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The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable 18-19 February 2010 Exploring the Influence of Instructor Presence on Students’ Linguistic and.

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1 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Exploring the Influence of Instructor Presence on Students’ Linguistic and Social Interactions in the Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) Environment Ali Alamir School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics Faculty of Arts Monash University The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Exploring the Influence of Instructor Presence on Students’ Linguistic and Social Interactions in the Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) Environment Ali Alamir School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics Faculty of Arts Monash University

2 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Presentation Outline  Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) and L2 Interaction  Interactionists SLA and Sociocultural Perspectives  Instructor Roles in the CMC Environment  A Gap in the Literature of L2 and CMC Research  Research Questions  Research Methodology and Design  The Linguistic and Social Interactions of Saudi EFL Students

3  Computer-mediated communication is defined as “predominantly text-based human-human interaction mediated by networked computers” (Herring, 2007, p.1).  1) Asynchronous CMC (ACMC): text-based communication.  2) Synchronous CMC (SCMC): oral/visual-based communication. The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC)

4  The term ‘interaction’ in the context of this study will be defined as any communicative activity of two-way exchange that takes place jointly, collaboratively, or socially among two or more people (e.g., student(s)-to- student(s) or student(s)-to-instructor(s)) during an online task (e.g., discussing, negotiating, writing, reflecting, giving feedback, or socializing) in the CMC environment. The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 L2 Interaction

5  Interaction Hypothesis (Long, 1996) claims that taking part in interaction can facilitate L2 development because of the conversational and linguistic modifications that occur during interlocutors’ utterances and that provide learners with comprehensible input.  Sociocultural theorists argue that learning takes place within “the social and cultural contexts of human activity” (Lantolf &Thorne, 2006, p.2). The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Interactionists SLA and Sociocultural Perspectives

6  Smith (2004), in a study that examined students’ L2 interactions in the CMC environment, found that: learners can [interact] and do negotiate meaning when problems in communication arise in a CMC environment…learners can [interact] and do provide one another with preemptive input in this electronic environment (p.387). The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Interactionists SLA Perspectives

7  It is suggested that interacting with more advanced learners or a facilitator (e.g., an instructor or expert) could promote more efficient learning, what it is referred to in the literature as scaffolding (e.g., Lantolf &Thorne, 2006; Osman & Herring, 2007, Storch, 2002, 2005).  Stoillo (2000) found that social interactions between learners and the instructor helped learners to engage in interactive and lengthy exchanges during their L2 learning in the CMC environment. The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Sociocultural Perspectives

8  Caplan et al. (2007) define social presence as “the ability to “feel” the other person’s presence during the mediated communication interactions” (p.43).  Social presence refers to the “degree that individuals perceive others to be real in the online environment” (Gallien & Oomen-Early, 2008, p.466). The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Social Presence in CMC

9 Social Presence Emotional Expression = ability/confidence to express feelings related to educational experience Humor Self-Disclosure =sharing of feelings/attitudes/experiences/interests Open Communication = reciprocal/respectful exchanges Mutual Awareness Use of reply feature Quoting directly Directing a comment at an individual Referring explicitly to content of others' messages Recognition of each other's Contributions Explicitly expressing appreciation/agreement Complimenting others Encouraging others Group Cohesion = activities that build/sustain a presence of group commitment; focused collaborative communication that builds participation/empathy Social Presence in the Framework of Community of Inquiry Garrison, Anderson and Archer (2000) Quoted from ( Arnold &Ducate, 2006, p.49)

10  Social presence is seen as essential for fostering relationships in CMC communities and appears to have a positive impact on student satisfaction and performance (Richardson & Swan, 2003).  Yodkamlue (2008) found that social presence promoted students’ cognitive presence, and there was a relationship between the degree of student online participation and their social presence. The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Social Presence in CMC

11  Researchers referred to ‘instructor presence’ in their studies as participating with the students’ interactions (i.e., taking part in online discussion forums) (e.g., Arnold & Ducate, 2006; Pawan et al., 2003), intervening with the students’ exchanges (e.g., Mazzolini & Maddison, 2003), and facilitating students’ online tasks (e.g., Fuchs, 2006) in the CMC environment. The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Instructor Presence in CMC

12  For the context of this study, ‘instructor presence’ will be defined as the involvement of the instructor with the students in the CMC environment and interacting with their contributions by engaging in their written discussion and social exchanges. Examples: discussing topics, giving opinions, negotiating, giving feedback, asking questions, clarifying statements, expressing emotions and complementing participants. The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Instructor Presence in CMC

13  Some studies indicate that the instructor presen (e.g., participating, discussing, facilitating, giving feedback) has a positive influence on students’ CMC interactions and consequently the instructor’s role is seen essential (e.g., Anderson et al., 2001; Fuchs, 2006; Gallien & Oomen-Early, 2008; LaPointe & Reisetter, 2008; Pawan et al., 2003; Zhang et al., 2007). The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 The Influence of Instructor Presence in CMC

14  ESL Students wrote more for their writing assignment, engaged more critically in discussing ACMC topics, and posted more messages than those who interacted only with their peers (Zhang et al., 2007).  L2 Students’ written exchanges in CMC discussions were highly interactive and mostly dominated by students when they interacted with their instructors. (Sotillo, 2000). The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 The Influence of Instructor Presence in CMC

15  On the other hand, other studies indicate that instructor presence in the CMC environment has a negative impact on students’ CMC interactions (e.g., Arnold & Ducate, 2006; Heckman & Annabi, 2005; Mazzolini & Maddison, 2003; Pena- Shaff & Nicholls, 2004; Osman & Herring, 2007). The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 The Influence of Instructor Presence in CMC

16  EFL Students engaged with each other in two-way dialogues and had higher level of social presence (Arnold & Ducate, 2006).  EFL Students did not engage in constructive and collaborative interactions when their instructors attempted to facilitate their CMC learning (Osman & Herring, 2007) The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 The Influence of Instructor Presence in CMC

17  Because instructor did not interact with the students’ CMC exchanges, peers’ collaborative CMC writing did not help students to increase the L2 grammatical accuracy of their writing (Kessler, 2009). It is suggested that a lower rate of instructor’s intervention with the students’ CMC exchanges would encourage their attentions to issues of accuracy (Kessler, 2009). The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 The Influence of Instructor Presence in CMC

18  There is a dearth of research on how L2 learners behave linguistically and socially during their interactions with and without the presence of their instructor in the CMC environment.  Does the presence of instructor promote, or hinder, students’ linguistic and social interactions in the CMC environment?  The small amount of research which has attempted to explore the instructor’s role in enhancing L2 learners’ interactions in the CMC environment is inconclusive. The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 A Gap in the Literature of L2 and CMC Research

19 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Research Questions  1) Do students’ interactions differ significantly in terms of linguistic features and social presence when they interact with as opposed to without their instructor in the CMC environment? If so:  1.1) How well do students maintain their interactions linguistically and socially when their instructor does not interact with them in student-to- student ACMC interaction?  1.2) How well do students maintain their interactions linguistically and socially when their instructor interacts with them in student-to-instructor ACMC interaction?

20  2) Does the instructor’s presence enhance students’ interactions in the CMC environment? If so:  2.1) Does the instructor’s presence encourage or discourage students to interact more linguistically and socially in the CMC environment and in what ways? The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Research Questions

21  3) Does the frequency of instructor presence affect students’ interactions in the CMC environment? If so:  3.1) Does a higher rate of the instructor’s presence encourage or discourage students to interact more linguistically and socially in the CMC environment and in what ways?  3.2) Does a lower rate of the instructor’s presence encourage or discourage students to interact more linguistically and socially in the CMC environment and in what ways? The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Research Questions

22  4) Is there an optimal rate of the instructor presence which will not hinder the interactions of students in the CMC environment? If so, what is it?  5) What are the perceptions and attitudes of Saudi EFL students towards the instructor’s presence in the CMC environment?  6) What are the perceptions and attitudes of Saudi EFL students towards the use of CMC environment in their EFL language learning? The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Research Questions

23 Level of ACMC Interaction Analysis Analytical Categories Linguistic Features (Herring, 2001, 2004) