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AILA symposium on Teacher Education and CALL

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  • sinbarambam
    Dear colleagues, We invite you to attend the symposium on Teacher Education and CALL at AILA in Germany, on Thursday 28 August, from 16:00-19:00. The programme
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 25, 2008
      Dear colleagues,

      We invite you to attend the symposium on Teacher Education and CALL at AILA
      in Germany, on Thursday 28 August, from 16:00-19:00. The programme and
      participants in the symposium are shown below.


      Hayo Reinders

      Cynthia White


      Phil Hubbard

      Regine Hampel

      Carla Meskill

      Alex Ding

      Glenn Stockwell

      The symposium will conclude with a panel discussion with the above
      presenters plus Mike Levy. The panel discussion will be open for questions
      from the floor. The symposium papers will be published as a special issue of
      Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching.

      Below is a summary for the symposium, followed by the abstracts of the five

      We hope to see you at the symposium!

      Best wishes

      Hayo and Cynthia

      * *

      This symposium presents five studies focusing on the contexts and processes
      relating to teacher education and CALL in diverse international settings.
      The presentations describe and examine innovative practice and research in
      pre-service, in-service and informal teacher development opportunities for
      learning about technology and language teaching. Key themes include: the
      contribution of collaborative learning opportunities, the impact of
      technology and technology education on teachers' roles, practices and
      identities, the contribution of continuing support networks and teacher
      autonomy and CALL. The papers identify emerging issues and challenges which
      arise from the varying responses of teachers and teacher educators to the
      new learning and teaching opportunities afforded by technology. The
      symposium concludes by reviewing the complex, evolving relationship between
      teacher education and CALL, and draws on this analysis to outline a
      preliminary research agenda to inform future research and reflective

      * *

      * *

      *Philip Hubbard*

      Stanford University, United States of America

      In a 2003 paper, Stephen Bax argued that the path of computer-assisted
      language learning (CALL) development lies toward "normalisation" where "the
      technology is so integrated into our lives that it becomes invisible." While
      certainly appealing to classroom teachers, it is arguably less appealing for
      the field of CALL as a whole. Significant breakthroughs require movement
      away from the "normal" by individuals who can understand the strengths and
      weaknesses of existing applications and develop new ones as the technology
      itself develops, those for whom technology and language learning coexist as
      central themes in their professional lives.

      Most of the work to date in CALL teacher education has focused appropriately
      on the classroom teacher. However, a framework for CALL education proposed
      by the presenter and a colleague in a 2006 paper not only covers classroom
      teachers but also proposes a distinct role for a category of "CALL
      specialist". This presentation expands on that notion.

      The talk begins by defining the concept of CALL specialist as someone with
      deep knowledge and an elaborated skillset in a particular subfield of
      language learning and laying out a range of potential specialist areas.
      Supporting concepts such as the distinctions between the technical and
      pedagogical domains and between expert and adjunct specialists are also
      touched on. Examples are provided of the knowledge and skills required for
      two of the currently more prominent specialist areas: pronunciation
      specialist and online teacher.

      The remainder of the talk considers educational options for those wishing to
      become specialists and for institutions willing to support them. These
      include certification, such as TESOL's Principles and Practice of Online
      Teaching Program; dedicated courses for specialist areas, such as writing;
      projects and theses within a specialist area; and development of formal and
      informal communities of practice, such as the NLPCALL Interest Group of

      *Regine Hampel*

      The Open University, United Kingdom

      Teaching languages in online environments: Fostering interaction and

      * *

      A report on a Europe-wide survey on the impact of ICT in teaching and
      learning foreign languages (commissioned in 2002 by the European Community
      Directorate General of Education and Culture) argues that a 'shift of
      paradigm is necessary in teacher/learner roles. Co-operative, collaborative
      procedures are called for to harness the wide range of possibilities the new
      media offer. Teachers are called upon to abandon traditional roles and act
      more as guides and mentors' (Fitzpatrick & Davies 2003: 4). Examining
      synchronous as well as asynchronous online environments such as forums,
      blogs or audio/video conferencing in different settings (among them a
      Moodle-based platform with an array of tools), we will consider what the
      skills of an online teacher are (see e.g. Hampel & Stickler 2005), how
      teachers can foster collaborative learning in online environments (see e.g.
      Belz 2003, O'Dowd & Ritter 2006), and what the implications for teacher
      training are (see e.g. Stickler & Hampel 2007).

      This contribution is informed by a sociocultural framework of learning that
      emphasizes interaction and collaboration in the online language classroom
      and takes into account the mediating role of the tutor, language and
      technology as well as the multimodal nature of the media. The main focus of
      the presentation will be on a number of aspects that teachers need to take
      account of when using online technologies, aspects which include the

      Using the affordances of multimodal technologies;

      Fostering interaction and collaboration in online environments;

      Encouraging learner autonomy;

      Dealing with social and affective factors such as community building and
      identity in 'disembodied' environments;

      Intercultural aspects (in e.g. telecollaborative projects);

      Designing tasks appropriate to the environment.

      Teacher involvement and support remain crucial in online settings, and I
      will conclude by considering how the training and support needs of tutors
      can be met.

      *Carla Meskill*

      University at Albany

      State University of New York, United States of America

      CMC in Language Teacher Education:

      Learning with and through Instructional Conversations

      As the popularity of Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) in language
      teaching continues to grow, questions regarding best practices arise.
      Whereas a number of recent studies have examined the online discourse of
      language learners, few have explored the instructional conversations that
      language teachers can and should be learning to orchestrate in order to
      teach language online. CMC offers a venue where language teachers in
      development can explore models of instructional conversations, be actively
      scaffolded to understand and make good use of these, and engage in actually
      implementing instructional conversations themselves in a controlled,
      supportive environment (Meskill and Anthony, in press a&b).

      As defined by Tharp and Gallimore (1988, 1991), the term "instructional
      conversation" refers to productive, interactive verbal strategies used by
      educators to engage learners in active thinking, negotiation of meaning,
      and, consequently, learning. Where Tharp and Gallimore's definition of
      instructional conversation does not explicitly include a second or foreign
      language learning dimension, one is nonetheless implicit in their
      definition, especially regarding roles of instructional conversations in
      assisted performance. Their claim that "teaching occurs when performance is
      achieved with assistance" (1991:2) might be modified for language teaching
      to read acquisition occurs when learner performance (both comprehension and
      production) is assisted by instructional conversation.

      For this panel I will share archives of online professional development for
      language educators that illustrate the power of CMC to serve as a unique
      tool for teacher learning. Responses of participating teachers regarding a
      main focus on the instructional conversation as part of their professional
      development will also be discussed. Illustration of a range of effective
      online instructional conversations will inform the audience of the potential
      power and diversity of CMC for the development of language educators.

      * *

      *Alex Ding*

      University of Nottingham, United Kingdom

      Tensions and Conflicts in Fostering Collaborative Teacher Autonomy Online.

      Twelve trainee teachers/teachers were required to undertake reflective
      on-line collaborative tasks as part of the new (2005), six-week, MA ELT
      module English for Academic Purposes and New Technologies (School of
      Education, University of Nottingham). The aim of this module is to
      collaboratively examine the theory and practice of new technologies in
      teaching English for Academic Purposes. In addition, the module emphasises
      exploring and reflecting on on-line collaborative tasks with the aim of
      ensuring trainee teachers/teachers would be better equipped to both use new
      technologies for collaboration and critically examine the growing research
      and pedagogical literature concerning on-line collaboration.

      In order to examine trainee teachers'/teachers' perceptions of and attitudes
      towards on-line collaboration they were asked to; carry out a number of
      on-line collaborative tasks, keep a reflective journal during the six-week
      period of the module, and keep all electronic correspondence with other
      group members. In addition, trainee teachers/teachers were interviewed using
      semi-structured questions, the lecturer kept a daily journal of impressions
      of how the students were collaborating, and all electronic discussions were
      saved as a mini-corpus. This data provides a platform on which trainee
      teachers'/teachers' experience and perceptions of on-line collaboration can
      be analysed against the pedagogical objectives of the module.

      The main purpose of this paper is two-fold; to map out the theory of
      intersubjective collaborative autonomy and to examine the ways in which the
      application of this theory in on-line environments both enhanced the
      autonomy and development of trainee teachers/teachers but also led to
      conflicts and tensions. Secondly, to situate these conflicts within wider
      debate and questioning in the field of teacher education relating to: the
      value of situated experiential learning; the role of reflection in learning;
      the purpose and relevance of theory; the significance of authenticity,
      context, role and identity, and the broader concern of defining teacher

      This paper concludes by outlining some of the ways in which all participants
      (teacher trainers and trainee teachers/teachers) in on-line learning and
      computer-mediated communication can contribute to resolving some of these
      tensions and conflicts without abandoning the promotion of collaborative
      teacher autonomy. Indeed the conceptual framework of intersubjectivity
      enables fruitful exploration and dialogue by all participants in teacher
      education to promote teacher autonomy.

      *Glenn Stockwell*

      Waseda University
      Tokyo, Japan

      Teacher Education in CALL: Teaching Teachers to Educate Themselves

      The issue of teacher education in CALL has received some attention in the
      literature, and has also been the topic of a recent book (Hubbard & Levy,
      2006). The attention given to this issue clearly shows the importance of
      CALL practitioners having sufficient grounding in CALL theory and practice,
      as well as knowledge of what technologies are available to them in order to
      be able to effectively implement CALL in their specific language learning
      environments. There are, of course, increasing numbers of courses appearing
      that can provide such training for teachers (e.g., Leahy, 2006), but the
      reality is that only a small proportion of people who plan to use�or are
      already using�technologies in language learning contexts have access to
      these courses. This means, then, that the burden for learning how to best
      use CALL in the classroom for the majority falls upon the teachers
      themselves. Without the support and guidance that CALL teacher education
      programs may provide, this seems a very daunting task indeed. Many new to
      CALL may see technology as means adding more to a learning environment than
      is practically possible, often in lieu of sound pedagogy, whereas others
      often fall into the trap of replicating unsuccessful attempts to implement
      CALL through lack of knowledge of previous work, and conclude that CALL is
      not a viable option to them on the basis of their failures. This paper
      describes a procedure through which potential CALL practitioners may educate
      themselves regarding best practice in CALL for their given language learning
      contexts. Teachers of English at a university in Japan were given a two-hour
      seminar at the beginning of the semester outlining the considerations to be
      kept in mind when introducing technology into their learning environment.
      These included analysing the existing learning environment, deciding on
      clear goals and being aware of what technologies may be applied in achieving
      these goals, and keeping clear records outlining successes and failures of
      technology implementation. Assistance was not offered to the teachers during
      the semester, who were asked to deal with problems independently as if in a
      self-learning environment. A questionnaire administered at the end of the
      semester described teachers' reflections on the procedure as well as their
      own efforts to use technology for the first time. The results are discussed
      in terms of teachers' views on educating themselves to use CALL, and the
      difficulties encountered in achieving this.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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