exchanged in the meeting, including temporal and conceptual references: Figure 10 shows several Compendium maps related to a FlashMeeting about the OpenLearn project. These maps introduce an overview of the Web conference: attendees, who spoke when, chat, URLS visited, whiteboard, voting, keywords, and meeting files chat. The map in Figure 11 allows the user to keep track of who spoke when. The map in Figure 12 includes all URLs shared and visited during the event. Users can click and navigate on the Web sites suggested by attendees in the meeting. Figure 11. Keeping track of who spoke when

Figure 12. Mapping the URLs visited along with their time during the event



OpenLearn and Knowledge Maps for Language Learning

Figure 13. Mapping questions, ideas, pros and cons discussed on the webconference

Students can use these communication channels provided in FlashMeeting differently, which also includes whiteboard, URLs, lists, and a voting system. Through these graphs, it is possible to identify participation according to: Each users percentage of the total event audio-visual talk time, and The proportion of the number of chat messages that the user made compared to the number of messages of the most active participant.(Scott, Quick, Tomadaki, & Linney, 2007a).

The map in Figure 13 presents questions, ideas, pros, and cons discussed on the Web conference.

All the elements in the knowledge maps illustrated by Figures 10-13 and created in Compendium are automatically linked to the Web videoconference. Therefore, participants can use them to replay only interesting segments. Through the maps, they can evaluate the content of the meeting and also their learning during the event. They can edit maps and organize new connections in a strategy to reorganize their learning and reconstruct their knowledge.

using graphs to Evaluate participation in Language Learning Meetings


Another way of evaluating participation language learning meeting is through linear and polar visualizations of the broadcast and chat dominance per attendee automatically generated by FlashMeeting. Through these graphs, students and teachers can visualize how knowledge is transferred via a range of communication channels, such as audio, video, and text chat (Scott, Tomadaki, & Quick, 2007b).

Some events in FlashMeeting present graphs with similar features. For instance, in virtual seminars and lectures, the main presenter takes up nearly all of the broadcast time, and the graphs will show the dominance of one person. Interviews will show the presence of the interviewee and the interviewer. A collaborative student meeting will show similar participation among participants, which can be a good indicator for quantitative analyses. The knowledge map can show the content of contributions, which can be tagged to indicate the quality of participation. Therefore, through graphs and knowledge maps, the OpenLearn community can identify if the meeting was productive, if time was well shared between all participants, and if the quality of content was meaningful. Sometimes, some participants may talk less than others, but their contribution in terms of ideas, references, and questions can be of more quality than that of colleagues who are more talkative. Additionally, graphs and maps can offer data for both quantitative and qualitative analysis.

Mapping social presence using Msg and FlashMeeting


Social presence is an indispensable feature for language learning communities. In Biocca, Burgoon, Harms, and Stoner (2001) (Okada et



OpenLearn and Knowledge Maps for Language Learning

Figure 14. The broadcast dominance

Figure 15.The chat dominance



OpenLearn and Knowledge Maps for Language Learning

Figure 16. MSG, displaying the availability on contacts of the same course worldwide. (kmi.open. ac.uk/technologies/msg/about/)

al., forthcoming), social presence is described as being there in other places and being there with other people. Mapping social presence can be a strategy in visualizing collective intelligence, diversity of participants from different countries, the most popular events, the biggest communities, and so forth. Students and teachers can identify who and where specialists are, the most interactive communities, and the most popular events. By providing geo-locations of the individuals who may be relevant to a specific knowledge domain, students can easily contact people available online or face to face. An instant messaging system, MSG offers a set of presence attributes such as time, context, availability, location, and activity. All these indicators can help students meet other fellow learners with similar interests or in interesting and interactive language learning communities. They can then access a list of contacts which may provide peer support during learning activities. Figure 16 illustrates the availability of contacts throughout the globe, mapping who is online and available to be contacted.

FlashMeeting also shows geographic maps on the location of participants. Through these geographic maps, which are generated automatically, participants in the community and possible new members can see the distribution of users for both the attendance of live FlashMeeetings and FlashMeeting replay access. These maps are useful in illustrating: 1. How the tool is being used to connect people from the same social network or community of practice, and The learning impact of the event reuse in different parts of the world.

2.

The geographic maps in Figures 17 and 18 related to a FlashMeeting event, the live OpenLearn Web Conference (FlashMeetingCompendium) on Open Content and Metadata, which was held in March 2006 and attended by 14 participants located in different parts of Europe and South America. The public replay was viewed 228 times by different users in Europe, Australia, Asia, and



OpenLearn and Knowledge Maps for Language Learning

Figure 17. 13 Live FlashMeeting attendees of the OpenLearn webconference in March 2006

Figure 18. 228 unique IPs of the viewersOpenLearn webconference replay in October 2007

Africa, as well as in South and North America, in March 2007.

concLusion and FuturE rEsEarch


In conclusion, a heightened understanding of influential factors that shape the effectiveness of

peer interactions is essential to fostering open learning communities. Knowledge media tools such as Compendium, FlashMeeting, and MSG have indicated new possibilities for language acquisition. New strategies such as knowledge mapping, interactive discussions through Web videoconferencing, and finding new peers through geolocation instant messaging have been seen to be very useful in the development of language-



OpenLearn and Knowledge Maps for Language Learning

learning skills. Open learning communities are a valuable opportunity for students to manage their own process of learning by: Learning to learn, Encouraging time management, Self-motivating, Developing critical thinking, Mapping information and knowledge, Organizing their own learning path, and Exploring new learning styles. The are also valuable to learn with others by: Collaborative/cooperative learning, Studying in groups, Solving conflict and difficulties together, Encouraging peer mediation, Active listening, Sense making, Broadening their network of social relationships, Facilitating situated language learning in real context, and Encouraging collective feedback and selfassessment

rEFErEncEs
Aigrain, P. (2004). The individual and the collective in open information communities. Proceedings of the 16th BLED Electronic Commerce Conference (pp. 9-11). Retrieved January 17, 2007, from http://opensource.mit.edu/papers/aigrain3.pdf Biocca, F., Burgoon, J., Harms, C., & Stoner, M. (2001). Criteria and scope conditions for a theory and measure of social presence. Proceedings of the Presence 2001 Conference, Philadelphia. Buckingham Shum, S. (2005a). Knowledge technologies in context. Open University Press Buckingham Shum, S. (2005b, September). From open content repositories to open sensemaking communities. Proceedings of the Conference on Open Educational Resources, Logan, UT. Buzan, T. (1974). Use your head. London: BBC Books. Conklin, J. (2006). Dialogue mapping: Building shared understanding of wicked problems. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Cedergren, M. (2003). Open content and value creation. First Monday, 8(8). Retrieved January 17, 2007, from http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue8_8/cedergren/ Dholakia, U.M., King, J.W., & Baraniuk, R. (2006). What makes an open education program sustainable? The case of Connexions. Retrieved January 17, 2007, from http://www.oecd.org/ dataoecd/3/6/36781781.pdf Dodge, M., & Kitchin, R. (2000). Mapping cyberspace. London: Routledge. Downes, S. (2006). Models for sustainable open educational resources. Retrieved January 17, 2007, from http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page. cgi?post=33401

In our future research, our aim is to investigate how participants of language learning communities in the OpenLearn project can develop their abilities to foster their language learning communities through these tools and contribute with the open content initiative. OpenLearn is potentially an effective learning environment for language acquisition. The concept of openness marks a profound shift in theories and methods of language learning, involving developing skills, constructing and sharing knowledge collaboratively, and participating as active learners. Students move from simply following information/instructions/ rules to discussing and making sense of these, as well as reconstructing and sharing meanings collectively.
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OpenLearn and Knowledge Maps for Language Learning

Einsenstadt, M., & Vicent, T. (1998). The knowledge Web learning and collaborating on the Net. London: Kogan Page. FlashMeeting. (2007). FlashMeeting: The simple meeting tool that works in a Web browser and creates instant Web replays. Retrieved from http://flashmeeting.open.ac.uk/ Jarman, S. (2005). Open content initiative application to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Retrieved January 17, 2007, from http://www.open.ac.uk/openlearn/_ _assets/ 06sngpqpwminsmwxov.pdf Jefferson, C.A., Kirschner, P., Carr, C., & Buckingham-Shum, S. (2003). Visualizing argumentation: Software tools for collaborative and educational sense-making. London: Springer. Hurley, P. (2003). A concise introduction to logic. Wadsworth. MSG. (2007). MSGThe worlds simplest instant messenger. Retrieved from http://kmi.open. ac.uk/technologies/msg/launch/ Novak, J.D. (1990). Concept maps and vee diagrams: Two metacognitive tools to facilitate meaningful learning. Instructional Sciences, 19, 29-52. Novak, J.D., & Gowin, B.D. (1984). Learning how to learn. New York: Cambridge University Press. Okada, A., Buckingham Shum, S., Bachler, M., Tomadaki, E., Scott, P., & Eisenstadt, A. (forthcoming). Knowledge media tools to foster social learning. In S. Hatzipanagos & S. Warburton (Eds.), Social Software and developing Community Ontology. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. Okada, A. (2007, January). Technologies for open learning in collaborative communities. Proceedings of the Technology, Knowledge and Society Conference (TKS 2007), Cambridge, UK.

Okada, A., & Buckingham Shum, S. (2006, September 3-6). Knowledge mapping with Compendium in academic research and online education. Proceedings of the 22nd ICDE World Conference, Rio de Janeiro (www.icde22.org.br). Okada, A., Buckingham Shum, S., & Sherborne, T. (2008). Knowledge cartography: Mapping techniques and software tools. London: Springer. Okada, A., Tomadaki, E., Buckingham Shum, S., & Scott, P. (2007). Combining knowledge mapping and videoconferencing for open sensemaking communities. Proceedings of Open Education 2007: Localizing and Learning 4th Annual Open Education Conference. Retrieved from http://cosl. usu.edu/conferences/opened2007/ Open Source Initiative. (2007). Homepage. Retrieved January 17, 2007, from http://www. opensource.org/ Reagle, J. (2004). Open content communities. M/ C: A Journal of Media and Culture, 7. Retrieved January 17, 2007, from http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0406/06_Reagle.rft.php Reagle, J. (2006). Notions of openness. Retrieved January 17, 2007, from http://numenor.lib.uic. edu/fmconference/viewpaper.php?id=36 Scott, P., Quick, K., Tomadaki, E., & Linney, J. (2007a, January). Ambient video-awareness for building working communities. Proceedings of the Technology, Knowledge and Society Conference (TKS 2007), Cambridge, UK. Scott, P.J., Tomadaki, E., & Quick, K. (2007b). The shape of live online meetings. International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, 3. Stadler, F., & Hirsh, J. (2002). Open source intelligence. First-Monday, 7(6). Retrieved January 17, 2007, from http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue7_6/stalder/

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Van Gelder, T. (2001). How to improve critical thinking using educational technology. Retrieved from http://www.philosophy.unimelb. edu.au/reason/papers/ASCILITE2001.pdf Van Gelder, T.J., Bissett, M., & Cumming, G. (2004). Cultivating expertise in informal reasoning. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 58, 142-152. Willinsky, J. (2006). The access principle: The case for open access to research and scholarship. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

where they have come from, and where they are going to, and is thus self-correcting if they get off topic. The shared display map shifts the dynamic of the group into a collaborative mode: What can we think and learn together? The map focuses the group on a kind of lightly logical perspective as they work on the issues at hand. The map increases the groups shared understanding about the problem at hand, possible solutions, meaning issues, roles and responsibilitiesall of the key elements of a successful project. Knowledge Mapping: A technique for knowledge visualization that aims to facilitate the creation and communication of knowledge through the use of computer and non-computerbased, complementary, graphic representation techniques. Examples of such visual formats are information graphics, sketches, diagrams, images, maps, interactive visualizations, dynamic visuals (animations), imaginary visualizations, storyboards, or even physical objects for inspection. While information visualization concentrates on the use of computer-supported tools to explore a large amount of abstract data, knowledge visualization focuses on the transfer or creation of knowledge among people. Beyond the mere transfer of facts, knowledge visualization aims to further create or transfer insights, experiences, attitudes, values, expectations, perspectives, opinions, and predictions by using various complementary visualizations. Dynamic forms of visualization such as educational animation have the potential to enhance understandings of systems that change over time. Mind Mapping: A diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged radially around a central keyword or idea. Used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, and decision making. It is an image-centered diagram that represents semantic or other connections between portions of information. By presenting these connections

kEY tErMs
Argument Mapping: A visual representation of the structure of an argument in informal logic. It includes the components of an argument such as a main contention, premises, co-premises, objections, rebuttals, and lemmas. Argument maps are often used in the teaching of reasoning and critical thinking, and can support the analysis of pros and cons when deliberating over wicked problems. Concept Mapping: A technique for visualizing the relationships between different concepts. A concept map is a diagram showing the relationships between concepts. Concepts are connected with labeled arrows, in a downward-branching hierarchical structure. The relationship between concepts is articulated in linking phrases, for example, gives rise to, results in, is required by, or contributes to. Dialogue Mapping: A structural augmentation of group communication. As the conversation unfolds and the map grows, each person can see a summary of the discussion so far. The map serves as a group memory, virtually eliminating the need for participants to repeat themselves to get their points made. Other benefits of dialogue mapping include: the group sees where they are,

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in a radial, non-linear graphical manner, it encourages a brainstorming approach to any given organizational task, eliminating the hurdle of initially establishing an intrinsically appropriate or relevant conceptual framework to work within. Open Educational Resources: Term first adopted at UNESCOs 2002 Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Open educational resources are educational materials and resources offered freely and openly for anyone to use, and under some licenses remix, improve, and redistribute. Open educational resources include: learning content: full courses, course materials, content modules, learning objects, collections, and journals; tools: software to support the creation, delivery, use, and improvement of open learning content including searching and organization of content, content and learning management systems, content development tools, and online learning communities; and implementation resources: intellectual property licenses to promote open publishing of materials, design-principles, and localization of content.

Open Language Learning: A teaching method for language acquisition based on open educational resources, open source technologies, and online communities. Open learning was founded on the work of Clestin Freinet and Maria Montessori. Open learning aims to allow pupils self-determined, independent, and interest-guided learning. More recent work on open learning has been conducted by pedagogues Hans Brgelmann, Falko Peschel, Jrg Ramseger, and Wulf Wallrabenstein. Due to the rapid development of information and communication technologies, open learning has been associated with free learning resources, collaborative study, and open communities. Web Mapping: The process of designing, implementing, generating, and delivering maps on the World Wide Web. While Web mapping primarily deals with technological issues, Web cartography additionally studies theoretic aspects: the use of Web maps, the evaluation and optimization of techniques and workflows, the usability of Web maps, social aspects, and more.

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Projects, Potentials, and Pitfalls


Ria Hanewald La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia

Learning Objects:

Chapter VII

abstract
This chapter provides an overview of the field of digital objects and repositories. It introduces the concepts of digital objects and repositories, their purposes, and their abilities to develop a coherent understanding of their nature and function. It continues by identifying and describing a number of generic and language-specific repositories. Examples of language objects are given to illustrate potentials and pitfalls. The review and dissemination of knowledge about these innovative resources assists educators in embracing new portals for teaching and learning languages with the most recent technologies. How they are being used and how this might fit into the future of language education is outlined to capitalize on their potential while avoiding the pitfalls. It is argued that showcasing repositories, promoting leading practice among language educators, and advocating high-quality digital resources prevents the further marginalization of language education in online environments. The main issue of standardization and neutrality are outlined, and the tension of value-free learning objects vs. the values embedded in the cultural aspects integral to language teaching and learning are explored. The chapter concludes with future research opportunities on learning objects, specifically in relation to the field of language acquisition to ensure adequate design and thus worthwhile use of future digital resources.

introduction
This chapter is a reference for practitioners and researchers interested in learning objects, and their potential and application in the field of language education. The principal goal of this chapter is

a general introduction to learning objects: their definition, current trends, and future directions in the field. The more specific objectives include an understanding of the basic terms, an outline of the current discussion on their various abilities, the main issues in creating and reusing learning

Copyright 2009, IGI Global, distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Global is prohibited.

Learning Objects

objects, specific examples and applications, a discussion on the contradictions of value-free content and cultural values, and suggestions for future research. The intention of this chapter is to stimulate original approaches, to introduce innovative resources, to encourage leading-edge practice in order to utilize the potential, and to pave the way for future research. It is argued that there is a marginalization of languages in online environments and that familiarity with digital learning objects and their active usage is needed to counteract this trend. Also, it is hypothesized that advocacy is required to ensure high content quality, cultural appropriateness, and relevance in the development of future learning objects. The main section of the chapter covers the conceptualization, standardization, and application of learning objects and repositories. It introduces and promotes learning objects and repositories to raise awareness and interest. A definition of key terms and the clarification of main concepts are followed by an identification of commonalities and differences in the variety of digital resource offerings and how this relates to integration into existing language acquisition programs. A ready-made collection of relevant, quality digital repositories is presented to facilitate use and to build a community of practitioners. The contradictions of the striving for value freeness of digital resources is explored and contrasted with the realities of value richness in culturally based languages. The gap in the literature on discussions of the lack and future incorporation of cultural aspects in language learning objects is uncovered. It identifies potential implications for practitioners interested in the development of additional digital objects and highlights the need for research in that area. By identifying disparities and distinct approaches to the design of learning objects for language education, the importance of considerations for future development of new digital resources is emphasized.

Overall, the chapter aims to add to existing knowledge about learning objects within the specific context of language education by outlining definitions, explanations of abilities, relevant applications and models, considerations for the development of new digital resources, and future research opportunities.

background
Over the last few years, there has been an explosion of digital resources, namely learning objects and repositories. Currently, more than 65.8 million learning objects and 511 million digital repository references1 are readily available through Web-based applications. They are either commercially provided or through the efforts of universities and funded projects of governments around the world. Previously, each online course had been mostly designed as a whole and thus in undividable units, with some providing modular subsections. Current e-learning practice is moving away from developing whole modules or courses towards producing the resources that form the components of these blocks of learning (Wharrad & Leeder, 2003). These blocks of learning are packaged as learning objects, which can be easily downloaded, modified, repurposed, and used on CD, DVD, or other electronic environments such as intranets and learning management systems (i.e., WebCT and Blackboard). The distinctive feature of learning objects is the fact that they can be used either independently as a standalone activity or part of a larger unit of work. The latter can be achieved through assembly of several learning objects to form a cluster of activities or incorporation of a learning object into an already existing course. It is this flexibility in addition to a number of other -abilities that comprise the superiority of learning objects over traditional online delivery (McGreal, 2004).

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dEFinition oF LEarning obJEcts and rEpositoriEs


The concept behind learning objects is not new, as educators have shared text-based resources on the Web since its inception (i.e., Daves ESL Caf, http://www.eslcafe.com/; super Language Web sites, http://www.uni.edu/becker/): In the mid-1990s, relatively simple learning objects were made available informally, as instructors shared syllabi, lesson plans, and learning activities. Later, more complex and/or topic-specific repositories came into existence as museums, journals and magazines, educational television, and other organizations placed content on the Web and encouraged it to be used for educational purposes. (Smith Nash, 2005, p. 218) However, learning objects can include any media type (e.g., text, graphics, audio, video, animation, games, tests, and simulations), macro skill, and teaching purpose. This stimuli combination offered through the multimedia content exceeds traditional learning resources. It makes learning objects surpass previous Web-based resources.

Currently, a number of terms are in use (e.g., learning objects, digital objects, content objects, educational objects, information objects, knowledge objects, media objects, units of learning) to identify units that are digital, reusable, and are intended to support learning (McGreal, 2004, p. 9). The lack of consensus on the definition and terminology is caused by different focus and conceptual underpinnings. In the context of this chapter, the term of learning objectscoined in 2000 by Wayne Hodgins2 is most appropriate and will be used (Jacobsen, 2001). The choice was based on learning, indicating its inherent purpose within educational settings, and object, denoting an asset that can be used and reused in a variety of ways. However, while every video clip, text document, picture, graph, and so on in digital file format can be used as an online resource and constitutes a digital object, it is not automatically a learning object. Learning objects have special characteristics that distinguish them from the more common learning resources with which most educators would be familiar (Sosteric & Hesemeier, 2004, p. 32).

Figure 1. Example of a digital object, 2008 Ria Hanewald (Used with permission)

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Learning Objects

The picture in Figure 1 is used to exemplify the difference between a digital object and a learning object. By itself, the picture can be used as a multimedia element to support computer-assisted language learning. However, to become effective it needs to be embedded into instructional context that is underpinned by a particular pedagogical intent. For example, this image might be aimed at illustrating architecture of the target country via a typical street scene; or it might be geared towards discussion on appropriate clothing due to climatic conditions; or it might be directed at common ways of shopping via street vendors; or it might be utilized to introduce a dialogue for purchasing tropical fruit; or it might be utilized to make the cultural point of negotiating prices for items on sale. Without the contextual information, educators have no guidance on how to use the image and must be reliant on their own background information or their own creativity in interpreting the teaching and learning potential of each resource. From a pedagogical perspective, the difference that distinguishes a learning object from any other digital resource is therefore the instructional information, the teaching context, and the underpinning educational intent. From a technical perspective, the Learning Technology Standards Committee of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE, 2007) clarifies that: Learning Objects are defined here as any entity, digital or non-digital, which can be used, re-used or referenced during technology supported learning. Examples of technology supported learning include computer-based training systems, interactive learning environments, intelligent computer-aided instruction systems, distance learning systems, and collaborative learning environments. Examples of Learning Objects include multimedia content, instructional content, learning objectives, instructional software and software tools, and persons, organizations, or events referenced during technology supported learning.

These learning objects or digital objects are kept in a collection or in a storage area called a digital repository. Repositories help to locate and deliver the learning object(s). Most repositories are standalone. A digital repository provides a flexible and discipline-independent mechanism for storing and managing digital objects, thus enhancing integrating learning and research environments (Richardson, 2004, p. 6). Learning object repositories are rather new, with a number of universities and funded government projects around the world having established them as recently as 2003 (i.e., eduSource and SchoolNet in Canada, Curriculum Online in the UK, HEAL and iLumina in the U.S.). Given that in 2000, 98% of public schools in the United States had Internet access, with 12.2 million computers available in American classrooms and 76.6 million students, and a total of $380.4 billion spent on the public school system (U.S. Census Bureau, 2007), the use and reuse of electronically available materials in digital repositories by educators and students alike is a financially savvy strategy.

proJEcts coMpiLing gEnEric LEarning obJEct rEpositoriEs


The reason for presenting a collection of repositories here in this section is twofold: promotional and practical. Firstly, they raise awareness of and facilitate use in repositories and learning objects among educators interested in delivering content through the Word Wide Web; and secondly, they provide practitioners with a ready-made collection of relevant, quality electronic resources in language learning contexts, thus making best use of the time available by preventing cumbersome searches. These repositories are chosen foremost because of their high quality, with some being appraised by fellow associates in their areas of expertise. This point is illustrated on MERLOT (see below for more details), which is:

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largely modeled on the academic peer review process for scholarly research and publication familiar to a university faculty. The MERLOT Web site currently supports 14 discipline-specific communities, each with an editorial board that guides peer review policies and practices. (Nesbit & Belfer, 2004, p. 145) All selected repository project sources and providers are essentially non-profit organizations. The target audience is either pitched at a particular educational level (i.e., primary, secondary, and tertiary) or geographic vicinity (i.e., school clusters, university networks, states, countries), and all details are current.5 The generic repositories hold scholarly articles on the wider theme of language acquisition and the area of applied linguistics. Designated sections are created for language learning objects, which can be readily employed in the classroom. In the language acquisition context, some of the repositories are bilingual and are thus equally useful as authentic materials in teaching and learning context, and as a professional development opportunity for language proficiency maintenance of teachers. The following generic repositories are listed in alphabetical order.

collection is divided into educational sector (e.g., early childhood, vocational, and technical education; adults and community education; higher education). A wide range of subjects are covered (http://www.edna.edu.au/edna/go).

eduSource (Canadian Network of Learning objects repositories)


This is a fully bilingual (English/French) project designed for Canadian learners that caters for users with disabilities. A smaller format (thumbnail) is provided as a visual reference, and a button allows viewing of the metadata (full record and summary) for each learning object (http://www. edusource.ca/).

MErLot (Multimedia Educational resource for Learning and online teaching)


Designed for higher education purposes, namely academic staff and students, this is a free and open collection. It is undertaken by the California state university system and provides learning materials, assignments, and reviews. The MERLOT World Languages Portal is divided into tips for teaching, learning materials, a member directory for networking, professional organizations, and regular showcases (http://worldlanguages. merlot.org/).

curriculum online
All the resources offered are supporting the British curriculum and its division into key stages from school entry age to about 16 years of age. The digital resources are searchable by key stage; subject and topic with some are available for purchase while others are free (http://www. curriculumonline.gov.uk/).

the Le@rning Federation


An initiative funded by the Australian, state and territory, and New Zealand governments which produces learning objects free to primary and secondary schools in Australia and New Zealand (http://www.thelearningfederation.edu. au/tlf2/). The above inventory of repositories is not intended to be comprehensive, but rather to present a ready-made collection of reputable and stable projects that enable the novice entry into

EdNA (Education Network Australia)


The network is a joint initiative of the Australian government and state and territory governments. More than 16,000 materials are freely available for teachers and learners. The online resource

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Learning Objects

the subject matter and provide educators with a repertoire of digital resources and best practice examples for general educational purposes.

LearningLanguages.net
A portal with online foreign language resources for teachers of French, Japanese, and Spanish. It is aimed at English-speaking students from primary to secondary age (http://www.learninglanguages.net).

proJEcts coMpiLing LanguagE-spEciFic LEarning obJEct rEpositoriEs


The overall criteria for selection and inclusion of the next repositories correspond to those described in the above section on generic repositories. These repositories are specific to language education and are suggested as the basic foundation for an ever-expanding collection. This directory in the area of language acquisition extends the general repertoire of repositories to discipline specific ones and are particularly relevant to the professional practice of language educators as they are considered examples of best practice.

sLoop project (sharing Learning objects in an open perspective)


This project aims to produce a digital repository of free learning objects in several languages. It is co-funded by the European Community (http:// sloop.tes.mi.it/sloop/).

nLn (National Learning Network)


This project, funded by the UK government, holds 2,251 learning objects designed for the Adult and Community Learning Sector, with one of the main topics being English for Speakers of Other Languages. It is password protected and requires setup of an account with a waiting time of up to 48 hours until access has been granted (http://www.nln.ac.uk/). This concludes the portion of the chapter that provided examples of repositories and a short description of their offerings. It introduced some of the current applications that are being used, gave a general overview with selected generic repositories, and then moved into language-specific examples of learning object collections, while aiming to offer readers the opportunity to embrace new technologies and to exploit their potential. Overall, there is a rich assortment of various digital learning objects across disciplines with a pronounced shortage in the area of language acquisition. Observable is rapid growth in repositories for the natural sciences, with focus on teaching and learning content on computer science and mathematics. Increasingly, discipline-specific repositories are emerging in the social sciences.

ariadnE (European knowledge pool system)


The collection contains materials on a wide variety of interactivity levels in many European languages (i.e., Dutch, English, French, German, and Italian) (http://www.ariadne-eu.org/).

Languages online
A free site provided by the Department of Education and Training in Victoria, Australia, for students learning French, German, Indonesian, or Italian. There are over 800 tasks and games in 33 topic-based sections which are self-paced and self-correcting. Over 170 printable worksheets with a variety of guided speaking, reading, writing, and research tasks complement the online activities (http://www.education.vic.gov. au/languagesonline/).

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Learning Objects

In stark contrast, the field of linguistics is notably under-serviced, language teaching and learning specific repositories are scarce, and few learning objects have yet been developed. While the area of learning objects is still in its infancy and repositories are growing only for the more prevalent languages, practitioners are encouraged to increase their professional expertise by using learning objects, but also to develop and contribute their own materials to repositories. This will ensure that the languages domain is well resourced and represented to avoid a peripheral existence.

initiaL pitFaLLs and potEntiaL oF LEarning obJEcts and rEpositoriEs


One of the drawbacks is that some learning object repositories or LORs can be difficult to navigate, and the object difficult to integrate into ones online course (Smith Nash, 2005, p. 218). At the time of Smith Nashs writing, these navigation problems were most likely due to repositories still being under construction and learning objects being partially non-compliant. In the meantime, fine-tuning has been completed due to moving through the last phase of improvement in the traditional instructional ADDIE3 model. During the last stagethe actual evaluationusers give feedback, which in turn is brought in to overcome any problems. Eliciting feedback from teachers and students during earlier ADDIE stages such as the Analyze, Design, or Development phase prevent difficulties in the end stage. Alternatively, the piloting of scaled-down versions provides opportunities to identify and subsequently eliminate some of those navigation difficulties. Even so, as pioneers in the field consolidate their efforts, digital repositories and learning objects will become more user friendly. At the same time, enabling easily, quickly, and cheaply constructed learning objects may lead

to low quality, or it may lead to mass production and thus oversupply of similar objects, which is confusing for the user and wasteful for the educator-designers (McGreal, 2004). Nevertheless, easier access and use is strongly fostered by the development of the IEEEs Learning Technology Standards and the increasing compliance towards it. They apply to the development of new learning objects and the upgrading of existing digital resources. Standards will ensure that the -abilities of individual learning objects are increasing and that learning object integration into existing courses will be much more easily achieved. The current potentialities and pitfalls of learning objects depend on the technical and pedagogical characteristics. This is equally true for those wishing to create learning objects as it is for those merely wanting to use any of the abundant and free learning objects that are already available. In both instances, understanding of the basic principles is needed to exploit the promise of this new medium and to avoid the downside. In terms of the technical characteristics, the -abilities of learning objects form the basis of design specifications and are crucial for standardization; in terms of pedagogical characteristics, neutrality of learning objects form the basis for contextualization and didactic support.

tEchnicaL charactEristics oF LEarning obJEcts


Learning objects are the modular building blocks of digitalized learning content and are frequently compared to LEGOTM building blocks. Just like individual bricks are standardized to fit together in many different ways, learning objects are being normed through metadata.4 Standardization issues progressed rapidly (IEEE, 2007). Widespread acceptance and adoption of the technical standards is fundamental for the implementation of learning objects. Standardized metadata en-

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Learning Objects

ables fitting parts together to form larger parts (interoperability), which can be assembled yet again into a larger unit, thus creating unlimited possibilities for constructions. Learning object metadata also contain identifiers, helping search engines to find (discoverability) specific items, which enables an efficient hunt through the use of sharply focused search criteriathus being the most practical and directly useful ability for teachers and learners. Learning objects allow for one-off use or repeated use, and their key advantage and arguably superiority over other digital resources is their reusability. The reuse of learning materialswhether they are in traditional or digital formsis the most cost-, time-, and energy-efficient strategy for teachers and their employing institutions. Learning objects hold a number of other -abilities that are also worthwhile knowing. McGreal (2004, pp. 1-2) has compiled a comprehensive list and detailed descriptions, with a synopsis provided here: Accessibility: Instructional components can be accessed from one remote location and delivered to many other locations. Interoperability: Components can be developed in one location with one set of tools (platform) or in another location with a different set of tools. Adaptability: Instruction can be tailored to individual and situational needs. Reusability: Components can be incorporated into multiple applications. Durability: Instructional components can be used when base technology changes, without the need for redesigning or recoding. Affordability: Learning can be increased, while reducing time and costs. Assessability: Pedagogical effectiveness, price, and usability can be assessed. Discoverability: Components can be easily found using simple search terms. Interchangeability: One component can be substituted for another.

Manageability: Components can be found, inserted, replaced, and substituted. Reliability: The other abilities can be counted on to work. Retrieveability: Components can be retrieved when and where you want them.

In summary, technical qualities endow learning objects with accessibility, discoverability, interchangeability, and manageability of learning objects, while affordability, durability, reusability, and retrieveability enable simple, inexpensive, and speedy production. Easily, quickly, and cheaply constructed learning objects may lead to low quality, or it may lead to mass production and thus oversupply of similar objects, which is confusing for the user and wasteful for the educator-designers (McGreal, 2004).

pEdagogicaL charactEristics oF LEarning obJEcts


The technical characteristics of learning objects allow the patching together of a number of single learning components into an instructional segment. These session parts can be stitched up into lessons, with several lessons being tailored into a custom-made course. Thus constructed, these specifically built language acquisition programs cater for personalized learning opportunities. In terms of pedagogical characteristics, they enable the compilation of highly individualized pathways. These purposely created avenues can be used either for a single learner with distinct learning needs or for a group of learners with a particular learning motivation, educational focus, and outcome in mind. Previously, the interest, research, and subsequently literature in the area focused mainly on the technical features. This aspect was explored in the preceding discussion on the -abilities of learning objects. The technical features alongside the pedagogical aspects originated their superior-



Learning Objects

Figure 2. Granularity of learning objects. 2008 Ria Hanewald. Used with permission.

Course
Lesson
Instructional segment

Lesson
Instructional segment

Lesson

Learning component Learning component Learning component

Learning object e.g. video clip Learning object e.g. text document Learning object e.g. graph

ity and have given rise to the expeditious development of learning objects and the establishment of digital repositories over the last four years, which has opened up new potentialities for teaching and learning. As discussed, learning objects are seen as building blocks, mere chunks of information that can be put together in countless ways to create larger stacks of content for teaching and learning. This view of learning objects as information representations divorces from educational philosophy and creates a pedagogical vacuum. This is in line with Richards, McGreal, Hatala, and Friesen (2002), who initially asserted that learning objects and repositories are purely instructional and pedagogically neutral as they do not address issues of pedagogy. If this were true, everything could constitute a learning object even if it contains violent, racist, or pornographic images or messages. However, as the discussion around the example of the learning object in Figure 1 implied, the selection of learning objects is based on educational worth and grounded in preconceived notions. This pedagogical partiality is geared towards usefulness, significance, meaning, and importance. The chosen teaching and learning goals and the subsequent instruc-

tional focus is selected and prioritized against an array of other possible objectives and outcomes. It is therefore argued that pedagogical neutrality does not exist and that the notion of pedagogical partiality is inherent in all learning objects. Even if the notion of pedagogical neutrality is accepted, it creates a vexed issue, as Friesen (2004) points out, that specifications and applications that are truly pedagogically neutral cannot also be pedagogically relevant (p. 5). The problem of pedagogically neutrality and relevance of learning objects lies in the fact that they are not pinned in either instructional theory, namely behaviorist, cognitivist, constructivist, or situationalist paradigms. It effectively detaches learning objects from the larger context of pedagogy and the body of knowledge on learning theories and instructional design. Consequently, it amputates learning objects from their discipline-specific communities of practice and their culture in which the knowledge, skills, and outcomes of learning actually is based. However, it could be counter-argued that anyeven unintentionalunderlying paradigm can easily be extracted from any attached exercise or activity. To illustrate this point, an example from Languages Online (http://www.education.



Learning Objects

Figure 3. Pedagogical paradigms underpinning learning objects

vic.gov.au/languagesonline/) by the Department of Education and Training in Victoria, Australia, is given below. Any language educator with command of German will quickly detect the educational paradigm and the language methodology theory underpinning this exercise, which requires changing the noun from the singular to the plural form. Blandin (2004) and Wiley (2005) assert the existence of pedagogical neutrality and see it as an advantage, as it implies impartial and value-free learning objects that can support any educational method because they are unbound by any particular pedagogical approach. In entertaining this line of thinking, it could be argued that learning objects created in a pedagogical void put the focus solely on the technology rather than the learning process. Undeniably, the development of multimedia enabled instructional designers to assemble sophisticated learning objects, but this does not automatically ensure that a learning process or an actual learning outcome occurs.

Pedagogical objectiveswhether they are cognitive, emotional, or socialare an intrinsic part of the instructional design. Learning objects need thoughtful and informed pedagogical design to generate effective and compelling educational experiences (Marshall, 2004, p. 11). This is why more recent publications (Smith Nash, 2005; de Salsa & Ellis, 2006) advocate selection of an explicit learning design to support learning objects and repositories for educational purposes. Furthermore, the notion of learning objects freed of any pedagogy assumes a learning situation devoid of any educational features. It denies the presence of learning styles and preferences, which are inherent characteristics of any learner and thus any learning episode. It seems to assume that the endowed neutrality of learning objects caters to every learner, regardless of their aptitudes, circumstances, and the context of their learning. Friesen (2004, p. 61) alerts that learning objects:



Learning Objects

are introduced into educational contexts and practices clearly bearing the stamp of their technical origin. Instead of being presented in terms familiar and meaningful to educators, they bear connotations that appear unclear or even negative in these practical contexts. Perhaps it is for these reasons, that there is slow and deficient adoption of learning objects in real-life contexts by practitioners despite the huge financial investments by governments, organizations, and higher education providers worldwide. Acceptance and implementation by educators is based on relevance, which seems to be a missing element under the existing conditions. Mason (2003) places the blame for this position firmly in the educators corner, which has left the technologists in charge. The responsibility for changing this situation now lies with all practitioners.

LanguagE LEarning, cuLturaL LEarning, and LEarning obJEcts


This section will give a short synopsis of language education and teaching culture based on the assumption that readers will be familiar with the literature. The brief summation will serve as a springboard to explore the link with learning objects. Language teaching and learning is currently dominated by the communicative approach, which rose to popularity during the 1980s. It originated from Dell Hymes (1972) idea and detailed-yetabstract discussion that communicative competence is more than the mastery of the vocabulary and grammatical rules of a particular language. Since achieving communicative competency is the ultimate goal of learning another language, the four distinct parts as identified by Michael Canale (1983) have to be managed: grammatical competence (e.g., pronunciation, syntax, vocabulary), discourse competence (language structures

in and for a variety of contexts), sociolinguistic competence (appropriateness in given situations), and strategic competence (negotiating meaning, repairing misunderstandings). Celce-Murcia, Zoltan, and Thurrell (1995) added actional competence based on the recognition that language requires action (e.g., apologizing, bullying, comforting, encouraging). All of these five competencies are shaped by culture. The teaching of culture has also undergone successive waves. According to Risager (1998), the foreign-culture approach was popular prior to the 1980s, with the intercultural approach being the dominant method in the late 1990s. In multi-ethnic societies such as Australia, she predicted the emergence of a multicultural approach, which she expects to be replaced by a transcultural approach through the effects of globalization and internationalization. This short overview makes two points: First, language and culture are intrinsically linked. Both aspects need to be considered not only during the actual teaching and learning stage, but also in the development of learning objects. For example, the screen shot in Figure 4 is from an animation of the Learning Federation (http://www.thelearning federation.edu.au/ ), which shows a Japanese quiz show. The hosts physical appearance, especially the curly blond hair and the facial features, is not depicting a Japanese person, thus conveying a culturally inappropriate image. The assertive body gesture of the females arms resting on her hips is also objectionable. Secondly, approaches to teaching culture are not static. They are undergoing change according to complex outside factors (e.g., societal changes, different learner needs), much like approaches to the teaching of languages did progress over time. These significant developments in conceptual understandings and the building of new theoretical frameworks have practical implications for the actual teaching and learning of languages and subsequently the production of learning materials.



Learning Objects

Figure 4. Cultural messages in learning objects, 2008 Curriculum Corporation (Used with permission)

Quiz shoW
The quiz show series assists students to deduce the meaning of compound words from the meanings of the individual characters. All characters used in this series appear in the character catalog.

For learning object developerswhether they are instructional designers or language practitionersthe challenge lies in identifying the cultural learning goals for each language that is being taught and incorporating them into learning objects to achieve cultural learning.

FuturE trEnds
Introduced were the notions of learning objects that are free of any pedagogical approach and indicated some of the complexities involved in the debate. The idea of educational objects being devoid of an educational approach and the resulting implications need further investigation. Research is suggested to examine the effects on the learner, and to gain a better understanding of the relationship between learning objects and pedagogy in order to develop best practice. Ideally, this would need to occur prior to the rapid and expensive development of additional learning objects and repositories to ensure time, energy, and effort is well spent.

In examining a few contemporary learning object offerings, it becomes evident that they are solely focusing on content. In the language education field, the majority of learning objects are designed for beginning levels, often containing only basic topic vocabulary (see Figures 3 and 4). While some providers make attempts to incorporate culturally relevant situational contexts for the introduction of the lexical items, these are not explicit to learners. Implicit indication of unfamiliar cultural settings may not raise awareness, nor encourage analysis or even comparisons and understanding or appreciation. The previous discussion indicated that the existing thinking on learning objects has several limitations and that future theoretical developments will be dealing with these. Part of the dilemma is the bonanza that saw the production of large quantities of learning objects because of the availability of substantial funding and the apparent aspiration by educational stakeholders to have presence in the new technological arena. It is assumed that this caused emphasis on the fast manufacturing of large amounts of learning objects, thus concentrating on speed and quantity


Learning Objects

at the cost of quality. It was furthered by the firm grip of the learning object development area by technologists, as indicated by Robson (2004). The lacking influence and thus subject-specific expertise of language educators and practitioners added to the calamity. Not only did this race for e-learning resources and visibility in the technology arena by key stakeholders result in the production of large amounts of learning objects, it also furnished online environments with multiplication of efforts, as similar instructional content was created and released in various places all over the world. This preoccupation with the build-up stage of construction might be part of the reason for the negligent attention to pedagogical aspects. Another factor might be the lack of in-depth studies on the educational consequences of learning objects. Future trends are the emerging of recognition of attentiveness to the dynamics that contributed to the existing gaps in the literature. Starting points are implementation and subsequently discussions of practical examples, the developing of applications past the beginners level, assessment of learning outcomes, and learning effectiveness of the new innovation. Research is needed to develop real units of learning to investigate and identify effective aspects of pedagogical designs, to gather empirical findings, and to be able to learn from the experience of practitioners. Research is also needed into the very advantage of learning objects, namely reusability and its pragmatic implications and the creation of individualized learning paths. The outcomes of these investigations, particularly the pedagogical relevance of learning objects in terms of language and cultural education, will be of particular interest to readers of this book.

concLusion and rEcoMMEndation


Electronic resources for language learning and teaching have been growing exponentially, with

interest in digital objects and repositories exploding over the last few years. This chapter gave an introduction into learning objects and repositories, and an overview of their technical and pedagogical -abilities. The chapter elucidated technical aspects and standards development, and alluded to the current tension surrounding educational aspects while moving the discussion into the field of language education and its specific needs in order to encourage and support educators in adopting innovative technology. It therefore provided teachers in the language learning and teaching field with a ready-made collection of high-quality digital resources. Their usage will facilitate the building of a community of practitioners to ensure the representation of language educators among the other curriculum areas and domains to halt further marginalization. Awareness and utilization of learning objects will add to educators repertoire of electronic teaching resources and thus will prevent duplication of effort in designing and developing new materials. It will thus further the development of professional skills and standards, while offering opportunities for engaging in reflective discussions and collaborative exchange of ideas and approaches. It is hoped that embracing these new electronic resources for teaching and learning will utilize their potential, provide educators with a smorgasbord of teaching and learning materials, and empower learners through self-access opportunities. In the theoretical sphere, current notions of pedagogically neutral learning objects were discussed and the existing tensions of valuefree learning objects vs. the implicit values in education were examined, with need to unpack these complexities more. It needs to be further explored, negotiated, and managed to ensure that future investments in the development of learning objects for language learning and teaching promote not only communicative competence but also cultural knowledge. The potential dangers that the development and re-usage of learning objects are heading



Learning Objects

towards, such as the recent bonanza and its resulting implications and the dominance of the area by technologist rather than educationalist, were outlined. The gap in the literature and subsequently in current research on case studies, practical applications, assessments, and learning outcomes strongly suggests future research by language educators and practitioners for illumination and possible resolution.

Hymes, D. (1972). Language in society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. IEEE. (2007). WG12: Learning object metadata. Retrieved August 1, 2007, from http://ltsc.ieee. org/wg12/ Jacobsen, P. (2001). Reusable learning objects What does the future hold? Retrieved August 1, 2007, from http://www.elearningmag.com/ltimagazine/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=5043 Marshall, S. (2004). E-learning standards: Open enablers of learning or compliance strait jackets? Proceedings of ASCILITE. Retrieved August 9, 2007, from http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/perth04/procs/marshall.html Mason, J. (2003). Secret standards business? Proceedings of EDUCAUSE in Australasia 2003, Adelaide, Australia. McGreal, R. (2004). Learning objects: A practical definition. International Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Education, 1(9). Retrieved August 1, 2007, from http://www.itdl.org/Journal/ Sep_04/article02.htm Nesbit, J., & Belfer, K. (2004). Collaborative evaluation of learning objects. In R. McGreal (Ed.), Online education using learning objects (pp. 138-155). London: RoutledgeFalmer. Richards, G., McGreal, Hatala, & Friesen. (2002). Learning object repository technologies: Portals for on-line objects for learning. Journal of Distance Education, 17(3), 67-79. Richardson, J. (2004, February). Implementing HarvestRoads hive system at Griffith University: Practice validates theory. Proceedings of the ALIA CAM Digital Repository Seminar, Sydney, Australia. Risager, K. (1998). Language teaching and the process of European integration. In M. Bryam & M. Fleming (Eds.), Language learning in intercultural perspectiveApproaches through

rEFErEncEs
Blandin, B. (2004, February). Are e-learning standards neutral? Proceedings of the International Conference on Computer Aided Learning in Engineering Education, Grenoble, France. Retrieved August 1, 2007, from http://www-clips. imag.fr/calie04/actes/Blandin_final.pdf Canale, M. (1983). From communicative competence to communicative language pedagogy. In J. Richards & R. Schmidt (Eds.), In language and communication (pp. 2-27). London/New York: Longman. Celce-Murcia, M., Zoltan, D., & Thurrell, S. (1995). Communicative competence: A pedagogically motivated model with content specifications. Issues in Applied Linguistics, 6(2), 5-35. de Salsa, K., & Ellis, L. (2006). The development and implementation of learning objects in a higher education setting. Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge and Learning Objects, 2, 1-22. Retrieved August 1, 2007, from http://www.ijklo. org/Volume2/v2p001-022deSalsa[1].pdf Friesen. N. (2004). Three objections to learning objects and e-learning standards. In R. McGreal (Ed.), Online education using learning objects (pp. 59-70). London. Routledge. Hodgins, W.H. (2000). Background. Retrieved August 1, 2007, from http://www.learnativity. com/waynehodgins.html



Learning Objects

drama and ethnography (pp. 242-254). London: Cambridge University Press. Robson, R. (2004). Context and the role of standards in increasing the value of learning objects. In R. McGreal (Ed.), Online education using learning objects (pp. 159-168). London: RoutledgeFalmer. Smith Nash, S. (2005). Learning object repositories, and learning theory: Preliminary best practices for online courses. Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge and Learning Objects, 1(5), 217-228. Retrieved August 1, 2007, from http://ijklo.org/volume1/v1p217-228Nash.pdf Sosteric, M., & Hesemeir, S. (2004). A first step towards a theory of learning objects. In R. McGreal (Ed.), Online education using learning objects (pp. 32-42). London: RoutledgeFalmer. U.S. Census Bureau. (2007). Census in schools. Retrieved September 19, 2007, from http://www2. census.gov/govs/school/04f33pub.pdf Wharrad, H.J., & Leeder, D. (2003). Experiences with re-usable learning objects: Process and evaluation. Proceedings of the Association of Learning Technology Conference (ALT-C) on Communities of Practice, Sheffield, UK. Wiley, D. (2005). Pedagogy-agnostic standards and a much needed rant. Retrieved August 10, 2007, from http://wiley.ed.usu.edu/archives/145

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE): The worlds leading professional association for the advancement of technology (retrieved August 10, 2007, from http://www.ieee. org/portal/site). International Standards Organization (ISO): Worldwide federation of national standards bodies from 130 countries and nongovernmental, promoting the development of standardization (retrieved August 10, 2007, from http://www.iso.org/iso/en/ISOOnline. frontpage). Learning Content Management System (LCMS): System combining course administration with content creation and storage capabilities, thus offering the potential of both a learning management system and a content management system in one package. Learning Management System (LMS): Offers an instrument for sequencing content and creating a manageable structure for academic and administrative staff. Examples include WebCT, Blackboard, and Desire2Learn. Learning Object Metadata (LOM): A data model, usually encoded in XML, used to describe a learning object and similar digital resources used to support learning. The purpose of learning object metadata is to support the reusability of learning objects, to aid discoverability, and to facilitate their interoperability, usually in the context of online learning management systems (retrieved August 10, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Learning_object_metadata). Learning Object Metadata Management System (LOMMS): Metadata is data about data, describing a resource so that it can be located. In the case of learning objects, the metadata is either embedded or placed separately. The metadata are indicators that allow identification by search engines. The learning object metadata is handled through a management system.

kEY tErMs
IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee (IEEE LTSC): chartered by the IEEE Computer Society Standards Activity Board to develop accredited technical standards, recommended practices, and guides for learning technology (retrieved August 10, 2007, from http://ieeeltsc.org/).



Learning Objects

Reusable Information Object (RIO): A term introduced by Cisco Systems the leading supplier of networking equipment and network management for the Internet in its 1999 Reusable Information Object Strategy (retrieved August 10, 2007, from http://www.cisco.com/).

EndnotEs
1

Data gathered through a search engine (http://www.google.com) on August 1, 2007. Wayne Hodgins is strategic futurist, director of Worldwide Learning Strategies, Autodesk Inc.; past president, strategic advisor to the board of the Computer Education Management Association (CEdMA); chair, IEEE Learning Technology Standards Commit-

tee (LTSC); learning object metadata cofounder, Learnativity Alliance. Homepage of Wayne Hodgins, retrieved August 1, 2007, from http://www.learnativity.com/waynehodgins.html ADDIE = Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate. One of the first models for instructional systems design, containing five distinct stages. Metadata is basically data on data, usually coded in XML. It identifies a digital object so that it can be found through a search engine (discoverability), thus allowing multiple retrievals (reusability) and providing a standardized fit to enable integration with and into other systems (interoperability). All URLs, descriptors, and other details were current as of August 1, 2007.



0

English-Language Teaching with Learning Objects at PUCPR


Patrica Lupion Torres Pontificia Universidade Catlica do Paran (PUCPR), Brazil Rita de Cassia Veiga Marriott University of Birmingham, UK Andreia Ferreira Ramos Faculdade Luterana So Marcos/RS, Brazil

Chapter VIII

abstract
This chapter presents the experience of production and use of learning objects (LOs) for English-language learning at the Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Parana (PUCPR), Brazil. PUCPR made its first steps towards online education in 1995 when it started developing its virtual learning environment. Along this trajectory, the need was felt to look for technological resources for the development of digital didactic material. This led to the creation of the Web-based Student Support System (SAAW) by the Center for Educational Technologies. In this research, we developed a case study as the basis for this small data-collection study to elucidate and analyze perceptions and information supplied by the study population. This study was carried out by students studying for a Masters in Education and taking the Theory and Practice in Distance Education module. The English-language LO was considered to be satisfactory and to facilitate the teaching learning process.

Copyright 2009, IGI Global, distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Global is prohibited.

English-Language Teaching with Learning Objects at PUCPR

introduction
In the modern world, where students and teachers come into daily contact with technological innovations in different sectors of society outside the classroom, it has become essential to produce support material for use in classroom-based or distance education that stands out from other material. Todays students were born in an age where information is readily available in their homes, distances are shrinking, and the pace of change is accelerating. This worldfull of interaction, images, color, and videoneeds to be part of the school environment to help students in the teaching and learning process. The motivation needed in the educational process can be stimulated by digital material that stands out from other such material and that allows the student to interact with, manipulate, and even change it on his or her own. Learning objects (LOs) are one possible type of digital material. Teachers can prepare an LO themselves or build one in partnership with their students. The content matter in LOs is usually presented in the form of games, in situations that are part of the students daily lives. A review of the literature reveals a concern with issues related to the standardization and storage of LOs, but it should be stressed that the pedagogical aspect is also important to increase the likelihood of this type of resource being successfully used. LOs should therefore be planned and implemented by a team consisting of IT, education, psychology, and design professionals, to mention but a few. By making use of a multidisciplinary team, the resulting LO will have a user-friendly, creative, highly interactive interface that respects users different learning styles and has clearly defined pedagogical features. In this chapter, we describe some of the concepts and main characteristics related to LOs and provide details of the Pontifical Catholic University of Parans experiences with them.

soME briEF considErations on LEarning obJEcts


There is a lack of consensus regarding what constitutes a learning object. Most authors support the idea that for a resource to be an LO, it must be digital and reusable and have an educational purpose. According to Muzio (in Bastos, 2005, p. 29): There are many different definitions of a[n] LO, and many other terms are used. This always leads to confusion and problems with communication, which is hardly surprising, as this field of study is new. Coutinho (2003) states that from the instructional point of view, learning objects correspond to small study segments and must be linked to one or more specific learning objectives. In addition, learning objects must follow some kind of instructional strategy (BASTOS, 2005, p. 29). Wiley (2001, p. 5) defines an LO as any digital resource that can be reused to aid learning. His definition includes any digital resource, whether small or large, that can be distributed over a network on demand. Tarouco, Fabre, and Tamisiunas (2003, p. 2) extend this concept to include: any resource that is supplementary to the learning process and can be reused to support learning. The term learning objects is generally applied to learning material that is designed and built in small units with a view to maximizing learning situations where the resource can be reused. The basic idea is that the objects should be like blocks with which the learning context will be built. Few authors appear to be concerned with the educational aspect of LOs or consider it part of the concept of LOs. The technical characteristics are always remembered and are (Ramos, 2006): Reusability: The possibility of using a learning object in different contexts.



English-Language Teaching with Learning Objects at PUCPR

Portability: The possibility of transporting it from one platform to another without the need for modifications and without leading to difficulties associated with hardware or software upgrades. Modularity: A learning object can contain other learning objects or can be contained in one or more objects in one or more courses. In this case, learning objects can be considered self-contained educational building blocks. Metadata: This is a complete description of the learning object, its content, and use. This item is important, as it allows the object to be catalogued and encoded so that it can be used on various platforms. The concept of metadata can be better understood if one thinks of a process similar to that involving library record cards (Ramos, Domnico, Torres, & Matos, 2005).

that the following educational issues be considered when planning and implementing LOs: Interactivity: This allows the student to be the actor, the author rather than a passive information receiver (Silva, 2001, p. 13). In an LO, the interaction (with the medium or with the other actors) provides the opportunity to produce useful information based on objectives. To produce useful information, communicative action is based on interaction, and its first aim is mutual understanding, shared knowledge, and trust and agreement between the actors. Autonomy: A central issue when preparing learning resources is that these encourage learner independence. Stoney and Wild (in Loiselle, 2002, p. 113) highlighted the interest in interfaces, emphasizing learner interactivity and control and encouraging student exploration and involvement by means of certain characteristics that favor learning autonomy, such as openness to other material and human resources and the establishment of a communication network. Cooperation: Technology provides the means to facilitate the cooperative and collaborative process, whether it be in the field of education or work (Torres, Alcantara, & Irala, 2004, p. 133). Thus, if an LO is interactive and includes simulations, it will probably contribute to cooperative learning, as those using it, including the teacher, will have to exchange ideas and work collectively on the concept being presented. Cognition/Metacognition: Flavell (in Santos & Romanowski, 2006, p. 9) considers metacognition to be both necessary to, and important in, the learning process, but stresses that it is knowledge just like many other forms of knowledge and it is acquired gradually. Metacognition is not greater than or better than other forms of knowledge in

One idea related to LOs involves the distribution of educational material to reduce costs, as an LO can be used in different contexts, and if it is kept in a portal where anyone can access it, there is much less need to create different resources related to the same subject. There is a tremendous variety of material in these portals, and the teachers and pupils must choose from this material according to the objectives they wish to achieve. The planning, development, and implementation of an LO requires an interdisciplinary team, with, among others, educational, computer science, and design professionals as well as a specialist in the content matter involved. LOs are considered to contribute to the teaching and learning process as long as they include the necessary technical and pedagogical characteristics and are used in a supporting role during the course to help students with their learning and make them reflect on what is being introduced in the object. It is important to analyze LOs from a pedagogical perspective, and to this end, the authors suggest



English-Language Teaching with Learning Objects at PUCPR

terms of the minds functions and activities. An interactive LO that encompasses concepts that are part of the world that students experience and that allows them to exchange ideas with their peers and reflect on what they are doing would make a significant contribution to their learning. Affection/Desire: The desire to explore the LO must exist in, or be stimulated in, the student. This desire to explore is intimately related to the pupils learning style and is nearly always born of the relationship between the pupil and the educator and the object in itself. For this to happen, the LO must involve the pupil and be attractive and contextualized, as, according to Marques (2000, p. 11), affectivity plays a crucial role in learning. This is what triggers and guides activityIt can be a source of disturbance as well as satisfaction.

available on the Internet. An LO that embraces the technical characteristics and pedagogical aspects suggested in this chapter can lead to a change in attitude on the part of the teacher and student, as both will need to reflect at great length to prepare such a resource and take into account the various issues governing LOs. Building an LO also requires a team that is committed to the goal of producing an attractive, interactive resource that actually makes some difference to the teaching and learning process.

VirtuaLization tooLs at pucpr: soME considErations on EurEka and saaW


The first steps towards online education at the Pontifical Catholic University of Paran were taken in 1995, when a project was launched in partnership with Siemens to develop Eureka, the virtual learning environment. After many years of work involving the development team and research by postgraduate teachers and students,

An LO should not be considered just another resource, as in this case we would merely be giving a different name to the resources currently Figure 1. Eureka-SAAW



English-Language Teaching with Learning Objects at PUCPR

Eureka finally became established in 1999 as a support tool for online education. By the end of 2006, there were 30,963 registered users, 7,523 open rooms, and 1,492 MATICE1 rooms for students to study for their repeat examinations online. As the Eureka virtual environment has evolved and become more widely used, teachers and students have felt the need to look for technological resources to develop digital teaching material. With this new demand, various professionals became involved in the development of a new Eureka tool, known as SAAW2 (Web-based Student Support System, or Sistema de Apoio ao Aluno via Web, in Portuguese), proposed by the Center for Educational Technologies. According to Tarrit et al. (2006, p. 200), this system was designed to satisfy the need to make certain content matter available in a secure and efficient manner and to offer a set of functionalities integrated with Eureka such as the broadcasting of LOs within the Eureka virtual learning environment. New research was carried out, as a result of which the first LOs at PUCPR were made available to all the teaching staff. One of the first LOs to be developed was the English-language learning object. This was built as a result of a need that existed in the English Language and Literature course, whose students had different levels of knowledge and fluency in English. In this particular case, because there was an institutional demand, the learning objects were developed by the lecturers themselves who were responsible for the content matter who were hired by the institution; the learning objects were subsequently made available to all the teaching staff for use at the university. According to Hil and Tarrit (2006, p. 107), all the virtual undergraduate rooms [at PUCPR] have automatic access to this functionality [SAAW] once the person in charge creates one or more study paths for all or some of the students in the room. SAAW within Eureka allows teachers to make content matter available to their students and to create learning paths that are attractive

and different for the whole class, for a group of students, or even for individual students. This feature was considered extremely useful by the teachers who evaluated the tool and particularly useful for teaching English, as the students who join the English Language and Literature course have different levels of knowledge of the language and different degrees of experience using it. Thus, when teachers are monitoring the learning process and knowledge production of each student or each group of students, they can provide the resources or material that they consider to be best suited to each student according to his or her learning style and the strengths or weaknesses identified during the learning process, thereby ensuring that the support provided matches individual and group needs. The system allows teachers to develop their own LOs and make them available to students. Thus, if a particular student or group of students need specific English-language material, the teacher can develop this quickly and easily, and associate it in his or her learning path with any other module developed by the teachers responsible for the content matter. The different levels of mastery of English in a class can also be managed individually without adversely affecting those who are more advanced or who are behind the rest of the class. The Eureka environment allows collaborative activities to be associated with the LO, thus helping manage heterogeneity and collective knowledge production, which is facilitated by peer exchange. In Eureka, collaboration is promoted by means of synchronous and asynchronous communication tools, as well as data-, content- and informationsharing tools. Thus, in English-language teaching using learning objects available via SAAW, and interaction between users, a new set of material, data, and information is created, and it remains permanently available to all those taking part in the teaching-learning process for the period defined by the teacher or group.



English-Language Teaching with Learning Objects at PUCPR

Figure 2. A screen shot of the English-language teaching MILI, Module 5

It is also possible to associate the use of any of the other functionalities of Eureka with the proposed learning path, as well as combining different modules on different subjects within the learning path. In other words, the teacher may feel that it is necessary to create a plan with an English module linked to another one on information technology associated with one more on knowledge processes. For Hil and Tarrit (2006, p. 113), SAAW makes it possible to work with the didactic material in a flexible way. This concept is based on the specific logic of establishing paths for the knowledge to be shared. The first screen of each module gives basic information about the module, such as the learning objective for the module, average study time, difficulty, prerequisites, and credits. The browsing commands are given at the bottom of the screen. Figure 2 is an example of an exercise in Module 5Like/Love/Hate/Mind in which the students are invited to choose one of the characters to write to, based on shared interests (exercise created by Rita Marriott).

a rEport on EXpEriEncE With thE tooLs usEd to buiLd Los at pucpr


After the short review of the literature related to this research and the brief introduction to the virtualization tools at PUCPR given above, following are some considerations on SAAW and the use of LOs as a tool to manage the different levels of knowledge of the English language among students on the English Language and Literature course. These considerations are the result of one of many surveys carried out to improve and develop this functionality in Eureka. In this research, we developed a case study as the basis for this small data-collection study to elucidate and analyze perceptions and information supplied by the study population. Using this methodology, which gives the researcher a large degree of freedom in terms of theory and methodology, we sought to answer questions raised by the researchers at the Center for Educational Technologies and the Education, Communication and Technology Research Group in the Postgraduate Program in Education at PUCPR about the



English-Language Teaching with Learning Objects at PUCPR

use of the Eureka environment and its SAAW functionality. This study was carried out with students who were studying for a Masters in Education and were taking the Theory and Practice in Distance Education course at the Pontifical Catholic University of Paran. Initially, the 22 MEd students used the SAAW tool as a self-learning program to study the English-language modules. The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of LOs in SAAW, as all the students in this class in the Masters in Education course had some teaching experience and were preparing to work with the development of LOs for distance education. After the students had carried out all the activities, they reported their experiences to the class. The students evaluated the English material published in SAAW in light of the theoretical review of LOs that had previously formed the basis of a class debate. The teacher responsible for the subject supervised the students throughout the whole process. Following are some of the comments made by the research subjects. As can be seen, the comments made related to the positive aspects of the English-language learning objects, with particular emphasis being given to the clarity, objectivity, creativity, and interactivity present in the learning object: S.03Positive Points: Dynamic, objective, clear, easy to access and interactive. S.07Positive Points: It is interactive, creative, encourages students to answer, respects the students own pace of learning and is flexible. S.13The LOs positive points include good interactivity and ease of use, as well as the fact that during the course learners feel that they are being supported and are motivated to continue.

could be integrated, the quality of the interface, the activities, and the exercises: S.01Positive Points: I was able to see, with the particular configuration of this module, that the different ways the tool can be used with other editing software results in a very interesting product with a lot of resources. For example, on a single page you can have access to the link for a particular Web site. And you can do the exercises by typing or just dragging the mouse. S.02Positive Points: Easy-to-use interface, very detailed explanatory material, lots of exercises to reinforce the content matter. S.19Positive Points: Colorful screens; friendly interface; the available activities allow students to improve their learning and manage their study; interactive.

The difficulties that some students faced when using SAAW as a learning experience with LOs were among the negative aspects highlighted by students: S.03Some activities are poorly thought out, on slide 13 of module 03, it is difficult for students to form the sentence, as they have to drag the word several times to try to complete the exercise. S.19Negative Points: The exercises are sometimes complicated to solve: sometimes it is difficult to drag an icon from one place to another (it is not clear that a particular icon needs to be dragged). When the exercise is a long one and you make a mistake with one item, the icon only tells you that you have made a mistake, not where the mistake is. Students end up becoming demotivated, as they know they have made a mistake but not what the mistake is.

Also highlighted as positive factors related to the LO were the various ways that resources



English-Language Teaching with Learning Objects at PUCPR

Some students identified negative points and were keen to suggest modifications or ways to solve the problem, as can be seen in the following comments: S.02Negative Points: Some multimedia tools, such as films and audio, could be used to help the learning process. S.05This is the first time I have used SAAW, and I have not found any [negative points] other than the lack of audio (I think it is important when teaching a language). S.07Negative Point: The fact that there is no page showing the answers at the end of an exercise.

Other individuals who replied to the questions in the affirmative highlighted the importance of the object being interactive, combining more than one resource and having exercises to reinforce the subject matter: S.03Yes the modules became interactive, as the addition of images and text encouraged students to learn, so that they participated actively in knowledge construction. S04Yes, specially when more than one resource (image and text) is combined, then the learning really becomes effective. S.11Yes, as when there is a combination of more than one resourcefor example text + image and interaction (with exercises), the learning becomes meaningful and effective. There is a dialogue between technology and the learner. S.12This learning object did indeed facilitate learning, as content can be clarified more readily; however, more exercises were needed to reinforce the material covered.

When asked whether the English-language learning object can facilitate the teaching-learning process, 90% of respondents said yes and highlighted the following points: S.07I believe it can. The student has an incentive to answer the questions, and the windows with the explanations of the grammar are available as support. The exercises that are repeated with different examples help drive home the grammar point being studied. S.20Yes, as the module gave students a good knowledge of the material that was covered. Anybody with a minimum level of knowledge would be able to complete the module successfully because of the examples. S.02I think that learning objects encourage the student to concentrate more. As a result, learning becomes more attractive and motivates the student more, even when used individually. When used with the help of a tutor or with other students to exchange information, it becomes more efficient. S.08I think so, as it stimulates an attitude of I want to learn, I want to get it right, so that you move on to the next screen and consequently internalize the learning.

One group of respondents who gave affirmative answers stressed the need for the object to be of good quality, well built: S.15It is helpful if it is well built so that it allows students to interact with it and if it includes simulations and animations that make abstract concepts more concrete, thereby making learning easier. If the technology is well applied, it can really encourage interaction, communication and learning. S.05Yes. The objects make learning more dynamic and attractive as long as they are well integrated. I think the tools (didactic material) are excellent for teaching; teachers just have to plan in advance how they will use them in their classes.



English-Language Teaching with Learning Objects at PUCPR

The ease with which the LO can be accessed anytime and anywhere was also mentioned by respondents who said that the object facilitated learning: S.09Yes, especially because it can be accessed at any time, the content matter is always available. S.10It helps students, but they need to seek out more information about the subject covered so that the learning becomes more meaningful. Flexible access anywhere, anytime.

Some respondents felt that the LO had few exercises and was too simple. It was also pointed out that the methodology tended to be based upon a technical approach to teaching: S.12It is very clearly laid out, and topics can be easily located in the modules. However, the modules would be more comprehensive if they had more exercises. S.06The learning object being used was well organized, although there were not enough activities to practice the material that had been learnt. S.14I thought the object was worthwhile, but I think that the modules could be more complex with more support material and additional activities; but it is a useful tool that stimulates learning and interactivity. Operationally, it worked well. S.09The English module is organized sequentially and gradually, so that even students who have limited ability in English can learn. As for the methodological approach, you can see that it is quite technically oriented, but in distance education it is difficult to make use of methodological innovations.

Among the 20% of research subjects who replied in the negative to the question whether the English-language learning object can facilitate the English-language teaching-learning process, only one gave any justification. Note that the respondent can see that the object in question could potentially be used as a support tool. S.16Not necessarily, but it is one way of arousing interest.

During this evaluation process, creativity was highlighted by some respondents: S.03Well, it is creative and makes the virtual learning environment a place that is full of ideas, as the students learn while having fun completing pictures that help them understand the objectives of the module. S.04Good, creative, easy access, activities allow learning to be checked. S.05It is creative and supplies immediate answers to the exercises; it is easy to browse and students can return to previous pages if they are unsure of something. A variety of exercises are provided (including additional exercises) that help to make learning easier. The forecast time needed was sufficient and the layout and appearance were attractive.

Even those interviewed who had the weakest command of English made positive comments and highlighted the simple, clear language and browsing facilities and the possibility of receiving feedback about, and evaluating, their own performance: S.20I believe that the course was very well prepared, as I have very limited knowledge of English and was able to understand the material. I really liked the modules, they were very visual and easy to read. The examples given helped a lot. It was a very interesting experience. S.15Pleasant and well prepared modules, they facilitate learning, use language that is



English-Language Teaching with Learning Objects at PUCPR

clear and provide students with feedback. The activities allow students to assess their learning. The main negative comments related to the instructional design of the object: S.02The English learning object within SAAW is well designed, but I think that the colors chosen are very gloomy for such a long course and could make the students tired. Other types of interactivity could be included in the exercises. S.13The object allows students to immerse themselves in the course and works satisfactorily, but it needs to have a few adjustments made in terms of its organization. S.11The LO is somewhat confused, more explanations and adjustments are needed.

Based on the data gathered during the study, the following preliminary conclusions can be drawn: The evaluation of the learning object by professionals from various areas who were studying Theory and Practice in Distance Education in the Postgraduate Program in Distance Education allows us to posit the hypothesis that MILI delivered via SAAW is suitable for online education; however, it is important that teachers and students be given guidance, as the roles that they play in this approach change. The use of LOs in virtual subjects is still a challenge, particularly when the aim is to overcome the traditional paradigm of teaching in which the focus is on the reproduction of knowledge. The use of LOs can represent an advancement in approaches to virtual education as they allow the teaching-learning process to be more flexible and thus go beyond the limits of traditional formal education. The development of LOs as a tool was well accepted by the research subjects, although with a certain degree of caution. The uptake and approval by the masters students of the use of LOs in spite of their remaining limitations show that SAAW has been accepted.

The various comments made by the students who were studying Theory and Practice in Distance Education in the Postgraduate Program in Distance Education were debated in the classroom at the end of the unit on LOs after extensive theoretical revision of the subject and after the masters students had had experience of using the SAAW tool to study the English language module and to develop LOs on subjects related to distance education.

soME briEF considErations on EngLish-LanguagE LEarning obJEcts in saaW


In light of the comments made by the research subjects, it can be seen that MILI, the learning object used to teach English in SAAW, which formed the basis of this study, was considered to be satisfactory and to facilitate the teaching learning process. The suggestions for improvement were relevant and were forwarded to the SAAW development team.

It is worth mentioning that after nearly 10 years of research on the development of LOs and SAAW, the Center for Educational Technologies, directed by the head of the Distance Learning Department, is consolidated as a center for research, development, and use of technologies for the support of the taught learning process. Among all the different research projects created during these years is the investigation presented in this chapter. This long experience of research authorizes us to infer that the use of an English-language LO, available via SAAW and with the help of other functionalities



English-Language Teaching with Learning Objects at PUCPR

in Eureka, allows us to develop innovative and collaborative methodological proposals in distance learning English courses. Collaboration is more favorable in the virtual environment for the synchronous and asynchronous communication tools and the sharing of data, content, and information, allowing all the participants to be responsible for their own knowledge production. It is in the exchange between pairs that a new base of content, data, and information is generated, which remains available to all within the language learning process during the time defined by the professor or the group itself.

Ramos, A.F., Domnico, L.C., Torres, P.L., & Matos, E.L.M. (2005). Uma experincia com objetos de aprendizagem no ensino de matemtica. Proceedings of the 12th Congresso Internacional De Educao a Distncia, Florianpolis. Retrieved November 29, 2005, from http://www.abed.org. br/congresso2005/por/pdf/187tcc3.pdf Santos, L., & Romanowski, J.P. (2006). A contribuio dos processos metacognitivos na formao do pedagogo. Proceedings of the 4th Congresso Internacional de Educao, So Leopoldo. Silva, M. (2001). Sala de aula interativa (2nd ed.). Rio de Janeiro: Quartet. Silva, M. (Ed.). Educao on-line. So Paulo: Loyola. Tarouco, L., Margarida R., Fabre, M-C., Mascarenhas, J., & Tamusiunas, F. R. (2003). Reusabilidade de objetos educacionais. (Reusability of educational objects). Revista Novas Tecnologias na Educao. UFRGS: Porto Alegre, Brazil. Tarrit, C.R., Hil, L., Stahlke, J., Verosa, P.B., de Souza, C., & Mendez, A.M. (2006). SAAW Sistema de Apoio ao Aluno via WebEstudo de funcionalidades e implementao. In P.E. Gomes & A.M. Mendez (Eds.), Tecnologia e inovao na educao universitria: O MATICE da PUCPR. Curitiba: Editora Champagnat. Torres, P.L., Alcantara, P.R., & Irala, E.A.F. (2004). Grupos de consenso: Uma proposta de aprendizagem colaborativa para o processo de ensino-aprendizagem. Revista Dilogo Educacional, 4(13). Wiley, D.A. (2001). Connecting learning objects to instructional theory: A definition, a metaphor and a taxonomy. In D. Wiley (Ed.), The instructional use of learning objects. Retrieved June 16, 2006, from http://www.reusability.org/read/chapters/wiley.doc

rEFErEncEs
Bastos, C.A.R. (2005). Curso hipermdia interativo de fsica: Adaptao de um curso presencial atravs do uso e reuso de objetos de aprendizagem, Dissertao de Mestrado, UFRJ. Hil, L., & Tarrit, C.R. (2006). SAAWSistema de Apoio ao Aluno via Web. In P.E. Gomes & A.M. Mendez (Eds.), Tecnologia e inovao na educao universitria: O MATICE da PUCPR. Curitiba: Editora Champagnat. Loiselle, J. (2002). A explorao da multimdia e da rede internet para favorecer a autonomia dos estudantes universitrios na aprendizagem. In S. ALAVA (Ed.), Ciberespao e formaes abertas: Rumo a novas prticas educacionais? Porto Alegre: Artmed. Marques, R. (2000). Dicionrio Breve de Pedagogia (Pedagogy Dictionary), 1st ed. Lisboa: Editora Presena. Ramos, A.F. (2006). A contribuio dos objetos de aprendizagem na educao: Um estudo de caso sobre o objeto de aprendizagem Conversa Virtual com Pasteur. Dissertao de Mestrado, PUCPR, Brazil.

0

English-Language Teaching with Learning Objects at PUCPR

kEY tErMs
Autonomy: Ability to work independently, to be able to manage the learning process, and to act thoughtfully when working on activities and exercises without anybody elses help. Collective Knowledge Production: Knowledge produced collectively by students engaged in collaborative or cooperative activities. Digital Resource: A resource distributed over a network and used electronically. Eureka: PUCPRs collaborative virtual learning environment developed since 1995 in partnership with Siemens. In 1999 it became fully functional and started being used by the university as a support for its online education. It now has more than 30,000 students in its nearly 8,000 classes. Interactivity: Process that emerges from the participation of all learners that interact among themselves by an active dialogue, a constant exchange of information, points of view, queries, and ideas that occur in a learning environment.

Learning Objects (LOs): Reusable, standalone digital or non-digital units of learning; they are chunks of content that are forbidden to refer to each other. They can be anything from an image, a document, a video, or a Web site, or can be a highly sophisticated, creative, and interactive interface offering units of learning involving the work of a multidisciplinary team with clear pedagogical features. Portal: A point of access to content on the World Wide Web. SAAW (Sistema de Apoio ao Aluno via Web): Web-based student support system tool developed by PUCPR that can be used as a platform for learning objects.

EndnotEs
1

Program under development at PUCPR since 2002 that currently allows students to study subjects they failed online. This tool can be used to develop learning objects. In 2007 it gained support from CNPQ for the development of studies into the production of new objects.





Amusing Minds for Joyful Learning through E-Gaming


Zhuo Li University of Florida, USA Feng Liu University of Florida, USA Jeff Boyer University of Florida, USA

Chapter IX

abstract
The purpose of this chapter is to investigate the present use of e-gaming in language acquisition along with its potential and challenges. We review the use of traditional, non-electronic games for language acquisition, provide a brief introduction of computer-assisted language learning (CALL), and examine the use of electronic games in language learning. Although there is limited research on the use of electronic games in language acquisition, potential exists for the integration of electronic games in language classrooms. In addition, more in-depth research is still needed in this field. For classroom practice, we provide a resource of online e-games for practitioners. games than reading, or watching TV or films. Thibodeauxs study in 2001 showed that nearly 84% of children between the ages of 12 to 17 had a video game console, and 38% of them played video games for at least an hour every week (as cited in Jenkins, 2005, p. 48). The Kaiser Family Foundation reported in 2003 that 50% of U.S.

introduction
It is increasingly common to see young people spending time playing video games. Several researchers (Funk, Hagen, & Schimming, 1999; Squire, 2006; Williams, 2003) have noted that many youth today spend more time playing video

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Amusing Minds for Joyful Learning through E-Gaming

children have played computer games by the time they are six years old (as cited in Jenkins, 2005, p. 48). Similar findings were reported in Joness survey of students at more than 20 U.S. colleges and universities in 2003, which indicated that all students had played a video, computer, or online game (collectively, electronic games) and that 65% of the students identified themselves as regular or occasional game players (as cited in Jenkins, 2005, p. 48). Facing students strong interests in and even addiction to these electronic games, many educators seek to understand games attractiveness. Many wonder if there are attributes of games that are beneficial to learning and consider ways in which games could be used for learning. Some scholars have challenged the traditional view that games, as opposed to work, are unproductive and non-utilitarian (Ang & Zaphiris, 2007, p. 448) and have attempted to explore the potential of games in education. For example, Gee (2005) maintains that good games incorporate learning principles supported by current research in cognitive science. With the rising interest in using electronic games in education, electronic games may also have potential to impact the field of second language acquisition. In this chapter, we first elaborate on research using traditional (non-electronic) games in language acquisition. Next, we identify key findings from existing research in the intersection of electronic gaming and language acquisition. Finally, we explore implications for future research, policy, and practice.

language acquisition has been valued by many practitioners and researchers (Garca-Carbonell, Rising, & Montero, 2001; Gaudart, 1999; Halleck, 2002; Hill, 2002; Kovalik & Kovalik, 2002; Macedonia, 2005; Jung & Levitin, 2002; Salis, 2002). Language classrooms often integrate roleplaying simulations or card and board games for language instruction. Cekaite and Aronsson (2005) studied the role of play in childrens second language acquisition and emphasized the need to incorporate language play into learning. According to Crookall and Oxford (1990), gaming techniques are very powerful means of helping people to acquire certain foreign or second language skills. Previous research on the use of simulations and games in language classrooms has illustrated the impact of their use to teach speaking (Macedonia, 2005), writing (Kovalik & Kovalik, 2002; Salis, 2002; Spelman, 2002), and enhance cross-cultural understanding (Jung & Levitin, 2002) and communicative competence (Garca-Carbonell et al., 2001). Based on the previous research, two significant strengths of using simulations and games in language learning are presented below.

Motivation and Traditional Games


Using simulations in language classrooms promotes positive affective factors such as increased motivation and engagement. Reflecting on using simulations and games in an English for Academic Purpose (EAP) class, Salis (2002) maintains that students were highly motivated when involved in simulations and games, and had positive attitudes towards learning. Furthermore, simulations involve students, even those who are normally quiet, in active participation (Salis, 2002). Macedonia (2005) states that language games are used to practice or strengthen declarative knowledge with entertainment as a positive side effect based on her experience with using wooden blocks, cards, and finger games in teaching Italian as a foreign language to German-speaking learners. She

background traditional (non-Electronic) games in Language Learning


Reviewing non-electronic game use in language classrooms sheds light on further exploration of e-gaming (electronic gaming) in language teaching.1 The use of simulations and games in



Amusing Minds for Joyful Learning through E-Gaming

emphasizes that language games provide opportunities of redundant oral repetition of grammar structures (p. 139), yet in a playful way. From a neurological perspective, Macedonia (2005) stresses the important role of positive emotions in game-based language learning, which can enhance students fundamental motivation.

Traditional Simulations
Simulation is commonly used in language learning. Simulation provides real-world and life-like language learning opportunities and a culturally immersive learning environment to language learners.

that of courtroom but that of spontaneous communication in a formal setting and in a foreign language (2002, Halleck, p. 278). However, Jung and Levitin (2002) point out that not all students may perceive the value of the simulations. Some students may think simulations are time consuming and not serious (p. 372). Hill (2002) contends that simulations may not address all learning styles. Also, unequal participation may be bothersome for some students.

caLL: computer-assisted Language Learning


In a rapidly developing information age, technology has become a buzzword in education. The language teaching field is no exception. Computer-assisted language learning (CALL) has moved into the mainstream since the term CALL was first used in 1983 at the TESOL Convention in Toronto, Canada (Chapelle, 2005). With the advent of computers and the Internet, language education has taken great advantage of technology. To date, a bulk of research has been conducted on the use of computers and the Internet in teaching and learning foreign languages or second languages. Today, e-gaming is becoming valued by some educators and researchers, and e-gaming in language learning is also drawing research attention. Undoubtedly, e-gaming will be a topic with great opportunities and challenges. Warschauer (2004) predicts the effect of technology changes on English teaching in five areas: new contexts, new literacies, new genres, new identities, and new pedagogies. The structure of predicting future CALL used by Warschauer provides the lens through which e-gaming in language learning can be viewed. We borrow the concept of the five areas to interpret e-gaming as a trend in CALL. First, e-gaming is definitely a new genre in new contexts, in which technology does not remain just a tool but also becomes the content in language classrooms. That is, e-games

Real-World and Life-Like Experience


Real-world communication and life-like interactions are created in simulations to engage students in participation and therefore encourage declassrooming the classroom (Garca-Carbonell et al., 2001, p. 485) by promoting a student-centered classroom over a teacher-centered classroom (Salis, 2002; Garca-Carbonell et al., 2001). Gaudart (1999) believes that one major advantage of using simulations and games in language classrooms is to alter teacher-centered classrooms by providing students with opportunities to fully use the language: With practice comes progress, with progress comes motivation, and with motivation comes more learning (Gaudart, 1999, p. 290).

Learning Environment
Jung and Levitin (2002) report using a courtroom simulation in an ESL (English as a Second Language) class for Southeast Asian government officials. They find simulations can offer real-life cultural and linguistic environments for language students. In Hallecks words, the courtroom simulation used in Jung and Levitins classroom can provide a bridge to another worldnot only



Amusing Minds for Joyful Learning through E-Gaming

are not only a vehicle loaded with textual and auditory information, they also provide cultural elements as course content (Cruz, 2007). Second, language learners playing e-games are engaged in new literacies since e-gaming is a new and fast-developing genre in media literacy. Third, language learners are invited to develop new identities in game communities, especially in massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs). Last, with regards to e-gaming in the classroom, new pedagogies are necessary to help language learners use e-games for the purpose of academic learning.

E-gaMing and LanguagE LEarning research on E-gaming in Language acquisition


Weighed against the considerable body of published work on e-gaming in education in general, only a limited volume of literature specifically addresses e-gaming in language acquisition. Most studies on e-gaming in language acquisition analyze the features of e-games that have potential for language learning. A few researchers have focused on the learners use of e-games in language acquisition (deHaan, 2005; Herselman & Technikon, 2000; Yip & Kwan, 2006). In addition, there are several studies on game design tools and principles related to language acquisition (Morton & Jack, 2005; Pasero & Sabatier, 1998; Johnson, Vilhjalmsson, & Marsella, 2005). Ang and Zaphiris (2007) identify two perspectives on the use of games in language learning: games as virtual environments and games as collaborative learning. Table 1 presents a summary of the current literature on e-gaming in language teaching and learning. As shown in Table 1, most of the literature was published in the last two years, which implies the research on e-gaming in language acquisition is still a newly emerging topic. Next, we analyze the present research on e-gaming in language acquisition in terms of second language acquisition theories, e-games in language learning, classroom instruction related to e-games, and e-game design tools.

E-gaming in Education
With the development of gaming technologies, the integration of gaming with learning has become a popular topic in the field of education. Extensive and varied research has been conducted on e-gaming in education as a whole (Garris, Ahlers, & Driskell, 2002; Margolis, Nussbaum, Rodriguez, & Rosas, 2006; Rosas et al., 2003; Shaffer, Squire, Halverson, & Gee, 2004; Squire, 2006). Considerable research has demonstrated that e-gaming has tremendous positive influences on learning experiences (Garris et al., 2002; Shaffer et al., 2004). Previous research demonstrates that e-games enhance computer literacy (Benedict, 1990), attention (Bavelier & Green, 2003), reaction time (Orosy-Fildes & Allan, 1989), and promote problem-solving skills (Gee, 2003; Johnson, 2005). Additionally, e-games can be very useful in acquiring practical skills, as well as increasing perception and stimulation and developing skills in problem-solving, strategy assessment, media and tools organization and obtaining intelligent answers (de Aguilera & Mendiz, 2003, p. 11). Often, there are many effective learning principles integrated into good game design (Gee, 2004, 2005).

second Language acquisition theories related to E-gaming


There are several language acquisition theories that relate to a discussion of e-gaming and language learning. Krashens Comprehensible Input Hypothesis can be applied to elaborate on the



Amusing Minds for Joyful Learning through E-Gaming

Table 1. Summary of research on e-gaming in language learning


Topic Authors Hansson Year 2005 Title English as a Second Language on a virtual platformtradition and innovation in a new medium Serious games for language learning: How much game, how much AI? Research Focus Virtual didactic; virtual avatars

Johnson et al. Game

2005

Computer games; serious games; game design techniques; design principles; Artificial Intelligence (AI) Spoken Electronic Language Learning (SPELL); virtual agents

Design Morton & Jack 2005 Scenario-based spoken interaction with virtual agents

Pasero & Sabatier

1998

Linguistic games for language learning: A special use of ILLICO library

Linguistic games; design principles; ILLICO (a tool box for natural language processing, i.e., NLP) Models of social interaction in computer game communities; language learning opportunities in the in-game and out-of-game community Computer games; theoretical issues; CALL; case studies

Ang , Zaphiris, & Wilson

2005

Social interaction in game communities and second language learning

Gaming & Learning

Ang & Zaphiris

2007

Computer games and language learning

Cruz

2007

Video games and the ESL classroom

Integrate video games into ESL curriculum; teaching activities Video games; genres; framework

deHaan

2003

Learning language through video games: a theoretical framework, an evaluation of genres and question for future research Acquisition of Japanese as a foreign language through a baseball video game University students benefiting from the medium of computer games: a case study Commentary: Youre not studying, youre just Online vocabulary games as a tool for teaching and learning English vocabulary

deHaan

2005

Video games; foreign language; case study Computer games; drill and practice games; case study

Herselman & Technikon

2000

Purushotma

2005

Massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) Online games; vocabulary learning; quasi-experimental study

Yip & Kwan

2006



Amusing Minds for Joyful Learning through E-Gaming

concept that exposure to language is optimized in simulations and gaming (Garca-Carbonell et al., 2001). Also, according to Krashens Affective Filter Hypothesis, a lower affective filter facilitates language learning, which is one of the positive qualities of simulation and gaming in second language acquisition (Garca-Carbonell et al., 2001). Furthermore, Cummins Four Quadrants provides implications for language teachers to integrate e-games in teaching and learning (Cummins, 1981).

create a mental block; thus, the learner fails to perceive the comprehensible input and no language acquisition takes place.

Cummins Four Quadrants


In terms of context clues and cognitive demands, Cummins Four Quadrants (Cummins, 1981) identify four areas of learning tasks associated with second language proficiency ranging from Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills (BICS) to Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP). The notions of BICS and CALP distinguish social language from academic language (Zainuddin & Yahya, 2006). Social language is context-embedded conversational language in our daily lives, while academic language is decontextualized school-based learning language. In Cummins Four Quadrants (see Figure 1), the vertical continuum represents communicative tasks and activities ranging from cognitively undemanding to cognitively demanding, whereas the horizontal continuum illustrates communicative tasks and activities from context embedded to context reduced. Accordingly, Quadrant I refers to cognitive undemanding tasks with high contextual clues, such as the following physical directions. Quadrant II indicates cognitively demanding and context-embedded learning tasks, for example, reading texts with the help of visuals. Cognitively undemanding learning tasks with reduced context such as telephone conversations fall into Quadrant III. Quadrant IV consists of cognitively demanding activities with reduced context, for instance, understanding academic lecturers without visuals. In the case of e-gaming, Rice (2007) emphasizes that playing e-games fosters higher-order thinking skills. Characterized by rich visual and audio aids, learning activities embedded in e-gaming fall into context-embedded learning environments. Since higher-order thinking can be integrated into e-gaming, there is potential to create game-based learning activities that are

Comprehensible Input
The Comprehensible Input Hypothesis proposed by Krashen (1981) contends that in order for language acquisition to occur, the language input should be comprehensible to language learners in many forms, such as visual aids, adapted texts, and the use of less complex language. In other words, language learners understand messages with unacquired grammar with the help of context (Zainuddin & Yahya, 2006, p. 148). Language learners make progress when they are exposed to the language input (i) one step beyond their current level of proficiency (i+1). In e-gaming, visuals, a form of comprehensible input, provide language learners with much aid in understanding the context. Also, as language learners encounter new vocabulary or other linguistic phenomena in e-games, learning occurs if the comprehensible input is at the level of i+1.

Affective Filter
In Krashens (1981) Affective Filter Hypothesis, emotional variables such as motivation, selfconfidence, and anxiety play a role in language acquisition. A language learner with high motivation, high self-confidence, and lower anxiety will be more likely to be successful in language acquisition. On the contrary, if a language learner does not have the above-mentioned positive emotional variables, the learners affective filter will



Amusing Minds for Joyful Learning through E-Gaming

Figure 1. Cummins Four Quadrants (adapted from Cummins, 1981)

Quadrant I e.g., playing simple games Context Embedded (Clues)

Quadrant III e.g., predictable telephone conversations Quadrant IV e.g., standardized achievement exams

Quadrant II e.g., hands on science activity

Context Reduced (No Clues)

Cognitively Demanding (Hard)

context embedded and cognitively demanding (Cummins Quadrant II). A goal of academic learning is to engage students in cognitively demanding and context-reduced learning activities (Quadrant IV). Like other CALL programs, e-gaming is not sufficient on its own. It can play the assistant role and can be an aid both to the teacher and to the student (Lasagabaster & Sierra, 2003). Therefore, it is the teachers task to create learning activities in Quadrant IV to help students use their learning content or experience for further abstract learning.

E-games in Language Learning


Several researchers have different views on good e-games for language learning (refer to Appendix A). Cruz (2007) contends that role-playing games (RPGs) are the ideal genre for the ESL classroom because players are exposed to long hours of in-game dialogue and heavy amounts of written text (p. 1). In discussing the value of e-games in language learning, Purushotma (2005) analyzes the virtues of The Sims, in which simulations provide practical vocabulary and rich

content with interactivity and flexibility. Furthermore, Purushotma argues that MMOGs, such as The Sims Online, have tremendous potential in language learning due to the opportunities of communicative exchanges between L1 speakers and L2 speakers. deHaan (2003) provides very detailed analysis and evaluation of e-games. He identifies three benefits of using e-games in language learning: retaining learners involvement, presenting rich language aurally and textually, and harnessing learners motivation. deHaan (2003) also explores language learning opportunities in sports video games, virtual pet games, role-playing games, and simulation games. Like Purushotma (2005), deHaan (2003) also recommends The Sims, articulating that it is especially useful for beginning and intermediate language learners to learn vocabulary in real life. Alternatively, role-playing games present rich conversations textually and/or aurally. However, as opposed to Cruz (2007), deHaan (2003) contends that the conversations in role-playing games may be useful only for advanced language learners to decode and that the content is not necessarily related



Amusing Minds for Joyful Learning through E-Gaming

to real life, which is different from simulation games. In playing RPGs, players cannot pause or repeat conversations, which may pose a challenge for language learners. Rather, deHaan (2003) expresses a preference for sports and simulation games because they provide more scaffolding for language learners by providing a more obvious context. Table 2 compares the strengths and weaknesses of different game genres for language learning based on deHaans analysis.

using E-games for classroom instruction


To date, there is little research on the use of egames for language learners in classrooms, yet current research informs our understanding on the use of e-games in language classrooms. Cruz (2007) points out that simply playing games cannot produce bilingualism, and it is necessary for teachers to design activities that encourage students to talk about their gaming experience. Cruz identifies language activities such as reflective journals, debates, and oral presentations that could be used after language learners play e-games in the classroom. Since games alone are not sufficient for learning, elements of games activated within an instructional context may enhance learning (Garris et al., 2002). Purushotma (2005)

stresses that it is necessary to direct students attention to key vocabulary in playing MMOGs. Yip and Kwan (2006) contend that online vocabulary games are effective as a warm-up, yet caution that teachers must monitor students learning if such games are used as a long-term learning tool. Teachers can determine appropriate games for language learning, create opportunities for students to connect language learning with gaming content, and observe students progress through formative assessments. For implementation of e-games in the classroom, Cruz (2007) suggests that students play a language learning game weekly during instructional time or recess. deHaan (2005) proposes a game day or class party to invite several students to play simultaneously. Also, video games can be encouraged in language labs or in home settings (deHaan, 2005).

tools and technologies for game design in Language acquisition


With the development of advanced technologies, some technology tools have been incorporated into game design specifically for language acquisition. These include artificial intelligence (AI), speech recognition tools, and virtual agents.

Table 2. A brief summary comparing game genres used in language learning


RPGs and Action/Adventure Games Little or no comprehensible context Limited player interaction required for conversation Sports/Simulation Games More apparent context of language More player control required for conversations (sports games) More responsible language use (virtual pet and simulation games) Little interaction with or ownership of non-repetitious language Little language applied to the real world Beneficial for advanced language learners Players actions connect with language through reinforcement Language used in real-life discourse Beneficial for beginning and intermediate language learners



Amusing Minds for Joyful Learning through E-Gaming

AI (Artificial Intelligence)
Johnson et al. (2005) analyzed the usage of AI in the game design of the Tactical Language Training System (TLTS), a program that supports acquisition of foreign language and cultural skills. They claimed artificial intelligence plays a key role in controlling the behavior of the non-player characters in the game and intelligent tutoring provides supplementary scaffolding (p. 1). With the help of the AI in TLTS, an aide character was created to help the player when he or she gets stuck, and a virtual tutor was created that evaluates the players speech and gives feedback on errors, while providing encouragement and attempting to overcome learner negative affectivity (Johnson et al., 2005, p. 2).

Speech Recognition
Speech recognition has been used in many egames to help learners in language acquisition. With the integration of speech recognition technology, TLTS can teach American soldiers to speak two Arabic dialects (Johnson et al., 2005). It is stated that speech recognition was designed in TLTS to classify the intended meaning (Johnson et al., 2005, p. 3) of player utterance in order to give the feedback to the player to move the game along. However, the inaccuracy of recognizing pronunciation, and the value and relevance of speech recognition technology have been somewhat in debate (Morton & Jack, 2005). Improvement of speech recognition is needed in order for learners to learn more accurately.

such as identity creation (avatars in games/chat), collaborative learning, or even mentoring (helping others in game strategies or game-related fiction writing) (p. 17) can be used in game design to facilitate language learning. A well-designed virtual world can provide learners with a highly contextualized environment in which the learner can interact with animated agents as an active dialogue participant (Hansson, 2005; Morton & Jack, 2005). The features of the virtual environments offer learners a sense of presence in the real world that provides an authentic learning context. Through the interaction of the learners and the virtual agents (or avatars), the lowanxiety, contextualized environment can engage learners in the learning process. With graphical representations of characters in the virtual world, avatars can lessen the anxiety that learners may have in a face-to-face learning environment. Within the virtual, contextualized environment, the use of virtual agents also offers the learner an opportunity for one-to-one conversation, designed to contribute to an enhanced learning experience (Morton & Jack, 2005, pp. 175-176). Learners learn more effectively and efficiently without worrying about making mistakes in the virtual learning environment.

FuturE trEnds
Reviewing the history of traditional games in language learning and the present use of e-games in education, we are confident, along with other researchers in this area, that e-gaming has great potential in language acquisition. With the dramatically increased attention and interest in e-gaming in education, a revolution in language learning is coming. Our perspective on the future of e-gaming in language learning is centered on classroom practice, research trends, and the challenges confronting researchers and practitioners in this field.

Virtual Agents
Morton and Jack (2005) state that automatic speech recognition coupled with embodied virtual agents and virtual worlds have been used in CALL. SPELL systems create scenarios in which learners can develop oral skills in their target language. Godwin-Jones (2005) claims that some strategies

0

Amusing Minds for Joyful Learning through E-Gaming

classroom practice
Future and existing language classrooms should embrace multi-player gaming. Hansson (2005) indicates that exploring the potential of MMOGs for classroom use is just beginning. Multi-player games may generate tremendous opportunities for language learners in social learning (Squire, 2006). Purushotma (2005) affirms the potential of MMOGs in language learning since it is possible for a second language (L2) learner to be partnered with a first language (L1) learner in a MMOG like The Sims Online. Furthermore, Purushotma suggests that teachers collaborate across countries to involve L1 and L2 players in collaboration while playing a game.

research trends
With limited research on using e-gaming for language acquisition, it is clear that this research area is still undeveloped. deHaan (2003) urges that various case studies, especially long-term case studies and discourse analyses, are needed to understand language acquisition in language learning. deHaan (2003) holds a conservatively positive attitude towards the use of video games in language classroom use, providing some caveats and questions for further research. Also, deHaan (2003) poses many insightful questions, of which two actually resonate with our analysis of Cummins quadrants. Can language acquired through video games be used when the language is removed from the context of the game? Can a games language be used when the kinesthetic or contextual connection to the game is absent? These two crucial questions for application of e-gaming in classroom practice urge us to ponder if context-embedded information in e-games can crutch language learners to conduct academic-demanding learning tasks. Some electronic games, such as Civilization III, are utilized in the classroom to assist the

learning of social studies and history (MacKenty, 2006; Squire, 2004). Exploration and research on the use of e-gaming in the language classroom is necessary to fill the tremendous void of research. In the field of CALL, Bax (2003) suggests that more in-depth ethnographic studies of individual environments and action research in individual environments (p. 27) are needed in the future. Undoubtedly, ethnographic studies and action research will also help to expand our collective understanding of the use of e-games in the language learning process. Considering various language learning populations, we also think it is promising to explore the potential of e-games in adult language education. Most of the research on the use of non-electronic simulations and games in language learning was conducted with children. However, some research has focused on the uses of non-electronic simulations and games in adult language classrooms (Hill, 2002; Jung & Levitin, 2002; Gaudart, 1999). Hill emphasizes that we should not underestimate the power of play in adult language education (2002, p. 358). Gaudart (1999) also asserts that neither simulations nor games are age dependent, and based on her own experience in Malaysia, she claims that adults may enjoy games even more than children do. Further, Kovalik and Kovalik (2002) maintain that Piagets belief that play facilitates learning in children can also apply to adults. For adult language learners who are more competent in self-paced autonomous learning, the potential for the integration of e-gaming for adult language learners should not be underestimated.

challenges
Although playing traditional games in language learning has been valued by many people, the introduction of e-gaming into language learning still faces many challenges. These challenges include concerns related to game design, teacher training, and assessment.



Amusing Minds for Joyful Learning through E-Gaming

Game Design
As discussed above, with the exception of some simple online linguistic games, most e-games are not specifically designed for language learners. Language learning opportunities are more likely to be by-products of commercial e-games. Language learning educators and researchers increasing interest in e-games indicates a necessity for creating e-games specifically for language learners. deHaan (2003) proposes video game developers create sports, virtual pet, simulation, and modified role-playing and action/adventure games with a primary or secondary aim of teaching languages. The game design industry should initiate extensive and intensive cooperation with language educators to develop versatile language e-games for a vast market.

Assessment
Teachers must consider which e-games can be integrated and how they will be integrated in language learning classrooms. Teachers should also consider how students e-gaming experiences can facilitate their academic learning and how playing e-games can promote meaningful learning. Most importantly, teachers need to evaluate e-games before using them in the classroom. Rice (2007) created a rubric and scale for educators (see Appendix B) to assess higher-order thinking in e-games which provides an overarching assessment tool for e-games in education. For language learning purposes, educators still need to consider the potential of e-games in language learning, namely, the possibilities for learners to be involved in practicing four basic language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. If students play e-games as part of a class activity, teachers may wonder how to assess student learning.

Teacher Training
First, the legitimacy of e-gaming is the biggest issue for teacher training. Teachers and parents may hold negative attitudes towards e-games, so there will be more debate centered on the efficacy of e-gaming and its impact on learning. Second, the emphasis for teacher training should be to guide teachers to integrate e-games into the curriculum. Previous research has suggested that novice teachers should be linked with experienced computer-using teachers to develop networks of experts in CALL (Egbert, Paulus, & Nakamichi, 2002; Strudler, McKinney, & Jones, 1999). Since e-gaming applications may still be novel, teachers should play a dual role as a facilitator of learning and a researcher in using e-games for language learning. Last, Egbert et al. (2002) claim that for teacher education, CALL coursework should be situated in the contexts in which teachers will use it. If possible, teachers should visit an experimental class where e-games are being used to gain firsthand classroom experience.

concLusion
This chapter provides a synopsis of playing and learning in language education. We hope to contribute an overview of research on e-gaming in language acquisition and provide a springboard for more in-depth research on e-gaming development and application in language teaching. We acknowledge the important role of play in language learning. In fact, play has been valued by many scholars from ancient times to the present day. In ancient China, Confucius said, Knowledge is not equal to devotion. Devotion is not equal to joy. That is, the joy of learning is more essential than the act of knowing. In ancient Greece, Plato said, Do not train children to learn by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each. Thus, learning cannot be effective without motivation. Huizinga believes



Amusing Minds for Joyful Learning through E-Gaming

that play is the source of knowledge (as cited in Ang & Zaphiris, 2007). Therefore, we should strive to amuse the language learners mind through playing e-games. While affirming e-games potential in language learning, we maintain that implementing e-games in language learning is not a simple process. In the coming revolution of playing the language, e-game designers, researchers, practitioners, and language learners will be confronted with opportunities as well as challenges. To optimize language learning in the virtual worlds of e-games, more exhaustive research is needed to expand our understanding of electronic play and language learning.

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Garca-Carbonell, A., Rising, B., Montero, B., & Watts, F. (2001). Simulation/gaming and the acquisition of communicative competence in another language. Simulation & Games, 32(4), 481-491. Garris, R., Ahlers, R., & Driskell, J.E. (2002). Games, motivation, and learning: A research and practice model. Simulation & Gaming, 33(4), 441-467. Gaudart, H. (1999). Games as teaching tools for teaching English to speakers of other languages. Simulation & Gaming, 30(3), 283-291. Gee, J.P. (2003). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy. ACM Computers in Entertainment, 1(1). Gee, J.P. (2004). Learning and gaming. In Situated language and learning: A critique of traditional schooling. New York: Routledge. Gee, J.P. (2005). Good video games and good learning. Retrieved March 18, 2007, from http:// tabuladigita.com/files/Theory_Good_Learning. pdf Godwin-Jones, R. (2005). Messaging, gaming, peer-to-peer sharing: Language learning strategies & tools for the millennial generation. Language Learning & Technology, 9(1), 17-22. Halleck, G. (2002). Guest editorial: Simulation in language learning. Simulation & Games, 33, 276-279. Hansson, T. (2005). English as a Second Language on a virtual platformtradition and innovation in a new medium. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 18(1&2), 63-79. Herselman, M.E., & Technikon, P.E. (2000). University students benefiting from the medium of computer games: A case study. South African Journal of Higher Education, 14(3), 139-150. Hill, J.L. (2002). Playing with The Three Pigs: Not just for children. Simulation & Games, 33(3), 353-359.


Jenkins, H. (2005). Getting into the game. Educational Leadership, 62(7), 48-51. Johnson, S. (2005). Everything bad is good for you: How todays popular culture is actually making us smarter. New York: Riverhead Books. Johnson, W.L., Vilhjalmsson, H., & Marsella, S. (2005). Serious games for language learning: How much game, how much AI? Retrieved April 20, 2007, from http://cslr.colorado.edu/beginweb/ 2004animated_wkshp/AIED2005_0320_camera_ready.pdf Jung, C.S.Y., & Levitin, H. (2002). Using a simulation in an ESL classroom: A descriptive analysis. Simulation & Games, 33(3), 367-375. Kovalik, D.L., & Kovalik, L.M. (2002). Language learning simulations: A Piagetian perspective. Simulation & Games, 33(3), 345-352. Krashen, S. (1981). Second language acquisition and second language learning. Oxford, UK: Pergamon Press. Lasagabaster, D., & Sierra, J.M. (2003). Students evaluation of CALL software programs. Educational Media International, 40(3/4), 293-304. Macedonia, M. (2005). Games and foreign language teaching. Support for Learning, 20(3), 135-140. MacKenty, B. (2006). All play and no work. School Library Journal, 52(9), 46-48. Margolis, J.L., Nussbaum, M., Rodriguez, P., & Rosas, R. (2006). Methodology for evaluating a novel education technology: A case study of handheld video games in Chile. Computers & Education, 46, 174-191. Morton, H., & Jack, M.A. (2005). Scenario-based spoken Interaction with virtual agents. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 18(3), 171-191. Orosy-Fildes, C., & Allan, R. (1989). Videogame play: Human reaction time to visual stimuli. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 69(1), 243-248.

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Pasero, R., & Sabatier, P. (1998). Linguistic games for language learning: A special use of ILLICO library. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 11(5), 561-585. Purushotma, R. (2005). Commentary: Youre not studying, youre just. Language Learning & Technology, 9(1), 80-96. Rice, J. (2007). Assessing higher order thinking in video games. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 15(1), 87-100. Rosas, R., Nussbaum, M., Cumsille, P., Marianov, V., Correa, M., Flores, P. et al. (2003). Beyond Nintendo: Design and assessment of educational video games for first and second grade students. Computers and Education, 40(1), 71-94. Salis, T.G. (2002). Simulation/gaming in the EAP writing class: Benefits and drawbacks. Simulation & Gaming, 33(3), 316-329. Shaffer, D.W., Squire, K.R., Halverson, R., & Gee, J.P. (2004). Video games and the future of learning. Madison, WI: University of WisconsinMadison and Academic Advanced Distributed Learning Co-Laboratory. Spelman, M.D. (2002). GLOBECORP: Simulation versus tradition. Simulation & Games, 33(3), 376-394. Squire, K. (2004). Replaying history: Learning world history through playing Civilization III. Retrieved April 25, 2007, from http://scholar. google.com/scholar?hl=en&lr=&q=cache: Oatr_uUtZTQJ:website.education.wisc.edu/kdsquire/REPLAYING%2520HISTORY.doc+repla ying+history,+civilization,+squire Squire, K. (2006). From content to context: Videogames as designed experience. Educational Researcher, 35(8), 19-29. Strudler, N., McKinney, M., & Jones, W. (1999). First-year teachers use of technology: Preparation expectations and realities. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 7(2), 115-129.

Warschauer, M. (2004). Technological change and the future of CALL. In S.F.C. Brown (Ed.), New perspectives on CALL for second and foreign language classrooms (pp. 15-25). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Williams, D. (2003). The video game lightning rod. Information, Communication & Society, 6(4), 523-550. Yip, F.W.M., & Kwan, A.C.M. (2006). Online vocabulary games as a tool for teaching and learning English vocabulary. Educational Media International, 43(3), 232-249. Zainuddin, H., & Yahya, N. (2006). First and second language acquisition theories and models. In E.N.W. Ariza, C.A. Morales-Jones, N. Yahya, & H. Zainuddin (Eds.), Why TESOL? The theories & issues in teaching English to speakers of other languages in K-12 classrooms (3rd ed.). Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt.

kEY tErMs
Artificial Intelligence (AI): Refers to the intelligence exhibited by an artificial entity. AI is a field overlapped by different areas such as computer science, engineering, psychology, neuroscience, and so forth. Avatar/Virtual Agent: A players representation within a gaming or simulation environment. E-Gaming/Games: Electronic games including computer games and video games. Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG): A computer game that enables hundreds or thousands of players from around the world to play at the same time. By necessity, these games are played on the Internet and allow players to cooperate and compete with each other during gameplay.



Amusing Minds for Joyful Learning through E-Gaming

Non-Playable Character (NPC): A character encountered within a gaming environment that is controlled by the AI of the game. Role-Playing Game (RPG): A game in which a player assumes the role of a character and collaboratively plays with other players to achieve a game-related goal. Players determine their characters actions based on game rules and on the goal they want to achieve during gameplay, which in turn shapes the outcome of the game. Interactivity among players is a crucial characteristic of an RPG. Simulation: Imitates a situation in real life. In most research, simulation and gaming are alternative terms. Garca -Carbonell et al. (2001) point out that an explicit reference system is a characteristic of simulation or game when compared with role-play activities. However, Kovalik and Kovalik (2002) refer to Crookall and Oxfords (1990) definition of roleplay, stating that roleplay is included in the simulations used in their classrooms.

Traditional (Non-Electronic) Games: Games that do not include the implementation of any electronic apparatus such as computers or consoles; examples include board games and card games.

EndnotE
1

In this chapter, language learning indicates second-language (L2) learning, not first-language (L1) learning. Meanwhile, a few articles addressing foreign language acquisition are included due to the limited number of research focusing on games in L2 learning.

appEndiX a: E-gaMEs in LanguagE LEarning rEcoMMEndEd bY rEsEarchErs


Table A1.
Strengths and Potential in language teaching by Cruz, 2007 Atelier Iris (Sony PlayStation 2), Atelier Iris 2 (Sony PlayStation 2), Arc the Lad (Sony PlayStation), Arc the Lad 2 (Sony PlayStation), Final Fantasy 7 (Sony PlayStation), Final Fantasy Origins (Sony PlayStation), Final Fantasy Anthologies (Sony PlayStation), Final Fantasy Chronicles (Sony PlayStation), Growlanser (Sony PlayStation 2), Lunar: The Silver Star Story (Sony PlayStation), Lunar: Eternal Blue (Sony PlayStation), Paper Mario (Gamecube), Radiata Stories (Sony PlayStation 2), Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure (Sony PlayStation), Suikoden series (Sony PlayStation/PlayStation 2), Tales of Eternia (Gamecube) Recommended Games

Cartoon-like visuals, good soundtrack, and interesting and funny characters and plots For students between the age of 11 and 17 in mind (Cruz, 2007)

by deHaan, 2003 Listening, reading Power Pro Baseball 6 (Japanese)

continued on following page 

Amusing Minds for Joyful Learning through E-Gaming

Table A1. continued


Motivation nature and encouraging responsible repletion of language applicable to real life Real-world/life language; learning verbs and imperative (command) forms Listening, speaking, vocabulary Monster Rancher

The Sims

Seaman

by Purushotma, 2005 Speaking Speaking (interaction with L1 players) Speaking Seaman The Sims Online (MMOG version of The Sims)

Operators Side (Lifetime in English)

appEndiX b: VidEo gaME highEr-ordEr thinking EVaLuation rubric and VidEo gaME cognitiVE ViabiLitY scaLE
Table B1. Video game higher-order thinking evaluation rubric
Characteristics Requires users to assume a role in the game, rather than simply play. Offers meaningful interaction such as dialogue with NPCs. Has a storyline. Has a complex storyline with characters users care about. Offers simple puzzles. Has complex puzzles requiring effort to solve. Uses three-dimensional graphics. Allows multiple views or camera pans and the ability to zoom in and out. Allows different ways to complete the game. Simulates complex processes requiring adjustment of variables by users to obtain desired results, or adjusting variables leads to different results. Allows interaction through use of avatars. Avatars are lifelike. Requires interaction with virtual elements within the game. Requires knowledge of game elements beyond mouse prompts, number entry (e.g., combining elements to create new tools, understanding complex jargon). Requires gathering of information in order to complete. Y/N 1/ 0

continued on following page



Amusing Minds for Joyful Learning through E-Gaming

Table B1. continued


Requires synthesis of knowledge in order to complete or successfully engage elements in the game. Environment effectively replicates real world. NPCs display AI characteristics. NPCs display effective use of AI resulting in dynamic experiences for the user. Offers replay ability with varying results Total score: (Indicating placement on the Video Game Cognitive Viability Index)

Source: Rice, J.W. (2007). Assessing higher order thinking in video games. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 15(1), 93. Copyright 2007 by the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Reprinted with permission.

Table 2. Video game cognitive viability scale


20 15-19 14-18 9-13 0-8 Perfect score. Game displays highest elements of cognitive viability. Upper-range. Game holds several positive characteristics lending itself to higher-order thinking. Mid-range. Game is probably acceptable for some higher-order thinking opportunities. Lower-range. Fewer opportunities for higher-order thinking will take place in the game. Little or no cognitive viability. Typical score range for arcade-style-only games.

Source: Rice, J.W. (2007). Assessing higher order thinking in video games. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 15(1), 94. Copyright 2007 by the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Reprinted with permission.

appEndiX c: a List oF onLinE rEsourcEs For E-gaMEs in LanguagE LEarning


Languagegames.org (http://www.languagegames.org/la/) Players can improve their vocabulary in certain languages through playing these online games. English Adventures (http://techno-ware-esl.com/engadventures.html) Players can practice English skills including reading, writing, speaking, and listening, as well as grammar and vocabulary. Game Zone (online English language games) (http://www.english-online.org.uk/games/gamezone2. htm) Contains a list of English language games to improve vocabulary, spelling, and grammar.



Amusing Minds for Joyful Learning through E-Gaming

Learning English Games (http://www.2flashgames.com/learning_english_games.htm) Players can improve English skills such as listening and vocabulary through gameplay. Online Word Games (http://word-games.pogo.com/) Varied English word games for language learners to improve vocabulary and spelling. Online Word Games (http://www.realarcade.com/onlineGamesGenre?genre=word&tps=google_ &src=mcode_nbrbp_,ogpg) These English word games on the Web can enhance spelling and vocabulary. Free Online Games (http://games.aol.com/word) Learners can improve vocabulary in playing fun English word games. Mini Clip Games (http://www.miniclip.com/games/es/) PopCap GamesFree Online Games (http://www.popcap.com) Learners can enrich their vocabulary and proficiency of grammar through playing spelling and grammar games on these two Web sites above. SveerzOnline Games (http://www.e-funsoft.com/sveerz) Players can improve listening comprehension by playing the games on this Web site. NBC.comTreasure Hunters (http://www.nbc.com/Treasure_Hunters/game/) Players will improve their listening comprehension and problem-solving skills by playing the games on this Web site. LOGANs Mystery of Time and Space Adventure (http://www.albartus.com/motas/) This online graphic adventure game involves players in solving riddles and puzzles, and enhancing reading comprehension and vocabulary. McDonalds Strategy Game (http://www.puffgames.com/mcdonalds/) Players are invited to run the business of McDonalds during gameplay by which they can improve reading comprehension, management skill, and systematical skills. Arcane Season 1: The Miller Estate: Episode 1 (http://www.gamershood.com/flashgames/137) Players needs to solve some puzzles when playing this game, by which they can improve their listening comprehension during gameplay. Teen Second Life (http://teen.secondlife.com/) Developed for adolescents ages 13-17, this teen version of Second Life creates opportunities for teens from all over the world to chat and socialize in a 3D virtual world.



Amusing Minds for Joyful Learning through E-Gaming

Second Life and Language Learning Discussion (http://blog-efl.blogspot.com/2007/04/second-lifeand-language-learning.html) This discussion forum is mainly about how players can learn a second language in Second Life, a 3D virtual online environment that provides players a place to communicate with each other. Kyle Mawer Home (http://kylemawer.wikispaces.com/) Kyle Mawers wiki is about computer games (especially free online games) for language learning and teaching.

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A Non-Language Learning Courseware and its Challenges


Jowati Juhary The National Defence University of Malaysia, Malaysia

Chapter X

abstract
This chapter analyses the challenges in adapting a non-language learning courseware (NLLC) for a military learning environment. The National Defense University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur (NDUM) was the subject for observations and an informal survey. The findings of this chapter argue that there are technical, theoretical, and pedagogical challenges that need to be overcome when using an NLLC in language classrooms. With the rise of information and communication technology (ICT) and the Internet, tertiary military institutions are pressured to implement e-learning technologies in their learning environments. However, not many institutions have the capacity to do so. The author argues that the adoption of an NLLC for an institution that has resources constraints can help determine the potential of using e-learning technologies to help students acquire the target language better.

introduction
Military institutions are considered to be among the oldest institutions in the world. Since the time of Plato, the institutions have often been called the guardians,1 and the public respected them as such (Stiehm, 2002, p. 1). Given their special role and prestige, most governments need to ensure that their military institutions are ready to defend the country, and such readiness depends critically on comprehensive learning. Continuously

improving learning programs for the military has, therefore, become one of the most important aims of governments. This is reflected in the large military budgets that have emerged in the postWWII world. Depending on the national defense strategies and foreign policies of a country, its needs and aspirations will be reflected in the learning programs of its military institutions. These learning programs range from academic to military curriculum and from professional to language courses.

Copyright 2009, IGI Global, distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Global is prohibited.

A Non-Language Learning Courseware and its Challenges

The question addressed in this chapter is on the challenges of adapting a non-language learning courseware (NLLC) for cadets in a military learning environment. One of the current methods of facing the challenges of change and globalization is by adopting information and communication technology (ICT) in the learning programs of military institutions. With the growing awareness of the potential of information technology (IT) and the role of knowledge workers in developing a knowledge economy, e-learning technologies have become a national issue for many countries. Implementing new technologies in the working and learning environment could prepare future generations for the new culture of global networks and economies. Countries are expected to enhance their educational system because only through education can the future of a nation be secured. In addition, education has historically played a major role in preparing military institutions for war, and in providing states and alliances with an instrument of strategic power (Holder & Murray, 1998, p. 81). The purposes of the chapter are twofold: 1. To identify the challenges in adapting an NLLC for cadets at the National Defense University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur (NDUM); and To analyze the implications of adapting an NLLC at the NDUM.

language. This chapter identifies the language acquisition challenges from the point of view of the Malaysian military institution. As an excolony in a middle-ranking power region, cadets at the NDUM may not need to acquire European or Middle Eastern languages. Malaysia does not envisage playing an independent role in policing the region or becoming a major global player in security matters. Nonetheless, three factors have made it crucial for the NDUM graduates to master the English language. Firstly, even the relatively modest domestic and border concerns expressed by Malaysias defense strategy require a modern and competent military. The ability of cadets to use the English language competently will ensure that misunderstanding can be avoided during the joint operations with armed forces from other countries. Secondly, active participation in United Nation Peacekeeping Operations also demands that military officers be fluent in the English language. Thirdly, the English language is an international language. The future career development of the NDUM graduates depends on their English language proficiency: external training or formal academic opportunities in English-speaking countries. Consequently the NDUM must equip its cadets with, among other knowledge and skills, the appropriate level of language competency and proficiency.

2.

thE MEthodoLogY thE signiFicancE oF thE chaptEr


It is argued that cadets at tertiary military institutions must acquire a second language in order to effectively function after graduation and being commissioned. For example, taking into account the current issues at the Middle East, graduates of the United States Military Academy, New York (West Point) should master Arabic or the Persian/Dari language as their second or third The main quantitative data of this chapter were collected at the NDUM. Formerly known as the Military Academy of Malaysia (MAM), the upgrade to a university status in November 2006 increases the pressure to also improve the learning environment at the NDUM. This chapter focuses on the question of language learning. The only language taught at the NDUM is English. The current method of teaching the target language is through face-to-face (F2F) sessions; indeed this is the only way cadets learn their proficiency and specific English language skills.



A Non-Language Learning Courseware and its Challenges

The NDUM recently acquired a new language laboratory, and the author2 quickly grabbed the opportunity to test how new technologies can help cadets to learn language better. A short of appropriate courseware due to several restrictions, the author used a CD-ROM titled Military History South Pacific Campaign3 by the Australian Department of Defense (DoD) to start a language learning project using digital technologies. This pilot project is crucial in determining the future e-learning strategies at the NDUM. A total of 118 cadets were involved in the project. They used this courseware for three months from July to September 2006. The courseware was incorporated into one of the cadets English language courses, English for Academic Communication. This course is the second language course in the English language course series at the NDUM. These course series are core courses that all cadets must undertake in order to graduate and to be commissioned. It needs to be emphasized that the courseware by the Australian DoD was not originally meant to teach the target language. However, since the medium of the courseware is English, the content materials are military-related themes, and the author had no other means of acquiring other courseware to jumpstart the language project, relevant activities for English language learning using the courseware were developed.4 It is important to emphasize that cadets were informed of the origin of the NLLC, and that they would participate in a survey after 24 hours of using it. Cadets were also informed of the purposes of the language learning project. In so doing, the author attempts to generate genuine effort by cadets in utilizing the NLLC and honest opinions in answering the questionnaire. For three months, cadetswho were divided into five smaller groupsused the courseware for two hours per week in the language laboratory. After the total of 24 hours, they were given questionnaires to answer. This questionnaire aimed at gauging their opinions on issues of using e-learning technolo-

gies. The statistical analysis was completed by Statistical Packages for Social Studies Version 14 (SPSS 14).

thE structurE oF thE chaptEr


In an attempt to achieve the purposes, this chapter is divided into four main sections. The first section examines the literature review on e-learning technologies in Malaysian higher learning institutions. Also briefly discussed in this section are Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) and English for Specific Purposes (ESP) literature. While the second section examines the findings of the survey, the third section identifies the implications of the findings, which can be common issues but have sound resonance for language learning at the NDUM. The fourth section focuses on the future trend of language learning. A conclusion follows.

digitaL tEchnoLogiEs and LanguagE LEarning E-Learning technologies: concept and practice in Malaysia
Malaysia is looking at the new century as an era, which presents challenges of rapid advancement in information and telecommunications technologies. Thus, there is a constant need to look closer at the educational demands. At the same time, the nation is leapfrogging with the implementation of its plans towards achieving Vision 2020,5 which precludes a necessity of having highly skilled workforces in all sectors. Malaysian society needs a new compatible educational system in the right module and level to keep up with the challenges. In effect, e-learning for tertiary education in Malaysia is prospering greatly. Many reasons contribute to this development. One of them is the fact that



A Non-Language Learning Courseware and its Challenges

more Malaysian private companies are willing to invest in higher learning education. As such, the first virtual university to utilize e-learning is Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (UNITAR), which was officiated in 1998. The second university to adopt e-learning as its medium of teaching and learning is the Open University of Malaysia or OUM. At present, many private colleges are offering courses online as an alternative to students who cannot meet the schedule like traditional students. Actually, e-learning in tertiary education is supposed to be the continuation of the 11 learning years in the smart schools at the primary and secondary levels (Juhary, 2001, p. 177). Nevertheless, e-learning in tertiary education is stepping further ahead. Besides many investments that are pouring in tertiary e-learning, the age factor of students and level of maturity may result in an easier way of handling flow of information and using it efficiently (Gan, 2000). The e-learning concept allows for the democratization of education; more adult and working people can further their studies as distance and time are no longer the barriers to education. Students can get the access to their coursework and exercise materials anywhere and at any time. The virtual education learning is designed around the use of interactive multimedia courseware to create an interesting and stimulating learning experience for students, while at the same time they can join discussions with their lecturers and other students online. The concept of e-learning in a military learning environment is, however, slightly different. For example at the NDUM, all cadets live on campus; as such, the e-learning concept reflects cadets use of technology anywhere (on campus), any time, and at different paces. Also, cadets join the NDUM right after their secondary schools, and thus they cannot yet be categorized as adulttheir ages range from 18 to 23 years old. The practice of e-learning in Malaysia is still in its infancy stage; only UNITAR and OUM offer almost 75% of their courses online and with

an e-learning environment. Their courseware and others from different universities are not the same, as most universities have different curricula. Many public institutes of higher learningfor example, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti (i) Teknologi Mara, and Universiti Sains Malaysiause e-learning in a mixed-mode environment (Lim & Ndubisi, 2003, p. 25; Sulong, Abu Bakar, Ibrahim, & Embi, 2002). To be more specific on the practice of e-learning, there is not yet a course being delivered 100% online in Malaysia. It is always a blended e-learning course where a combination of e-learning and traditional F2F learning is used together.

Benefits and Skepticism of E-Learning technologies


In much of the literature it has been suggested that e-learning technologies help students to understand and learn better. Although these benefits are not unique to military learning environments, they are particularly pertinent to the training of military leadership. The benefits6 include: Facilitating students construction of knowledge, testing their ideas, actively sharing and seeking information, generating a diverse array of ideas, appreciating multiple perspectives, engaging in social and intellectual interaction and dialogue, engaging in critical thinking and problemsolving exercises, increasing participation and reflection (self-directed learning), developing multiple modes of representation, and becoming more self-aware; Facilitating students engagement in a meaningful learning context, and thus increasing the ownership over their own learning; Helping students to learn more effectively at their own pace and in their own way; Helping students to select, store, and retrieve information efficiently;



A Non-Language Learning Courseware and its Challenges

Preparing students for real-life situations as students have an opportunity to explore many possibilities using authentic materials; Helping instructors/lecturers maintain content relevance by providing ready access for updating, adding, and deleting materials; and Helping institutions cut the costs of logistics and travel when the need for training arises.

All the benefits mentioned above are constrained by some broader considerations in the educational context. These considerations have given rise to many critics of the new learning technologies. The most significant critic is on the coststhe issue is whether the costs of developing new learning technologies produce better outcomes for military cadets and soldiers as well as the country as a whole. There is no point in investing a huge amount of money on digital technologies if the alleged benefits are unreachable. For example, the assumed cheapness of applying ICT approaches to learning has been questioned. As Bates (2001, p. 15) and others have noted, investments in digital technologies can be costly because of the time-consuming nature of developing courseware, purchasing and implementing IT systems, and maintaining IT operations. Most of these costs, especially during the first three years, can be exorbitant (Marginson, 2004, p. 100). Some critics are more optimistic than this, suggesting that after the IT learning systems mature and stabilize, the costs of running, maintaining, and upgrading them may be reduced. It has been suggested that it would generally take institutions up to three years to reduce operational costs by 20-30% relative to startup costs in the first few years (Beckett, 2004, p. 20). Other critics have focused more sharply on particular aspects of these digital strategies. By itself, modern electronic technology cannot gen-

erate better learning or teaching results. Many critics point out that whatever e-learning does, it needs to be compatible with the advanced principles of pedagogical theory. All too often, there is a dysfunctional gap between technology and pedagogical principles, arising from a number of factors including the lack of clear pedagogical guidelines for analyzing, designing, developing, supplying, and managing e-learning materials (Alonso, Lopez, Manrique, & Vines, 2005, p. 218). In particular the problem of how to teach and deliver content has been insufficiently attended to on the assumption that the technology itself will explain everything (Blinco, Mason, McLean, & Wilson, 2004, p. 12). Many scholars note that appropriate channels for content delivery are as important as the selection of appropriate materials (Woodill, 2004, pp. 5-9). While the previous several paragraphs have examined e-learning technologies in general, the next two subsections discuss specific concerns of this chapter, that is, language acquisition using new technologies and the significance of learning the target language for specific purposes.

computer-assisted Language Learning (caLL)


CALL is the use of computers or e-learning technologies as part of a language course. There are many uses of e-learning technologies in a language classroom even if there is an absence of a proper language learning courseware. For example, by using the Internet and World Wide Web (WWW), a language teacher can assist his or her students to read in and listen to the target language. With a proper language learning courseware, students can achieve more in their quest to acquire the target language. There are advantages of using CALL in classrooms, and Ravichandran (2000, p. 82) outlines four below: 1. Interest and motivation: Practice makes perfect and thus it is essential to provide



A Non-Language Learning Courseware and its Challenges

2.

3.

4.

repeated practice to meet important objectives. Because this process can be dull and frustrating, many students lose interest and motivation to learn a foreign language(s). CALL programs give students a different approach to learn the language(s). Individualization: Many students need additional time and individualized practice to meet learning objectives. The computer offers the opportunity for students to selfdirect their learning at a speed and level dictated by their own needs. Besides, additional programs can be made available for students who master learning objectives quickly. A compatible learning style: Students differ in their styles of learning. Many students appear to learn much more effectively when they are able to use a suitable learning style than when they are forced to use an incompatible one. Immediate feedback: Students receive maximum benefit from feedback only when it is supplied immediately. Their interest and receptivity decreases when the information on their performance is not prompt.

English for Specific Purposes (ESP)


There have been a lot of debates on what ESP is for. Giving definitions is insufficient, and thus the author selects literature that serves this chapters purposes. What then is ESP? Carter (1983) identifies three types of ESP: 1. 2. 3. English as a restricted language, English for academic and occupational purposes, and English with specific topics.

Tree of English Language Teaching, they divide ESP into three branches: (a) English for Science and Technology (EST), (b) English for Business and Economics (EBE), and (c) English for Social Studies (ESS). Each of these subject areas is then divided into two branches: English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English for Occupational Purposes (EOP). An example of EOP for the EST branch is English for Technicians, whereas an example of EAP for the EST branch is English for Medical Studies. Nonetheless, there is no clear cut trend between EAP and EOP for cadets at the NDUM, as they study and are considered working at the same time; their needs for ESP is inevitable and will be the same for examination and employment purposes. Additionally, it is noted that there is no categorization for a military branch. For the purposes of this chapter, the author chooses to categorize military skills and themes under EST because most materials involved discussions related to engineering, science, and technology, and also because the NDUM emphasizes these three areas in its academic and military programsthe university awards seven undergraduate engineering degrees out of a total of 12 undergraduate degrees. All in all, this section has provided the conceptual framework for this chapter. The next section discusses the empirical evidence of using an NLLC in a military learning environment.

thE surVEY and thE Findings


English for Academic Communication carries four contact hours for cadets at the NDUMtwo hours in the language laboratory and two hours in F2F sessions. Because the author was embarking on a pilot project for teaching English language using new technologies, it was first necessary to create a pre-teaching module that could help in the teaching and learning process. The concept of the pre-teaching module is communicative and interactive. The reasons why the concept is

In the NDUM setting, the author opts for the second type of ESP identified by Carter. Further, Hutchinson and Waters (1987, p. 17) offer a slightly different view of ESP. Using the



A Non-Language Learning Courseware and its Challenges

chosen are twofold: firstly, language in communication is used to accomplish some functions; and secondly, communication is a process to convey the relevant meanings (Larsen-Freeman, 2000, p. 123). The underlying presumption is that language is for communication. The goal of language teaching then is to achieve communicative competence (Hymes, 1985, pp. 284-286). This means that not only are linguistics elements important, but more important is how people use language to communicatewhom to speak to, what to say, when to say, how to say, and where to say something. Communicative approach has four characteristics in terms of language use: (1) language is a system for the expression of meaning, (2) the primary function of language is for interaction and communication, (3) the structure of language reflects its functional and communicative uses, and (4) the primary units of language are not merely its grammatical and structural features, but categories of functional and communicative meaning as exemplified in discourse (Richards & Rodgers, 2001, p. 151). To suit students needs of learning the target language, ample consideration is exercised when choosing the materials. Language learning activities for cadets must emphasize several types that conform to a communicative approach, and they must be suitable for ESP, for example, task based (Prabhu, 1983), functional (Jupp & Hodlin, 1975), and student-generated (Henner Stanchina & Riley, 1978). English for Academic Communication has four objectives, and they are tailored to ensure that cadets achieve communicative competence. Developed by the English language course committee at the NDUM, the objectives are: 1. To extract important information from written and recorded texts, and reproduce it in the form of notes; To use appropriate reading skills and strategies that can assist cadets to read independently and critically in their area of study;

3. 4.

To write essays based on notes taken from written and recorded texts; and To make oral presentations based on information from the reading and recorded texts.

the non-Language Learning courseware (nLLc)


As mentioned earlier, the courseware was originally used by the Australian DoD to teach its personnel the history of the South Pacific campaign. While its primary reason for developing and designing the courseware was not to teach the English language, the author finds the courseware to be suitable for language learning at the NDUM, and at the same time to expose the cadets to the military history. Although the NLLC focuses on the roles of the Australian Armed Forces (ADF), Malaysia was also part of the Japanese Occupation in the 1940s. It is a reasonable assumption that cadets would need to know other militarys participation during the Japanese ruling in Southeast Asia. Thus, in using the NLLC, the cadets would acquire the language skills and history knowledge concurrently. The NLLC has six sections; each section explains the different aspects of the ADFs roles in the South Pacific campaign. There is audio explanation that accompanies each page (or screen) on the NLLC; some pages have text to further clarify important points. It can be deduced from the pages that the courseware has incorporated the advantages of audio and visual technologies to keep users engaged. It needs to be emphasized that the activities for language learning were displayed on a separate courseware; this suggests that cadets must minimize the page from this NLLC and click on the activity button on the computer desktop to launch the language activities. Twenty different activities were developed based on the NLLC. The activities conform to the communicative needs of cadets as described earlier, and they are divided into several types

2.



A Non-Language Learning Courseware and its Challenges

of exercises such as multiple-choice questions (comprehension and listening skills), fill-in-theblank/map exercises (information gap, dictation, and writing memos), and drag-and-drop operations (language structure and vocabulary skills). Further, the activities have three levels of difficulty to suit cadets levels of language proficiency. It is important to stress that there is no formal assessment that used the NLLC; all activities were conducted during laboratory sessions. However, after each activity, the marks of the cadets would be tabulated and automatically sent to the language teacher. This enables the teacher to see whether cadets have understood the lessons of the day or not. Since cadets used the NLLC for two hours weekly, the other two-hour sessions were conducted in classrooms. The language learning is arranged based on cadets progress and experienceseach lesson aims at building cadets language skills. The F2F sessions were reserved mainly for essay writing and role-playing activities. In this way, the course is conducted using a mixed-mode environment, F2F sessions, and e-learning technologies.

most respondents felt that the courseware is helpful and innovative, it is essential to discuss some challenges of using an NLLC in a language class at the NDUM. These challenges can be categorized into three broad areas: 1. Technical challenges: Because the language activities are separately developed from the NLLC, cadets found it distracting to minimize and then click on the activity button. Based on the survey, 65% of respondents felt that they lost their concentration when they had to go to the activity button. Further, 67% of respondents said that it was a hassle to go back to the NLLC when they wanted to refer to some information. Some respondents felt that the pages for the activities should match the NLLC in terms of font types, font sizes, and color schemes; 53% of respondents agreed that uniformity between the exercise courseware and the NLLC was important to attract and retain their attention. Theoretical challenges: The original use of the courseware is not for language learning; instead it is for military history lessons. As such, it is obvious that the way the materials are presented and displayed did not give focus on cadets needs to learn the target language. For example, 78% of respondents felt that they need to respond to the NLLC directly; if they did not understand a word, running a mouse over the word should provide them with a definition. Also, while 88% of respondents agreed that the NLLC provided an interesting stimulus to listen to the target language, 91% of respondents asserted that some aspects of the audio were difficult to comprehend. This was because the respondents were not only unfamiliar with the native speakers speech, but more importantly they were not used to the Australian English accent. Pedagogical challenges: Some cadets commented that learning language using an

2.

the Main Findings


The questionnaire distributed to cadets had two parts with 20 main items. The first part asked cadets to choose between five Likert scales (Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree) on issues related to their experiences of using the NLLC. The second part asked cadets to write any comments about their experiences. By and large, cadets found that the NLLC provided a different learning approacha fresh and interesting way to learn the target language. Most importantly, 89% of respondents stated that the NLLC helped them to relate to their future life as military officers, and 93% of respondents found the use of the courseware for English language learning helped them to visualize how the language is used in the military context. While

3.



A Non-Language Learning Courseware and its Challenges

online courseware did not help them at all. Thirty-seven respondents felt that they still needed a language teacher to help them in their language lessons. While they agreed that the online courseware could be used anywhere and at any time, they pointed out that to acquire skills such as pronunciation, a language teacher was needed to guide the process in F2F sessions. In addition, 86% of respondents agreed that language learning should involve more F2F pair and group work; they claimed that F2F communication was vital in acquiring the target language. This statement is further supported by 79 respondents who felt that learning language using the technologies offered reduced the opportunity to work and communicate with classmates. The findings from the survey suggest that some issues are in need of extra considerations. Although these findings originate from a pilot language learning project at the NDUM, they present significant characteristics of language learning using e-learning technologies, and they lead to three implications discussed in the next section.

help them to learn the target language. Many of the educational courseware programs available that can be obtained commercially are developed in English language. The task of the instructors is to make sure that the materials in the NLLC are appropriate for their students in terms of level of difficulty, cultural sensitivity, and language expressions and jargons. Thirdly, cadets can in fact benefit from using a courseware that uses the English language and at the same time has military contents; cadets can gain knowledge about their future vocations while acquiring the target language. Even if the military contents differ from the normal practices at the cadets home countries, they can learn about other countries military traditions. These experiences can enrich cadets appreciation of their future jobs. In addition, this provides authenticity for language learning and thus increases the motivation for learning because cadets can see how the target language is being used in real-life settings. In short, these implications provide general guidelines for the future use of e-learning technologies at the NDUM. The implications also highlight the future trend of an NLLC and e-learning technologies in a military learning milieu as discussed next.

thE iMpLications
The implications of using an NLLC for the teaching and learning of English language at the NDUM are threefold. Firstly, with appropriate selections and creative modifications of an NLLC, any institutions can cut the cost for new technologies; educators can adapt and share resources worldwide. While not all resources can be shared because of copyright and confidentiality issues, most common content courseware such as military history and cultures can benefit military students in many countries. Secondly, for military cadets at non-speaking English countries, the adaptation of courseware developed in English language can

FuturE trEnds
Finding solutions to the challenges identified earlier has not been easy, because in many ways technological progress had outstripped the capacity of educators to develop pedagogical models that meet current needs (Bracewell, Breuleux, Laferrire, Benoit, & Abdous, 1998, p. 23). As Salomon (1998, p. 7) noted, this dysfunctional gap between technology and pedagogical principles is an unprecedented moment in human history. The traditional custodians of knowledge, the teachers and gurus, now find that the possibilities of technology were outstripping advancements in pedagogical and psychological theory. Yet the



A Non-Language Learning Courseware and its Challenges

need to harness technology by providing guidance, reflective discourse, and feedback is greater than ever (Bracewell et al., 1998, p. 23; Ngambi & Johnston, 2006, p. 246). Critically important for this chapter is that the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF), the future employer of the NDUM graduates, and the university itself may need to consider various aspects of a modern military learning where e-learning technologies can effectively and efficiently help future military officers to learn. Furthermore, the Malaysian government, along the lines of its Vision 2020,7 requires the MAF to capitalize on advances in ICT. This is to help foster knowledge-based armed forces. Accordingly, the former Chief of the Defense Forces8 stressed the importance of technology and technologically adept forces to face the challenges of the 21st century, which come in the form of traditional and asymmetrical threats. In the advent of ICT and IT, there is an urgent need for the MAF to generate new approaches and tighten its military strategies by incorporating ICT and IT. This is a crucial step and the elite military university, the NDUM, has the biggest challenge to prepare its future military leaders with the right skills, including English language competency. Because of the pressure by the parent services of the NDUM graduates, it is inevitable that elearning technologies for language acquisition will be one of the most important agendas in the next few years. To prepare for this shift in language learning, many aspects should be considered by the authorities at the NDUM. Firstly, language teachers or instructors must be given appropriate training to facilitate cadets language learning. They should know their new roles in using elearning technologies; they no longer have the sole power in language learning classes because cadets need to assume more responsibilities for their language acquisition. Secondly, the institution needs to design and develop their language courseware because of three factors: (a) to suit the socio-cultural background of cadets; (b) to suit the language requirement of cadets, which

is different from other civilian students; and (c) to ensure that a courseware must have both the learning and activity materials. Thus, based on all these factors, the ready-made courseware may not appropriately serve the military university. In addition, besides sending teaching staff for critical training in instructional design, the parent services of cadets should also be actively involved in the planning and monitoring of the learning process so that their requirements for cadets language proficiency are met. Thirdly, the combination of other emerging technologies such as Web-based learning provides opportunity to create a blended language learning and teaching atmosphere that is highly interactive, meaningful, and student centered (Kirkley & Kirkley, 2005, p. 42). This implies that when the language learning environment is technologically supported and student centered, cadets get more opportunities to use language in real-life situations. Coupled with a language courseware that is also utilizing authentic (military) content, cadets are exposed to their future career concurrently. It is also a practical assumption that digital technologies will not replace the traditional method of language learning. Therefore, there is a need to promote a balanced and mixed approach between e-learning and F2F sessions for language acquisition.

concLusion
While other institutions have experimented with a proper language courseware and may be successful at that, the NDUM cannot simply jump on the bandwagon without considering its unique learning environment. In deciding whether to use or adapt any language courseware, the administration and language instructors must consider several concerns ranging from financial to technical constraints. However, this chapter has demonstrated that an NLLC can still be used to teach the target language given appropriate modifications and creative implementations. Only

0

A Non-Language Learning Courseware and its Challenges

when the NDUM has adequate resources can a thorough need analysis be conducted. A need analysis for e-learning technologies does not have to be necessarily for language learning only; the analysis can cover every academic and military course at the military university. To conclude, the task of stimulating creative and reflective learning and thinking in the military training institutions of the world is no less important than generating these learning environments in civilian schools, colleges, and universities. If Platos ideas about guardianship are still relevant today, then these creative impulses are even more important in the military sector than in the civilian sector. If guardianship has been replaced by more cynical military motives including domestic oppression, international imperialism, superpower ambitions, and oligarchic tendencies, then the need for a creative learning environment in the armed forces takes on even greater importance. It is a reasonable hope that creative forces are also forces for building a better and less violent world. For all these reasons, providing cadets with viable language learning options such as e-learning technologies can help them to become more communicatively competent, and thus more understanding in dealing with global security challenges.

rEFErEncEs
Alonso, F., Lopez, G., Manrique, D., & Vines, J.M. (2005). An instructional model for Webbased learning education with blended learning process approach. British Journal of Educational Technology, 36(2), 217-235. Australian Government. (2002). Military history South Pacific campaign. CD-ROM, Department of Defense and Catalyst Interactive, Australia. Bates, A.W. (2001, April). The continuing evolution of ICT capacity and the implications for education in commonwealth countries. Commonwealth of Learning: Virtual Education Follow Up Study. Beckett, H. (2004). Blend skills for a better class of e-learning. Computer Weekly, (January 20). Blinco, K., Mason, J., McLean, N., & Wilson, S. (2004, July 19). Trends and issues in e-learning infrastructures development. Retrieved November 24, 2004, from http://www.educationau.edu. au/papers/altilab04-trends-issues.pdf Bonk, C.J., & Dennen, V.P. (2003). Frameworks for research, design, benchmarks, training and pedagogy in Web-based distance education. In M.G. Moore & W.G. Anderson (Eds.), Handbook of distance education (pp. 329-346). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Bracewell, R., Breuleux, A., Laferrire, T., Benoit, J., & Abdous, M. (1998). The emerging contribution of on-line resources and tools to classroom learning and teaching. Burnaby, Canada: TeleLearning Network. Carter, D. (1983). Some propositions about ESP. The ESP Journal, 2, 131-137. Gan, S.L.(2000). IT & education in Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur: Longman. Henner Stanchina, C., & Riley, P. (1978). Aspects of autonomous learning. ELT Documents 103: Individualisation in Language Learning, 75-97.


acknoWLEdgMEnt
This chapter uses the CD-ROM developed for the Department of Defense (DoD) of the Australian government. It is under the assumption that the author must not make profit from the courseware, and the author only uses it for educational purposes. Any unfavorable findings in the survey are not due to the courseware; the courseware was not designed for a language learning instrument. The author would also like to acknowledge the NDUM and the cadets who were involved in the pilot language learning project.

A Non-Language Learning Courseware and its Challenges

Holder, L., & Murray, W. (1998). Prospects for military education. Joint Force Quarterly, 18(Spring), 81-90. Hutchinson, T., & Waters, A. (1987). English for specific purposes: A learning-centred approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hymes, D. (1985). On communicative competence. In J.B. Pride & J. Holmes (Eds.), Sociolinguistics (pp. 269-293). Harmondsworth: Penguin. Juhary, J. (2001). E-learning in Malaysia: A pilot study. In J. Mukundan (Ed.), Reflections, visions & dreams of practice (pp. 175-181). Kuala Lumpur: ICT Learning Sdn. Bhd. Jupp, T.C., & Hodlin, S. (1975). Industrial English: An example of theory and practice in functional language teaching. London: Heinemann. Kirkley, S.E., & Kirkley, J.R. (2005). Creating next generation blended learning environment using mixed reality, video games and simulations. TechTrends, 49(3), 42-53. Larsen-Freeman, D. (2000). Techniques and principles in language teaching. New York: Oxford University Press. Lim, T.S., & Ndubisi, N.O. (2003). E-learning adoption: Initial concerns and excitements. Proceedings of the ASAIHL Conference 2003 (pp. 25-32), Center for Corporate and International Relations, UMS Sabah. Loveless, A., Devoogd, G.L., & Bohlin, R.M. (2001). Something old, something new: Is pedagogy affected by ICT? In A. Loveless & V. Ellis (Eds.), ICT, pedagogy and the curriculum (pp. 63-83). London: Routledge/Falmer. Marginson, S. (2004). Dont leave me hanging on the anglophone: The potential for on-line distance higher education in the Asia-Pacific region. Higher Education Quarterly, 58(2-3), 74-113. (Admiral Tan Sri Dato) Mohd Nor, M.A. (2005, September). The chief of the Malaysian Armed

Forces (MAF) opening address/speech. Proceedings of the 72nd Parade of the Malaysian Armed Forces Day Celebration. Ngambi, D., & Johnston, K. (2006). An ICTmediated constructivist approach for increasing academic support and teaching critical thinking skills. Educational Technology & Society, 9(3), 244-253. Peirce, W. (2003). Strategies for teaching thinking and promoting intellectual development in on-line classes. In S. Reisman, J.G. Flores, & D. Edge (Eds.), Electronic learning communities: Issues and practices (pp. 301-347). Charlotte, NC: Information Age. Plato. (1998). The republic (trans. by R. Waterfield). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Prabhu, N. (1983). Procedural syllabuses. Proceedings of the RELC Seminar, Singapore. Ravichandran, T. (2000). Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL): In the perspective of interactive approachadvantages and apprehensions. Proceedings of the National Seminar on CALL Conference (pp. 82-89), Chennai, India. Richards, J.C., & Rodgers, T.S. (2001). Approaches and methods in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Roschelle, J., Pea, R., Hoadley, C., Gordin, D., & Means, B. (2001). Changing how and what children learn in school with computer-based technologies. The Future of Children, 10(2), 76-101. Salomon, G. (1998, May). Novel constructivist learning environments and novel technologies: Some issues to be concerned with. Proceedings of the 2nd International Harvard Conference on Internet and Society. Stiehm, J.H. (2002). U.S. Army War College: Military education in a democracy. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.



A Non-Language Learning Courseware and its Challenges

Sulong, A.D., Abu Bakar, K., Ibrahim, D.Z., & Embi, M.A. (2002). Students perceptions on online learning in Malaysian universities. VirTEC Journal, 2(2), 51-60. Trinidad, S. (2003). Working with technology-rich learning environments: Strategies for success. In S.M. Khine & D. Fisher (Eds.), Technology-rich learning environments (pp. 97-113). Hackensack, NJ: World Scientific. Woodill, G. (2004). Where is the learning in elearning? A critical analysis of the e-learning industry (white paper). Retrieved January 4, 2007, from http://www.operitel.com Yunus, A.G. (1995). The Malaysian Armed Forces and Vision 2020. In A.R.A. Baginda & R. Mahmood (Eds.), Malaysias defense & foreign policies (pp. 1-9). Kuala Lumpur: Pelanduk.

learning. However, some scholars use it interchangeably with language learning. Military Learning Environment: An environment that combines academic and military pursuit concurrently. The academic training is also conducted in a military milieu. Non-Language Learning Courseware (NLLC): A courseware originally designed and developed for purposes other than language learning. However, with creative modifications, an NLLC can help students to acquire the target language. Target Language: The language that non-native speakers are in the process of learning.

EndnotEs
1

kEY tErMs
Courseware: Computer software and associated materials designed for educational or training purposes. It can be in a CD-ROM format or networked. E-Learning Technologies: E-learning refers to computer-enhanced learning; it promotes learning anywhere, at any time, and at students own paces using the Internet, CD-ROM, and Web-based materials. E-learning can also be in a synchronous or asynchronous format. There is currently a range of technologies able to support the pedagogic and instructional strategies for e-learning, including authoring tools and programs. Guardians: In the military context, this refers to a group of people who guard and protect a nation; military personnel. Language Acquisition: When language is learned through interaction with the environment, rather than being taught directly; unconscious

Guardians are mentioned throughout Platos Republic, but the focus on them is in two chapters titled Primary Education for the Guardians and The Guardians Life and Duties. The author is a communication technology lecturer at the NDUM. The author obtained the CD-ROM when she participated in the Simulation Technology Conference 2006 at Melbourne, organized by the Simulation Industry Association of Australia. The author was assisted by an instructional designer and a language instructor in preparing, designing, and developing a simple language activity courseware. Their participation in this project was voluntary. Dreamweaver 4 and Macro Flash 5 were used to develop the activities. Vision 2020 is the brainchild of the former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad. It envisions Malaysia as a fully developed nation by the year 2020, developed not only economically but also politically, socially, and spiritually.


A Non-Language Learning Courseware and its Challenges

See Bonk and Dennen (2003, p. 330); Peirce (2003, p. 304); Trinidad (2003, p. 98); Loveless, Devoogd, and Bohlin (2001, p. 79); Roschelle, Pea, Hoadley, Gordin, and Means, (2001, p. 79). Vision 2020 has become the guide for nation building in Malaysia. Through the nine challenges presented, no discussion and analysis is given to the importance of the armed forces; however it is assumed that the tenth

unwritten challenge is the defense of nation and the security of the people (Yunos, 1995, p. 3). This is because without the political and economic stability, which has a direct relation to military capability, all the other nine challenges cannot be realized. The speech delivered by the Chief of the Defense Forces, Admiral Tan Sri Dato Mohd Nor, in conjunction with the 72nd Parade of the Malaysian Armed Forces Day Celebration, September 16, 2005.





A Pliant-Based Software Tool for Courseware Development


Marcus Vinicius dos Santos Ryerson University, Canada Isaac Woungang Ryerson University, Canada Moses Nyongwa University of Manitoba CUSB, Canada

Chapter XI

abstract
The increasing importance of e-learning has been a boosting element for the emergence of Internet-based educational tools. As we move into the information age, tremendous efforts are made in the development of new information and communication technologies for educational purposes. The ultimate goal is to facilitate e-learning methodologies and acquisition. The chapters contribution is in the area of open source software for technology-enhanced learning. First, we report on the capabilities of Pliant, a novel software framework for Web-based courseware development. Pliant design features upon which e-learning capabilities are built are presented, showing that Pliant has some advantages over existing software, including flexibility, efficiency, and universal usability. A case study of the use of Pliant in the project Multilanguage Database for Localization developed at the CUSB School of Translation is presented. Second, we present Academia,3 a Pliant-based courseware development Web portal, and its use in translation studies at CUSB.

Copyright 2009, IGI Global, distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Global is prohibited.

A Pliant-Based Software Tool for Courseware Development

introduction
The widespread availability of Web-based educational systems and standard-based courseware systems, and their deployment in educational institutions, including educational community as a whole, has raised a clear concern regarding their universal usability scope (Hochheiser & Shneiderman, 2001). A thorough analysis of the situation and informal discussions with online teachers and teacher educators show that Web-based educational tools are quite far from achieving their main goalthat is, being used by a wide distance audience in a cost-effective and educationally sound manner, and in particular, endowing Web literacy to both young, old, novice, expert, and end users with less computing background. This chapter reports on the capabilities of Pliant, a high-level and flexible programming language and Web development framework. It shows how Pliant can be used both for high-level programming and e-learning purposes, while meeting educational and software-oriented expectations. Academia, an example of an open-source, lightweight, Web-based courseware tool fully implemented in Pliant, is presented. This portal has been designed to help instructors quickly create, post, manage, and deliver Web-based courses and other e-learning resources. A case study of the usability of Academia at a Canadian institution is presented. This Pliant-driven application is meant to show the efficiency of the Pliants framework as a supporting tool for e-learning methodologies and acquisition. The chapter is organized as follows. First, we briefly introduce the main streams driving the development of Web-based educational tools, and situate Pliant in that context. We then present an overview of the Pliant approach in terms of language constructshere, we present our view of the Pliant architecture, and its underlying design features upon which e-learning capabilities can be supported. Next, we discuss various e-learning capabilities of Pliant, while highlighting their

relationships to some of the main topics of this book. These include: a. A description of Pliant as a tool for consolidating e-learning methodologies/ acquisitionhere, elements for exploration, data management, teaching, communications, and users management are presented; A description of Pliant as a tool for learning programming languages and Web programminga case study of the use of Pliant in a project entitled Multilanguage Database for Localization, developed at the CUSB School of Translation, is also presented; and A description of Academiahere, our focus is on showing how this portal has been used as a tool for supporting translation studies at the CUSB School of Translation.

b.

c.

We also introduce Co-op Web,4 a Pliant-based Web portal developed at Ryerson University, Canada, used to administer the Cooperative Education and Internship Program. Some shortcomings of our framework and how these can be addressed as future research themes are then offered, in the perspective of enhancing e-learning methodologies and acquisition. Future developments of our framework are also highlighted, and finally, our conclusion synthesizes our discussion and presents our final remarks on Pliants e-learning features.

background Web-based Educational tools


The exponentially increasing number of educational courses being offered over the Web has spurred a growing industry of software tools to assist in the creation of Web-based curriculum and in performing class management tasks. For this



A Pliant-Based Software Tool for Courseware Development

reason, Web-based educational tools and standard courseware systems are two main research and development streams in the field of e-learning. The development of these systems can be categorized in two complementary streams. The first stream is based on the traditional approach of hardwiring high-quality educational material items in the course contentthat is, the learning content used by the student resides in the system. Wellknown examples of course management systems built upon this approach are Blackboard (2002) and WebCT (2002). The second stream is based on an adaptive approach, where a model of goals, preferences, and knowledge of each individual student is built and then used throughout the interaction with the student in order to adapt to the needs of that particular student. In this case, the learning content does not reside in the system, but in other distributed servers. Independently of the approach used, the majority of Web-based educational systems are based on technologies developed in the areas of hypermedia and intelligent tutoring systems (Brusilovsky, Stock, & Strapparava, 2000; Brusilovsky, 2001). The Pliantbased educational tool introduced in this chapter falls within the first stream. Pliant is a standalone and Web-based language, which encapsulates both the human and computer levels of thinking and coding programs. This unique privilege makes it an exceptional language, compared to any other existing one. It demonstrates that Pliant has a higher level of flexibility, adaptability, and integration, providing for higher software development capabilities and enhancements. Thanks to Pliants HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol) server power, including server-side rendering, any mainstream Web browser should always be enough to access Pliants documents, and by extension, Pliant e-learning materials. These features can be used to develop standalone Web portals for teaching/educational purposes, or to improve the current state-of-the-art e-learning development tools, while maintaining educational expectations, and economical, time constraints, and human resources limitations.

Main Focus oF thE chaptEr an overview of the pliant approach


The Pliant project5 was initiated in 1984 by Hubert Tonneau (Tonneau, De Mendez, & Santos, 1984). In his analysis of numerous software developments, Tonneau realized 1. The lack of coherence between applications, libraries, and so forth often required a large amount of glue between relevant pieces of code. It seemed impossible to conciliate highlevel constructions allowing improved expressiveness and conciseness in specific contexts, with low-level adaptability allowing efficiency and optimized handling of exceptional cases.

2.

From these considerations, the introduction of a new, efficient, and multi-level language with a flexible syntax and structure, which could be adapted to particular application contexts, seemed appropriate. The Pliant language is thus oriented towards efficiency, understood in terms of computational resources, as well as programming adaptability (De Mendez, De Mendez, Santos, & Tonneau, 2000). The main design structures of the language can be described as modularity, dynamic compilation, and full reflexivity, allowing for the redefinition of the syntactical, compilation, and code optimization rules. New application services have then been integrated at the language level (good examples are scheduling primitives and database management), hence suppressing usual gaps and interfaces between applications. From this point of view, an application is seen as a set of libraries, or even as a language extension possibly introducing its own syntactical changes. These applications may also be gathered into a coherent execution context, leading to an actual operating system, called Fullpliant (whose source code is a size of 4.2 Mb only). This framework can be



A Pliant-Based Software Tool for Courseware Development

executed in two different ways: as a program executing various servers (on Linux or Windows platforms), or as an operating system lying on top of a Linux kernel. Pliant comes with many pre-built servers including DNS (Domain Name System), FTP (File Transfer Protocol), POP3 (Post Office Protocol version 3), HTTP, SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), LPD (Line Printer Daemon protocol), remote execution, secured channel, and a database engine. The HTTP multi-site Web server provides the standard application interface. A powerful server-side dynamic page mechanism has been introduced, on which existing applications (Forum, photography correction and high-fidelity printing, Web-mail, etc.) rely, as well as additional HTTP-related servers (such as Web-based Distributed Authoring and VersioningWebDAV). The limitation of the HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language)/Javascript scheme has led to the introduction of an enhanced extended Pliant browser, valuable as a state-of-the-art user interface for possibly distributed application software. Being used in an industrial context since 2000, Fullpliant is also concerned with security issues. The transparent integration in the dynamic page extension of signature and right verification mechanisms obviously demonstrates that security

may be achieved without unnecessary additional programming complexity. Pliant (De Mendez et al., 2000) may thus be seen as a triad (see Figure 1): (1) the Pliant programming language and lowlevel libraries, (2) an Internet applications suite, and (3) the Fullpliant operating system. The Pliant programming language is human oriented, that is, its syntax is trivial and strongly typed. Its expressiveness allows the user to program in a high abstraction level. The language is also reflexive, allowing the user to change the way Pliant parses and compiles expressions. In other words, users have a high degree of freedom to redefine the Pliant language itself, should they dislike a particular feature of the language or want to extend it (De Mendez, 1998). In addition to these meta-programming6 capabilities of Pliant, the framework includes other modern programming principles, such as static typing, dynamic objects, lazy evaluation, reflective compiling, reference counting garbage collection, built-in debugger utility, scalability from low-level systems programming to high-level control languages, and an easy-following syntax. The Pliant compiler is dynamic and efficient, producing code, on-the-fly, as efficient as the best C compilers. The Pliant Internet applications suite consists of a set of

Figure 1. Pliant architecture



A Pliant-Based Software Tool for Courseware Development

servers, a database engine, data encryption tools, and a handful of Web application tools, such as the HTTP server configuration tool, an online forum, Web mail, and printer configuration tool, to name a few. In the core of the suite is the Pliant HTTP server. It is in charge of hosting and dynamically translating Pliant Web pages, written in a subset of the Pliant language called the page format into HTML. The Fullpliant operating system (to be used by advanced users) has two main goals: facilitate the system administration of a set of computers, and make it easy to automate repetitive tasks. It appears from the above description that the two key design features of Pliant, upon which e-learning capabilities can be developed and supported, are the Pliant intrinsic meta-programming constructs and the Pliant ability to accommodate several multi-site Web servers.

and tools to help manage e-learning. Under this concept, the e-learning process is considered as a two-level interconnected process: the e-learning environment and the e-learning activities. The e-learning environment is further broken down into five different phases, each with its own set of tasks. These are: 1. The conceptual phase: Course subject, target audience, contents, budget organization, and so forth; The planning phase: Details for the establishment and preparation of a specific instance of an e-learning action; The execution phase: Period of time during which the students are active in the learning process; and The procedural evaluation phase: An analysis of how the e-learning fulfilled its aims; additionally, the workflow e-learning environment model incorporates features such as improved efficiency, better process control (i.e., standardization of working methods), improved users service (i.e., greater predictability in levels of response to users), flexibility (i.e., ease of redesigning in line with changing needs); and The business process improvement: Streamlining and simplification of processes.

2.

3.

4.

pliant E-Learning capabilities


E-learning can be defined as the use of network technology to design, deliver, select, administer, and adapt learning activities. Here, two basic types of technological solutions can be used: synchronous model (such as audio-video streaming and videoconference), and asynchronous model (such as hypertext publication). Existing e-learning management systems such as WebCT and Blackboard incorporate both models and corresponding services in different ways. However, due to certain limitations inherent to system stability, troubleshooting, cost-reduction, file format accommodations, Web browsers, customization, and others, none of these platforms includes a support to help manage the dynamics of e-learning activities. In an attempt to overcome these disadvantages, studies of management issues in e-learning environments has become critical for the success of Internet-based educational services. A relatively recent work on the management of e-learning environments has shown the effectiveness of using the workflow concepts (E-Workflow, 2003), techniques,

5.

The e-learning activities are concerned with the monitoring of actions and interactions among the above described phases. They are controlled by means of learning objects. The efficiency of an e-learning management system using workflow is measured by its capability in reusing learning objects. In this respect, workflow software and XML (Extensible Markup Language) are viable tools for describing learning objects. Any attempt to provide implementation techniques that could result in promoting the deployment of reusable contents or learning objects for e-learning purpose, while enhancing the integration capability



A Pliant-Based Software Tool for Courseware Development

of its underlying software platform, is therefore highly desirable for both the providers of educational services and the e-learning research community. Pliant seems to be a suitable candidate able to fulfill these requirements because of the versatility of the language constructs.

pliant as a tool for consolidating E-Learning Management systems platforms


Any e-learning management system is driven by its underlying software platform (i.e., the set of programs that provide functionality to the application). At a human level, programs appear as algorithms, that is, a list of tasks, each being expressed by a single word or by a full sentence with subordinate clauses referring to subtasks. At a high (symbolic) level, a program is stated as a list of expressions. Each expression is a piece of raw data characterized by its semantics. At a low (i.e., code) level, a program is a set of instructions, where each instruction is a function call with a set of parameters. At this level, no ambiguity should remain. A programming language is a bridge between the human way of thinking of an algorithm and the computer way of coding a program. Prior languages, including those on which the existing e-learning management systems are built, focus either on the semantics, but fail to be efficient at code level, or on efficiency, hence failing to be intuitive and easy to use by a human. To our knowledge, Pliant is the first language that makes the single language option a possible one by acting as a bridge between the aforementioned two levels. We assert that Pliant is the best one available, because it addresses this bridging goal at the highest level of flexibility and the best level of efficiency. This ability to write all code using a single language means better internal communication, time-saving improvements, load sharing, and shorter code. It also means reasonable scalability, adaptive user interface, easy

switching from a closed software-like model to an open software-like model, more flexibility, customization, development power, strong design and high-quality program, low cost, dynamic highly reflexive compiler, less hardware limitations, adaptive hardware, and so forth. The list of goods is long. In order words, Pliant tries to bring as much expression power as possible, without impacting low-level code performance. These capabilities allow Pliant to be seen as a kit that greatly simplifies the distribution of software. In addition, Pliant can also offer e-learning potential, such as Internet-based learning and didactical requirements. As a developed Web technology, Pliant is an Internet suite containing material needed to start an Internet site, including a database engine, a forum, a graphical toolkit, dynamic pages, and mail support. Therefore, it provides a suitable multimedia support to teachers and students, just as other proven e-learning systems, but with the added flexibility and adaptability of the underlying software and hardware platforms as pointed out previously. Pliant provides the choice to select elements according to the needs of teachers and students, and independently of their program of study. These elements can be divided into three interrelated groups, classified as: (1) elements for exploration and data management, (2) elements for teaching and communications, (3) and elements for users management.

Elements for Exploration and data Management


Pliant allows for a selection of various types of advanced Web browsersNetscape, Mozilla, Internet Explorer, Konquerorand is open to other better ones available. The choice of a browser depends on the security, portability, and computer power requirements. It also provides various types of servers suitable for Internetworking, such as HTTP, FTP, DNS, SMTP, POP3, Web mail, backup system, files browser, database engine, and so forth.

0

A Pliant-Based Software Tool for Courseware Development

Elements for teaching and communications


Pliant can be used as a tool for enhancing course management systems. It provides a flexible software support for a variety of learning processes such as the distribution of documents and communications through the Internet. Pliants online forum application provides asynchronous communication between instructors and students. The simple structure of the language allows one to easily create course Web sites on which one can post course notes for anytime access by students. With some training in Pliant programming, novices can quickly move on to the development of their own handy, tailor-made teaching tools, such as course assessments, online tests, and an online grade book. To illustrate the above points, we consider a simple case of a typical course Web page written in Pliant, and its results as shown in Figure 2. Several interface options are provided: 1. Access to course documents, in this case exemplified by a link to the course management form and the course work, but can be a list of documents, such as readings, lecture notes, schedules, syllabi, course management forms, organization of course projects, priorities, and details, and so forth. It also supports the import and export capabilities

2.

3.

by means of inserted Web site links, allowing the instructors to gain access to a complete set of teaching tools provided by academic publishers, or to create a package of the course content that can later be imported into another course. Course announcements, a key place to put daily, weekly, or monthly time-sensitive course information such as deadline changes, clarifications, remainder of upcoming class chats, schedules, important events and dates, and so forth. Forum is a Web portal that behaves as a virtual classroom and lightweight chat. It enables users to participate in an online collaboration with students and instructors. As a discussion board, messages are posted to the board, and every permitted user is able to read the messages and reply to them. Like a bulletin board, one copy of the message exists, and only the course designer has the right to delete the messages. A forum is a tool that fosters communication and collaboration as a way to enhance course material. Several forums can be created simultaneously, providing for a frame for team working. Each forum is assigned a thread (i.e., a discussion session) so that all replies to a given message are contained within the same thread. Within a forum, a messaging program is implemented that allows one to

Figure 2. Typical course Web page in Pliant



A Pliant-Based Software Tool for Courseware Development

send e-mail messages to the users who are members of the forum, and to keep track of those messages. As a collaboration tool, a forum allows its users to enter into a realtime discussion with instructors, students, and colleagues; to access the Web; and to engage in question-and-answer sessions. The option of considering grouping student lists into several small groups can also be applied to keep the conversation manageable due to the synchronous nature of the discussion forum panel. It is important to point out that collaboration sessions throughout forums are recorded by means of subjects and messages. The leader of the session (course designer) must start the recorder to create an archive.

Elements for users Management


In an e-learning prospective, the user management capabilities of Pliant is mostly reflected on the ways that Pliant enables the instructor to manage the users in their course sites. This involves the following types of setting privileges: enrolling users in the course, which means that the user must already have an account; removing users from the course; and creating groups of users within a course with the right to modify groups. The instructor has the option of giving the group access to its own private discussion board, virtual classroom, group file exchange, or group e-mail.

pliant as a tool for Learning programming Languages and Web programming


Due to the Pliants meta-programming features, Pliant can be customized for learning and teaching purposes. Standard Pliant applications are browser basedthat is, the programmer can host his or her Pliant program in the Pliant HTTP server and then interact with it using a Web

browser. Browser-based Pliant programs have file extension .page and are written using Pliants Web page programming instructions, called the .page format, an alternative to HTML/XML. Throughout the aforementioned interaction, the HTTP server works as follows: it keeps listening to requests from clients (i.e., other browsers on the Web); once it gets a request for a page, it translates the respective .page Pliant program into HTML and JavaScript code and sends it to the client (browser). If the client requests a plain HTML page hosted in the server, then the server simply sends it as it is. Hence, for the client, there is no difference; it is plain HTML/JavaScript coming from the server side. If the requested page does not point to a .page or static HTML file, then the Pliant HTTP server recursively searches for a file called virtual_tree.page in the path of the requested URL. This Pliant concept, called virtual tree mechanism, provides an easy mapping of data sets to URLs. Without it, HTTP options would be useda not as clever and convenient solution. We relied heavily on such contrivance to implement one of Academias7 subsystemsthe course Web content renderer. To illustrate this simplicity and power of the Pliant language combined with the HTTP server, we now present short examples of Web applications written in Pliant. The Pliant program presented in Figure 3 illustrates how easy it is to write a simple static Web page with a title and some text. It shows a simplified HTML code generated by the Pliant HTTP server. The client will see this application as shown in Figure 3 (right side). As illustrated, Pliant has the capability of generating and caching online graphics when server-side font rendering has been requested. The command title A Pliant page produces a page title; the command text, whose argument is a string, outputs text. Pliant provides a plethora of commands for writing Web pages. The interested reader should check the Pliant Documentation Initiative site (De Mendez et al., 2000). The next example illustrates how Pliant can



A Pliant-Based Software Tool for Courseware Development

Figure 3. A Pliant program and its resulting Web page

be used to generate dynamic Web pages, such as a Web page for converting currency from Euros to Canadian Dollars. The programmer writes a page as follows: title Euro to Dollar var Float euro := 1 input Amount: euro button Press me title The answer is text (string euro*1.2) The user types in the amount in Euros he or she wants to convert (left of Figure 4). When the user clicks on the button, a new page, whose code is defined in the shadow of the button (i.e., indented with respect to the button instruction), will present the result of converting the input value from Euros to dollars (right of Figure 4). Notice that the function call (string euro*1.2) transforms the numerical result of the expression euro*1.2 into a string. For programming languages development purposes, Pliants default syntax is lighter than others because of the following main features: 1. Many parentheses are implied by indentation,

2. 3.

The : operator replaces some extra parentheses, and There is no , operator to separate the parameters of a function.

