Language learning, social media and development of language resources
Key issues and recommendations for the development of language resources for language learning by the use of social media
By Marie-Noëlle Lamy, François Mangenot and Katerina Zourou, including comments by Charlotte Dejean, Charles Max, Thierry Soubrié and Gudrun Ziegler
1. In terms of second language teaching and learning
KEY POINT: There are strong tensions between the very nature of web 2.0 - horizontal, relatively uncontrolled, offering no pedagogical support - and formal education, which on the contrary seeks to get learners to follow clearly identified paths, with a progression in the difficulty of content covered and a high level of pedagogical support.
RECOMMENDATION: Learners will benefit all the more from the potential offered by social networks if they have been trained in autonomy, self-directed learning and collaboration. The production of resources seeking to build bridges between formal and informal education should be encouraged.
2. In terms of the notion of “resources”
KEY POINT: The notion of “resource” is fundamentally renewed by the participatory framework in which it is currently embedded. Horizontal distribution of content is the main factor generating a totally different situation in which “resources” are created, modified and re-mixed in ways that there were not previously possible. By horizontal distribution of content we mean both the technological possibilities now available and the interactional, collaborative opportunities created. The phenomenon of individually made and collectively shared resources runs counter to the delivery of language resources (all types of learning materials & media) in a unidirectional mode, by centralized authorities (traditional content developers). Tensions but also opportunities are instrumental in avoiding segregation of the two spheres.
RECOMMENDATION: An open, frank exchange with traditional content developers in the area of language learning would help in understanding and stating the advantages and pitfalls of digital shared content. Will companies keep content locked to preserve their share in the market? Are new business models of language content sharing viable, and if so in what timeframe? What are the challenges for the language learning market in the drive for a more participatory Internet?
3. In terms of discourse
KEY POINT: For a language learner, participating in social networks in a foreign language means taking a dual risk: firstly the risk of linguistic-pragmatic misunderstandings (being poorly understood, not seeing certain power plays, etc.), and secondly the risk of encounters with ill-intentioned people. The positive side is of course the fact that the communication is of an authentic nature, like an immersive language learning stay in another country.
RECOMMENDATION: It is undoubtedly the responsibility of language teachers to familiarize their students with the different types of discourse encountered on the social web and to help them to adopt their use. In respect of learners who are minors, an awareness of the risks of “bad encounters” raised by web 2.0 is essential. They must be warned of these dangers. Here too, “semi-protected” resources could constitute a good preparatory framework for freer expression on the social web.
An extra recommendation would be:
4. In terms of emerging concepts
KEY POINT: Concepts such as “language pedagogy”, “language learning methodology” and “language learning approach” are and will continue to be affected by the emerging socio-technical landscape of web 2.0 tools. There is little consensus on how mainstream concepts should be dealt with, with regard to pedagogically sound and scientifically valid approaches, in the web 2.0 era.
RECOMMENDATION: Contribute to the building of a shared understanding what is meant by “language pedagogy”, “language learning methodology” and “language learning approach”. Concepts are still in the formative phase, due to little evidence-based research in respect of identifying the true originality in terms of “pedagogy”, “methodology” and “approach”. Engaging in constructive discussion between different types of key players (language teachers, experts in language learning including academia, the language learning market, policy makers, public bodies) is a fundamental step in this direction.
WEBINAR: Language resources and Web 2.0 – the latest hype or new perspectives?
The video of the webinar is now online:
https://sas.elluminate.com/p.jnlp?psid=2010-10-01.0450.D.FD46A5B802A82FEA931B2D3F8B1D24.vcr&sid=vclass (please wait a couple of minutes for the video to load)
- 00:00-03:30: introduction to the LS6 network and the role of webinars as focal points of our activities (by Katerina Zourou)
- 03:31-07: 12: the webinar resulting from the publication “language learning: resources and networks” (by Linda Rath-Wiggins)
- 07:13-end: panelists interviewed by the moderator and the participants face-to-face and online
Public forum discussion now open here
Join in to expand the discussion and interact with the experts and the community!
Watch reactions of participants to the webinar in our Vimeo channel
A shared video library with 1-minute interviews of face-to-face participants is available here: http://vimeo.com/ls6network/channels
WEBINAR: Language resources and Web 2.0 – the latest hype or new perspectives?
