Language Learning & Technology
Vol. 8, No. 2, May 2004, pp. 1-2
FROM THE EDITORS
Paginated PDF version
Welcome to Volume 8, Number 2 of Language Learning & Technology
In this issue we bring you four articles. Jin Chen, Safia Belkada, and Toshio Okamoto's "How a Web-Based Course Facilitates Acquisition of English for Academic Purposes" describes an experimental study which investigated the form, function and impact of interaction in a Web-based course on Academic English for Japanese learners. Significant differences were found with respect to language interaction for completing tasks under two different task treatments, an inter-personal and an intra-personal one. Although negotiations via intra-personal tasks offered a considerable amount of quality data, they were not as rich as the negotiations via inter-personal tasks.
In "A Task-Cycling Pedagogy Using Stimulated Reflection and Audio-Conferencing in Foreign Language Learning," Mike Levy and Claire Kennedy describe the notion of task-cycling using a technique called Stimulated Reflection that is implemented with audio-conferencing tools. They based their pedagogical procedures on a set of theoretically-driven principles and sought to facilitate a balance between focus on form and meaning within a communicative, project-based setting. The trials of their approach with a small group of students learning Italian revealed that action through the task and reflection through the audiovisual recordings can both be supported.
"It's Just a Game, Right? Types of Play in Foreign Language CMC" (Chantelle N. Warner) examines playful uses of language that occurred during a semester-long study of two German language courses using a MOO. An analysis of the transcripts of the MOO sessions reveal that a large portion of the language use online cannot be described using standard referential definitions of communication, but rather is playful in nature. However, students were not simply playing with the language, but playing within the language. In such instances, it is not primarily meaning that is being negotiated, but also the relations between speakers, their interlocutors, the medium, and the context.
Finally, Kenneth Reeder, Leah P. Macfadyen, Jörg Roche, and Mackie Chase in "Negotiating Cultures in Cyberspace: Participation Patterns and Problematics" attempt to problematize the notion of culture in the context of computer-mediated communication (CMC). They challenge the assumption that cyberspace is a culture free zone and claim that a less essentialist and more dynamic, discourse-based understanding of culture is needed. Their multidisciplinary study of online participation by culturally diverse participants in a distance adult education course offered in Canada revealed variations in participation frequency as a function of broad cultural groupings.
In their regular column On the Net, Jean LeLoup and Bob Ponterio discuss the use of authentic video in Internet Television News in the Classroom TF1: Improved Features Make Sites More Useful. TF1, a French television channel, offers many authentic language opportunities for foreign language classes on their Web site. In our other regular column, Emerging Technologies, Bob Godwin-Jones describes the current status of the somewhat controversial Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) in Learning Objects: Scorn or SCORM?
Reviews Editor Rafael Salaberry brings us reviews of one book and one software product. Gillian Lord reviews Gavin Dudeney's The Internet and the Language Classroom: A Practical Guide for Teachers and finds it to be a practical guide to Streaming Speech, which seeks to help English language learners develop better pronunciation and more fluid speech by using authentic fast spontaneous speech of native speakers of English as input and training learners both in listening comprehension and speaking In this issue we bring you four articles.
As always, we extend a big mahalo (thank you) to our readers, contributors, and reviewers.
Dorothy Chun & Irene Thompson
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