Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Posts tagged ‘language and technology’

Do e-readers make any difference to comprehension?

Wright, S., Fugett, A., & Caputa, F. (2013). Using E-readers and Internet Resources to Support Comprehension. Educational Technology & Society, 16 (1), 367–379.

The advancements of technology have led to the use of electronic reading systems for digital text. Research indicates similarities and differences in reading performance and comprehension in digital formats compared to paper formats. This study compared vocabulary understanding and reading comprehension scores from two reading sources (electronic story book and paper-based book). This study also evaluated the use of reading resources available (dictionary, thesaurus, word pronunciation) between the two reading methods.  The results of this study conclude that although vocabulary and reading comprehension is consistent between the two reading methods, students are more likely to utilize reading resources when engaged with digital text. This article supports that comprehension of written materials remains unchanged for students regardless of presentation method (print versus digital).

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Are e-devices hindering Chinese children’s reading development?

Tan, L. H., Xu, M., Chang, C. Q., & Siok, W. T. (2013). China’s language input system in the digital age affects children’s reading development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences110(3), 1119-1123.

Written Chinese as a logographic system was developed over 3,000 years ago. Historically, Chinese children have learned to read by learning to associate the visuo-graphic properties of Chinese characters with lexical meaning, typically through handwriting. In recent years, however, many Chinese children have learned to use electronic communication devices based on the pinyin input method, which associates phonemes and English letters with characters. When children use pinyin to key in letters, their spelling no longer depends on reproducing the visuo-graphic properties of characters that are indispensable to Chinese reading, and, thus, typing in pinyin may conflict with the traditional learning processes for written Chinese.  We found that the overall incidence rate of severe reading difficulty appears to be much higher than ever reported on Chinese reading. Crucially, we found that children’s reading scores were significantly negatively correlated with their use of the pinyin input method, suggesting that pinyin typing on e-devices hinders Chinese reading development. The Chinese language has survived the technological challenges of the digital era, but the benefits of communicating digitally may come with a cost in proficient learning of written Chinese.

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How do iPads impact language learning in Kindergarten?

Margareth Sandvik, Ole Smørdal & Svein Østerud (2012) Exploring iPads in Practitioners’ Repertoires for Language Learning and Literacy Practices in Kindergarten, Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy, 03/2012

We have explored the role of a tablet computer (the Apple iPad) and a shared display as extensions of a practitioner’s repertoire for language learning and literacy practices in a multicultural kindergarten. In collaboration with a practitioner, an intervention was designed that included the use of two iPad apps in a language learning and literacy practice session with a group of 5 children aged 5. We have analysed the conversations around the tablet computers and in front of a shared display, trying to identify types of talk. The roles of the iPads, the apps and the shared display are discussed in relation to the types of talk, engagement and playfulness observed in the activities. We argue that the intervention led to valuable activities for language learning and literacy practices. The two selected apps differ in their levels of structure (directed vs. open) and genre (show and tell vs. fairy tale), and this difference will be discussed in relation to the types of conversation they initiate, and the extent to which they enable the children to transfer experiences from books and hence develop their literacy to include digital and multimodal resources.

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How does mobile learning support Teaching English as a Second Language?

Maryam Tayebinik, Dr. Marlia Puteh (2012) Mobile Learning to Support Teaching English as a Second Language,  Journal of Education and Practice, Vol 3, No 7, 2012

Technology utilization in distance education has demonstrated its significance in the transfer of knowledge for both the instructors and the learners. This is also made possible through the use of the Internet which helps change the traditional teaching approaches into more modern methods when integrated with the pedagogical instruction. Mobile devices together with other forms of technology-based tools in education have established their potential in language teaching. In this regards, the Teaching of English as a Second Language (TESL) has become easier and more attractive via mobile learning. The aim of this study is to review the mobile-based teaching and learning in the English language classroom. Such integration of mobile learning with English language teaching may offer great innovations in the pedagogical delivery.

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How does Bookmapping bring together literature and web 2.0 mapping technology?

Terence W. Cavanaugh and Jerome Burg (2011) Bookmapping: Lit Trips and Beyond,  ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education)

With today’s technology and our students’ abilities, it is important to allow them to “construct content rather than just consuming it” (Milne, 2006, p. 11.2). One way to do this is to have students create their own bookmaps from their reading. By analyzing the texts they are reading to determine the locations for the story’s setting, students can then use that information to create placemarks on a digital map, adding to it comments, images, and quotations. Bookmapping, which brings together literature and web 2.0 mapping technology, can engage students in the books they read while giving them a better understanding of the setting, characters, and other story elements.