- Is web 2.0 the future of language learning or just another method among many?
- Is the influence of web 2.0 resources on learning practices being overrated, as happened with media in the 70s?
- How do language resources evolve together with communities in social media applications?
A debate on the challenges (and controversies) of social media and their role in the development of language resources and in empowering language learning communities. These and other issues will be discussed by Regine Haschka-Helmer (Palabea), Marie-Noëlle Lamy (Open University, UK) and Kirsten Winkler (independent blogger). Moderator: Linda Rath-Wiggins (Deutsche Welle).
Friday, October 1st 2010 at 17:30 CET WorldClock for your time zone
Broadcast live in the Elluminate virtual room at http://bit.ly/9AdCPp
Guidelines for first time users can be found here: http://www.elluminate.com/Support/?id=62
If this is your first Elluminate event, consider coming a few minutes earlier to check out the technology. The room opens half an hour before the event.
And also face-to-face: 17:30 CET. Audimax auditorium, Campus Walferdange, University of Luxembourg.
Marie-Noëlle Lamy is Professor of Distance language learning at the UK Open University, where in the mid-nineties she led a team in charge of developing the University’s first ever programme of distance-taught languages. Her research focuses on the learning and teaching implications of interactive media for languages. She has focused on critical appraisals of Web 2.0 tools for language learning, a theme reflected in her co-edited 2009 book Learning Cultures in Online Education as well as in published and forthcoming articles accessible at http://lamymn.wordpress.com/
Regine Haschka-Helmer is CEO of Palabea.net, an international community platform that connects people around the world who share the same interest in learning languages and discovering different cultures. With 20 years’ experience in interactive media and over 900 successful international projects, many of which have received renowned awards, Regine is one of the pioneers and leading creative figures in the European web industry. She was CEO of I-D Media AG, responsible for strategy and creative leadership for clients such as Ebay, Deutsche Post, Deutsche Telekom, Sony, Swatch, JTI, Microsoft, Volkswagen, Swisscom and Toshiba.
Kirsten Winkler is one of the most renown connectors in the online education space and a thought leader of the educhange movement. KirstenWinkler.com was awarded “Best new Blog” at the Edublog Awards 2009 and is one of the reference sites in the industry often refered to as “The TechCrunch of Online Education”. The video interview series EDUKWEST hosted various leaders and founders in online education putting a spot light on this rising industry attracting other founders and investors as viewership alike.Since late 2009 Kirsten Winkler has also started consulting various online education startups on their strategy and working with those on different projects ranging from more classic models to cutting edge projects in the social gaming and mobile learning sector.
The debate is moderated by Linda Rath-Wiggins
Linda Rath-Wiggins is a project manager with Deutsche Welle in the New Media Department. She is responsible for technical issues relating to podcasting and online video distribution and is the technical project manager for the BOBs – Deutsche Welle Blog Awards. Rath-Wiggins has conducted new media workshops in Malaysia, Ukraine and South Africa and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Bonn.
The following study published by the organisers, closely related to the debate, gives an insight into current issues in language resources development practices through
A Study : language learning: resources and networks.
English version (6.05 MB).
French version (4.7 MB)
Co-produced by two media companies (Deutsche Welle, Radio France Internationale) and two research groups (University of Grenoble III, University of Luxembourg), the study is expected to shed some light on the changing landscape that web 2.0. and emerging technologies trigger on language resources, materials and methods. 10 good practices will be identified, demonstrating the way educational content in languages is influenced by emerging and social networking technologies in Europe.
An open forum discussion, open to the public for two months, has been launched just after the webinar here.
The event is hosted at the University of Luxembourg and is organised by the institutions, members of work group 4 of the “language learning and social media” network.
Elluminate videoconferencing system
- Fonds National de la Recherche Luxembourg, mesure d’accompagnement AM1
- European Commission, Lifelong Learning Programme
Organized by the EU funded network “Language learning and social media: 6 key dialogues”, which is holding a series of webinars on 6 defined themes related to language learning and social media.http://www.elearningeuropa.info/languagelearning.
See more: Click here!
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