5th edition ICT for Language Learning Conference Proceedings
“ICT for Language Learning Conference Proceedings 2012” focuses on sharing the most recent experience in the field of the application of ICT to language learning and teaching along the lines of the following topics:
- ICT based language teaching and learning approaches
- E-learning solutions for language teaching and learning
- Quality and innovation in language teaching and learning
- Monitoring and evaluation of language teaching and learning
- Recognition and validation of language skills
- Language teacher training
- Language learning to support international Mobility
- Language learning for specific purposes
- Studies in Second Language Acquisition
- CLIL, Content and Language Integrated Learning
- The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)
The European Language Label for the promotion of quality in language learning.
Contemporary teaching techniques for language and other subjects are heavily reliant on the communication-centered approach and information technologies . The teacher- and student-podcasting phenomenon has already well established new ground for better and more sustainable results in acquiring listening comprehension skills in a language learning classroom. Despite the relative novelty of podcasting , the logic of building this educational medium into the classroom experience is quite traditional: many language teachers believe it should serve the development of listening comprehension skills, reading skills or a combination of the two . Little research has been done into how other types of skills – particularly writing – can be linked to listening . We believe there is a way to bridge these two.
The purpose of the paper is to examine possible ways of making a connection between learning to listen and comprehend a text and learning to produce a written text in a foreign language on one’s own. The core idea is both finding the means – supporting exercises, in-class activities, follow-up ideas -- to help language learners shift from comprehending spoken language from a podcast to creating a text of their own and exploring the form which would be most beneficial and effective based on previous experience of other scholars [2, 4].
Naturally, acquiring more advanced tools for language learning with no change in the logic of teaching can hardly drive innovation and further improvement of both sides of the educational process – the teacher and the student. It is, therefore, crucial to identify ways of using new educational tools – in our case it is podcasting – to activate skill-building in areas other than the traditional ones. Bridging listening and writing skills can produce a significant effect on the quality of both language-teaching and learning.
In the era of abundance of ICT in education, the focus of academics is gradually shifting from initial urge for testing all possible emerging devices in order to improve learning process to a concern over potential overload with digital media and thus the need for its sifting. Foreign language learning is no exception. The fundamental skills of reading, listening, speaking, and writing have all been ICT enhanced in the past decade in both successful and failed attempts to boost language proficiency of learners. At the same time, the only indisputable need for technology in foreign language acquisition in academic environment has always been traced in the sphere of developing listening skills. For many researchers, listening as a basic skill is closely connected to the ability of comprehension [3, 5, 9]. However, true for lower level language learning this argument is fading at a more advanced level of language mastery dominated by reinforcement of critical thinking. A qualitative leap from basic comprehension to critical analysis has to be addressed in the process of developing language competencies. Listening, in particular, requires the design of special learning material, which, on the one hand, meets the criterion of authenticity [2, 7] and, on the other hand, leaves room for scaffolding since formal learning implies the use of specifically-built system of learning tools and not just exposure to random language experiences. [3, 4] In this regard, digital audiobooks present a unique opportunity to tackle the development of critical listening at advanced stages. Audiobooks have recently found a wide application in education from its elementary stage to adult learning [1,16]. Primarily, audiobooks are used as a supplement to reading. The present study, however, is focused on the use of audiobooks for critical listening skills for ESL students without considering the reading component of the traditional approach to audiobooks. In such context, the present article deals with issues of developing a methodology of implementing the use of digital audiobooks in advanced ESL classroom, presents specific examples of scaffolding exercises and analysis of the data collected from field-testing this approach on the stage of higher education through the case study of the Russian students learning English at National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow.