Professional journal combining the two areas I am most interested in for my professional development: technology and language learning. Below are some highlights from recent digital issues (all of which are stored in the archives) which I enjoyed reading.
This study uses voice blogs as a platform for an extensive study of language learners’ speaking skills… Findings suggest that blogs can constitute a dynamic forum that fosters extensive practice, learning motivation, authorship, and development of learning strategies.
This paper reports on an investigation of podcasting as a tool for honing pronunciation skills in intermediate language learning. We examined the effects of using podcasts to improve pronunciation in second language learning and how students’ attitudes changed toward pronunciation over the semester.
I was mildly surprised that there was not significant improvement in the pronunciation. However, my definition of significant could differ from the author. Re-reading parts of the article I saw that the students in the study did not have time for in-class pronunciation practice. How could they be expected to self-teach themselves? Even if they had corrective or constructive feedback from the teacher, it would be too late if they had already become comfortable with their misconceptions.
One obvious benefit of technology for language learning is the creation of opportunities for students to use language in authentic contexts. Such activities encourage students to strive for autonomy in the target language. This study investigates student behavior within a long-term autonomous interactive task.
This study focused on students in a teaching program at a university level. Much of this could also be applied to a middle school classroom. The expectations would have to be lower and the guidelines higher. However, at the middle school level we have the advantage of being twice as long as a semester.
If budget was a non-issue, this book would definitely be in my requests for next year. Many of the suggestions mentioned are already incorporated into my classroom, but just hearing someone elses perspective and rational would give me more ideas.