These features, combined with the metaprogramming ones, make Pliant a language of choice for teaching the programming concepts. Because the purpose of this chapter is not on experiencing programming languages, we will not elaborate much on Pliants language specifications referred to the main concepts, user interface, data types, meta-programming optimizers, and other programming features. Interested readers can find detail information at http://old.fullpliant. org/pliant/language/. In short, beginners can use Pliant as an interpreted language by writing small pieces of code

Figure 4. Dynamic Web page in Pliant



A Pliant-Based Software Tool for Courseware Development

and running them directly. Experienced programmers can run Pliant as a compiled languagethat is, by writing efficient programs while using most high-level programming features of objectoriented languages and the expression power of logical programming languages. Pliant is also an ideal linker, in the sense that one can write different pieces of a project in different programming styles with all parts interacting.

case study on the use of pliant in the Multilanguage database for Localization project
In todays world of global operations and international technical communication, the Internet is fast becoming the primary port of call for information, education, training, and services. Consequently, more and more development initiatives go beyond local borders. Experienced professionals understand that to be effective, training must be done in the right language and with culturally appropriate resources and methodologies. In response, Canadian businesses, corporations, and universities have quickly become aware of the benefits of localization as one of the boosted agents shaping the new economy. Localization can be defined as the process of taking a product and making it linguistically and culturally appropriate to a target locale (country, region, and language) where it is used and sold. This multi-layered process requires programming, linguistic skills, translation skills, cultural knowledge, and most importantly, an e-learning development platform support. It has been recognized as an important part of the educational program in Translation and Computer Science schools at Canadian universities and abroad, where students obtain basic education and training (both onsite and Web based) in both computational methods and localization techniques. The increasing importance of terminology banks and translation memories in the translation process, a sub-component of the localization

process, has created a need for developing language-based repositories for the purpose of using them in the localization training and practices. As a response to this deficiency, the Multilanguage Database for Localization project (Nyongwa & Aubin, 2004) was launched at the CUSB School of Translation, in collaboration with Ryerson University. The objective of this research is to develop a comprehensive database framework of languages which can efficiently support the localization training and practices. One subcomponent of this project entitled Enhancement of the Pliant Language Database Engine has been to investigate how the Pliant system, although not originally meant for language acquisition, can be used as a benchmark tool to support the user interface design of the aforementioned database framework, at least for the online localization training portion. In this context, thanks to its meta-programming feature, the Pliant language design has been altered and successfully tested to allow for customized content-building instructions. These later features were then used through Academiaa Pliant-based courseware tool,8 to support the localization training in various capacities. Two scenarios are described later in this chapter to illustrate some of these capacities. The first scenario, described in the subsection entitled Case Study of a Course Delivery, discusses a particular instance in the teaching of the translation process portion of the course in localization. The second scenario, described in the subsection entitled Pliant System, Translation and CALL, illustrates how the terminology component of the localization course is taught using Academia.

usability of pliant in teaching and project Management contexts


To further assess the usability of Pliant in teaching and project management contexts, we have implemented two Pliant-based applications. The first one is Academia, a courseware development



A Pliant-Based Software Tool for Courseware Development

Web portal, and the second one is Co-op Web, a management Web portal. In the sequel, we describe the first application in-depth, followed by a brief description of the second one. The reason is that the second application does not directly serve the purpose of this book.

Why academia?
For instructors to carry on the mundane activity of setting course Web pages, two options are possible: design new course Web sites from scratch or resort to a courseware tool. However, such a tool is usually expensive and complex. The source code is usually proprietary, that is, it does not allow end users to further customize the code to suit their needs. Academia can address these deficiencies. The reader may then ask why one would use Academia and not another well-known courseware tool that provides every single feature an instructor can possibly fancy. Our answer: because as a Pliant-based application, end users can build on Academias design and source code to develop more advanced and customized courseware materials, since there is no need to resort to different languages (as traditional approaches do) to develop applications that involve dynamic pages and databases.

simple for the designer, as many use templates and wizards extensively to assist in course content creation. Step-by-step guides support creation of a range of components, from the course homepage, to bulletin boards, to quizzes and marking systems. When compared to the aforementioned courseware tools, Academia is a much lighter application in the sense that it provides only the essential features required to set up a simple Web page for a course. Such a Web page may include links to a locally hosted copy of the course syllabus, assignment descriptions, instructors lecture notes, and other materials.

academias user interface design


The design concept behind Academias user interface was: it should be as simple as possible, but not simpler. In the first stage of the design process, a list of the functionality required of the system to accomplish the goals of the project and the potential needs of the users was prepared. From the instructor, manager, and students viewpoints, this list included the major functionalities illustrated in the user-case diagrams presented in Figure 5. In the second stage of the design process, an analysis of the potential users of the system was carried out through discussion with instructors who already had previous experience with other computer-based teaching tools, with instructors who had no previous experience with such systems, and with university students attending courses taught by the authors of this chapter. Typical questions presented to these individuals were of the sort: What would the user want the system to do? How would the system fit in with the users normal workflow or daily activities? How technically savvy is the user and what similar systems does the user already use? What interface look-and-feel styles appeal to the user?

academia Features
Courseware products such as Blackboard (2002) and WebCT (2002) will take HTML documents, along with other media and resources, and quickly organize them into a framework specifically designed for delivery of Web-based courses and other learning resources. Frequently, they are used to complement traditional lecture-based programs. Courseware products are helpful to educators who are unfamiliar with programming, allowing easy integration of password protection, interactive activities, tracking of student progress, and so forth. Overall, the interface is fairly



A Pliant-Based Software Tool for Courseware Development

The answers were then compiled and crosschecked with the functionality list obtained in the respective analysis, resulting in a new minimal functionality set and overall look-and-feel style. In the next stage, a site flow of the system that showed the hierarchy of the pages was developed. Next, prototyping and usability tests (Nielsen, 1993) were performed. In this stage, a proofof-concept Web application was developed that showed the basic functionality set and content. Fast prototyping of the system was facilitated by the intrinsic features of the Pliant programming language. In regards to usability tests, the so-called talk aloud protocol (Wang, 2000), where you ask the user to talk about their thoughts during the experience, was performed via personal interviews with a small set of usersonly instructors who volunteered to serve as guinea pigs during this testsor looking over their shoulder while they attempted to perform specific tasks with the system. The ultimate goal of the Pliant software is universal usability. As such, the Pliant user interface, or equivalently, the communication channel between the user and the functional elements of the system, has been intentionally made text mode based. This allows the user to focus on the task at hand and reduce the amount of overhead knowledge required to communicate effectively with Pliant and its underlying e-learning system (Academia). The function of the Pliant interface subsystem resumes in assigning user input to internal representations of Pliants application and internal representations of the application to output that is comprehensible to the user. Thanks to the meta-programming features of the Pliant language and its reflective architecture, we believe that Pliant is compliant with the CALL aspects (i.e., the teaching and learning processes) with respect to online learning.

academias system-Level capabilities


These are presented here by means of use cases and sequence diagrams. Such notations are commonly used in the area software engineering for describing a system without revealing or implying any particular implementation of the system (Booch, Rumnaugh, & Jacobson, 2005). The use case (left of Figure 5) presents Academias subsystems and its actors.9 The system administrator actor uses the system manager subsystem to keep track of the instructors registered in the system and the courses they teach. Instructors use the course Web content subsystem to set up the Web page of their courses. Once a course Web page has been configured, students can then visit the respective Web page, which is dynamically created by the course Web page renderer.

course Web content Manager subsystem


Figure 5 (right side) depicts the course Web content manager subsystems. The student login manager subsystem allows the instructor to upload and manage the students login access to the system. The assignment submission manager subsystem allows the instructor to view currently online submitted assignments and to download a compressed file containing all the assignment submissions. The course Web content configurator subsystem allows the instructor to interactively configure a template design for the course Web page. The instructor can define his or her contact information, such as office number, office hours, lecture times, and locations; upload course syllabi, assignment descriptions, and lecture notes to the server; add an announcement board to the course Web page; and set up an online discussion board for the course.



A Pliant-Based Software Tool for Courseware Development

Figure 5. Academia system-level architecture

course Web page renderer


The course Web page configurator subsystem stores the configuration settings of a course Web page template design in a database. This database indexes courses by their term, year, code, and section number. The course Web page renderer uses this information and Pliants virtual tree mechanism (explained earlier) to retrieve and display the Web content stored for a particular course. More specifically, suppose that an instructor whose username is john.doe has already configured the Web content for the following course: Term: Winter Year: 2005 Code: Phil 660 Section: 001 Name: Philosophy of Love and Sex If a client (browser) requests the URL10 http:// academia.org/browse/mycourses/john.doe/, then the Academia course Web page renderer would dynamically create a Web page that lists links to all currently hosted courses of instructor john.doe. It does that by using the virtual tree mechanism because there is no index.html file in the above location on the server. The Pliant program that implements the course Web page renderer resides

in the virtual_tree.page file, located at the root of the path /browse/. Therefore, when the client requests the above URL and the server finds the virtual_tree.page file in /browse/, it stores in the internal variable virtual_ path the remainder subpath /mycourses/john.doe/ and runs the virtual_tree. page program. For this particular case in which the above path starts with mycourses, the renderer parses the path and extracts the relevant information needed for determining which courses to list on the dynamically created Web page. A similar process takes place when a client (browser) requests the following URL: http:// academia.org/browse/courses/Winter/2005/ Phil660/001/index.html. However, no index.html (or index.page) file actually exists in the above location. Hence, analogous to what we explained above, the Pliant virtual path mechanism will again run the renderer. This time, the internal variable virtual_ path will hold the sub-path /courses/Winter/2005/Phil660/001/. Notice that this path provides all the information to locate the Web content for a course in Academias database. The renderer parses this path to extract the course information (code, term, etc.). It then retrieves the Web content for the course from the database and dynamically creates a Web page for the course.



A Pliant-Based Software Tool for Courseware Development

towards integrating academia with other Learning Management systems


The initial idea underlying Academias design was to provide an as simple as possible, but not simpler courseware development and e-learning tool. As such, integration with more robust learning management systems (LMSs) was not a priority during the development. Notwithstanding, all database files used or produced by Academia are in ASCII text, and information is stored in XML-like data structures. As an example, below we list an excerpt of a user database: <pdata path=/user/marcus/contact>7062</ pdata> <pdata path=/user/marcus/email>marcus.santos@mac.com</pdata> < p d a t a p a t h = / u s e r / m a r c u s /f i r s t _ name>Marcus</pdata> <pdata path=/user/marcus/homepage>www. cs.ryerson.ca/m3santos</pdata> <pdata path=/user/marcus/language>English</ pdata> Notice that each entry in the database is encoded as simple XML code. Therefore, interfacing such data with an LMS would be straightforward. Pliant also includes many modern programming principles such as meta-programming, static typing, objects, reflective compiling, reference counting garbage collection, built-in debugger, clean syntax, and many pre-built components such as HTTP, FTP, SMTP, POP3 servers, a tree-based distributed data model, and a database engine. The intrinsic features of these core components can be used to support open Internet standards such as ECMAScript, thus, a-fortiori, to facilitate the compliance of Pliant with SCORM, but there still a long way to go to achieve this goal, and we have left it for future work.

a case study of academia


This section reports on the findings from a study to experimentally compare some available Webbased learning tools used for the CUSB Certificate Program in Translation. These findings are discussed in relation to basic usability issues of Web-based tools, in terms of online course pedagogy, technological infrastructure, and students perceptions. Our investigation attempts to justify the use of Academia as an e-learning methodology and acquisition tool.

the context
Translation is a professional activity that requires both mental and physical settings, where profits and ethics must be met, just like in any other profession. Becoming a professional translator requires hard work, curiosity, open-mindedness, and experience. Based on these basic facts, the School of Translation at CUSB foresaw the importance of Web-based education in the mid1990s, then introduced a few online courses in its Translation program. By the year 2000, the entire Certificate Program, composed of 10 threecredit courses, was successfully launched. This program (referred to as the TOP program) was designed to accommodate the draft curricula for various areas of expertise within translation and the actual needs of the translation industry. It has been set up primarily for people who are interested in studying translation while maintaining their current employment. It was particularly aimed at those who work in remote areas and would find it impossible to attend classes at a local university. At each session, students may decide to take only one course at a time, or more, depending on their own personal timetable. A number of Internet-based courses, including Localization, were gradually introduced into the TOP program.



A Pliant-Based Software Tool for Courseware Development

technological infrastructure
The CUSB infrastructure is made up of three servers, a dozen PCs for instructors, and a 10-PC laboratory for students. There are also three other high-tech laboratories and a multimedia center where on-campus students can work. Several programming tools and Blackboard (2002) are used by students and professors to develop and manage Web-related documents. Although this courseware tool was greatly appreciated by the students and staff, complaints were quickly raised, mostly on usability issuessuch as long login sequence and difficult navigation. To address these drawbacks, Academia was used to supplement Blackboard.

online course Methodology


Unlike traditional courses, online courses are space and time independent. Meanwhile, in the case of the TOP program courses, a framework has been developed that meets the traditional division of an academic yearinto sessions of 15 weeks each. Courses are delivered according to this division. The content of each course is organized as followed: knowledge review, lectures, practices, debates and discussions in the forum, exchanges of e-mails with instructors, and evaluation. Courses content is built into modules to facilitate individual learning. The evaluation consists of four formal tests, one in the fourth week, the second in the eighth week, the third in the twelfth week, and the last one in the fifteenth week.

case study of a course delivery


To demonstrate the capability of Academia as a support for e-learning methodology and acquisition, we have implemented an instance of a particular course entitled Localization on a specific problem: the problem of encoding/decoding the characters in a text file during the lifetime of the localization process. Localization is a process by

which a product (in this case a text file) should be adequately adapted to the characteristics of each country and equipped with a presentation that is acceptable at least at the level already reached for its original locale. This process requires various types of operations involving the targeted language and written communication (localization of translations), as well as the supported technical infrastructure for data processing (software localization). Both types of localization sub-processes are technology dependent and are mandatory in a training program in Translation such as the TOP program. Here, we focus only on the software localization process. One of the major problems when running this process is the lack of a clear mechanism that ensures the identification of the encoding used to save/open any type of document, or to escape extended characters that are not supported by the targeted encoding technique. This issue is particularly important in this context since it determines translatable and non-translatable data. Among proposed solutions, XML has been proposed as a viable one (Savourel, 2000) for the implementation of a multilingual solution. However, handling XML-like data structure files within the localization process is still a difficult task. To circumvent this difficulty, the Pliantbased capabilities of Academia are embodied in new standards or software processes such as XPath (Extensible Path), which provide several new features of dealing with data in general and localizable text in particular, based on the file format. Many state-of-the-art translator tools, available at http://www.w3.org/, are then used to apply the above mechanism in a concrete example. Depending on the power of the translator tool, the Fullpliant, and the type of XML file to be translated, the required steps are: 1. Mark up the information in the text to be localized, that is, find answers to the following questions: What text is translatable? Which language is chosen? Which local is referred to? What are the acronyms explanations?



A Pliant-Based Software Tool for Courseware Development

2.

3.

What constitutes the verbals and nominals in short sentences of the targeted text? Using the Translator tool, create an XSL template (document) with appropriate parameters. This is achieved by writing a skeleton of HTML elements and by using the XSL style sheet commands to provide the text. Process the file to be localized by using the above template and by choosing the locale to work with. Steps 1 and 2 are not always straightforward and need some good understanding of XML and XPath.

upon which Academia is built, students have gained a great level of confidence when integrating the localization information as a component of XML, rendering the translation process more achievable than ever. This integration would have been more difficult without the use of built-in and enticing capabilities for data processing provided by the Academia platform, which greatly simplifies the entire localization process.

pliant system, translation, and caLL


Even though the Pliant system was not originally meant for language acquisition, the flexibility it provides in terms of integration features makes it possible. In technical translation and specialty languages teaching, terminology is an essential topic that should be studied. The teaching of terminology in the context of the localization course using Academia has been addressed in a CALL-like methodology manner. For a given text that needs to be translated from one language to another, the steps followed by the students, as well as the corresponding Pliant-based methods implemented to achieve these steps, are shown below. 1. Identify and establish a list of appropriate terms from the text to be translated. This task is achieved through the design of the Data Discovery Module (DDM). Here, some predefined language-based metrics are used to identify the aforementioned terms, and a Pliant-based user-interface is developed to extract these terms and stored them in DDM. Ask the students to search for two or three contexts of the usage of each term from an established list obtained from various terminology repositories. This task is achieved through the design of the Data Context Module (DCM), where dictionaries and textual databases are stored. It mandates

The following methodology was used. Prior to the localization course, students are given some basics in HTML and XML programming. They are introduced to the structural power of both languages and to Academia as a programming platform. Their attention is then focused on the simplicity of XML, and the way its features can be used to extract the translatable and nontranslatable text in the file format to be localized. Students are taught, by means of examples, on how XML code can be written based on the file format and content, and then structured in a way that the translator can use it to generate the desired output. Students are then asked to compare the XML and corresponding HTML files. Then, the localization course is taught to students through different modules (process, Web site, project management, etc.), providing them with necessary material to tackle other steps of the translation process. At the end, students are asked to extract HTML and XML files in English and to localize them in Canadian French.

Findings
The separation of the content from the format allows the translation task to move faster while reducing the time allocated to pre-translation and post-translation processing. Due to the expressive power capabilities of the Pliant-based framework

2.

0

A Pliant-Based Software Tool for Courseware Development

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

the implementation of a Pliant-based Web interface for data search and retrieval (using the Pliant mainstream servers) in these repositories. Search for equivalent terms in the target language through available dictionaries and databases. This task is achieved by means of the Pliant-based Web interface for data search and retrieval described in Step 2. Divide the text to be translated into individual sentences to be translated, and then allocate one sentence per student. This task is achieved through the design of the Division Module (DM). A Pliant-based script is developed to build this module. Each sentence is translated by a student and sent to the discussion forum for revision by other students within the group. This task is achieved through the design of the Translation Module (TM). A Pliant-based forum is designed and implemented to handle the communication and transfer of information between all participants. The revised sentences are put together again to create the translated text. This task is achieved through the design of the Assembly Module (AM). A Pliant-based script is developed to build this module. The translated text is sent to the instructor for evaluation, verification, and validation. This task is achieved through the design of the Quality Assessment Module (QAM)a set of Pliant-based evaluation and validation methods (or functions). This module also provides the potential for integrating the Pliant system in a distributed environment.

resources, course selection requirements, graduation requirements, financial requirements, and job placements, to name a few. To efficiently address these challenges, Co-op Web was developed using Pliant; it is currently use to administer the CSCC program and has shown great satisfaction from its usability point of view.

actual Management aspects of pliant after development


Our current challenge remains to understand the experiences of instructors (and students) as they adopt Academia as a course management system and integrate it into their teaching (respectively learning), either in isolation or as a complement to existing learning management systems. Our plan is to study several patterns explaining how instructors/students experiment with individual features of Academia, facing both technical and integration challenges, and attempting to adapt Blackboard or any other sophisticated learning system to match their goals and practices. Academia has become mission critical in fulfilling some of the teaching and learning central goals: enriching the student/instructor learning experience and advancing access to resources for teaching, learning, and research. Academias training programs are currently being handled throughout the university, in parallel with Blackboard training programs, where faculty and students can receive assistance with all aspects of Academia and Blackboard operations. Several upgrades have been done and are continuously done to the Pliant framework in order to solidify its underlying e-learning capabilities and integration features, both transparent through Academia. For example, at the departmental site, faculty members can now upload their final grades from a Blackboard grade book into a Web grade roster, instead of having to enter them manually. A tracker has also been set to report general bugs, feature requests, fixes, and other issues such as sensitive security problems.

co-op Web
The Department of Computer Science at Ryerson University offers a five-year bachelors program in Computer Science with a Co-op option (CSCC). The program requires the management of students applications, admissions, career planning



A Pliant-Based Software Tool for Courseware Development

In its current form, the dynamic compilation structure of Pliant offers many opportunities of experimentation for academic and industrial research as well. Thanks to Pliants control over generated codes, academic and industrial fields used Pliant for physical modeling purposes. For example, in thermic equilibrium when injecting thermoplastic material in a mould, Pliant was used to update some models without having to recompile the system. In Mathematics, Pliant was used to re-implement some graph manipulation tools. The integration of Pliant with SCORM, NLN, and IMS format learning objects is possible due to the dynamic compilation architecture of Pliant and its reflectivity. This option is currently under investigation. Another current application scenario is the use of Pliant to manage distributed systems. This has been achieved so far in some cases thanks to the meta-programming feature of Pliant and its tree-based distributed data model, which allows one to maintain a database of hardware available on each machine and of software to be deployed there. To circumvent some of the drawbacks of Pliants architecture, it is suggested that we look at some high-level optimization algorithms in academic literature and implement them in the Pliant language, the goal being to rewrite the entire framework in Pliant. This will facilitate the pliant deployment, its integration with other systems including learning management systems, and its ability to embrace and extend existing services, as well as enhancing Pliants robustness in terms of code generation and reusability.

FuturE trEnds
The Pliant .page mechanism, which we have used to implement Academia, has proven very convenient for quickly prototyping and writing simple user interfaces. However, the current (and future) trend is to provide programming languages and

Web application development platforms rich in interactive features, such as graphical user interface elements, to create dynamic, nice-looking, and functional user interfaces. To this aim, the Pliant team recently started the development of the Pliant browser. The Pliant browser consists of a new language (an extension to the .page language) for developing Web applications and an HTTP bridge for translating the Pliant browser interface to HTTP/Javascript. For the future, once the additional features provided by the Pliant browser are in place, we plan to give Academia a new makeover on its user interface and features, such as a quiz/survey tool, and added flexibility to course Web page design and look-and-feel. The style sheet mechanism used by the Pliant browser should greatly facilitate the implementation of a more flexible styling mechanism for Academia. Ultimately, Academia will stand as an example of how end users (teachers) of Pliant tend to become developers of Webbased software solutions. An instructor with little or no programming background can smoothly migrate from a user of a simple system to a programmer of also simple pragmatic systems. The contribution of this framework to students is also noticeable. Student engagement can be improved by online instructional multimedia material, and course online content can be easily tailored to the students needs. Since new technologies always afford new roles for teachers as learners and researchers, we also intend to pursue our current research program endeavors, aiming at developing elearning strategies for the purpose of promoting reflection on teaching and collaborative learning using the Pliant framework. For example, how might teachers/teacher educators use Pliant tools for reflection and research into their classrooms? What are the most critical Pliant design patterns that would optimize their knowledge-building efforts? How will they use that information in their instructional decisions? These challenges are currently under investigation, and our ulti-



A Pliant-Based Software Tool for Courseware Development

mate goal is to produce a solution in the form of an analysis toolkit. Finally, we would like to initiate a comprehensive evaluation (empirical study) of the use of Academia at both CUSB and Ryerson University. Our targeted audiences are students and staff. We are currently preparing an online questionnaire with the aim of gaining substantial and quantitative-based reactions to the use of Academia as a complement to the already sophisticated Blackboard platform for the purpose of e-learning. Our intention is to measure how far our framework can be useful in delivering and managing online courses.

rEFErEncEs
Blackboard. (2002). Blackboard Course Management System 5.1. Retrieved from http://www. blackboard.com/ Booch, G., Rumnaugh, J., & Jacobson, I. (2005). The Unified Modeling Language user guide (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Brusilovsky, P. (2001, October 23-27). WebEx: Learning from examples in a programming course. In W. Fowler & J. Hasebrook (Eds.), Proceedings of WebNet2001, the World Conference of the WWW and Internet (pp. 124-129), Orlando, FL. Brusilovsky, P., Stock, O., & Strapparava, C. (Eds.). (2000, August). Adaptive hypermedia and adaptive Web-based systems. Proceedings of the AH 2000 International Conference, Trento, Italy. Berlin: Springer-Verlag (LNCS 1892). De Mendez, P.O. (1988). Pliant: Expressive power plus efficiency. Proceedings of the SALCOMIT Workshop and Review Meeting, Barcelona, Spain. De Mendez, M., De Mendez, P.O., Santos, M.V., & Tonneau, H. (2000). Pliant documentation. Retrieved from http://old.fullpliant.org/ E-Workflow. (2003). The workflow portal. Retrieved from http://www.e-workflow.org Hochheiser, H., & Shneiderman, B. (2001). Universal usability statements: Marking the trail for all users. ACM Interactions, 8(MarchApril), 16-18. Retrieved from http://www.acm. org/pubs/citations/journals/interactions/2001-82/p16-hochheiser/ Nielsen, J. (1993). Usability engineering. Boston: Academic Press. Nyongwa, M., & Aubin, M.C. (2004). Plan de dveloppement stratgique: Traduction et langues. Retrieved from http://www.ustboniface. mb.ca/


concLusion
We have described Pliant as a standalone and Web-based language that encapsulates both the human and computer levels of thinking and coding programs. This unique privilege makes it an exceptional language, compared to any other existing one. It also demonstrates a higher level of flexibility, reasonable adaptability, and integration, providing for higher software development capabilities and enhancements. These qualities can be exploited to improve the current state-ofthe-art e-learning development tools, while meeting educational expectations, economical and time constraints, and human resources limitations. The main advantages of Pliant over other integrated software solutions are high transferability, flexibility, and maintainability. We have also presented Academia, a lightweight courseware application fully implemented in Pliant. When compared to mainstream courseware applications, Academia is surely over-simplified. Finally, a simple, yet concrete example of how Academia was used in a Translation program at CUSB was proposed, along with some insights on the e-learning methodology and pedagogy that were used.

A Pliant-Based Software Tool for Courseware Development

Savourel, Y. (2000). XML technologies and the localization process. Multi-Lingual Computing & Technology, 11(7). Tonneau, H., De Mendez, P.O., & Santos, M.V. (1984). Pliant homepage. Retrieved from http:// pliant.cx Wang, M. (2000). Evaluating the usability of Web-based learning tools. Masters Thesis, Department of Computer Science, University of Victoria, Canada. WebCT. (2002). WebCT Course Management System 3.8. Retrieved from http://www.webct.com

EndnotEs
1

kEY tErMs
Academia: A courseware development Web portal, fully implemented in the Pliant language. Courseware: Computer software and associated materials designed for educational or training purposes. E-Learning: The use of network technology to design, deliver, select, administer, and adapt learning activities. Fullpliant: Name given to the Pliant operating system. Pliant: The first efficient, truly extendable, customizable programming language. It is suited both for small scripts and for very large applications, and could be described as a combination of reflexive C, C++, typed Lisp, and clean syntax in a single language. Software Design: Process of problem solving and planning for a software solution. Usability: A measure, in our context, of how easy it is to use software to perform prescribed tasks.

10

This chapter is an extended version of a preliminary work entitled Pliant: More Than a Programming Language, a Flexible E-Learning Tool, published in the Proceedings of the World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2004 (pp. 505-510). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. Collge Universitaire de Saint-Boniface, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Academia was developed at the Department of Computer Science at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. The Co-Op Education and Internship program at Ryerson University is managed by means of a Co-op Web portal available at http://www.scs.ryerson.ca/~co-op. This should not be confused with other project of the same name available online at http://www.pliant.org/. Meta-programming refers to the ability of Pliant to eliminate the barrier between low-level languages like C and high-level languages like Lisp or Python. Academia is a Pliant-based Web portal. Its architecture is described later in the section entitled Academias System-Level Capabilities. Please refer to the section entitled Why Academia? for an introduction to this tool. Actors are objects outside of the scope of the system, but that have significant interactions with it. All URLs mentioned in this chapter are fictitious.



Developing Skills and Competencies

E-Language Learning:

Section II



Designing a Constructivist Vocabulary Learning Material


Ayegl Dalolu Middle East Technical University, Turkey Meltem Baturay Gazi University, Turkey Soner Yildirim Middle East Technical University, Turkey

Chapter XII

abstract
This chapter outlines how the constructivist approach can be implemented in Web-based vocabulary teaching, characteristics of effective Web-based vocabulary teaching materials, and a model for effective Web-based vocabulary teaching and recycling. In WEBVOCLE which stands for Web-Based Vocabulary Learning, contextual presentation of the words has been enriched with audible vocabulary and repeated with interactive exercises, games, and puzzles in spaced revisions in a constructivist Web-supported environment. The content of the implementation has been additionally supported with pictures. Feedback obtained from the learners demonstrates that they not only developed a positive attitude toward English language learning, but also improved their learning outcomes.

introduction
Current developments in information technologies with computers and the Internet have resulted in rapid advances in the application of technology in education. However, rather than focusing on

the principles of human learning and use of technology (Internet), most current literature deals with differences on the achievement of learners between Web-based and conventional training so far. In order to shed light on learning theories and psychological facts, this chapter outlines: (a) how

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Designing a Constructivist Vocabulary Learning Material

the constructivist approach can be implemented in Web-based vocabulary teaching, (b) characteristics of effective Web-based vocabulary teaching materials, and (c) a model for effective Web-based vocabulary teaching and recycling.

rEViEW oF LitEraturE computer-based Language instruction


The global popularity of the Internet over the past decade has brought about its innovation in education and in foreign language learning and teaching. Many studies affirm that learners consider the Internet a useful means to discover and learn new vocabulary (Alshwairkh & Sami, 2004; Johnson & Heffernan, 2006; Ma & Kelley, 2006) and to supplement in-class instruction (Kung & Chuo, 2002). Other research studies specific to vocabulary acquisition point out that words can be taught more effectively and in an enjoyable and even amusing way with the use of computers and Web-based materials (Labrie, 2000; Tsou, Wang, & Li, 2000; Tozcu & Coady, 2004). When the use of technology in education emerged nearly thirty years ago, a major concern was that the unavoidable infusion of technological devices into our educational system would replace some of the educators, and that the computer would make the classroom obsolete. Throughout the years it has been experienced that the corresponding developments in technology and interactive processes lead to improved learning by enriching the teaching-learning process. In fact, computers and the Internet, defined by Rice as the new media (1984, as cited in Chou, 2003), has allowed or facilitated interactivity in educational applications which enhances learning potential. Regarding this, Borsook and Higginbotham (1991, as cited in Chou, 2003) claim that the computers interactive potential makes it unique in the history of educational/instructional technology and

sets it apart from all other instructional devices (p. 267). Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have particularly changed the language learning environment and settings. It has transformed learning from a traditional, passive experience to one of discovery, exploration, and excitement by enhancing learners critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills (Young, 2003). Recent research studies demonstrate that language teaching, in order to be effective, requires a high level of interactivity. The growth in the use of multimedia computer as a learning tool has brought new opportunities to the design and implementation of foreign language learning activities. Multimedia has the power to move the lesson beyond the traditional walls of the classroom, to provide flexibility in individualizing the activities, to integrate the lesson with the needed authenticity, to enhance communication and discovery-oriented learning by the help of cooperative work in groups, to involve language learners in the learning process by their senses, to reduce or eliminate learners initial linguistic and psychological barriers, and to create an effective and interactive learning environment (Foster, 1996; Young, 2003; Yang, 1998; Adair-Hauck, Willingham-McLain, & Youngs, 1999; Plass et al., 1998). In addition, Pusack and Otto (1997) claim that the strength of multimedia comes from the synergy provided by the variety of skills (listening, reading, writing, and speaking) that are linked together in meaningful ways to deliver in-depth experience. Multimedia learning provides the learner with information on different (e.g., visual, auditory) modes.

Main characteristics of constructivist Learning


As presented by Fosnot (1992), constructivism is a theory of knowing and a theory about coming to know (p. 168). Therefore, a constructivist approach to instruction requires an understanding



Designing a Constructivist Vocabulary Learning Material

of how learners make meaning so that learning environments, methods, and materials can promote knowledge construction. Based on these, it is possible to conclude that education is about using knowledge, not acquiring it (Vermette et al., 2001, p. 3) and constructivism is a psychological theory that construes learning as an interpretive, recursive, building process by active learners interacting with the physical and social world (Fosnot, 1996, p. 30). Although constructivism is applied to learning and instructional theories, it can be considered an epistemological approach. Constructivism in education can be viewed in two ways: cognitive and social constructivism. The former, grounded in the work of Piaget (1954, 1970; Piaget & Inhelder, 1971), focuses on cognitive development and individual construction of knowledge, while the latter, attributed to Vygotsky (1978), emphasizes the social construction of knowledge. In the cognitive constructivist approach, learning occurs through cognitive processing of environmental interactions and corresponding constructions of mental structures to make sense of them. There are two key Piagetian principles for teaching and learning: 1. Learning is an active process. Direct experience, making errors, and looking for solutions are vital for the assimilation and accommodation of information. How information is presented is important. When information is introduced as an aid to problem solving, it functions as a tool rather than an isolated arbitrary fact. Learning should be whole, authentic, and real. Piaget helps us to understand that meaning is constructed as children interact in meaningful ways with the world around them. Thus, there is less emphasis on isolated exercises that try to teach vocabulary items without a context or provide learners with sentence punctuation activities. Learners still learn these things in Piagetian class-

rooms, but they are more likely to learn them if they are engaged in meaningful activities (such as operating a class store or bank for vocabulary development or writing and editing a class newspaper). Whole activities (as opposed to isolated exercises), authentic activities that are inherently interesting and meaningful to the learner, and real activities that result in something other than a grade on a test are emphasized in Piagetian classrooms. The emergence of constructivism has coincided with the shift in pedagogy away from teacher-centered information transmission models toward knowledge-centered approaches that focus on cognitive and social processes in learning. Contrary to objectives-based approaches, instruction in constructivism does not involve prescriptive presentation strategies or accurate knowledge representation (Perkins, 1992; Reynolds, Sammons, Stoll, Barber, & Hillman, 1996). Constructivism suggests that knowledge is constructed as individuals make meaning of their experiences, and knowledge has meaning only in context. Thus, effective instruction needs to include presentations of real-world problems in authentic contexts that require collaboration (Jonassen, 1999). Therefore, the main implications of constructivism for instruction are collaboration, diverse perspectives, and authentic context (Abbery, 2000). Since truths or facts change for each individual in that everyone interprets the gained knowledge differently, it is the learners responsibility to search for knowledge and create their own meaning through experiences. Instead of being provided a specified content, learners should search for knowledge from many different sources (Ertmer & Newby, 1993). By benefiting from different sources, the learner is able to have a variety of perspectives instead of adopting the fixed perspective of the instructor. The primary goal of a constructivist environment is to help learners learn how to learn; the emphasis is placed on

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Designing a Constructivist Vocabulary Learning Material

the learner rather than the instructor (Brooks & Brooks, 1993). As Kaufman (2004) states, constructivism has placed a learners individual development at the focus of instruction and learning. The interaction between learners internal schema and the exogenous social and cultural variables contribute to the transformations in the learners internal schemata. In this process, guidance from experts or teachers and strategies such as modeling, coaching, and scaffolding provide learners with necessary cognitive support (Jonassen, 1999). Learners benefit from the use of multiple approaches and learning experiences in the process of extracting meaning from knowledge. There are no specific methods for constructivism; however, one can benefit from cooperative learning, self-directed learning, discovery learning, and problem-based and hands-on learning activities. Assessment of the learners is done by self- or peer-evaluation, portfolios, or rubrics, which would challenge learners to recall, compare, and use what has been learned before. In summary, Jonassen (1994) proposes eight characteristics that differentiate constructivist learning environments from traditional ones: 1. 2. Constructivist learning environments provide multiple representations of reality. Multiple representations avoid oversimplification and represent the complexity of the real world. Constructivist learning environments emphasize knowledge construction instead of knowledge reproduction. Constructivist learning environments emphasize authentic tasks in a meaningful context rather than abstract instruction out of context. Constructivist learning environments provide learning environments such as real-world settings or case-based learning instead of predetermined sequences of instruction.

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Constructivist learning environments encourage thoughtful reflection on experience. Constructivist learning environments enable knowledge construction that is context and content dependent. Constructivist learning environments support collaboration through social negotiation in the construction of knowledge, not competition among learners.

Vocabulary Learning and Vocabulary retention


Research studies in language learning and acquisition processes suggest that training in structural (grammatical) and vocabulary knowledge will not result in real linguistic competence and language proficiency. Although words alone are believed to be language, and language learning is deemed acquiring lexicon, if learners keep these lists in their personalized store without actively using them in language production, their linguistic competence will not develop. According to Kuper and Allan (2004), for many years, language teachers have ignored the techniques for helping learners to learn vocabulary, because of the viewpoints that learning a certain number of words in the target language along with their meanings was sufficient to know a language without knowing their usage in sentences. Techniques of teaching vocabulary have emerged in history parallel with the methods in language teaching. In those years, when the Grammar-Translation Method was the typical method of teaching a foreign language, teachers taught vocabulary by providing their learners long lists of words with their equivalent translations in their native languages. Language teaching profession has realized in time that this method is not efficient to achieve communicative competence (Groot, 2000). However, bilingual word lists continue to be favored by learners. Deveci (1996) states that many cultures, including the Turkish culture,

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Designing a Constructivist Vocabulary Learning Material

encourage rote learning, where learners memorize lists of words in isolation (p. 2). Particularly after the 1950s with the emergence of the Direct Method, teaching a word in context started to be used as a common technique. In the 1950s and 1960s, audio-lingual textbooks used a set plan for selecting and limiting vocabulary. With the new scope, by the 1970s, a communicative approach to language teaching had correspondingly affected the view to teaching of vocabulary as communicative content. This new approach obliged the use of more communicative materials and approaches such as survival English, and contextual and situational English. However, apart from basic communicative competences, which were favored in the communicative classroom of the 1980s, strategies of language processing and language awareness, and skills in knowledge perception, production, and construction are needed to achieve successful outcomes of any language curriculum. Such competences, which are often discussed in the context of learner autonomy, are of significance for language learning. Therefore, those suggesting a rethink of a purely communicative methodology discuss the post-communicative era of foreign language learning. The constructivist paradigm is seen as an important methodological basis for real innovation in foreign language learning (Ruschoff & Ritter, 2001). Lewis (1993) is very much in line with this position by stating that, The PresentPractice-Produce paradigm is rejected, in favor of a paradigm based on the Observe-HypothesizeExperiment cycle (p. vii). With the rise of interest in vocabulary development and appearance of more innovative methods of language teaching, vocabulary learning started to be viewed as a complex matter. More specifically, it was realized that learning of word meanings calls for more than looking the words up in the dictionary since vocabulary learning is a multifaceted process. According to Tchudi and Mitchell (1989) the look-up-the-word-andknow-it-for-the-test approach almost lost its value

(p. 258). In order to augment learners learning, students are provided with the opportunities of relating the words to their personal experiences, thinking about the new words, asking questions about them, and comparing them with other words they have learned. Therefore, vocabulary instruction is viewed to be more effective when learners are involved in the construction of the meaning through interactive processes rather than simply memorizing definitions or synonyms. Besides, to communicate in meaningful and appropriate ways is the ultimate goal of the foreign language classroom (ACTFL, 1999). Promoting the use of words in communicative situations and reintroducing these new words at regular intervals prevents forgetting (Chastain, 1976). It is believed that not to forget learned words, one should use the words in communicative situations and be exposed to these new words at regular intervals. To boost retention, revision seems to be the best approach, and if the words are presented in context, retention is much higher. According to Lewis (2000), encountering new vocabulary on several occasions seems to be a necessity and even a sufficient condition for learning to occur (p. 184). Concerning retention of words, it is often uttered that lack of context is thought to make vocabulary learning difficult, and the words taught in isolation are generally not remembered and/or easily forgotten. Use of words by means of meaningful repetition exercises increases the words retention in memory (Hatch, Evelyn, & Brown, 1995). To sum up, it is beneficial for learners to see the word usage in other contexts or learning environments, particularly in distributed phases. According to Nation (1990, 2001), to fully acquire words, learners need to be exposed to a word 5-16 times, and frequent reencountering of the word is crucial for learners vocabulary acquisition. If the word is not truly stored in long-term memory, there is difficulty recalling it after some time. Not setting up a repetitive learning system for the learner, however, is one of the drawbacks

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Designing a Constructivist Vocabulary Learning Material

of many language courses. Ebbinghaus (1885, as cited in Waring, 2004) examined human memory and the rate of forgetting. With his scientific study of memory, he pointed out that especially repetitions that are distributed over time might allow one to remember things for a long time. According to his analyses of his own vocabulary learning, Ebbinghauss ability to recall words he had encountered after 30 minutes was 50%, and his ability to recall after 48 hours was 25%. He therefore calculated the number of words he was able to recall for each 15-day interval. Ebbinghaus (1885, as cited in Waring, 2004) explained this result with the forgetting curve. Most forgetting occurs very soon after the learning, and if the word is not met again soon, it is likely to be forgottenthat is, immediately after learning knowledge decreases rapidly, but then it decreases rather slowly. Thus, the time between the first and the second exposition should be very short (see Figure 1). Based on Ebbinghauss (1885) forgetting curve, Pimsleur (1967, as cited in Waring, 2004) proposed that every time we relearn something, the knowledge gets stronger and is therefore more resistant to decay. Pimsleurs graduated interval recall schedule shows that the gap between the second encounter and the subsequent encounters

Figure 1. Ebbinghauss forgetting curve (1885, adapted from Waring, 2004)

with the word should progressively widen if there is to be 100% recall (see Figure 2). Thus, the forgetting curves get less steep as relearning continues. Owing to this, the intervals between the revisions of words should increase. According to Pimsleur, this schedule outlines the ideal schedule for learners to keep new vocabulary knowledge in mind. In Figure 2, t0 refers to the first time the word is learned; t1 refers to the first relearning, and so on. As indicated in Figure 2, the gap of a few minutes between time0 and time1 is shorter than the gap between time1 and time2. Pimsleur (1967, as cited in Waring, 2004) calculated the ideal distance as multiples of five. So one revision should take place at a time period of five times longer than the previous gap. Although after about time7 the gap is very wide, there is a very high probability that the word will be located in memory because of the fact that the person has met the word six times previously (Waring, 2004). The effectiveness of spaced revisions relative to massed revisions has been emphasized by many researchers (Dempster, 1987, 1991; Russo & Mammarella, 2002; Moshe, 1990; Bahrick, Bahrick, Bahrick, & Bahrick, 1993; Braun & Rubin, 1998). It is further stated by Dempster (1991) that the reconstruction hypothesis [suggests] that spaced revisions encourage highly constructive thinking (p. 75). The findings of a study conducted by Kolich (1991) support that additional practice opportunities are needed between training and testing, after a period of time passes after the first encounter in order to help learners with word retention. Thus, the word can be moved from short-term memory to long-term memory, and it can be recalled after minutes, days, weeks, or years. Briefly, moving knowledge to long-term memory is not easy since there needs to be a lot of meaningful practice. Bygate, Skehan, and Swain (2001) state that acquisition follows repeated exposure to examples. The more often certain sounds are heard in the



Designing a Constructivist Vocabulary Learning Material

Figure 2. Pimsleurs memory schedule (1967, adapted from Waring, 2004)

same sequence the more likely is that sequence to be transferred to long-term memory (p. 79). Therefore, in light of research studies, spaced revision and multiple encounters with the same word stimulate vocabulary learning and enhance vocabulary retention. Besides, it also became clear that the vocabulary teaching process should stimulate learners as much as possible through more channels, that is, a multi-sensory approach is preferred to teaching of vocabulary. Stephenson (2002) supports the view that emphasizing sensory stimulation is a good thing and needs no justification. Visual, auditory, and kinesthetic stimulation in sufficient frequent applications excite the brain and improve its organization. Furthermore, learners believe in the effectiveness of stimulation and a rich sensory environment. Therefore, multisensory environments are effective with people of all ages and a range of disabilities.

of Turkey, adopts a constructivist approach and emphasizes the following features: 1. Learner-centeredness: Learners worked at their own pace and had freedom about their choice of studying time, the number of visits to the Web site, pace, and frequency of working on exercises. Contextualized meaning and knowledge construction: Vocabulary was represented through various contexts and enriched with the use of multimedia tools (pictures and sound). Opportunities for production: Learners engaged in activities that required meaningful interaction, critical thinking, and genuine language production. Immediate feedback: Learners received immediate feedback about their language productions. Ongoing/periodic recycling: Participants utilized this Web-based tool for the revision of vocabulary items that had been learned and studied in class, and the tool provided multiple and spaced encounters with the language to be learned.

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WEb-basEd VocabuLarY LEarning ModEL and LEarnEr FEEdback


Web-based Vocabulary Learning Model (WEBVOCLE), developed as a part of a project funded by the Scientific and Technological Research Council



Designing a Constructivist Vocabulary Learning Material

the procedure
In the preparation phase of WEBVOCLE, the researchers tried to provide the tenets such as multiple exposure to new words for learners; active, in-depth processing with meaningful texts and exercises; relating the new to the known; additional reading with the given texts; sound components, hints or clues related to word meanings; and multimodal presentation of information with online definitions, glossaries or thesauruses, which were described by Wood (2001, as cited in Yip & Kwan, 2006) as the guidelines for designing effective vocabulary learning software. Supporting the view presented by Laufer and Shmueli (1997, as cited in Nation, 2001) that lack of context is thought to make vocabulary learning difficult and the words taught in isolation are generally not remembered and/or easily forgotten, in WEBVOCLE, target vocabulary was presented to learners in various contexts that were carefully written by language experts. The texts surrounding vocabulary were simple enough to help comprehension and they included contextual clues. Bearing in mind that the natural word acquisition process involves acquisition of a words properties in various contexts, learners were introduced to many contexts for each target word. An observe-hypothesize-experiment cycle was used in the instructional process. After studying target vocabulary in the classroom (observe), the learners read the story accompanied by pictures on the Web-based tool at the beginning of each module (see Figure 3) and completed the follow-up comprehension exercise (hypothesize). In subsequent weeks, learners were exposed to all target vocabulary items a minimum of three times, in two or three exercises (experiment) (see Figure 4). As the study and the Web-based tool did not attempt to provide the learner with all possible meanings and uses of the target vocabulary, but only the meaning studied in class, the researchers deemed seven or eight exposures altogether to be

adequate for the addition of the lexical information into learners long-term memory (see Table 1). Considering the research studies that show that when foreign language learners are presented with various forms of lexical information in addition to text, comprehension increases (Johnson & Heffernan, 2006), target vocabulary items in the texts were presented in the form of a mini dictionary, with the definition of the word in English, pronunciation, and synonyms if there were any. Besides this, it was thought that this mechanism might help the readers of the texts who might lack confidence in their guesses. In WEBVOCLE, vocabulary was reinforced in learners long-term memory with subsequent exercises such as matching, gap filling, multiple choice, and cloze tests next to puzzles and vocabulary games. As Nation (2001) suggests, real vocabulary learning happens only if the vocabulary is used both receptively and productively by the learners. Therefore, the learning tasks or exercises on the system were designed to test not only recognition but also production of learners. Apart from aforementioned exercise types, comprehension exercises were added to each module after the texts believing that by doing comprehension exercises, the learners would become familiar with the meaning and usage of words. Vocabulary games, on the other hand, were included in the retention exercises to increase motivation of learners. According to the results of their study, Yip and Kwan (2006) commented that online vocabulary games help learners to learn better and the learned vocabulary is retained for a longer period of time. To monitor users performance and the total time spent on the software, the scores obtained from the exercises in each application were recorded by the system and these data serve to evaluate the effectiveness of the software. A learning object is not only a digital entity deliverable over the Internet, but it is defined as any digital resource that can be reused to support learning by Wiley (2002, p. 7). As Wiley (2000)



Designing a Constructivist Vocabulary Learning Material

exemplifies, learning object systems include some multimedia content, instructional content, learning objectives, instructional software, and software tools and persons during technology-supported learning. Technology-supported learning might include computer-based, collaborative, and interactive learning environments or intelligent computer-aided instruction and distance learning systems. According to these definitions, WEBVOCLE is an interactive distance learning system that includes multimedia-supported instructional content. Although WEBVOCLE is a time- and place-flexible digital resource, it can be considered a learning support tool. Leaning objects encompass sound pedagogical principles and instructional design theories for educational purposes. Instructional features such as games and exercises used in WEBVOCLE may also serve as learning objects to other similar applications in the future. The theoretical rationale for the tool is based on spaced revision technique, which originates from the way memory works, and in the Web-based program, increasing intervals of time between subsequent reviews of vocabulary items was ap-

plied (Ebbinghaus, 1885, as cited in Waring, 2004). Therefore, there was a systematic application of the state-of-the-art knowledge in articulating the theoretical rationale for the materials design choice (Akker, Branch, Gustafson, Nieveen, & Plomp, 1999). To guarantee word retention in memory, learners make revisions, which become less and less frequent after a time. As learners used this Web-based tool, the progress they demonstrated was explored. The intervention was delivered at real user settings with the participants of the same level of English. WEBVOCLE was implemented at Gazi University English Language Preparatory School over the spring semester for 11 weeks in the 2006-2007 academic year. The English language learners who used the tool were at intermediatelevel language proficiency as determined by the institutional English proficiency exam. In the implementation, a within-subject design was used with 69 participants who were exposed to the Web-based vocabulary learning tool (WEBVOCLE) as a supplementary material to in-class learning; that is, the system enabled the revision of pre-learned vocabulary items in a Web-based

Figure 3. A sample story page. The words in bold are clickable, and when clicked the definition and pronunciation of the words are given. This constitutes the observation stage of the lesson.



Designing a Constructivist Vocabulary Learning Material

environment. Learners used the tool with time and place flexibility. WEBVOCLE was released to learners access on the address line of Internet Explorer, http://www.bdee.net/words/a, and it is still in use. Table 1. Instructional design of WEBVOCLE
(1) week (2) week (3) week (4) week (5) week (6) week (7) week (8) week (9) week A B, A1 C, B1 C1, A2 B2 C2 A3 B3 C3

AWords taken from the first set of vocabulary items (Words are given in context followed up by a comprehension exercise and a vocabulary game.) (Figure 3) BWords taken from the second set of vocabulary items (Words are given in context followed up by a comprehension exercise and a vocabulary game.) CWords taken from the third set of vocabulary items* (Words are given in context followed up by a comprehension exercise and a vocabulary game.) * Vocabulary items in A, B, C sets were chosen from the students course books.

Figure 4. Drag-and-drop exercisethis constitutes the experiment stage of the lesson.



Designing a Constructivist Vocabulary Learning Material

The exercises in each revision application are as follows: X1 Second Revision Application: Choose the appropriate word (in combo boxes) Fill-in-the-blanks-by-writing exercise. Fill-in-the-blanks exercise (drag and drop) (Figure 4)

principles guiding the Model


As known, Hillman, Willis, and Gunawardena (1994) added a fourth interaction, which is between learner and interface, to the Moores (1989) identification of interactive relationships regarding online learning: learner-content, learner-instructor, and learner-learner. Throughout the implementation, the researchers aimed to obtain ideas of the learners about the tools content with respect to collecting feedback on visual design, instructional design, usability, and effectiveness of it through checklists for users and interviews for deeper understanding of users thoughts. Checklists were the main and most prominent data collection instrument in the study. Through checklists, it was possible to collect information from learners as an aid to better the Web-based material provision. According to Hmard (2006), checklists might be used for tried and tested heuristics closely related to design guidelines since they can provide a convenient and practical method to verify and

X2 Third Revision Application: Matching exercise Multiple-choice test

X3 Fourth Revision Application: Puzzle (Figure 5) Cloze test

Figure 5. Puzzlethe definitions of the target words are given and learners are made to write the word in the blanks in the correct way. This exercise also checks the spelling. This constitutes the experiment stage of the lesson.



Designing a Constructivist Vocabulary Learning Material

compare specific aspects of the interaction and interface design. To get learners perceptions of the tool was highly vital; thus, with their ideas the tool was examined and improved. As stated by Marshall and Rossman (1999), it is not possible to understand human actions without understanding the meaning that the participants attribute to those actionstheir thoughts, feelings, beliefs, values, and assumptive worlds; therefore, the checklists and interviews enabled researchers to understand the deeper perspectives of learners about the benefits and difficulties with the use of Web-based tool content with respect to collecting feedback on visual design, instructional design, usability, practicality, and effectiveness of it (p. 57). Learners were given freedom and autonomy in studying on the Web-based tool. As outlined in the principles of constructivist language learning, they had the freedom of visiting and revising the exercises in each module of WEBVOCLE whenever they wanted. As outlined in the design model and the spaced revision technique principles, learners were allowed to practice the vocabulary items at specified intervals. Besides, the time of each revision was decided on keeping in mind the fact that, to ensure 95% retention of words, vocabulary should be practiced 1-10 days after learning the word in class. Therefore, the first contextualized practice was carried out the day after in-class exposition of words, the second revision was one week after that, the third one was two weeks after the first application, and the last one appeared three weeks after the third one. Thus, the spacing of revisions increased before each application. The context-based vocabulary and other activities were not kept in the Web system. After having been studied by the learners, they were removed and the following ones replaced for the next application. To exemplify, after studying Module A (vocabulary in a story and comprehension exercise with a game-like activity), A1 was made available to the learners one week later with two gap-filling exercises (one drag and drop and

one fill in the blanks by writing exercise) and one choose-the-correct-one exercise. A2 was made available with a multiple-choice and vocabularyto-definition matching exercise two weeks after the previous one, and finally, A3 was a close test and a puzzle three weeks after A2. The exercises were provided in spaced intervals getting longer each time. That is, learners were not allowed to study the previous weeks or months vocabulary because the researchers aimed to see the effects of spaced revision in such intervals.

FuturE trEnds
It is obvious that Web-based technologies are becoming inevitable components of effective learning environments and most educators are convinced that they ameliorate the learning process. Additionally, the new pedagogy of learning requires educators to provide their students with opportunities to explore their learning environments rationally, propose solutions to problems, and construct their own knowledge as well as share it with other students. Thus, Web technologies have been a catalyst of the new pedagogy of learning. In the future, Web technologies will not demolish the classroom instruction or face-to-face interaction among students and the instructor, but those technologies will foster the quality of instruction in several aspects. Since the 21st century requires individuals to become proactive members of the knowledge economy, every individual should be able to compete and survive in the international market. As a result, more individuals will be demanding foreign language training that they need all around the world and the quality of training they receive will become a fundamental issue. Consequently, educational institutions and international organizations will be investing more on Web technologies to provide such learning environments. Such attempts will also lead us to better understand the pedagogy of



Designing a Constructivist Vocabulary Learning Material

this new learning paradigm and its implications in foreign language education.

concLusion
In order to evaluate the effectiveness of WEBVOCLE, mainly qualitative data collection techniques were employed. Data were collected from 69 intermediate-level English Language Preparation School students through checklists (54 returned), face-to-face interviews (with eight students), and focus group interviews (three focus group interviews with four students in each group). The results indicated that learners preferred shorter and interesting texts on Webbased materials, and that the interface of any Web-based material should not disturb learners and distract their concentration. Although there is a correlation between aesthetics and usability of an interface, they are assumed to be two different aspects in evaluating effectiveness (Tractinsky & Zimiri, 2006). As revealed by the findings, learners who used WEBVOCLE gave higher priority to usability of an interface design if these two aspects were under consideration. Narrative pictures helped their comprehension of texts; however, they preferred the pictures to be real photographs if possible. Sufficient informative pages and instructions were viewed to be vital on a Web-based learning environment because learners felt themselves alone. A supplementary material with lots of exercises was appreciated by the language learners who were in need of vocabulary practice particularly. When compared to alternative conventional studying materials, this Web-based tool was regarded to be fast and organized. Learners mostly believed that a material which provided spaced revisions was very effective for their retention of newly learned words. Also, they commented that Internet cafes are not suitable places to study on an instructive Webbased material as they do not provide a suitable environment to study.

On the other hand, the quantitative data collected through vocabulary retention tests indicated that for Module A there was a significant difference between the pre- and post-test scores when their frequency of using WEBVOCLE is taken into consideration; for Module B there was not a significant difference between the pre- and post-test scores when their frequency of using WEBVOCLE is taken into consideration; and finally for Module C there was a significant difference between the pre- and post-test scores when their frequency of using WEBVOCLE is taken into consideration. In addition to these, data collected through attitude questionnaires indicated that there was a significant increase in learners positive attitudes towards English language vocabulary learning after the implementation of WEBVOCLE, but there was not a significant increase in learners positive attitudes towards Web-based English language vocabulary learning after the implementation. The feedback obtained from the learners demonstrates that they benefited from the Web-based vocabulary development tool. Their responses showed that they both enjoyed using the tool as it appealed to a variety of their senses and retained the vocabulary items in their long-term memory. These positive attitudes and learning outcomes can be attributed to the features of the system that are rooted in the constructivist approach and spaced revision of vocabulary items. The Web-based vocabulary learning system encompassed the characteristics of constructivist learning environments that Jonassen (1994) outlines. In the reading texts and activities, learners were provided with multiple representations of the language. They could hear and read the same vocabulary items in multiple contexts. These multiple representations avoided oversimplification by making the learner aware of the different uses and meanings of the same vocabulary item. As Nation (2001) suggests, vocabulary learning was enhanced as items were used both receptively and productively by the learners.



Designing a Constructivist Vocabulary Learning Material

In addition to these, the system enabled learners to construct knowledge rather than to reproduce it. They could deduce meanings and transfer them to new contexts through authentic tasks. The stories and the characters in the system created a theme-based unity that added continuity to the instructional process. This unity and continuity contributed to establishing a case-based and meaningful learning environment. When analyzed from the learners perspective, the system enabled learners to engage in thoughtful reflection on their learning experiences. They could monitor their own learning through the immediate feedback provided by the system, set learning targets for themselves, self-assess, and revise their learning targets in light of their self-assessment. Autonomy in pacing and timing the learning gave the learners the opportunity to self-regulate their learning. Since learners worked at their own pace and in an autonomous environment, competition was not a driving force. In conclusion, it is obvious that the system enabled learners to be actively involved in the learning process and the spaced encounters promoted long-term retention of the newly learned vocabulary. Theoretical implications supporting WEBVOCLE demonstrate mainly the constructive approach with the context-based vocabulary teaching and generative theory of multimedia learning. Applying context-based vocabulary teaching in a constructivist learning environment enables knowledge construction that is context and content dependent (Jonassen, 1994); student-centered learning (Gairns & Redman, 1988, as cited in nal, 2003); problem solving (Ying, 2001, as cited in nal, 2003); and meaningful interaction, critical thinking, and genuine language production. In addition, the design of multimedia-embedded instruction affects the degree to which learners engage in the cognitive processes required for meaningful learning within both the visual and verbal information processing system (Mayer, 2001). Moreover, use of context-

based presentation, visual aids, and a dictionary, which is providing synonyms, pronunciation, and meaning, constitutes elaborative processing that is closely related to encoding variability (DeWinstanley & Bjork, 2002).

rEFErEncEs
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Designing a Constructivist Vocabulary Learning Material

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Tozcu, A., & Coady, J. (2004). Successful learning of frequent vocabulary through CALL also benefits reading comprehension and speed. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 17(5), 473-495. Tractinsky, N., & Zimiri, D. (2006). Exploring attributes of skins as potential antecedents of emotion in HCI. In P. Fishwick (Ed.), Aesthetic computing (pp. 405-422). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Tsou, W., Wang, W., & Li, H. (2000). A computer-assisted English abstract words learning environment on the web. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Computers in Education/ International Conference on Computer-Assisted Instruction 2000 (ICCE/ICCAI 2000) Nov. 21-24, 2000. Volume 1, pp. 379-382. Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C. nal, M. (2003). The contribution of context to vocabulary teaching. Masters Thesis, Seluk niversitesi, Turkey. Vermette, P., Foote, C., Bird, C., Mesibov, D., Harris-Ewing, S., & Battaglia, C. (2001). Understanding constructivism(s): A primer for parents and school board members. Education, 122(1), 87-93. Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Waring, R. (2004). How to successfully use flashcards: In defense of learning words in word pairs. The Internet TESL Journal, (February). Retrieved June 12, 2007, from http://iteslj.org/links/TESL/ Articles/Vocabulary/ Wiley, D.A. (2002). Connecting learning objects to instructional design theory: A definition, a metaphor, and a taxonomy. In D.A. Wiley (Ed.), The instructional use of learning objects. Retrieved August 2007 from http://www.reusability. org/read/

Yang, P.J. (1998). Networked multimedia and foreign language education. Calico Journal, 15(1-3), 75-88. Yip, F.W.M., & Kwan, A.C.M. (2006). Online vocabulary games as a tool for teaching and learning English vocabulary. Educational Media International, 43(3), 233-249. Young, S.C. (2003). Integrating ICT into second language education in a vocational high school. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 19(4), 447-461.

kEY tErMs
Autonomous Learners: Learners who can set their learning goals and strategies, and are able to monitor and regulate their learning process in accordance with their learning goals and the learning context. Constructivism: An epistemological approach where learning occurs through cognitive processing of environmental interactions and forming corresponding constructions of mental structures to make sense of them. It focuses on learners interaction with the real world to gain knowledge, and truths or facts change for each individual in that everyone interprets the gained knowledge differently. Learners search for knowledge and create their own meaning through experiences. Forgetting Curve: Illustrates the decline of memory retention in time. In WEBVOCLE the effect of frequent revisions on memory retention was under consideration. Learner-Centeredness: Ascribes to each learner a sense of responsibility for his or her own learning by enabling a constructivist approach with the assumption that deep learning occurs when a learner is actively engaged in the construction of knowledge for himself.

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Designing a Constructivist Vocabulary Learning Material

Interactive Learning Environment: Concept used in this chapter to mean the Web-based environment (WEBVOCLE) for educational purposes that supported learning through the interaction with the computer (human-computer interactivity). Multimedia-Supported Learning Environment: Offers the experience of listening, looking, and doing in a computer-mediated setting. The Web-based vocabulary learning system, WEBVOCLE, benefited from the advantages of audio and visual multimedia, and applied some of the elements of multimedia such as use of images, animation, sound, and text. Observe-Hypothesize-Experiment Cycle: Lewis (1993) proposes a model that comprises the cycle Observe-Hypothesize-Experiment (as opposed to the traditional Present-Practice-Produce paradigm) with the lexicon and the generative power of words at its core.

Spaced Revision: A learning technique in which revisions of the same vocabulary item are provided with increasing intervals to allow one to remember new information for a long time. Throughout the application of this technique, the revisions of vocabulary items are done not in a massed way but through spaced intervals. Vocabulary Retention: Refers to keeping vocabulary in long-term memory and retrieving itfor meaningful use in appropriate contexts. Web-Based Instruction (WBI): The application of Web-based technologies for the purposes of instruction. A method of teaching and learning supported by the attributes and resources of the Internet.

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A Lexical Study Based on Parallel Corpora, DDL, and Moodle


Yasunori Nishina University of Birmingham, UK

Chapter XIII

abstract
This chapter suggests an effective method for lexical studies using Moodle within the framework of data-driven learning based on parallel concordances, and particularly shows how teachers can prepare and compile materials of a specific keyword for Japanese learners of English. It is often the case that knowledge of L1 possessed by EFL learners affects that of L2 when they do L2 writing. The author shows this using the case of the English abstract noun condition, because it differs in its usage (e.g., implied meaning and context) by English native speakers and by Japanese EFL learners. Errors of this kind can be overcome by presenting parallel concordances concerning translation equivalents and their synonyms of the English noun in question. Thus, the several steps in the compilation of classroom materials based on parallel concordances with Moodle are presented here.

introduction
A survey conducted by Ryan (1996) shows that, out of 572 Japanese English language learners, learning grammar is their least favorite task in English classes, and that English conversation classes with native speakers are more popular with them because they do not need to learn grammar

and can learn practical English. This stream is still seen in the current English language classroom in Japan, as the communicative-centered teaching with assistant language teachers (that is, English native speakers) is much more encouraged than the grammatical-centered teaching by Japanese teachers. The main reason that students dislike grammar would be a reputation for being

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A Lexical Study Based on Parallel Corpora, DDL, and Moodle

complex, mechanical, and troublesome in its learning. Perhaps with an innovative method to inspire their interest, the current situation might be changed, as students will learn grammar not passively but actively. Corpus linguistics revealed that lexis and grammar are closely interconnected, further suggesting that the acquisition of lexical information leads to the acquisition of grammatical information (cf. Sinclair, 1991; Nattinger & DeCarrico, 1992; Lewis, 1993, 1997, 2000; Hunston & Francis, 1999). That is to say, it is primarily important for non-native learners to acquire the lexical information to receive and produce L2 language task grammatically. There is a possibility that this can be effectively achieved for EFL learners by using parallel corpora, concordances, and data-driven learning (DDL) in a computer-assisted language learning (CALL) environment. In particular, one of the advantages of adopting concordance lines in the language classrooms would be the visualization of the lexical patterns from the huge amounts of data (Stevens, 1993; Sinclair, 1986, 1991; Danielsson & Mahlberg, 2003). From these perspectives, the combination of corpora and concordances has much potential for language learning, especially lexical studies as demonstrated by the data-driven learning approach, pioneered by Tim Johns at the University of Birmingham (1991a, 1991b). The application of corpora and concordances into CALL has been regarded as an idea with high potential, and it is suggested that concordancer is particularly the most powerful tool and the preeminent software in language learning (Leech & Candlin, 1986; Tribble, 1990; Higgins, 1991; Hanson-Smith, 1993; Barlow, 2000; Chujo, Utiyama, & Nishigaki, 2005; Chujo, Utiyama, & Miura, 2006). Among all, Chujo et al. (2006) still see the application of corpora and concordances into CALL as valid methodology for bilingual classrooms, by focusing more on bilingual corpora and a user-friendly environment. Following this suggestion, the author presents a case study on a

specific keyword for Japanese EFL learners and seeks methodology on the use of DDL in the online environment for bilingual classrooms, by adopting Moodle and parallel corpora in this chapter.

data-driVEn LEarning the product approach and the process approach


Teaching grammar is divided into two approaches: the product approach and the process approach. Hadley (2002) generalized, Product approaches are those that carefully present specific aspects of the language for the students. Process approaches encourage creativity and self-discovery by students as they experiment with the language (p. 3). Lewis (1993) indicated that the disadvantage of the product approach to pedagogic grammar is that much of the grammar rules that are taught are inaccurate or plain wrong (p. 133). On the other hand, Nunan (1995) suggested that grammar tasks using the process approach invite learners to use the examples and modules in the material to recognize language patterns, and work out the language rules for themselves (p. xxiii), without making them memorize the grammar rules. The main advantage given by process approaches is the learning responsibility that it imposes on the learners. In this case, the teacher plays the role of facilitator (Widdowson, 1989). Process approaches are fundamentally similar to the DDL approach. DDL is an approach to pedagogic grammar; it encourages learners learning to move from a product to a process approach by looking at the language patterns given by concordance lines of a language taken from electronic corpora and concordance software.

data-driven Learning
In the DDL approach, learners first examine the concordance lines created using a concordancer

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A Lexical Study Based on Parallel Corpora, DDL, and Moodle

and a corpus; hopefully then they will be able to discover the theory contained in the evidence. Indeed, Tribble (1990) states, What the concordancer does is make the invisible visible (p. 11). This is because collocations of a word show learners the clear lexical rules in a keyword-incontext (KWIC) format. Leechs (1994) term organic is well suited as a descriptor of this DDL approach; he suggested that this term could be applied to those pedagogical techniques, increasing the learners consciousness of grammar. Rutherford and Smith (1988) also mention raising consciousness as the deliberate attempt to draw the learners attention specifically to the formal properties of the target language (p. 107). In addition, in DDL, teachers never give learners the information about language patterns beforehand; instead, they try to encourage the discovery of language properties by the learners on their own (see also Chalker, 1994; Johns, 1991a, 1991b). Many researchers have supported the DDL approach in the classroom for the past decade (cf. Kettemann, 1995; Johns, 1991b; Tribble & Johns, 1990; Barlow, 2000; Chujo et al., 2006).

(3) no information to help students in advance. The reason why these problems occurred in the bilingual classroom is that DDL is basically regarded as a monolingual corpus platform.

the potential of parallel corpora in the bilingual classroom


As opposed to the situation a couple of decades ago, various multilingual corpora are now available (e.g., English-Japanese or Japanese-English parallel corpora emerged after 2000), thanks to the development of alignment programs across languages and to multilingual concordance programs, such as King and Woolls (1996), Akasegawa (2001), and Barlow (2002). Although a concordancer invented a decade ago by King and Woolls (1996) can only give each paragraph of alignment data between two or more languages, Barlow (2002) enables it to show parallel concordance lines at word, phrase, and sentence level on the computer screen. Akasegawa (2001) also enables it to handle corpora compiled in XML (Extensive Markup Language) format. Frankenberg-Garcia (2005) pointed out that parallel corpora make it possible to answer the question, How do you sayin English? but monolingual corpora Is it okay to sayin English? Thus, the application of monolingual corpora in language learning would be the next step for non-native learners after learning from parallel corpora, because How do you sayin English? focuses on the fundamental knowledge for the communication in L2, but It is okay to sayin English? concentrates on the appropriateness of the language use in the situation and context. Thus, in the bilingual classroom, it could be said that the use of parallel corpora for DDL should come before monolingual. If such a bilingual DDL approach can be conducted in a CALL environment, this could be a very effective tool for the bilingual classroom. This can be achieved by making use of a virtual learning environment such as Moodle (http://moodle.org/).

the problem posed by ddL in the bilingual classroom


However, some have suggested that the disadvantage of the DDL approach is that it is too difficult for most students (Wills, Shortall, & Johns, 1995, p. 67), and this comment is still valid today, as can be seen in Hadley (2002). According to a survey conducted by Hadley (2002), Japanese students of English confess the defects of DDLfor example, The sentences are incomplete, so they are incoherent; There are so many English sentencesits overwhelming; and Its a little difficult to do because it is so new. Also you need to understand the meaning of the words before you can really do this. We might highlight these as the three main problems with DDL in the bilingual classroom: (1) incomplete sentences, (2) difficult words and phrases (authentic data), and

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A Lexical Study Based on Parallel Corpora, DDL, and Moodle

MoodLE, ddL, and paraLLEL corpora the collaborative use of Moodle, ddL, and parallel corpora
The ease of adopting DDL in the classroom has been commented on by some supporters. For example, Johns (1991b) mentions, The concordance printout offers a unique way of stimulating inductive learning strategiesin particular the strategies of perceiving similarities and differences of hypothesis formation and testing (p. 30). For instance, Stevens (1991) conducted experimental tasks with learners which involved filling a gap in a text with a known word in a gapped sentence or a set of gapped concordance lines for a word. The results showed that learners could predict and discover the answer by gaining the information from concordance lines irrespective of their incomplete nature. Thus, concordance lines can have a use within the learners process of language learning. This offline approach can also be applied to the online environment by using a virtual learning environment such as Moodle. Moodle is a popular open source, free software package for course management systems, enabling contributors to create online learning Web sites for pedagogical purposes. It is currently the most notable tool for CALL, and has more than 150,000 registered users, speaking over 75 languages in more than 160 countries. The application of this high-quality system to language education has just started, and there is great potential for using it in many different ways. Thus, as one of the Figure 1.

methodologies for an ideal online lexical learning, the author suggests the collaborative use of Moodle, data-driven learning, and parallel corpora for bilingual lexical studies.

possible two-conventional ddL approaches


Conventionally, there have been two applications for parallel concordances in the bilingual classroom; the first is the off-line method of paper-based handouts, and the second is the online method, which makes use of parallel concordance software. Where the paper-based style is used, teachers normally provide material on which parallel concordances are listed. The weakness of this method is that it is not very flexible with regard to time and material constraints. Teachers can only provide the materials at class time, and the size of the handout (normally A4) and the number of sheets of each handout given are both limited. On the other hand, with the online method, students should be in an environment where they are allowed to use a parallel concordancer such as ParaConc invented by Barlow (2002) (purchasable at http://www.athel.com/para.html). In this case, they will examine a specific word or a phrase in parallel corpora using the parallel concordancer by themselves. Thus, students firstly need to be instructed by teachers in the use of the parallel concordancer. In this case, it would be better for the instructor to be a bilingual or a person who can communicate in Japanese because it is sometimes harder for non-native students to be instructed in

Moodle

Data-Driven Learning

Parallel Corpus

Effective Computer Assisted Language Learning for Bilingual Lexical Studies

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A Lexical Study Based on Parallel Corpora, DDL, and Moodle

English. Thus, this may be a separate challenge for students. However, pilot research conducted by Chujo et al. (2006) gave the following results: (1) Japanese college students learned to handle ParaConc quickly, and (2) the mixed use of ParaConc and parallel corpus can be useful for lexical studies. However, as the emphasis in the online method is on students finding answers themselves, using parallel corpora, and as they have to be in an environment where they have access to a parallel concordancer and a parallel corpus, this method would be time consuming, and cost and labor intensive. If the first aim is not researching but learning vocabulary, students do not need to learn how to use a concordancer. Moreover, the cost of such concordancers is normally quite expensive. Therefore, both the conventional styles of the DDL method have weak points. However, Moodle enables teachers to overcome the problems associated with both conventional methods.

adapting Moodle for parallel ddL


The use of Moodle in language teaching is a userfriendly method for managing online learning. The key point is to explore how we can arrange and manage parallel language data using this tool. Moodle plays various important roles: Moodle is the empty box where linguistic data (of course, any data you want!!) can be stored. Moodle is not only the independent study desk, but also the reciprocal online space where students can make use of various functions such as reading materials, taking short quiz and tests, sending study reports, automatic records of attendance, managing time schedules, giving feedback, private messaging, blogging, wikis, surveys, questionnaires, glossaries, and journals. More importantly, Moodle can be used for parallel DDL in the mixed use of these benefits (e.g., presenting parallel concordances, giving a cloze test, and so forth). All of these can be used in a less drill-and-kill wayin ways that are more open ended for student learning and collaboration.
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If we seek to use Moodle for language education, all functions mentioned in the above are of primary importance. If students have access to an environment allowing them free access to the Internet, they can go to the Moodle Web site created by their teachers at any time and at any place, from their house, from the library, and even from the Internet cafe. Students could simply study from parallel concordances, with questions or hints pre-listed in Moodle. Thus, it becomes unnecessary for teachers and students to think of things like time constraints, physical material restrictions, and handling the parallel concordancer. The use of Moodle enables learners to conduct a more user-friendly online language learning of bilingual matters, and has the potential to play a very flexible role in language studies. However, perhaps the most significant pedagogical question is, what sort of topic should be selected or what sort of language aspects should be learned by students using parallel concordances? The following sections show suggested steps for the compilation of materials and procedures for the purpose of the parallel concordance teaching in the bilingual classroom.

a casE studY oF thE EngLish Word CONDITION in thE JapanEsE EFL cLassrooM suggested procedures for the compilation of parallel concordance Materials
It is quite often the case that knowledge of L1 possessed by EFL learners affects that of L2 when they do L2 writing. For example, Groom (2006) points out that the English abstract noun phrase my condition, used by English native speakers and by Japanese EFL learners, differs in its implied meaning and its context where it occurs. The author believes that this kind of error can be overcome by presenting parallel concordances to students

A Lexical Study Based on Parallel Corpora, DDL, and Moodle

effectively. The author suggests the following steps for the compilation of classroom parallel concordance materials: (1) error analysis made by non-native speaker, through the examination of a learners corpus and a large monolingual English corpus; (2) preparatory study in the parallel corpus from a translation aspect; and (3) compiling effective course material.

the First step: Error analysis from Learners and Native Speakers corpora
Intuition might suggest to us that we know, to some extent, that a sort of common denominator exists at the word level across languages, particularly the noun (phrase). However, it can be also known that the meaning of a noun in language A and its translation in language B quite often does not match properly. For example, the English abstract noun heart has 28 Japanese translation equivalents in the English-Japanese dictionary Genius 3rd Edition. If Japanese had a translation equivalent properly matched to the meaning of the English heart, it would not be necessary for the bilingual dictionary to give 28 senses. However, students tend to believe that one English word has only one meaning and only one Japanese translaTable 1.
ks. Urr. For my body ? I usually use my body no so so. So so. Yeah. Er. My today is mm little cold but mm my ke sk spring mm but mm my uh er ago ah-huh er my But uhm rece recently my my will go home at er six oclock. Because my in fact uum yester yesterday my it show it shows my y garden is no good time erm yeah my condition condition condition condition condition condition condition condition condition condition condition condition

tion equivalent, which leads to the idea that one Japanese sentence can be literally translated into only one English sentence, without recognizing the difference of the implied meaning of words, phrases, and discourses given by English and Japanese. For example, Groom (2006) found that Japanese EFL learners sometimes show an influence from L1 (here, Japanese) in English writing. Specifically, he investigated how Japanese students use the English abstract noun phrase my condition in its context; he gives an example from an e-mail that he received from one of his Japanese students. His student wrote to him, I am very sorry, I could not come to class today because my condition is not good (p. 25). Then, he investigated the semantic error in a five-million-word corpus of Japanese EFL learners writing; he found that my condition created by Japanese EFL learners was used with an implied meaning, statement assessing the speaker or writers general levels of physical, mental or emotional well-being, or the external circumstances in which speakers or writers find themselves (p. 26). On the other hand, Grooms examination of my condition in the Bank of English shows that my condition used by English native speakers usually expresses a previously mentioned chronic illness or permanent

and my health. Uhmm. for excuse. I yeah I and yes m is mm not good because is not not so bad. Mm Ur is very bad. Hm. Ahm. I was too bad err to take not bad. But today uhm special on is er bad. No no no. is not so good. So I I l .Um. So um I umm Wow . Uhm was very bad .

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A Lexical Study Based on Parallel Corpora, DDL, and Moodle

disability (p. 26), as in the example I have just been diagnosed as having Parkinsons disease and am concerned about how quickly my condition will deteriorate (p. 26). Now, the author shows that Grooms indication is correct by giving the examples of the different use of condition between Japanese EFL learners and English native speakers. Let us consider the concordance lines of (my) condition extracted from NICT JLE corpus (the two million Japanese learner spoken corpus available at http://www.alc. co.jp/edusys/t-sst/english.html) (Table 1). As can be seen in the above concordance lines, Japanese EFL learners use my condition also in spoken English in the same sense found by Groom (2006). Let us also consider three examples of his condition used by English native speakers, extracted from the British National Corpus as follows: Edmunds, aged 19, has undergone emergency surgery for chest injuries at Leicesters Groby Hospital where his condition was described as serious but stable. Pneumonia had followed pneumonia. Despite his crippling disease, he had still managed to practice psychiatry with some success; but finally, the progressive nature of his condition meant that he needed treatment in an intensive care unit with 24-hour-a-day supervision, breathing only with the aid of a respirator. Here, the patient, though chronically dependent on the ventilator is a conscious, sentient person. Although his condition is in one sense hopeless, in that he will not recover, it is not hopeless in the sense that he is in imminent danger of dying.

information (e.g., collocates such as serious, he needed treatment in an intensive care unit with 24-hour-a-day supervision, hopeless in the above examples), as opposed to the examples used by Japanese EFL learners.

the second step: translation analysis from a parallel corpus Japanese Loan Word from English Condition: (Kondision)
The previous section attempted an error analysis from a general reference English corpus and learners corpus. This section goes on to the second step: the translation analysis from a parallel corpus. Japanese (kondision), a Japanese loan word from the English noun condition (pronunciation is the same), connotes a different meaning from the English condition. The form of possessive + (kondi sion) is quite often also used in Japanese as (the lawns condition) ( = As it rained last night, the lawn is still wet), (Nakatas condition) ( = Today, Nakatas performance is not good), or (physical condition) ( = Today, I feel sick, so I want to leave work before finishing time) (Japanese examples and their English back-translations are made by the author). Thus, it is found that Japanese (kondision) is used in a temporal sense, and in both physical and non-physical situations concerning people, objects, or situation, as opposed to the English condition. As the implied sense of possessive + condition in English and in Japanese does not match properly at all, when Japanese EFL learners create English sentences with possessive + condition by translating it literally from L1 (Japanese) into L2 (English), misinterpretation will have a high possibility of

As can be seen in the above three examples of his condition, possessive + condition used by English native speakers gives the meaning physically serious disease and not temporal but permanent disease as the default lexical

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A Lexical Study Based on Parallel Corpora, DDL, and Moodle

occurring. While the English my condition has a semantic component [+chronic], [+permanent], and [+serious], Japanese my condition rather includes the inverted semantic components. How can this linguistic fact be taught using parallel concordances? This answer has two steps. First we can present parallel concordance lines of the English word condition and their Japanese translations. This is because, by reading the real Japanese translation of the English word condition, Japanese EFL learners will find the real sense of it from the English context. The second is to present the parallel concordances of the Japanese synonyms of (kondision) and their English translations. As Japanese (kondision) is a loan word from English condition, Japanese people sometimes does not use their intuition in the use of this word without recognizing the difference in each implied meaning, and it may be clearer to show other real Japanese words giving a similar notion of the English, condition. By following these two steps, they will learn how they can say what they want to say in English, and how to find the translation difference between Japanese synonyms in English.

physical state, but (yo-tai) in a sense of the change of physical state into a more serious one in several/many of the examples.

From Japanese into English


Ruigo-Jitsuyo-Jiten, a Japanese thesaurus dictionary published in 2005, shows that the synonyms of (kondision) are (guai), (jyo-tai), (taichou), (yo-tai), and various others. Among them, as can be seen in the previous section, we find that (jyo-tai) and (yo-tai) tend to be used for serious and long-term physical conditions, giving the similar meaning but the different appropriateness of Japanese (kondision) as the translation equivalents of the English condition. Therefore, other synonyms such as (guai) and (taichou) have the possibility to give the similar meaning of the Japanese (kondision). Now, let us consider the following 10 parallel concordances of (guai) and their English translations extracted from Kansai-Gaidai Parallel Corpus B (Japanese-English parallel corpus compiled from texts of Japanese literature and its English translation) with Parallel Scan version1.0 (bilingual concordancer invented by Akasegawa, 2002) as shown in Box 2. As can be seen in the above parallel concordance lines of (guai) and its English translations, condition is not used in any of the English translations. Instead, well, wrong, sick, health, or be in good shape are used to give the same proposition implied by (guai). Thus, Japanese EFL learners, at first, come up with the idea (guai) (kondision) as synonyms in Japanese, and then they end up interpreting (kondision) condi tion, triggering the incorrect English sentences with condition. Thus, students should write Im not well or Im sick as the same proposition of the incorrect example given by Japanese EFL learners, my condition is not good.

From English into Japanese


Now, let us consider randomly selected parallel concordances of the two most obvious Japanese translation equivalents of English condition: (jyo-tai) and (yo-tai), extracted from Japanese-English Newspaper Articles Alignment Data (Japanese-English newspaper parallel corpus) with ParaConc (multilingual concordancer) as shown in Box 1. The two sets of concordances above for the Japanese translation equivalents (jyo-tai) and (yo-tai) show that both are used in the sense of critical and permanent disease. In addition, when we translate the English word condition into Japanese, we should choose (jyo-tai) or (yo-tai) depending on the context. For example, (jyo-tai) is used in a sense of



A Lexical Study Based on Parallel Corpora, DDL, and Moodle

Box 1. condition - (jyo-tai)


suffered a brain hemorrhage and her [[condition]] became critical around 2 p.m. on July 19 ir villages under ar med threat. As a [[condition]] for halting treatment to prolong life, his real name. He fell into cr itical [[condition]] on the 10th night af ter being hospitali han 1 percent end up in a brain-dead [[condition.]] Tokyo now faces the substantial danger rming stage. Falling into a critical [[condition]] with the lower half of the body having platelet. A f ter being in a cr it ica l [[cond it ion]] for a mont h, she d ied. A tot a l of 181 o encourage the economy. The womans [[condition]] gradually worsened, and she died of org

[[]] [[]] [[]] [[]] [[]] [[]]

[[]]

condition - (yo-tai) >

rsonnel said they noticed the girl s [[condition]] was deter iorating shor tly before 7 p.m. orarily recovered consciousness, his [[condition]] took a sudden turn for the worse on May 10 t Germany. About a minute later, her [[condition]] worsened. Doctors did not notice the er in blood samples from patients whose [[conditions]] were known to have worsened after Mori Sendai, the number of patients whose [[condition]] suddenly deteriorated after they receiv as with her at the time, the womans [[condition]] took a sudden turn for the worse two or be moderate this year. The patients [[condition]] became worse because the concentration oing an operation last year, but her [[condition]] suddenly worsened a few days ago. But bacter ia. Two days later, the boys [[condition]] deter iorated and he stopped breathing,

[[]] [[]] [[]] [[]] [[]] [[]] [[]] [[]] [[]]

In addition, let us consider the parallel concordances of (tai-cho) as follows:

About six weeks later, after her physical condition deteriorated and she lost her appetite, she visited another hospital in Tokyo, where she was diagnosed as suffering from acute hepatitis C.


The ruling by the top court pointed out that the Dentsu employees bosses noticed that his physical condition had deteriorated, but took no specific measures to address the situation other than to tell the employee to take care of himself.

A Lexical Study Based on Parallel Corpora, DDL, and Moodle

Box 2.
, Nobuo wanted to say, If youre not well, go to bed, but he kept silent. If something is wrong, you should let your brother make a potion for you. His medicine always works. Is he sick?

? ?

How are you feeling? Miki asked, walking over to the garden chair where Yuko was dozing in the sun. And his health?

? ?

No, not sick. Healthy as can be. It has a couple of hours exercise every day. Healthy appetite, ha ha. So whats with this repentance? You sick or something? I say. Youre not looking very well. Masayuki knelt on one knee and placed his hand on Nobuos forehead. Finally Misawa came back home. Lately he seemed to be in good shape, and he looked exceptionally slick after a haircut and a bath. He is still physically well, but his movements seem wrong. Ill-humored folds brew about his eyes.

Miyamoto has been absent from the JCP convention because of his age and deteriorating health.

Asked about the transfers, Chongs wife said, My husband is now in poor health, so he cannot answer. The above examples show that (tai-cho) is translated into condition or health, and is used in not critical but serious physical situations. Thus, the semantic degree of seriousness of physical condition among the synonyms of (kondision) would be (jyo-tai) (yo-tai), (tai-cho), and (guai) in order. The author believes that the parallel concordances including such semantic synonyms should be listed in the materials to let students recognize



A Lexical Study Based on Parallel Corpora, DDL, and Moodle

the semantic differences among Japanese synonyms and their translations. Then they would automatically know the fact that translation is less fixed than they imagine; rather it is a flexible output. It is often said like a proverb in Japan that the fastest method for improving your English is to improve your Japanese first. This seems to be quite correct.

the third step: creating the Material of Lexical studies


In the conventional monolingual (that is, English) DDL approach, it was usual to present only one type of English concordance line per topic, which finds its limit for language teaching in the bilingual classroom, because it can only treat grammatical aspects which do not go beyond the monolingual world. Therefore, in the case of the English condition, it is impossible for monolingual examples to effectively teach the difference between more complex bilingual matters. In this sense, parallel concordances play an important role in the bilingual classroom. Now, the author would like to suggest three kinds of information that should be included in the material: (1) the parallel concordances of Box 3.

English (possessive) + condition sentences and their most common Japanese translations, (2) the parallel concordances of Japanese synonyms of a topic word such as (guai) and (taicho) sentences and their English translations, and (3) a simple test of mixed (or separated) parallel concordance lines created by hiding the keyword in English or in Japanese, or both (that is, cloze test). The advantage of this application of parallel concordance materials is that students can learn both English and Japanese. An example of the first proposed test is shown in Box 3. In this material, the keywords in both English and Japanese are hidden. It can be found that the hidden keywords are sometimes collocates of the node word. In this case, students first try to answer questions in the Japanese part. Then they can answer the English part according to the translations. Thus, if they cannot answer the Japanese questions correctly, they cannot reach the answers of the English questions. This test is based on the idea that improving Japanese knowledge is improving English knowledge. We can also create materials at not only the word level but also at the phrase or quasi-fixed expression level, as can be seen in the second suggested test as follows:

Put the appropriate word in each English line, and or in each Japanese line 01 suffered a brain hemorrhage and her condition became ( ) around 2 p.m. on July 19 02 ir villages under armed threat. As a condition for halting treatment to prolong life, 03 rsonnel said they noticed the girls ( ) was ( ) shortly before 7 p.m. 04 orarily recovered consciousness, his condition took a sudden turn for the worse on May 10 05 t Germany. About a minute later, her condition ( ). Doctors did not notice the er 06 in blood samples from patients whose condition were known to have ( ) after Mori 07 Sendai, the number of patients whose condition suddenly ( ) after they receiv 01 ( ) 02 ( ) 03 ( ) 04 ( ) 05 ( ) 06 ( ) 07 ( )



A Lexical Study Based on Parallel Corpora, DDL, and Moodle

1.

2.

3. 4.

5.

6.

( ). Masayuki knelt on one knee and placed his hand on Nobuos forehead. According to the hospital, Kunimatsu was ( ) when he was admitted but managed a miraculous recovery thanks to his physical condition and prompt medical treatment. ( )? About a minute later, her ( ) , and the doctor massaged her heart. ( ), you should let your brother make a potion for you. His medicine always works. , Nobuo wanted to say, ( ), go to bed, but he kept silent.

There are often cases in which concordancers do not work for all words. For some words the database can provide very rich examples, but in others the database just does not have that content (that is, no concordances or only one or two appear when students type in the word they are interested in). This is largely because the corpus size is not enough to consult the specific word or phrase. In this sense, it is primarily important not only to use the big-sized corpora such as Bank of English and British National Corpus (unfortunately, we do not have the big-sized parallel corpora at the moment), but also to compile the original corpora according to each learners or teachers purpose.

concLusion
The application of bilingual or multilingual corpus linguistics into language education has just begun and has much potential to create various effective methodologies for the bilingual classroom. Bilingual corpora and Moodle can be innovative devices for enlarging and improving the CALL education for EFL language learners. However, teachers elaborative preparation and learning procedures would play a more important role for the success of effective language teaching. For this reason, giving a short test to students on the topic before they learn from parallel concordance lines would be important for ascertaining whether they have the lexical knowledge on that topic. The primary and essential idea in DDL is that learners learn and research English not only with teachers, but also by themselves. The author also believes that the concurrent use of DDL, parallel corpora, and an online virtual learning environment such as Moodle would be the best collaboration for urging learners to investigate the common and distinct semantic features of words, phrases, and discourses in the bilingual classroom.

Above, the questions of (guai), (jyotai) and (yo-tai) are well-mixed. In addition, all questions are asking about the fixed phrase, clause, or sentence that is used commonly. This material is based on the idea that a word is not used by itself, but a word is used with its company as a phrasal unit (cf. Sinclair, 1991; Nattinger & DeCarrico, 1992; Lewis, 1993, 1997, 2000; Hunston & Francis, 1999). This concept is actually supported by the principle of idiom suggested by Sinclair (1991). Therefore, it is also important to include phrasal units in materials.



A Lexical Study Based on Parallel Corpora, DDL, and Moodle

rEFErEncEs
Akasegawa, S. (2002). Compilation of Kansai Gaidai Corpus-B and development of the parallel concordancer parallel scan. English Corpus Studies, 9, 45-56. Barlow, M. (2000). Parallel texts in language teaching. In S.P. Botley., T. McEnery, & A. Wilson (Eds.), Multilingual corpora in teaching and research (pp. 106-115). Amsterdam: Rodopi. Barlow, M. (2002). ParaConc: Concordance software for multilingual parallel corpora. Retrieved October 13, 2006, from http://www.athel. com/paraweb.pdf Chalker, S. (1994). Pedagogical grammar: Principles and problems. In M. Bygate, A. Tonkyn, & E. Williams, (Eds.), Grammar and the language teacher (pp. 31-44). London: Prentice Hall. Chujo, K., Utiyama, M., & Miura, S. (2006). Using a Japanese-English parallel corpus for teaching English vocabulary to beginning-level students. English Corpus Studies, 13, 153-172. Chujo, K., Utiyama, M., & Nishigaki, C. (2005). Japanese-English parallel corpus application and CALL: A powerful tool for vocabulary learning. Proceedings of the 5th Conference on Foreign Language Education and Teaching (pp. 16-19). Danielsson, P., & Mahlberg, M. (2003). There is more to knowing a language than knowing its words: Using parallel texts in the bilingual classroom. ESP World, 3(6). Retrieved from http://www.esp-world.info/index.html Frankenberg-Garcia, A. (2005). Pedagogical uses of monolingual and parallel concordances. ELT Journal, 59(3), 189-198. Groom, N. (2006). Phraseology, identity, community, motivation. The Language Teacher, 30(7), 25-27.

Hadley, G. (2002). Sensing the winds of change: An introduction to data-driven learning. RELC Journal, 33(2), 99-124. Hanson-Smith, E. (1993). Dancing with concordances. CALL Journal, 4(2), 40. Higgins, J. (1991). Fuel for learning: The neglected element of textbooks and CALL. CAELL Journal, 2(2), 3-7. Hunston, S., & Francis, G. (1999). Pattern grammar: A corpus-driven approach to the lexical grammar of English. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Johns, T.F. (1991a). Should you be persuaded: Two examples of data-driven learning. English Language Research Journal, 4, 1-13. Johns, T.F. (1991b). From printout to handout: Grammar and vocabulary teaching in the context of data-driven learning. English Language Research Journal, 4, 27-45. Kettemann, B. (1995). On the use of concordancing in ELT. TELL & CALL, 4, 4-15. Retrieved January 6, 2007, from http://gewi.kfunigraz. ac.at/~ketteman/conco.html King, P., & Woolls, D. (1996). Creating and using a multilingual parallel concordancer. In B. Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk & M. Thelen (Eds.), Translation and Meaning Part 4: Proceedings of the Lodz Session of the 2nd International Maastricht-Lodz Duo Colloquium on Translation and Meaning (pp. 459-466). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Leech, G. (1994). Students grammar, teachers grammar, learners grammar. In M. Bygate, A. Tonkyn, & E. Williams, (Eds.), Grammar and the language teacher (pp.17-30). London: Prentice Hall. Leech, G., & Candlin, C.N. (1986). Computers in English language teaching and research. London: Longman.



A Lexical Study Based on Parallel Corpora, DDL, and Moodle

Lewis, M. (1993). The lexical approach. London: Language Teaching. Lewis, M. (1997). Implementing the lexical approach: Putting theory into practice. London: Language Teaching. Lewis, M. (2000). Teaching collocation: Further developments in the lexical approach. Boston: Thomson. Nattinger, J., & DeCarrico, J. (1992). Lexical phrases and language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Nunan, D. (1995). Atlas 1: Teachers expanded edition. Boston: Heinle and Heinle. Rutherford, W., & Smith, M. (1988). Consciousness raising and universal grammar. In W. Rutherford & M. Smith (Eds.), Grammar and second language teacher: A book of readings (pp. 107116). Boston: Heinle and Heinle. Ryan, S. (1996). What makes a good language lesson?. In G. van Troyer, S. Cornwell, & H. Morikawa (Eds.), On JALT 95: Curriculum and evaluation (pp. 116-119). Tokyo: Japan Association of Language Teaching. Sinclair, J. (1986). Basic computer processing of long texts. In G. Leech & N. Christopher (Eds.), Computers in English language teaching and research (pp. 185-203). Essex: Longman. Sinclair, J. (1991). Corpus concordance collocation. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Stevens, V. (1991). Concordance-based vocabulary exercises: A viable alternative to gap-fillers. English Language Research Journal, 4, 47-63. Stevens, V. (1993). Concordances as enhancements to language competence. TESOL Matters, 2(6), 11. Tribble, C. (1990). Concordancing and an EAP writing programme. CAELL Journal, 1(2), 1015.

Tribble, C., & Johns, G. (1990). Concordances in the classroom. London: Longman. Widdowson, H.G. (1989). Knowledge of language and ability for use. Applied Linguistics, 10(2), 128-137. Wills, D., Shortall, T., & Johns, T.F. (1995). Pedagogic grammar. Birmingham: University of Birmingham Press.

kEY tErMs
Concordancer: Computer corpus concordancing programs used to search for words, collocates, groups of words (or phrases), or even styles of the contexts in corpora by displaying the outputs of a given search in KWIC (keyword in context) format. In addition, most of concordancers can calculate the occurrence of the linguistic item being searched in the corpora. Data-Driven Learning (DDL): Approach invented by Tim Johns at the University of Birmingham. In this approach, corpus concordances are used to help students find the grammatical rules of a language. Learners first read the concordance lines of a specific grammar topic, and then they will discover the hidden pattern or theory of a language. In DDL, teachers normally give no information to learners in advance, in order for them to discover linguistic feature themselves. Error Analysis: The study of linguistic errors made by EFL learners. The purposes of error analysis are: (1) to measure the language knowledge of an EFL leaner, (2) to study the language acquisition of an EFL learner, and (3) to gain linguistic information that should be included in language learning materials. Learner Corpus: One type of corpora containing the spoken and written texts of individuals leaning English as a second or foreign language. The purpose of learner corpora is primarily to



A Lexical Study Based on Parallel Corpora, DDL, and Moodle

research linguistic errors made by non-native speakers (or error analysis). One of the large learner corpora is called the International Corpus of Learner English (ICLE). Parallel Corpus: Compiled from the aligned language data between texts in a source language and translated texts in a target language. Parallel corpora are used for research in contrastive analysis, translation studies, and even bilingual lexicography across languages. Multiconcordancer software (e.g., ParaConc) is needed to search for linguistic items in a parallel corpus.

Pedagogic Grammar (PG): Language grammar designed for teaching in the classroom. PG is based on attention to grammatical rules, particularly language patterns, and is primarily designed to facilitate EFL students (even English native speakers) to learn a language. Other uses of PG would be as a reference for students, for teachers, and for the compilation of language materials or textbooks.





EFL through the Digital Glass of Corpus Linguistics


Vander Viana Universidade Catlica do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Sonia Zyngier Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Chapter XIV

abstract
Like the advent of the telescope, computers today can provide ways of looking into language patterns that cannot be seen with the naked eye. From this perspective, this chapter argues for the centrality of corpus use in English as a foreign language (EFL) classrooms. It shows how the computer can offer new ways of looking at language and of relying on real data to see how language is used. A historical background is provided so as to enable an approach to corpus linguistics, one which moves away from reliance on intuitions and abstract examples. Having made the claim for the strengths of corpus linguistics as a way to develop students autonomy in language learning, an online corpus and some concordancers are provided, and examples are offered of how they could work in a classroom. The chapter ends with research and educational prospects in the area.

introduction
In Through the Looking-Glass, Alice suggests a new way of perceiving the world. She tells the cat: First, theres the room you can see through the glassthats just the same as our drawing-room, only the things go the other way (Carroll, 1972, p. 181). This chapter follows the example by go-

ing through the looking-glass of language to see what can be revealed. As Sinclair (1991) stated, the most exciting aspect of long-text data-processing, however, is not the mirroring of intuitive categories of description. It is the possibility of new approaches, new kinds of evidence, and new kinds of description (p. 36). Later, he added that we must gratefully adjust to this new situation

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EFL through the Digital Glass of Corpus Linguistics

[the growing evidence of language in use] and rebuild a picture of language and meaning which is not only consistent with the evidence but also exploits it to the full (Sinclair, 2004d, p. 10). Having said that, for a long time, the input available to language students had been restricted to what could be contained in a single book. As Frankenberg-Garcia (2005) explains: Not very long ago, learners had to be content with little more than traditional dictionaries, which focused more on what words meant than on how they were usedLanguage learners wishing to overcome this limitation had to rely to a large extent on what native speakers believed sounded right. (p. 335) Along the same line of thought, Johns (1991) had already stated that most grammars used to be based on intuitions rather than on authentic data. In sum, in those days, students had to rely on their course books, reference books, or teachers as the only sources of learning and solving their doubts (Aston & Burnard, 1998, p. 20). That was not an ideal world for at least two reasons. First, no matter how complete a textbook was, it could not possibly keep up with the constant changes of a given language. This means that most course books ran the risk of becoming anachronisms when made available to the market. There are also other issues these publications did not address explicitly, such as the kind of language they used as models (McEnery & Wilson, 1996, pp. 103-104), the choice of these models, the extent to which they represented the different registers students would have to deal with, the making up or editing of texts, and the extent of their authenticity. As a result, many of these textbooks did not reflect the real-world situations students would have to face when interacting with other people in English. Second, research in the corpus tradition can now offer solid ground to claim that speakers intuitions are not reliable enough in language

teaching. Sinclair and Renouf (1988) illustrated this point by showing that the most frequent use of see is not the action performed by ones eyes, as most speakers of English as a first language (henceforth EL1) would have it, but in the expressions you see and I see. Over a decade ago, Sinclair (1991) argued that the problem about all kinds of introspection is that it does not give evidence about usageActual usage plays a very minor role in ones consciousness of language and one would be recording largely ideas about language rather than facts of it (p. 39). The same view was later reinforced by Hunston (2002), who stated that corpora can give information about how a language works that may not be accessible to native speaker intuition (p. 13). The problem with intuition and introspection is further explained by Tsui (2004) in that they describe what people know about language, or what they perceive language to be, rather than how language is used (p. 39). It is true that speakers can judge whether sentences are well-formed based on grammatical rules. However, this is not enough, especially if we understand form and meaning to be inseparable (Stubbs, 1993, p. 2). When it comes to the possible combination of words, grammatical rules may not explain what occurs. Besides, they do not tell us anything about word or pattern frequency in a given register (Granger, 2002, p. 4). In a word, as Francis (1993) puts it, the evidence of the ways in which language is really used is available in plenty, and there is no longer any need to invent example sentences in the time-honoured way (p. 138). Actually, the age of sole reliance on books and intuition began to fall with the rise of corpus linguistics in the 1980s. According to Meunier (2002), corpus research has highlighted the patterned nature of language, both lexically (collocations, recurrent word combinations) and grammatically or syntactically (p. 121). Similarly, Granger (2002) argued that it is quite clear therefore that the enriched description of the target language provided by native corpora is a plus for foreign

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EFL through the Digital Glass of Corpus Linguistics

language teaching (p. 21). With the compilation and later availability of corpora, both students and teachers began to have access to real language use. Language could then be presented in an authentic context. As Alderson (1996) put it, corpora make it possible for learners not only to have access to real (rather than contrived) language data, but also to explore language data on their own and to generate their own hypotheses and rules about the language (p. 258). Learners could now examine a specific word in its context and see the use of that particular word. Therefore, we argue for the use of concordances in English language teaching following the discussions provided by Johns (1988, 1991), Tribble and Jones (1990), Hardisty and Windeatt (1989), among others. More specifically, the aim of this chapter is to show how the principles and tools in corpus linguistics may be used in the EFL setting. The focus here will lie on the resources available for free on the Internet, thus enabling anyone to make use of them. This text is divided into four parts. In the first, corpus linguistics is discussed from a theoretical point of view before its use in language teaching is discussed. The second part presents an online corpus and some concordancers, together with some pedagogical applications to the language classroom. The third section proposes future work in this field of study. Conclusions are drawn in the last part of the chapter.

background
The use of language data in linguistic analysis goes back to the first half of the 20th century. At that time, American structuralists and ethnographers focused on the study of Indian languages. With no writing records, these languages could only be investigated by means of what was collected from oral data. Although Bloomfield (1933) argued for an inductive research method based on actual language analysis, the corpora used in

those days, consisting of only a few sentences, differed widely from the multi-million-word corpora available nowadays. In the second half of the 20th century, the inductive method proposed by Bloomfield (1933) was replaced by a deductive approach to language.1 Chomsky, an influential linguistic at that time, changed the focus of linguistic research in the U.S. and around the world by advocating a mentalist view2 to language studies. His perspective contrasted with the previous empirical approach. In Chomskys (1957) terms, the focus was not on performancethat is, an individuals use of languagebut on competence,3 the knowledge one has about a given language. Language competence was seen as dependent on an innate faculty which all human beings are born with (Chomsky, 1999). In other words, emphasis was placed on the way speakers processed language cognitively. Generativism aimed at mapping individual competences with a view to finding linguistic universals which would be valid to each and every language in the world. Chomskys concepts of competence and performance bore some similarity to Saussures (1916) distinction between langue and parole (Lyons, 1981; Weedwood, 2002). Competence would pair up with langue, whereas parole would correspond to performance.4 Both Saussure and Chomsky claimed that it was impossible to study performance or parole given their fuzzy nature. To them, corpus-based studies would be aimless as they would not be able to account for all instances of a language. In addition, corpora would encompass hesitations, repairs, and mistakes. In this perspective, studies based on samples of language were left aside for some time.5 At this time, linguistics was basically derived from made-up sentences (Stubbs, 1993, p. 8). As Sampson (2005) puts it: Those of us who came of age as scholars of linguistics in the 1960s and 1970s were surrounded by people who urged that linguistics does not need empirical data, and that it gets on faster and more



EFL through the Digital Glass of Corpus Linguistics

efficiently if it bypasses painstaking observation of natural usage and relies instead on speakers intuitive knowledge of their language. (p. 16) Chomskyan theory was based on an ideal speakers intuition about language. What Chomsky meant by ideal speaker and how he or she would be identified in practical terms is still unknown. This ideal speaker, actually a linguist in most cases, would be in a position to judge what was grammatical or ungrammatical, thus determining how language worked. Sinclair (1991) commented that linguistics languished by summarizing the setting as follows: The tradition of linguistics has been limited to what a single individual could experience and remember. Instrumentation was confined to the boffin end of phonetics research, and there was virtually no indirect observation of measurement. (p. 1) Change would only take place in the 1980s when linguistics was ready to turn back again to empirical data. However, this time, corpus-based investigations were greatly helped by the advances in technology, especially the design and popularization of personal computers. As a matter of fact, technology played an important role in bringing language data back to linguistic research: it put an end to the major criticism to earlier corpus-based work carried out by researchers who did not have the means to do so. According to McEnery, Xiao, and Tono (2006), Using paper slips and human hands and eyes, it was virtually impossible to collate and analyze large bodies of language data (p. 4). One example is the compilation of the Survey of English Usage, which was used for the writing of A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (Quirk, Greenbaun, Leech, & Svartvik, 1985).6 Today, the use of computers makes this type of research easier, faster, and more reliable. The second advantage is that it is possible to investigate ever-growing corpora (McEnery

et al., 2006, p. 4). It should be stressed that the word corpora nowadays refers to collections of machine-readable material (McEnery & Wilson, 1996, p. 14; Aston & Burnard, 1998, p. 5). One of the advantages of using corpus linguistics is that what can be obtained by observable data differs greatly from what intuition tells us. Sinclair (1991) explains: Indeed, the contrast exposed between the impressions of language detail noted by people, and the evidence compiled objectively from texts is huge and systematic. It leads one to suppose that human intuition about language is highly specific, and not at all a good guide to what actually happens when the same people actually use the language. (p. 4) Corpus linguistics highlights language in use and leaves aside artificial or contrived examples (McEnery et al., 2006, p. 6). If, on the one hand, the accuracy of explanations it provides depends largely on the quality and the size of the corpus used, then, on the other hand, flaws in a corpus may be relevant either because they will not form a pattern and will thus not represent the language (variety/register) under study, or because they are so frequent that they are in fact characteristic of language use. The notion of frequency is central to corpus linguistics. It is only by probing language with computers that it is possible to get to know how frequent its features are. Frequency then is a much more objective way to arrive at conclusions than intuition can offer. McEnery and Wilson (1996) agree with it when they state: Empirical data enable the linguist to make statements which are objective and based on language as it really is rather than statements which are subjective and based upon the individuals own internalized cognitive perception of the language. (p. 87)



EFL through the Digital Glass of Corpus Linguistics

At the moment, corpus-based investigations have become worldwide and researchers have been compiling corpora to suit the most different needs. However, todays widespread use does not come without problems. Defining a corpus, for instance, has become complex. It is not any collection of texts as, for example, common sense would hold (Cowie, 1994, p. 265). In order to be considered a corpus, a collection of texts needs to contain a selection of naturally occurring language. The selection must follow certain principles and there must be some design criteria to match what researchers want to investigate. A corpus compiled for linguistic analysis should be representative of the language to be investigated (or of one of its varieties). It must also be computer-readable, that is, it must be formatted in a way that it can be probed with the help of computer programs. In addition to allowing the researcher to look into language in new ways, corpus linguistics has an interdisciplinary nature. For instance, there are studies that combine corpus linguistics with translation (cf. Baker, 1993; Olohan, 2004), lexicology (cf. Halliday, Teubert, Yallop, & Cermakova, 2004), systemic-functional linguistics (cf. Thompson & Huston, 2006), and stylistics (cf. Zyngier, 2002; Semino & Short, 2004), to cite a few. As far as language learning is concerned, there are many more studies that investigate the potential of corpora (cf. Granger, 1998, 2004). The vast number of corpus-based research carried out so far may lead us to conclude that corpora have impacted the academic world and created the need, for instance, of different journals such as the International Journal of Corpus Linguistics and Corpora: Corpus-Based Language Learning, Language Processing and Linguistics, among others. However, it seems that the interface between corpus linguistics and EFL language teaching still needs to be refined in a way that the research developed so far also reaches the EFL classroom. The use of corpora in English language teaching has a number of advantages. First, it provides

learners with natural input, that is, with language as it is used by EL1 speakers (Gavioli & Aston, 2001; Scott & Tribble, 2006). Second, it reveals patterns of use that remain obscure to the naked eye. It is only possible to identify most patterns with the help of large corpora combined with the strengths of computer tools. According to Scott and Tribble (2006), The new hardware and software used in corpus-based methods are opening up exciting possibilities which could not have been envisaged without them (p. 4). Third, it fosters a student-centered approach as the teacher guides the students to find the answers by themselves (Stevens, 1995; Meunier, 2002). As Johns (1991) puts it, We simply provide the evidence needed to answer the learners questions, and rely on the learners intelligence to find answers (p. 2). In other words, Increasing access to corpora may modify the traditional role of the teacher as an authority about the use of the language to be learned (Aston & Burnard, 1998, p. 43). Finally, it promotes autonomy (Benson, 2001; Bernardini, 2004; Kaltenbck & Mehlmauer-Larcher, 2005), one of the goals of language teaching. One of the first volumes to exploit the relationship between corpora and language teaching was Tribble and Joness (1990) Concordances in the Classroom, which offered practical applications to the pedagogical use of corpora. Although providing only 11 entries in the bibliography, the volume was highly important at the time it was published. It covered aspects such as how to design and run concordances, how to compile corpora, and how to use concordances in a pedagogical way both in language and literature teaching. Later, Granger and Tribble (1998) argued for the use of learner corpora in EFL teaching. Similar to Tribble and Jones (1990), students were asked to carry out the analysis on their own. They were given a number of concordance lines in order to come to some conclusions about the accurate use of English. The difference was that these students were also given learner corpus data. Two sample tasks were offered in the article, focusing on (a)



EFL through the Digital Glass of Corpus Linguistics

accept/possibility and (b) important/critical/ crucial/major/serious/significant/vital. In both examples, students had a number of questions that either guided their studies or presented a common problem in EFL writing. They were then asked to take a careful look at some concordance lines to try to check what differences there were between the EFL and EL1 writing that had been analyzed. Although also working with a learner corpus, Miltons (1998) aim differed from that of Granger and Tribble (1998). The former reported on the development of a computer program to be used by EFL learners whose components are: An error recognition (i.e., proofreading or editing) exercise intended to sensitize learners to the most common or most serious errors exposed by the first analysis; A hypertext online grammar designed to give context-sensitive feedback and based on these errors; Databases of the underused lexical and grammatical phrases exposed by the second analysis, and made interactively available to learners from their word processor; and List-driven concordances that interact with text in these programs and databases (p. 192).

Aston, Bernardini, & Stewart, 2004; Sinclair, 2004a; Scott & Tribble, 2006).

Main Focus oF thE chaptEr


There is no doubt that corpora are becoming increasingly more important in the EFL environment. As Milton (1998) suggests, learning cannot be completely effective without the help of corpora. Based on the discrepancy between the description of language by means of corpus-based investigation and ones intuition about language use, he states: Conventional classroom methods are often inadequate for conveying to learners our growing understanding of language features, and inappropriate for providing learners full access to, or significant experience with, the features of target language behaviors and how particular features of their own production deviate from these targets. (p. 186) The use of corpus data in the classroom enables students to master the language by themselves. The concept of language here means real language in use as in a communicative event. The importance of such approach is also highlighted by Granger and Tribble (1998) who hold that the authenticity of the data ensures that learners are presented with samples of language which reflect the way people actually speak or write (p. 201). The introduction of such methodology demands a shift in perspective. The focus on form brought about by the use of corpus-based language teaching materials seems to be a necessary counterpart for the communicative approach because it has been accompanied by a loss of accuracy, especially grammatical accuracy (Granger & Tribble, 1998, p. 199). This means that the use of corpora in the classroom may help students become more accurate when it comes to language use, which will then help them express themselves more naturally in English.

For instance, while proofreading an essay, users must decide what kind of error can be found in each line, if any. There is also the possibility of resorting to help, which is divided into four levels: grammar category, full explanation, show error, and answer. At any time, users can have access to a detailed analysis on their progress. Finally, attention is drawn to a number of books that have been dedicated to the use of corpora, wordlists, and concordances in language teaching (e.g., Wichmann, Fligelstone, McEnery, & Knowles, 1997; Aston, 2001; Granger, Hung, & Petch-Tyson, 2002; Kettemann & Marko, 2002;



EFL through the Digital Glass of Corpus Linguistics

This chapter suggests the use of tools that are available on the Internet and can be accessed by teachers worldwide. By this token, the proposal differs from Tribble and Joness (1990), for they did not mention online corpora/concordancers simply because they were not available at the time their book was written. Granger and Tribbles (1998) article shows an interesting way by means of which EFL teachers can make use of learner corpora; however, these corpora may not be available to EFL practitioners and/or they may not have the necessary skills or time to compile their own corpora. Miltons (1998) suggestion may not be put into practice by EFL instructors due to the fact that they may not be in a position to purchase the program he refers to. This is why free-of-charge online tools are introduced here.

online corpus: theoretical and practical aspects


The British National Corpus (BNC) is probably the largest and most renowned corpus available through the Internet nowadays.7 Although it is not possible to download the corpus for free,8 one can access it by means of wordlists and concordances either by the interface on its own site or by other links in the Web. The BNC represents British English in use in the last quarter of the 20th century and consists of both written and oral texts.9 The corpus, which contains more than 100 million words, corresponds to roughly 10 years of linguistic experience of the average speaker in terms of quantity (Aston & Burnard, 1998, p. 28). Its written part, accounting for 90% of the corpus, contains books, periodicals, brochures, advertising leaflets, letters, and essays to cite a few. Texts written to be spoken, such as political speeches, plays, and broadcast scripts, are also included in it. The oral part, standing for 10% of its words, contains transcriptions of conversations, lectures, tutorials, interviews, sales demonstrations, sports commentaries, radio phone-ins, among others (Burnard, 2007).

The BNC is a general corpus as it attempts to represent both the written and the oral registers, covering a wide range of subjects. Even though the final result is not balanced (90% written/10% oral), there is a major concern to include a variety of text types. The BNC may be described as monolingual since it only contains text in one languageEnglishand in only one varietyBritish English. When it comes to time aspect, it is a synchronic corpus for it represents a specific period of time, that is, the last part of the 20th century (from 1975 onwards). The only exception here remains with the selection of literary texts, which include texts dating back to 1960. However, such inclusion is justified by the compilers because of their longer shelf-life (Burnard, 2007). The BNC is considered a static corpus since texts cannot be added or removed from it. Complete texts were included if they amounted to a limit of 45,000 words. When this limit was not met, only a sample of the text corresponding to the previously mentioned limit was included in the corpus. From the BNC official site (http://www.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/), it is possible to assess the corpus for free. Users just need to type in what they are looking for, which can be a word or a sequence of words. It is also possible to restrict the search to a part of speech, for instance. The drawback of this system is that users need either to know the manual (see Burnard, 2007) by heart or to refer to it in order to find out how such restriction works and which codes are used for each and every part of speech. The results page of the BNC adopts the format of full-sentence concordance as illustrated in Figure 1. In this specific case, the search string was sit through. As there are only 44 instances of such string in the BNC, all of them are shown in the results page.11 The code on the left-hand side of the screen refers to the source from which the sample sentence has been taken. The major problem in this page is that the search words in the concor-



EFL through the Digital Glass of Corpus Linguistics

Figure 1. Results for sit through at the BNC official site10

dance lines are not highlighted in any way, nor are they in the middle of the line, which makes it difficult for their instances to be identified. In addition, users must read the complete sentences looking for the words themselves. So, it will be less likely that they will be able to concentrate on finding a pattern and more likely that they will focus on understanding the meaning of the sentences displayed. In order to work with the BNC in a friendlier way in the classroom, it is advisable to use another interface, developed by Mark Davies at Brigham Young University, which can be accessed at http://corpus.byu.edu/bnc/. Although it may look difficult at first sight, the interface is easy to operate. The variety of the options it provides actually adds to its validity. For instance, when searching for sit through, the output is different from the previous one reported above.12 The format used in this case is the keyword in context (KWIC), as can be seen in Figure 2. These concordance lines are better to work with because sit through is roughly in the middle of each line. It is also in bold type and underlined,

helping users identify it and start studying its patterning. Similar to the BNC site, in Daviess interface, it is possible to identify the source of each concordance line. In addition to the different layout, there is also some extra information on the source such as its genre, subject, and medium. Another difference is that it is possible to access more text than what is shown in the concordance line. Users may resort to an expanded context if they need to read more on a specific sample. The most important aspect, however, of working with concordance lines is to start noticing patterns that would remain obscure in other ways. Therefore, while working with the concordance lines for sit through, one may notice its complements13: maybe producing a series of loop tapes each one covering a particular sector of the market so that customers interested in adult/business English videos dont have to sit through a section on watch with mother levels.



EFL through the Digital Glass of Corpus Linguistics

Since fall 1980 each American academic exchange delegation to visit Peking has had to sit through a lengthy recounting of the research improprieties I am alleged to have committed, Mosher said, in a statement last week. And I could never sit through all these interviews, transcribing them off the tape afterwards. It was too boring. Maybe Im just being traditional in my tastes; it is probably important to watch the compilation in small doses and not sit through the whole three hours as I did. It was backs to the wall for most of the 90 minutes, and I hope I dont have to sit through too many games like that. As can be seen in the five instances retrieved from the BNC, that which collocates with sit through is generally something unpleasant and/or something that the person is not willing to do. As Hunston (2002) states, Because it is often used with items that indicate something lengthy and boring, connotations of boredom tend to attach to the phrasal verb itself (p. 141). This is generally referred to as semantic prosody, which is defined by Louw (1993) as a consistent aura of meaning

with which a form is imbued by its collocates (p. 157). Therefore, it could be said that sit through has a negative semantic prosody. Another possible investigation may be carried out with collocations, as in the case of adjectives preceding nouns. One may also be interested in checking whether the word problem has been placed with an adequate collocate in the following example14: Nowadays there is a great gap between social classes. The majority of the population lives with less than one dollar a day, while the minority spends thousands of dollars buying foolish things in shopping malls. Two different realities, side by side, in the same world, in the same neighborhood. How to deal with this reality? How to manage with this terrible problem? [our emphasis] In this case, the option adj.ALL should be selected from a pull-down menu (insert tag) before the specific noun is typed as shown in Figure 3. The pull-down menu offers an array of possibilities: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, negatives, articles, determiners, pronouns, possessives, prepositions, conjunctions, numerals, interjections, and punctuation marks. Most of these options are subdivided, supplying informa-

Figure 2. Results for sit through in Daviess interface



EFL through the Digital Glass of Corpus Linguistics

Figure 3. Search string for adjective + problem15

tion for different searches. For instance, in the case of adjectives, which are the focus here, users may choose to work with all adjectives (adj.ALL), adjectives in the comparative form (adj.CMP), or adjectives in the superlative form (adj.SPRL). Table 1 contains the first 10 results for such query.

The most common collocate is major, occurring 4.01 times per million words in the BNC. The adjective terrible does not appear on top of the list. As a matter of fact, it is in the 63rd place, totaling 16 instances and 0.16 times per million words. When its distribution across registers is checked, another difference can be noticed. The first five registers in the list are all from the spoken continuum. The one that had the highest number of raw occurrences was broadcast discussion, totaling three instances. It is true that the complete list of registers contains written ones as well, but they refer to newspapers, biographies, and non-academic texts, which do not resemble the register of compositions. By studying this information, EFL students may become aware of the registers in which the

Table 1. First 10 adjectival collocations of problem


Distrib Word/Phrase Rokens Reg1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 major problem main problem real problem only problem serious problem particular problem big problem biggest problem social problem further problem 401 301 287 249 217 215 125 112 85 82 Per mil in Reg1 [100,000,000 words] 4.01 3.01 2.87 2.49 2.17 2.15 1.25 1.12 0.85 0.82

Table 2. Distribution of terrible problem across registers


# 1 2 3 4 5 Register name S_consult S_lect_soc_science S_brdcast_discussn S_brdcast_news S_unclassified # per million 7.2 6.3 4.0 3.8 2.4 # tokens 1 1 3 1 1 # words 138011 159880 757317 261278 421554



EFL through the Digital Glass of Corpus Linguistics

Figure 4. Distribution of terrible problem across registers (chart display)

Figure 5. Distribution of major problem across registers (chart display)

search word is more generally used. If users select the chart display, they may have the same information in a visual way. Figure 4 shows that the academic register does not make use of terrible problem, whereas the spoken register is the one in which this word may be found most frequently. The result found for major problem, the first combination of an adjective preceding the word problem, is strikingly different as may be observed in Figure 5. It seems that major problem is used in more formal contexts since it is more commonly found in academic texts. As a matter of fact, it may be found 6.7 times per million words. Daviess interface offers a number of other facilities to the EFL classroom, but only a few will be highlighted here. Instead of working with the whole BNC, users can search for specific registers according to their needs. The use of a

word (sequence) can also be contrasted between two registers. Finally, it is also possible to search for words surrounding a specific search item in a span of 10 words to the left and to the right of the node. In sum, Daviess interface facilitates the use of the BNC and helps the user to investigate collocations, colligations, semantic prosodies, and phraseologies. If students are asked to do this by themselves, they will probably learn what they search faster since they are doing it on their own instead of being spoon-fed by their teachers. As Frankenberg-Garcia (2004) argues, concordances are, in most cases, meaningful to learners as they are the ones who decide on what to investigate, that is, they choose what to look up in corpora based on their own language doubts. In the long run, it will also make them more autonomous and independent.



EFL through the Digital Glass of Corpus Linguistics

FuturE trEnds
As the discussions which have been carried out so far indicate, it is highly probable that corpus-based materials will become commonplace. Such change has already begun. In the field of lexicography, a number of English monolingual dictionaries are based on corpora. This means that words are objectively selected based on their frequency and not on lexicographers intuitions. In addition, the order in which the meanings of a word are presented reflects their frequency. Dictionaries also offer specific hints based on what has been investigated in learner corpora. Corpus-based grammars have also been developed for a couple of years now. The first corpusbased grammar was the Collins COBUILD English Grammar, as Sinclair (1990) explains: The information in this book is taken from a long and careful study of present-day English. Many millions of words from speech and writing have been gathered together in a computer and analyzed, partly by the computer and partly by a team of expert compilers. It is the first grammar of its kind. (p. v) Another corpus-based grammar is the Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English (Biber, Johansson, Leech, Conrad, & Finegan, 1999). It is more sophisticated than the previous one because the description it provides includes four different registers, namely, conversation, fiction, news, and academic texts. The future prospect is that grammars will become even more specific when it comes to describing a language. That means linguistic features will be described in relation to the registers in which they are most frequently used. The last type of publication to be informed by corpus is that of textbooks. The six-level course by Saslow, Ascher, and Kisslinger (2006) includes corpus notes from the very first level, indicating the most common problems learners

face while learning English. As described in the methodology for the course, it provides concise and useful information about frequency, collocations and typical native speaker usage (Saslow et al., 2006, p. Txiii). Another course book has been written by McCarthy, McCarten, and Sandiford (2005) which draws on the Cambridge International Corpus, a large database of conversations and written texts, to build a syllabus based on how people actually use English (back cover; (emphasis in the original). Other corpus-based textbooks are in line. It seems that in some years to come, more computer programs will be made available to EFL teachers, facilitating the use of corpus data in the classroom. At the same time, it is expected that an ever-growing number of corpora will be on offer on the Internet so that they can be used by any EFL practitioner. In addition to the corpora already online, such as the BNC, the Bank of English, and the Michigan Corpus of Academic Spoken English, for instance, it is anticipated that new corpora will be either fully compiled or made available to public access.16 Having stated that, it is quite unlikely that corpora will reach the classroom if teachers are not offered special guidance. Those EFL teachers who have been away from university centers in the last few years may resist using corpora in their everyday classes because they are unaware of how to do it. Training sessions and/or courses are of the utmost importance so that corpora finally reach the classroom. Sinclair (2004b) warns us that to make good use of corpus resources a teacher needs a modest orientation to the routines involved in retrieving information from the corpus, andmost importantlytraining and experience in how to evaluate that information (p. 2). Research on how students actually react to corpus-based approaches is also needed and should be carried out more thoroughly. Although empirical classroom-based investigations in second language acquisition have shown that drawing students attention to form yields better results

0

EFL through the Digital Glass of Corpus Linguistics

than implicit learning (Meunier, 2002, p. 120), it should be evaluated to what extent corpus-based materials also result in positive achievements. It should be investigated whether students actually want to work with concordances and whether they realize that corpus-based work makes them more autonomous. Research is also needed to assess the effects of corpora study on students achievements. Finally, it should be highlighted that as corpus linguistics is still in its infancy (Scott & Tribble, 2006, p. 3), a number of other possibilities are yet to come in the very near future.

rEFErEncEs
Alderson, J.C. (1996). Do corpora have a role in language assessment? In J. Thomas & M. Short (Eds.), Using corpora for language research (pp. 248-259). London: Longman. Andor, J. (2004). The master and his performance: An interview with Noam Chomsky. Intercultural Pragmatics, 1(1), 93-111. Aston, G. (Ed.). (2001). Learning with corpora. Houston: Athelstan. Aston, G., Bernardini, S., & Stewart, D. (Eds.). (2004). Corpora and language learners. Philadelphia/Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Aston, G., & Burnard, L. (1998). The BNC handbook: Exploring the British National Corpus with SARA. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Baker, M. (1993). Corpus linguistics and translation studies: Implications and applications. In M. Baker, G. Francis, & E. Tognini-Bonelli (Eds.), Text and technology: In honour of John Sinclair (pp. 233-250). Philadelphia/Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Benson, P. (2001). Teaching and researching: Autonomy in language learning. London: Longman. Berber Sardinha, T. (2004). Lingstica de corpus. Barueri, SP: Manole. Bernardini, S. (2004). Corpora in the classroom: An overview and some reflection on future developments. In J. Sinclair (Ed.), How to use corpora in language teaching (pp. 15-36). Amsterdam/ Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Biber, D., Johansson, S., Leech, G., Conrad, S., & Finegan, E. (1999). Longman grammar of spoken and written English. London: Longman. Bloomfield, L. (1933). Language. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

concLusion
This chapter has argued that intuitions about language cannot be considered authoritative if research wants to avoid false theories (Sampson, 2005, p. 16). Although empirical data was left dormant for some time under the influence of Chomskyan theory, it has come back with the development of new technology. In Sinclairs (2004b) words, For a quarter of [a] century, corpus evidence was ignored, spurned and talked out of relevance, until its importance became just too obvious for it to be kept out in the cold (p. 1). The main advantage of corpora is perhaps that it allows linguistic research and language teaching to rely on empirical evidence. The use and study of real data opens up a new vista to those interested in the language phenomenon. Quoting Sinclair (1991), to whom corpus linguistics owes much of the standing it has today, Without relinquishing our intuitions, of course, we try to find explanations that fit the evidence, rather than adjusting the evidence to fit a pre-set explanation (p. 36). Even when the evidence runs counter to what has been held for centuries, corpus linguistics is to be trusted as providing the way language really works. One can now look through the digital glass and see the language that people actually speak and write.



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Burnard, L. (Ed.). (2007). Reference guide for the British National Corpus (XML edition). Oxford: Research Technologies Service at Oxford University Computing Services. Retrieved May 20, 2007, from http://www.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/XMLedition/ URG/ Carroll, L. (1972). The annotated Alice. Middlesex: Penguin. Chomsky, N. (1957). Syntactic structures. The Hague: Mouton. Chomsky, N. (1999). O programa minimalista. Lisboa: Editorial Caminho. Cowie, A.P. (Ed.). (1994). Oxford advanced learners dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Francis, G. (1993). A corpus-driven approach to grammarprinciples, methods and examples. In M. Baker, G. Francis, & E. Tognini-Bonelli (Eds.), Text and technology: In honour of John Sinclair (pp. 137-156). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Frankenberg-Garcia, A. (2004). Lost in parallel concordances. In G. Aston, S. Bernardini, & D. Stewart (Eds.). Corpora and language learners (pp. 213-229). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Frankenberg-Garcia, A. (2005). A peek into what todays language learners as researchers actually do. International Journal of Lexicography, 18(3), 335-355. Gavioli, L., & Aston, G. (2001). Enriching reality: Language corpora in language pedagogy. ELT Journal, 55(3), 238-246. Granger, S. (Ed.). (1998). Learner English on computer. London: Longman. Granger, S. (2002). A birds-eye view of learner corpus research. In S. Granger, J. Hung, & S. PetchTyson (Eds.), Computer learner corpora, second language acquisition and foreign language

teaching (pp. 3-33). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Granger, S. (2004). Practical applications of learner corpora. In B. Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk (Ed.), Practical applications in language and computers: PALC 2003 (pp. 291-301). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. Granger, S., Hung, J., & Petch-Tyson, S. (Eds.). (2002). Computer learner corpora, second language acquisition and foreign language teaching. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Granger, S., & Tribble, C. (1998). Learner corpus data in the foreign language classroom: Formfocused instruction and data-driven learning. In S. Granger (Ed.), Learner English on computer (p. 199-209). London: Longman. Halliday, M.A.K., Teubert, W., Yallop, C., & Cermakova, A. (2004). Lexicology and corpus linguistics. London: Continuum. Hardisty, D., & Windeatt, S. (1989). CALL. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hunston, S. (2002). Corpora in applied linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Johns, T. (1988). Whence and whither classroom concordancing? In T. Bongaerts, P. de Haan, S. Lobbe, & H. Wekker (Eds.), Computer applications in language learning (pp. 9-27). Dordrecht: Foris. Johns, T. (1991). Should you be persuaded: Two examples of data-driven learning. ELR Journal, 4, 1-16. Kding, J. (1879). Hufigkeitswrterbuch der deutschen Sprache. Steglitz: privately published. Kaltenbck, G., & Mehlmauer-Larcher, B. (2005). Computer corpora and the language classroom: On the potential and limitations of computer corpora in language teaching. ReCALL, 17(1), 65-84.



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Kettemann, B., & Marko, G. (2002). Teaching and learning by doing corpus analysis. Amsterdam: Rodopi. Kilgarriff, A., & Grefenstette, G. (2003). Introduction to the special issue on the Web as corpus. Computational Linguistics, 29(3), 333-347. Louw, B. (1993). Irony in the text or insincerity in the writer? The diagnostic potential of semantic prosodies. In M. Baker, G. Francis, & E. TogniniBonelli (Eds.), Text and technology: In honour of John Sinclair (pp. 157-176). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Lyons, J. (1981). Language and linguistics: An introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. McCarthy, M., McCarten, J., & Sandiford, H. (2005). Touchstone 2: Students book. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. McEnery, T., & Wilson, A. (1996). Corpus linguistics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. McEnery, T., Xiao, R., & Tono, Y. (2006). Corpusbased language studies: An advanced resource book. London/New York: Routledge. Meunier, F. (2002). The pedagogical value of native and learner corpora in EFL grammar teaching. In S. Granger, J. Hung, & S. Petch-Tyson (Eds.), Computer learner corpora, second language acquisition and foreign language teaching (pp. 119-141). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Milton, J. (1998). Exploiting L1 and interlanguage corpora in the design of an electronic language learning and production environment. In S. Granger (Ed.), Learner English on computer (pp. 187-198). London: Longman. Olohan, M. (2004). Introducing corpora in translation studies. London/New York: Routledge. Quirk, R., Greenbaun, S., Leech, G., & Svartvik, J. (1985). A comprehensive grammar of the English language. London: Longman.

Sampson, G. (2005). Quantifying the shift towards empirical methods. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 10(1), 15-36. Saslow, J., Ascher, A., & Kisslinger, E.J. (2006). Top Notch fundamentals: Teachers edition and lesson planner. New York: Pearson Longman. Saussure, F. (1916). Cours de linguistique general. Paris: Payot. Scott, M., & Tribble, C. (2006). Textual patterns: Key words and corpus analysis in language education. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Semino, E., & Short, M. (2004). Corpus stylistics: Speech, writing and thought presentation in a corpus of English writing. London/New York: Routledge. Sinclair, J. (Ed.). (1990). Collins COBUILD English grammar. London/Glasgow: Collins. Sinclair, J. (1991). Corpus, concordance, collocation. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Sinclair, J. (Ed.). (2004a). How to use corpora in language teaching. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Sinclair, J. (2004b). Introduction. In J. Sinclair (Ed.), How to use corpora in language teaching (pp. 1-10). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Sinclair, J. (2004c). Preface. In B. LewandowskaTomaszczyk (Ed.), Practical applications in language and computers (pp. 7-11). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. Sinclair, J. (2004d). Trust the text: Language, corpus and discourse. London/New York: Routledge. Sinclair, J., & Renouf, A. (1988). A lexical syllabus for language learning. In R. Carter & M. McCarthy (Eds.), Vocabulary and language teaching (pp. 140-160). London: Longman.



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Stevens, V. (1995). Concordancing with language learners: Why? When? What? CAELL Journal, 6(2), 2-10. Stubbs, M. (1993). British traditions in text analysisfrom Firth to Sinclair. In M. Baker, G. Francis, & E. Tognini-Bonelli (Eds.), Text and technology: In honour of John Sinclair (pp. 1-33). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Thompson, G., & Huston, S. (Eds.). (2006). System and corpus: Exploring connections. London: Equinox. Thorndike, E. (1921). A teachers wordbook. New York: Columbia Teachers College. Tognini-Bonelli, E. (2001). Corpus linguistics at work. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Tribble, C., & Jones, G. (1990). Concordances in the classroom: A resource book for teachers. London: Longman. Tsui, A.B.M. (2004). What teachers have always wanted to knowand how corpora can help. In J. Sinclair (Ed.), How to use corpora in language teaching (pp. 39-61). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Viana, V.P. (2006). Modals in Brazilian advanced EFL learners compositions: A corpus-based investigation. Profile, 7, 77-86. Weedwood, B. (2002). Histria concisa da lingstica. So Paulo: Parbola Editorial. Wichmann, A., Fligelstone, S., McEnery, A., & Knowles, G. (Eds.). (1997). Teaching and language corpora. London: Longman. Zyngier, S. (2002). Smudges on the canvas? A corpus stylistics approach to Macbeth. In I. Biermann, & A. Combrink (Eds.), Poetics, linguistics and history: Discourses of war and conflict (pp. 529-546). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Xiao, Z. (forthcoming). Well-known and influential corpora. In A. Ludeling, M. Kyto, & A. M. McEnery (Eds.), Corpus linguistics: An international handbook. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Retrieved September 11, 2007, from http://www.lancs.ac.uk/postgrad/xiaoz/papers/ corpus%20survey.htm

kEY tErMs
Colligation: The co-occurrence of a word with a pattern or the co-occurrence of two patterns in language use. Collocation: The co-occurrence of two or more words within a short span in a text. Competence: A concept proposed by Chomsky which refers to the knowledge an individual has about his or her first language. Concordance: A listing of all the occurrences of a word (sequence) in a given corpus which gives access to language patterns. Concordancer: A computer program by means of which corpora can be probed with a view of generating concordances. Corpus: A collection of naturally occurring language text which can be read by computers and which has been selected to represent a particular type of language (variety/register) and with a specific research objective. Corpus Linguistics: The linguistic study of large samples of language in use by means of computer tools. Natural Language: Language as it is spoken and/or written by real speakers, that is, language which occurs in everyday use. Performance: From a Chomskyan perspective, it refers to the use of language made by speakers.



EFL through the Digital Glass of Corpus Linguistics

Semantic Prosody: The general meaning a word assumes because of its collocates, which can be positive, negative, or neutral.

EndnotEs
1

Although one may argue that Chomskys influence in language studies has decreased considerably in the past, the differences between deductive and inductive approaches to languages are still worthy of attention. For instance, a number of recent publications on corpus linguistics revisit such distinction (e.g., Tognini-Bonelli, 2001, Berber Sardinha, 2004; McEnery et al., 2006). In addition, although corpus-based studies have become more popular, there are some scholars who still develop investigations based on Chomskyan tradition, as Sinclair (2004c) reminded us. More recently, Chomsky has argued in an interview that studies based on corpora do not mean anything (Andor, 2004). This approach was not first proposed by Chomsky. In fact, Saussure (1916) had already worked with it in the beginning of the structuralist movement. In Chomskyan theory, this concept refers to syntactic competence. Nonetheless, it should be stressed that the concepts are, in fact, diverse. For instance, although being a mentalist, Saussure never argued for the existence of an innate biological factor. Some areas, nevertheless, continued making use of such data. This is the case of phonetics and child language acquisition, for example, where introspection and intuition did not help much and/or could not be sought. Some other pre-electronic corpora include those compiled, for instance, by Kding (1879) and Thorndike (1921).

10

11

12

The status of the Web as a corpus itself is a controversial issue. Some scholars argue that it may not be considered a corpus for a number of reasons, including the issues of representativeness and balance. There are, however, some researchers who argue for its use as a corpus. Such discussion, although of interest, is out of the scope of this chapter. For a better understanding of the latter tradition, see Kilgarriff and Grefenstette (2003). Both the BNC XML Edition (containing the full content of the BNC) and the BNC Baby (containing a four-million-word selection from the BNC) can be purchased online at http://www.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/ getting/index. xml.ID=order. An American correspondent of the BNC is being compiled. The ANC, American National Corpus, will total 100 million words of American English in texts from 1990 onward. By the time this chapter was being written, its second release, containing 22 million words, had already been made available. Additional information on this corpus may be found at http://americannationalcorpus.org/. Data cited in all examples in this chapter have been extracted from the British National Corpus Online service (http://www.natcorp. ox.ac.uk/), managed by Oxford University Computing Services on behalf of the BNC Consortium. All rights in the texts cited are reserved. The maximum number of concordance lines displayed in this page is 50, despite how frequent the search string is. Although the number of concordance lines shown does not apply to this case since there are only 44 instances of sit through in the BNC, it should be mentioned that Daviess interface shows twice as many lines as the BNC interface, that is, 100 lines at a time. In addition, there is not a limit as there is at



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13

14

15

16

the BNC official site. Here users can read as many concordance lines as they want to. The emphasis in the following examples is ours. This example has been retrieved from a corpus of compositions written by advanced students in private language courses in the city of Rio de Janeiro. More information on this corpus, which was compiled by the main author of this chapter, may be found in Viana (2006). The layout of this interface may have changed in March 2008, but has not affected the information in this chapter. For a description of existing corpora, see Xiao (forthcoming).





Electronic Strategies to Improve Chinese Reading Skills


Jing Wang Allegheny College, USA

Chapter XV

abstract
This chapter introduces a series of studies carried out with intermediate learners of Chinese regarding the reading of authentic e-materials with hyperlinked dictionaries. The study results indicate that it is practical to let intermediate students read authentic e-materials when aided by hyperlinked dictionaries, which can improve reading comprehension and vocabulary retention. Guided by the findings from these studies, good practices on how to use authentic e-materials and hyperlinked dictionaries to improve reading skills for intermediate students are introduced. It is recommended that in order to achieve optimal results when using technology, instructors need to employ systematic strategies to support and guide students in the reading process.

introduction
Because Chinese sentence structures are relatively easy, mastery of vocabulary is the principal difficulty in reading Chinese. In Modern Chinese texts, there are boundaries for characters, but no boundaries for words that may be composed of a variable number of characters. In the reading process, Chinese as a foreign language (CFL) learners need to recognize characters, combine them into words, and recognize the meaning of words.

The bottleneck for intermediate CFL learners to read authentic materials lies in their lack of vocabulary. Intermediate learners in this chapter are defined according to the general division in the U.S.intermediate low students are those who have mastered the basic grammatical patterns and several hundred core vocabulary items, while intermediate high students are those who are nearly ready to tackle authentic materials. One popular textbook series, Integrated Chinese (Yao et al., 2005), leads students through the entry level over two level-one books. After finishing the level-one

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Electronic Strategies to Improve Chinese Reading Skills

books, students are ready to take intermediate courses, and they have learned basic sentence structures, a little more than 700 characters, and less than 2,000 words. In Chinese, knowledge of the 1,500 most frequently used characters constitutes the threshold of literacy. According to the frequency list of modern Chinese (Language Teaching Research Section of the Beijing Language Institute, 1986), the first 1,500 characters in the list covered approximately 96% of all the characters in the corpus texts from which the frequency list was generated. In terms of words, the 4,000 most frequently used words in the list covered approximately 90% of the corpus texts. Liu (2000) points out that around 5,000 words are needed to read general articles in newspapers and to understand general broadcast news. To summarize, the 1,500 most frequently used characters and 4,000-5,000 words are needed to read general authentic materials. Hence, there exists a large vocabulary gap between what intermediate (especially intermediate low) students know and what is required for reading authentic materials. Can we use authentic materials to improve reading skills for intermediate students? At the intermediate level, CFL students have already learned the basic sentence structures of the language. Moreover, generally speaking, CFL learners are proficient readers in L1 (first language), which is conducive to their reading in L2 (second language), Chinese in this case. As indicated by Nuttall (1996), There is a strong transfer of reading habits from one language to another (p. 58). Bernhardt (2003) indicates 20% of L2 reading can be explained from L1 literacy. Nevertheless, there is still a great vocabulary hurdle for intermediate students to surmount in order to read authentic materials. Nuttall (1996) thinks that 2-3% of new words in extensive reading texts is a high concentration of new vocabulary. If we use this criterion, intermediate CFL learners have too large a vocabulary gap to close in order to read authentic materials. A paper dictionary cannot

effectively aid them, as it is very time consuming to look up a word in a dictionary. Hence, it is difficult for immediate students to use a paper dictionary to tackle authentic materials that are not yet within their reach. We can resort to computer technology to help intermediate students read authentic electronic materials (e-materials), because in an optimal instructional environment, technology is an integral part of a successful foreign-language curriculum (Bai, 2003, p. 1). Martinez-Lage (1997) points out that the use of interactive hypermedia technology in the teaching of readingbrings a number of unquestionable benefits to both instructors and students (p. 149). This chapter explores the use of authentic e-materials and hyperlinked dictionaries to develop reading skills for intermediate students.

LitEraturE rEViEW
Literature review is done to explore the uniqueness of the Chinese language, the differences between reading printed and e-materials, the advantages of using authentic materials, the features of hyperlinked dictionaries, and the existing literature on the effects of hyperlinked dictionaries on reading comprehension.

the prominence of understanding the Meaning of characters and Words


Characters are the building blocks of written Chinese. As summarized by Xu (2001), the basic language unit in Chinese is the character, not the wordin fact, linguists cannot give a precise definition of the Chinese word. Holding the same view, L (2006) also advocates the idea that characters are combined into words and phrases, and words and phrases are further expanded to sentences in actual use. Because of the central position of characters in the written language,



Electronic Strategies to Improve Chinese Reading Skills

understanding their meaning is essential to the reading process. The meaning of words is related with the meanings of composite characters. In modern Chinese, the majority of words are composed of one or two characters (Language Teaching Research Section of the Beijing Language Institute, 1986), while two-character ones are the most common (Chen, Yu, & Zhao, 2005; Liu, 2000). Two characters are combined into words in different structures: subject-predicate, modifying, verb-complement, parallel, verb-object, and so forth (Chen, Yu, & Zhao, 2005; Fu, 2004; Liu, 2000). The meaning of a two-character word is related to the meanings of the two individual characters and the combination structures, though the words meaning is not simply the sum total of the meanings of the two composite characters. In the reading process, however, it is not easy to distinguish words. Chen, Yu, and Zhao (2005) show that identifying words may not be easy for CFL learners because of: (1) the lack of clear divisions between words in the written Chinese; (2) overlaps between morphemes (characters) and words, and between words and phrases; (3) the confusion caused by abbreviations; and (4) the fact that some words may be separated by intervening characters. Chinese syntactic structures are relatively easy. Hoosain (1991) points out that grammar as such is not taught in Chinese schools. Instead, what is attended to are the interrelations of meanings of individual characters and the emergent meanings derived from their combinations (p. 22). In summary, because of the unique features of the Chinese language, it is of extreme importance to recognize characters, combine them into words, and then understand the words meanings. In order to read texts smoothly, CFL learners need to possess the knowledge of both characters and words.

print reading vs. E-reading


Hubbard (2000) notes that traditional meaning aids such as dictionaries may provide meaning of language items, but also distract readers from the reading process. Meaning technologies such as hyperlinked dictionaries (applications that automatically link the words in a text to one or more dictionary entries, p. 3) can be used more easily and effectively (p. 2). Hubbards summary can be readily applied to the case of reading Chinese texts, with one additional advantage gained from using hyperlinked dictionaries in Chinese: combining characters into words. E-reading, facilitated by a hyperlinked dictionary, may differ greatly from print reading aided by a traditional paper dictionary. In reading printed materials with a paper dictionary, students may spend substantial amounts of time looking up the meaning of unknown characters and deciding the boundaries of words. In reading electronic texts (e-texts) facilitated by a hyperlinked dictionary, students can easily isolate word boundaries and find out their meanings by moving the cursor over characters. Compared with reading printed materials with a paper dictionary, students reading e-materials with a hyperlinked dictionary can find the meanings of words more efficiently.

reading authentic Materials


Reading authentic rather than adapted materials is beneficial to intermediate students for two reasons. First, language teaching pedagogy supports the use of authentic materials in language teaching. As summarized by Savignon (1991), influenced by social linguistic perspectives, communicative language teaching (CLT) uses authentic materials because of the importance of contextsetting, roles, genres, etc.in interpreting the meaning of a text (p. 270). Specifically, as a broad, philosophical approach to the language curriculum, CLT has its core principles achieved by task-based language teaching (TLT) at the levels of syllabus



Electronic Strategies to Improve Chinese Reading Skills

design and methodology (Nunan, 2004, p. 10). According to Nunan (2004), there is no question that authentic materials are used in TLT. Secondly, the ability to read authentic materials gives students a feeling of accomplishment.

The Effects of Hyperlinked dictionaries on reading


No previous study has examined the role of hyperlinked dictionaries in aiding the reading of e-texts in Chinese. Research, however, has been carried out in Roman alphabetic languages. Chun (2006) summarizes research conducted between 1995 and 2005, and concludes that bilingual dictionaries [hyperlinked dictionaries] and multimedia glosses have a more direct impact on vocabulary acquisition than on overall reading comprehension (p. 81). The outcomes of using hyperlinked dictionaries with e-texts in Chinese have not been thoroughly studied. Furthermore, no research has been done to study the impact of hyperlinked dictionaries on vocabulary acquisition and on improving reading comprehension in reading Chinese e-texts. Because of the unique features of the Chinese language, it is worthwhile to carry out studies in the field.

online and Off-Line Hyperlinked dictionaries


Two kinds of hyperlinked dictionaries are used to aid the reading of e-texts: one is used in an online environment, the other is used off-line, after a piece of software is installed. For hyperlinked dictionaries used in an online environment, one example is Rikai (www. rikai.com).1 After submitting a Chinese text or a URL of a Web site to the box in the software, the original text or the Web site appears in an output box. If the cursor is put under characters, Chinese words appear in a pop-up box together with English translations. For an off-line hyperlinked dictionary, one needs to install software on a computer. One example is NJStar (http://www.njstar.com). It is possible to download NJStar software to a computer and then use the software to facilitate the reading of e-texts. After the software is installed on a computer, one can copy and paste an e-text to the software, and read it the same way as from the output box of an online hyperlinked dictionary. Although these two kinds of hyperlinked dictionaries efficiently provide words meaning in English, they also have limitations. Xie (1999) gives two general observations: they occasionally fail to provide accurate and context-sensitive interpretations, or fail to provide translations to some words which may appear in a reading text (p. 106). In a review of the literature in the field, Chun (2006) finds that students prefer to look up translations of words when using glosses (p. 93). Because of students preference, it is rational to study these kinds of hyperlinked dictionaries in detail.

rEsEarch
Chun (2006) summarizes existing studies on the use of electronic dictionaries and CALL [computer-assisted language learning] glosses (p. 73) for languages with Roman alphabets, and points out that in those studies, results must be viewed in terms of the level of the learners L2 language ability and cannot be generalized to all learners reading in an L2 (p. 77). The studies introduced in this chapter center on intermediate college students. Because there has been no direct research concerning the effects of using hyperlinked dictionaries on reading authentic e-materials by intermediate CFL learners, this author has conducted a series of research. Guided by a pilot study, the author carried out a qualitative study in order to generate some hypotheses. Then a quantitative study method was used to further test the

0

Electronic Strategies to Improve Chinese Reading Skills

hypotheses. In the process of doing the quantitative study, the author interviewed students to gather information on their experience in reading online materials and in browsing Chinese-language Web sites. At last, a survey was designed based on students comments gathered from the previous quantitative study, and was administered to another group of students to study the features of electronic literacy (e-literacy). A pilot study was completed during a class session in the spring semester of 2005 at a college to see whether it is practical to let intermediate low CFL students read e-texts with the help of hyperlinked dictionaries. Based on the result of the pilot study, a case study was carried out at the college in the fall semester of 2005 to study the characteristics of using hyperlinked dictionaries in reading authentic e-materials. The case study was conducted once per week throughout the semester. Guided by the findings from the qualitative study, quantitative research was performed from July to August 2006 at an intensive language program in Beijing on intermediate and advanced students to study the impact of using hyperlinked dictionaries on vocabulary acquisition and on reading comprehension. Finally, a survey was administered to another intensive language program in Shanghai in August, 2006 to study how students explore online materials. The survey was distributed by language instructors in different classes, and was completed within 10 minutes.

asked to read the electronic version (e-version) of the two paragraphs for another 10 minutes with the help of Rikai, and then to translate the two paragraphs again into English. After comparing the two versions of the translations, this author obtained the following two findings. A hyperlinked dictionary could not help entry-level students greatly. Even though they were provided with translations of words, their lack of knowledge in basic sentence structures, grammatical patterns, and vocabulary items prevented them from making good use of the hyperlinked dictionary. A hyperlinked dictionary was effective for intermediate low students who had a good knowledge of the basics of the language. The use of the hyperlinked dictionary enabled them to take advantage of the software to find the meaning of unknown words, and then to use their knowledge of the language to get the meaning of texts. Based on the findings from the pilot study, it may be inferred that entry-level students do not benefit greatly from using a hyperlinked dictionary, while intermediate low students who have a foundation in basic vocabulary items, patterns, and structures can use the hyperlinked dictionary to understand a text.

a Qualitative study
Based on the results of the pilot study, a qualitative study was carried out on an intermediate student to study the use of hyperlinked dictionaries in reading e-texts.

a pilot study
A pilot study was carried out to see whether it is practical to let intermediate low CFL students read e-texts with the help of a hyperlinked dictionary. Eight students with varying proficiency levels (some of them were intermediate low students, while others were still at the entry level) participated in the experiment. They were given 10 minutes to read two paragraphs in the printed version, and then asked to translate the two paragraphs in English. Following that, they were

General Description
Materials used. Thirty articles were used in the study, taken from the intermediate level of the Chinese Reading World (University of Iowa Chinese Program, 2004). These articles ranged from around 100 to 400 characters in length. Participants and methodology. The student who participated in the experiment was



Electronic Strategies to Improve Chinese Reading Skills

an intermediate mid student. He first read an article printed from the Chinese Reading World, verbally reported on the reading difficulties and his problem-solving strategies, and recorded an English translation using Audacity (free software used for recording voice onto a computer). Then the student read the e-version of the same text again with the help of a hyperlinked dictionary (Rikai), reported on his difficulties and strategies, and again recorded an English translation. After finishing reading the two versions of a text, the student was asked to explain the strategies he had used to tackle the reading difficulties. In their literature review, Everson and Ke (1997) indicated that verbal reports were a valuable data source for research (p. 3), and used this data collection method to study reading strategies for CFL learners. In this study, verbal reports were used to determine the students reading difficulties and problem-solving strategies. In summary, the two translations for each article, verbal reports, and interviews were used as data for the research. Research questions. The research tried to answer the following questions: 1. What strategies does the student use when reading e-texts with the help of a hyperlinked dictionary? How effective is the hyperlinked dictionary? What are the limitations of the hyperlinked dictionary?

Clauses (including key phrases such as titles) were numbered for each article; altogether there were 822 clauses in the 30 articles. Before using the hyperlinked dictionary, the mean comprehension rate of the 30 articles was 41%; after using the online software, the rate rose to 77%. The comprehension rate for each article was obtained by dividing the number of correct translations of clauses by the total number of clauses in that article. For example, if there were 20 clauses in an article, and the student translated five of them correctly, then the comprehension rate would be 25%. After a comprehension rate was obtained for each article, the mean comprehension rate was calculated for the 30 articles. A closer look at the errors made by the student after using the hyperlinked dictionary revealed the following trends: the largest number of errors were due to the limitations of the hyperlinked dictionary, then to grammatical difficulties, then to the negligence of the student, and lastly to a lack of cultural and background knowledge.

Results
Reading strategies. The student did not use the hyperlinked dictionary to discern grammatical patterns; instead, he used it to get the meaning of unknown characters and words. The student used choice and piecing together strategies when reading electronic articles (e-articles) with the help of the online dictionary. The use of the hyperlinked dictionary to comprehend e-texts involved a bottom-up strategy. Effectiveness of the hyperlinked dictionary. The students comments revealed that the hyperlinked dictionary helped him to comprehend the 30 articles. First of all, the English translations of Chinese words helped him substantially in the reading process. He commented that before using the hyperlinked dictionary, he usually did not have a good idea of what the article was about; after using the hyperlinked dictionary, he usually got a general picture of the meaning of the text. Second,

2. 3.

Analyses
This author listened to the two versions of the English translations, and then recorded all the comprehension errors made by the student. Each comprehension error was then analyzed and categorized. The students verbal reports were also incorporated in the analytical process. Furthermore, the students comments were used in the process.



Electronic Strategies to Improve Chinese Reading Skills

besides giving real help, the dictionary may also help provide psychological support. The student reported that he was not so intimidated to read with the aid of the hyperlinked dictionary. Third, the student confirmed from his own experience of reading the 30 articles that the more he read, the better he could sense of keywords. With the help of the hyperlinked dictionary, he was able to keep on with the reading process. His two versions of the English translations of the text supplied this author with abundant examples of the effectiveness of the hyperlinked dictionary in improving reading comprehension. He translated many sentences incorrectly after the first reading, yet translated them correctly after using the hyperlinked dictionary. Analyses of the comprehension rate suggested the same conclusion, that his comprehension increased greatly after using the hyperlinked dictionary. Before using the hyperlinked dictionary, the mean comprehension rate of the 30 articles was 41%, which is obviously inadequate. Therefore, before using the hyperlinked dictionary, the student did not have a general understanding of the texts. After using the hyperlinked dictionary, there was a significant rise in reading comprehension, to 77%. According to Nuttall (1996), in English, an understanding of 70% of a text is generally considered adequate. If we use the 70% benchmark here, the student had an adequate understanding of the texts after using the hyperlinked dictionary. Although the student read the e-version of the same text after he read the printed version, the great difference in comprehension, from an inadequate to acceptable comprehension, could only be credited to the use of the hyperlinked dictionary. It may be concluded that the use of the hyperlinked dictionary was effective in improving reading comprehension for individual articles, and in keeping the student in the reading process. The limitations of using the hyperlinked dictionary. The hyperlinked dictionary had limitations, and some drawbacks would be easier to address than others. Among the errors made due

to the limitations of the hyperlinked dictionary, the most prevailing ones were made because the hyperlinked dictionary at times failed to combine characters into words, and then to give translations of words. For example, a word was composed of two characters; instead of combining the two characters into the word and translating its meaning, the hyperlinked dictionary merely translated the two characters. Also, for some words, the hyperlinked dictionary limited the translations available; but for others, it gave extra translations for students to choose from. The above limitations may be improved by providing a larger database for words, and by providing better translations. The hyperlinked dictionary did not provide accurate meanings for function words, explain the meanings of grammatical patterns, or provide cultural background knowledge. Because the usage of function words is complicated, it may be difficult to provide good translations for function words in English. Similarly, it may not be easy to provide grammatical patterns and background knowledge by hyperlinked dictionaries.

Conclusion
It may be inferred from the case study that a hyperlinked dictionary can effectively improve reading comprehension for intermediate students. Yet it is also important to caution students against totally relying on the hyperlinked dictionary, due to its limitations. And because students may be greatly involved in the bottom-up strategy while using the hyperlinked dictionary in reading an e-text, it may be useful to encourage them to read the text again without using the hyperlinked dictionary so as to concentrate on the articles global meaning. Although this author found from this case study that a hyperlinked dictionary could effectively improve reading comprehension, further quantitative studies were needed to make a sound generalization.



Electronic Strategies to Improve Chinese Reading Skills

a Quantitative study
This study was carried out to measure the effects of hyperlinked dictionaries on vocabulary retention and reading comprehension. In order to have a clear idea of the effects of hyperlinked dictionaries on intermediate students, advanced students were also included in this study as a comparison group.

1.

2. 3.

How effectively can an e-text and a hyperlinked dictionary help students retain vocabulary? How effectively can a hyperlinked dictionary improve reading comprehension? What level of students can benefit most from reading e-texts aided by a hyperlinked dictionary?

Statistical Analyses Design


Participants. Twenty-three intermediate and advanced students from an intensive summer program participated in the experiment, among which 13 were intermediate and 10 were advanced students. They were placed at intermediate and advanced levels according to a placement test. Material used. An article was selected for the participants with the help of their instructors to ensure that the article was of the right difficulty level for the students. After the article was selected, it was tested on one student as a pilot study. The article was conceived as difficult for intermediate students, yet not so for advanced students. Methodology. Students were asked to read the e-text twice; in both instances they were allowed to use an off-line hyperlinked dictionary (NJStar). Immediately after the two readings were completed, they wrote a summary of the text in English. (Immediate recall protocols were used to assess students reading comprehension in this study. The method is an effective way to measure reading comprehension according to Bernhardt, 1983). This author observed and recorded their mouse movements, recorded time spent in the two readings, and interviewed them after they finished writing the summary. Later, the author graded the English summaries and used the results as the reading comprehension scores for the participating students. Questions. The study tried to answer the following questions: The selected text. Participants placement scores were significantly negatively correlated with the number of lookups (r = -.559, p < .01) and significantly negatively correlated with reading time (r = -.563, p < .01). The statistical results indicated that the higher the proficiency level (indicated by placement scores), the fewer new words were encountered in the reading of the selected article, and the less time was spent in the reading process. The statistical results demonstrated that the selected article was appropriate to gauge the level of the students. Vocabulary retention. There were significant fewer lookups of new words in the second reading than in the first reading (t = 4.507, SD = 22.3, df = 22, p < .001). The statistical result showed that students did retain some vocabulary items within a short period of time, as indicated by a fewer number of lookups at the second reading. Reading comprehension. Students reading placement scores were not correlated with their reading comprehension scores after using the hyperlinked dictionary (r = .048, p > .05). Further analyses were carried out to compare intermediate with advanced students. The difference in the placement reading scores of the two groups of students was statistically significant (Mann-Whitney U = 27.5, p < .05). The difference in the number of lookups of the two groups was also statistically significant (MannWhitney U = 23.5, p < .05), with the intermediate students encountering more new words. The difference in the time in reading the article by the



Electronic Strategies to Improve Chinese Reading Skills

two groups was statistically significant (MannWhitney U = 31, p < .05), with the intermediate students spending more time. The difference in the reading-comprehension scores of the two groups, however, was not statistically significant (Mann-Whitney U = 59, p > .05). Since the article was more difficult for the intermediate students than for the advanced students, the general expectation was that the reading comprehension scores for the advanced students should be higher than those for the intermediate students. Since the statistical result was not the same as the expectation, it may indicate that the hyperlinked dictionary greatly improved reading comprehension for the intermediate students.

Chinese Web sites. The preliminary findings indicated that intermediate and advanced students seldom read online articles in Chinese. General difficulties were unfamiliarity with the following aspects: ways to search for a piece of information, the meaning of words used frequently in Chinese-language Web sites, Chinese search engines, and the layout and structure of Chinese Web sites. Because intermediate students are not used to surfing the Chinese Web sites, it may not be practical to let them select online articles on their own to read.

pedagogical implications
The above studies indicate that hyperlinked dictionaries can effectively help intermediate students tackle authentic e-materials. Yet these students still cannot be left alone because of the limitations of hyperlinked dictionaries. Also, because students lack necessary skills in browsing Chinese Web sites, they cannot find relevant e-materials on their own. In order to use e-materials and hyperlinked dictionaries to achieve the most desirable results, instructors need to adopt effective pedagogical strategies.

Conclusion
The quantitative research indicates that students are able to retain some vocabulary items within a short period of time. A hyperlinked dictionary may help intermediate students greatly enhance reading comprehension for difficult texts, while its effects on advanced students were limited. Because the statistical results indicate that students can retain the looked-up vocabulary items within a short period of time, it may be useful to encourage students to read a text twice to reinforce their knowledge of new vocabulary items. Also, in the second reading, it may be a good idea to concentrate on the global meaning of the text. Interviews with the students revealed the difficulties they encountered in reading online materials and in browsing Chinese Web sites. Based on the interviews, a survey was designed to try to identify students problems in selecting and reading online materials.

pEdagogicaL appLications
Because it is practical and beneficial to let intermediate students read authentic e-texts with the help of a hyperlinked dictionary, it is important to incorporate the reading of these e-materials in the curriculum. Brandl (2002) describes three approaches to using Internet-based reading materials: teacher-determined, teacher-facilitated, and student-determined (p. 87). Because of intermediate students inability to surf Chinese Web sites, the limitations of hyperlinked dictionaries, and students limited experience with summarizing articles meanings, it is essential to have a teacher-centered approach at the beginning. Good practices include: setting up a corpus of e-texts

A Survey on Surfing Chinese Web sites


A survey was administered to 65 intermediate and advanced students on their habits of surfing



Electronic Strategies to Improve Chinese Reading Skills

with embedded questions (with answers provided) to lead students in the reading process, instructing students to use hyperlinked dictionaries to aid reading, and providing methods for searching similar articles to encourage students to do the search on their own. In this way, instructors start giving students some autonomy, moving towards a student-centered approach. The purpose of setting up a corpus is to expose students to authentic e-materials in a guided way. The goal of reading an e-article in the corpus is to understand the articles main ideas. The hyperlinked dictionary, reading comprehension questions, and detailed feedback to the possible answers of the questions provide support for students during the reading process.

of well-structured discourses. Fourth, e-articles should discuss a variety of topics (e.g., culture, economics, history, political science, arts, and religion). The content of the e-articles provides information for students to learn. Finally, the earticles should be the product of educated adult native speakers, so that e-texts are authentic, high-quality reading materials. Articles can be obtained from the Internet or from printed sources, which need to be scanned and converted into the electronic format (e-format). Then relevant questions are designed and eventually posted on the Internet, along with the original texts. Instructors must be aware of copyright issues and seek appropriate permission, where necessary.

selection of E-texts
Because of the limited reading proficiency of intermediate students, e-texts need to be carefully selected to develop students reading skills. E-texts should be both challenging and comprehensible to intermediate learners with the aid of hyperlinked dictionaries and the feedback on students answers. This author recommends a number of good practices to use when selecting e-texts. First, e-articles should be between 1,000 and 1,500 characters in length. Because the e-articles are longer than textbook materials for the intermediate level, students need to speed up their reading in order to understand the articles. Second, each e-article should have a clear structure. At the intermediate level, the learning of the language has concentrated on individual words and sentences; the text style has been more spoken than written. Usually students have limited exposure to articles with complete and distinct discourse structures. These e-articles can then push students to form a global picture of the articles meanings by analyzing discourse structures. Third, the selects should reflect various major text models (e.g., narration, description, exposition). The e-texts can provide a chance to acquaint students with different kinds

design of Questions
As summarized by Nuttall (1996), the general purpose of questions for a reading class is to provide support to help students understand a text. Although Nuttall is concerned with questions used in a classroom, this rule is readily applicable to the online context. Because of the uniqueness of the online environment, where students read a text on their own, the design of the questions becomes even more important. The focus of the questions, similar to those asked in class, is the text attack skills, which lead to the ultimate goal, understanding the text as whole (Nuttall, 1996, p. 184).

Format of Questions
Guided by the literature review and based on experience and colleagues presentations in the field, this author has made a summary of the features for questions formats. First, questions are in English. At the intermediate level, students with limited experience of extensive reading may be overwhelmed by the e-texts they read. Therefore, with questions in English, students do not need to struggle to get the meaning of ques-



Electronic Strategies to Improve Chinese Reading Skills

tions. The questions provide a safety island for students. Second, questions are inserted within a text because the purpose of questions is to lead students through the reading process; Liao and Tsai (2005) demonstrated different kinds of inserted questions designed for an online article. Third, questions are either multiple-choice or open-ended questions. Multiple-choice questions are broader than true or false questions, do not greatly interrupt the reading process like cloze and rearranging sentences, and provide instructors with more control than open-ended questions. Open-ended questions should be used in a limited way, because it is difficult to provide feedback on students answers in an online environment. Fourth, when students read the online materials without the benefit of face-to-face interaction, it is crucial to provide feedback in English on the possible answers to the questions, because the feedback helps students to learn in the process. Yao (2005) stressed the importance of feedback in his presentation. Yao thinks that feedback should be carefully designed. For example, for multiplechoice questions, feedback should be given not only for wrong choices, but also for the right choice to explain the reason. This author thinks the most detailed explanation should be given to the right choice because every student eventually comes to this item. The feedback given on the correct answer not only explains why it is right, but also introduces cultural and background information, and explains reading strategies. When open-ended questions are used, after an answer is entered, a correct version needs to be provided for students to compare to their own answers.

content of Questions
Since questions provide support during the reading process, their main function is to lead students to the comprehension of each paragraph and the text as a whole. Questions on difficult words and sentences may also be asked to help students overcome comprehension obstacles.

A majority of questions center on general comprehension. For the sake of demonstration, a sample e-text with accompanying questions is posted online (http://webpub.allegheny.edu/dept/ language/chinese/sample/sample.htm). The first kind of exercise focuses on summary. For example, after reading a paragraph, students are asked to select an item in a multiple-choice question, which summarizes the major idea of a paragraph (Question 3). In the pop-up feedback dialogue boxes, detailed explanations are given on the meaning and function of individual sentences in the paragraph and the overall meaning of the paragraph. Additionally, students may be asked to summarize the article after reading the whole text. For example, students are asked to summarize in English the main idea of the message in a text box (Question 14). The writing process aids the making of meaning in the reading process as indicated by Zamel (1992, p. 463). Feedback is provided for students to compare with their own answers. For another example, students are asked to orally summarize the meaning and are provided with a correct answer in an mp3 file. These two exercises are extremely important, as they push students to form a global picture of the meaning of the text. The second kind of exercise involves prediction, listed by Nuttall (1996) as a text attack skill. After reading the title of an article, students are asked to predict what the main idea of the text will be (Question 1). In the questions pop-up feedback dialogue boxes, explanations of the meaning of the title are given together with cultural background. Students may also be asked to predict the content of the following paragraphs (Question 6). In the pop-up feedback dialogue boxes, explanations are given concerning which sentences lead to the following paragraphs. The third kind of exercise aims to discern discourse structure, also listed by Nuttall (1996) as a text attack skill. After reading an article, students are asked to group different paragraphs



Electronic Strategies to Improve Chinese Reading Skills

according to meaning (Question 13). This exercise forces students to think about the interrelationship of individual paragraphs and to learn to discern discourse structures. Finally, questions may be designed to address difficult words and structures to improve reading comprehension. For example, students may be asked to identify the meaning of a word (Question 4). The pop-up feedback dialogue boxes explain the omission of words in that context. Questions may also be used to clarify the meaning of function words (Question 12). In addition, questions may be used to identify topics in adjacent sentences and introduce the concept of topic chains (Question 5).

presentation of E-texts and Exercises


E-texts are provided in two versions. At the beginning, an e-article is provided in a plain version through a link. Students can use hyperlinked dictionaries to read it. Students thus have opportunities to explore the text freely on their own. After the e-article is read for the first time, students are instructed to read the e-text again; they thus have the chance to reinforce their retention of vocabulary items looked up in the hyperlinked dictionary. During the second reading, they are led through the reading process by questions embedded in the e-article. Feedback is provided immediately to the students in the process of answering the questions. At the end of the e-article, students are also provided with a link to listen to the text. At the very end, they are provided with tips to search for similar e-articles from the Internet.

extended freeware for Dreamweaver (http://www. macromedia.com/resources/elearning/extensions/dw_ud/coursebuilder/), can be used to develop interactive exercises (Tsai mentioned the use of the software for designing online questions in Liao and Tsais presentation in 2005). The following steps illustrate the basic procedure of preparing reading e-materials for online use: (1) import an html file containing an e-article into Dreamweaver; (2) open the CourseBuilder Extension from Dreamweaver; (3) choose a question type (e.g., multiple choice); (4) enter questions and pop-up messages as feedback; and (5) save the final project and upload it onto the Internet. The final product is an HTML file, which can be accessed by students online. Students are instructed to use a hyperlinked dictionary (e.g., Rikai) to facilitate reading comprehension.

FuturE trEnds
Further trends on the effective use of e-texts and hyperlinked dictionaries to improve reading skills for intermediate students may be shown below. One future trend is to incorporate into the curriculum teaching strategies that gradually lead students from a teacher-centered approach to a student-centered one. At the intermediate low to mid level, aided by hyperlinked dictionaries, students can read the authentic e-materials chosen by the faculty members and use questions inserted in the article as a guide in the reading process. At the intermediate high level, students may begin to explore t