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Can a 3D Multi-User Virtual World support Language Learning?

Ibáñez, M. B., García, J. J., Galán, S., Maroto, D., Morillo, D., & Kloos, C. D. (2011). Design and Implementation of a 3D Multi- User Virtual World for Language Learning. Educational Technology & Society, 14 (4), 2–10.

The best way to learn is by having a good teacher and the best language learning takes place when the learner is immersed in an environment where the language is natively spoken. 3D multi-user virtual worlds have been claimed to be useful for learning, and the field of exploiting them for education is becoming more and more active thanks to the availability of open source 3D multi-user virtual world development tools. The research question we wanted to respond to was whether we could deploy an engaging learning experience to foster communication skills within a 3D multi-user virtual world with minimum teacher’s help. We base our instructional design on the combination of two constructivist learning strategies: situated learning and cooperative/collaborative learning. We extend the capabilities of the Open Wonderland development toolkit to provide natural text chatting with non-player characters, textual tagging of virtual objects, automatic reading of texts in learning sequences and the orchestration of learning activities to foster collaboration. Our preliminary evaluation of the experience deems it to be very promising.

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How Effective is Education Technology in Enhancing Reading Achievement?

Alan C. K. Cheung,  Robert E. Slavin (2011) The Effectiveness of Education Technology for Enhancing Reading Achievement: A Meta-Analysis, The Best Evidence Encyclopedia,  Johns Hopkins University School of Education’s Center for Data-Driven Reform in Education (CDDRE)

The present review examines research on the effects of technology use on reading achievement in K-12 classrooms. Unlike previous reviews, this review applies consistent inclusion standards to focus on studies that met high methodological standards. In addition, methodological and substantive features of the studies are investigated to examine the relationship between education technology and study features. A total of 85 qualified studies based on over 60,000 K-12 participants were included in the final analysis. Consistent with previous reviews of similar focus, the findings suggest that education technology generally produced a positive, though small, effect (ES=+0.16) in comparison to traditional methods. However, the effects may vary by education technology type. In particular, the types of supplementary computer-assisted instruction programs that have dominated the classroom use of education technology in the past few decades are not producing educationally meaningful effects in reading for K-12 students. In contrast, innovative technology applications and integrated literacy interventions with the support of extensive professional development showed somewhat promising evidence. However, too few randomized studies for these promising approaches are available at this point for firm conclusions.

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How can Speech Recognition-Supported Games Improve Literacy?

Anuj Kumar, Pooja Reddy, Anuj Tewari, Rajat Agrawal, Matthew Kam (2012) Improving Literacy in Developing Countries Using Speech Recognition-Supported Games on Mobile Devices, To appear in Proceedings of ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’12), Austin, Texas, May 5-10, 2012.

Learning to read in a second language is challenging, but highly rewarding. For low-income children in developing countries, this task can be significantly more challenging because of lack of access to high-quality schooling, but can potentially improve economic prospects at the same time. A synthesis of research findings suggests that practicing recalling and vocalizing words for expressing an intended meaning could improve word reading skills – including reading in a second language – more than silent recognition of what the given words mean. Unfortunately, many language learning software do not support this instructional approach, owing to the technical challenges of incorporating speech recognition support to check that the learner is vocalizing the correct word. In this paper, we present results from a usability test and two subsequent experiments that explore the use of two speech recognition- enabled mobile games to help rural children in India read words with understanding.

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How can Google Maps support Japanese Language Learners?

Kiyomi Fujii, James Elwood, and Barron Orr (2011) Collaborative Mapping: Google Maps for Language Exchange, Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Conference of the Central Association of Teachers of Japanese (CATJ22)

One of the many aspects of the burgeoning world of cloud computing, Web 2.0 (e.g. Google Maps), provides an engaging classroom tool that allows student production to be easily exhibited publicly in what Shulman (1997) dubbed the „capstone experience‟ of a learning endeavor. Through the use of Web 2.0 innovations that facilitate place-based communication and social networking, preliminary work suggests it may be possible to encourage language learners in two different countries to interact more, learn more, and engage further in cultural exchange on their own initiative. This paper explores a language exchange activity, using Web 2.0 technology, between university EFL (English as a foreign language) students in Japan and JFL (Japanese as a foreign language) students in America. The approach applies a traditional typing-and- composition lecture to an activity where students interactively and collaboratively map and describe the locations of favorite campus sites using Google Maps.

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How does online writing in ESL instruction encourage participation in public discourse?

Chan Mei Yuit & Yap Ngee Thai (2010) Encouraging participation in public discourse through online writing in ESL instruction, 3L The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies Vol 16 (2) 2010

In recent years, writing instructors have started to adopt pedagogies that integrate classroom writing with happenings outside the classroom (see Weisser, 2001; Flower, 2008; Mathieu, 2005). The goal of writing instruction is no longer limited to competence in terms of language, style and techniques, but is expanded to encompass civic literacy. This orientation of writing especially at university level intertwines with the aim of higher education to produce individuals who are empowered to contribute towards a better world through participation in public discourse. In a study conducted at Universiti Putra Malaysia, 1,400 students were required to write publicly in an online forum on issues that affect the lives of the students and the community in which they belong. This paper presents the results of the study and discusses the contribution of a public orientation in ESL writing instruction in fostering ability and motivation to participate in public discourse among university students.

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How can Bourdieu’s concepts help overcome the binary division of technology and society?

Jonathan Sterne (2003) Bourdieu, Technique and Technology, Cultural Studies 17(3/4) 2003, 367–389

This paper examines the place of technology in Pierre Bourdieu’s social theory, and argues for the relevance of Bourdieu’s thought to the study of technology. In moving from an examination of the status of technology in Bourdieu’s work through to his broad approach to social practice and his widely cited concept of habitus, it is argued that technologies are crystallizations of socially organized action. As such, they should be considered not as exceptional or special phenomena in a social theory, but rather as very much like other kinds of social practices that recur over time. Ultimately, through the use of Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus, field, and capital, we are able to overcome the binary divisions such as technology/society and subject/object that have plagued technology studies.

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How are Elementary Classroom Websites Supporting Literacy?

Elizabeth (Betsy) A. Baker (2007) Elementary Classroom Web Sites: Support for Literacy Within and Beyond the Classroom, JOURNAL OF LITERACY RESEARCH, 39(1), 1–36

The purpose of this study was to understand how elementary classroom Web sites support children’s literacy. From a sociocultural perspective of literacy and a transformative stance toward the integration of literacy and technology, and building on explorations of new literacies, I discuss opportunities provided by the Internet that can support literacy within and beyond classrooms. Using open and axial coding as well as typological analyses, I found 3 basic Web site features and consider how they support common instructional approaches, parental involvement, and notions of the invisible classroom. I conclude with a discussion of how these findings are encourag- ing and revealing. I offer a variety of suggestions to expand features that are currently available on elementary classroom Web sites.

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How can blogs support L2 language development?

Gebhard, M., Shin, D., Seger, W., (2011). Blogging and emergent L2 literacy development in an urban elementary school: A functional perspective. CALICO Journal28(2).

This study analyzes how a teacher in the United States used systemic functional linguistics to design a blog-mediated writing curriculum to support second grade English language learners (ELLs) literacy development and abilities to use computer-mediated communication tools for social and academic purposes in and out of school. The questions posed by this study relate to how blogging practices shaped a focus students emergent uses of print over nearly two years in a U. S. urban school serving a large Puerto Rican community. This study is informed by Hallidays theory of systemic functional linguistics (SFL) and Vygotskian conceptions of appropriation and mediation. Using a combination of ethnographic methods and the tools of genre analysis, the findings indicate that blog-mediated writing practices afforded students an expanded audience and range of purposes for literacy activities. These practices, coupled with genre-based instruction, supported the focal students emergent literacy development. The implications of this study relate to conceptualizing how ideational, interpersonal, and textual metafunctions of language intersect through computer-mediated communication to support L2 language development.

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Can blogs help ESL students develop their language skills?

De Almeida Soares, D. (2008). Understanding class blogs as a tool for language development. Language Teaching Research12(4), 517-533

Web 2.0 has allowed for the development of cyber spaces where any computer user can create their own public pages to share knowledge, feelings and thoughts inviting linguistic interactions with people around the globe. This innovation has caught the attention of language practitioners who wish to experiment with blogging to enhance the teaching and learning experience. In 2007 I set up a class blog with my nine pre-intermediate EFL students in a language school in Brazil. This experience gave rise to two central questions: a) did my students see our blog as a learning tool? and b) what was blogging like in other language teaching contexts? To answer the first question I carried out some Exploratory Practice for three months. As for the second question, I designed an online survey which was answered by 16 members of a community of practice called the Webheads. Ultimately I learned that my students saw our blog as a learning tool and that blogs are being used in different ways around the world. This article presents the rationale behind using blogs in language classes, describes my research process and discusses the understanding my students and I have gained from exploring our own practices.

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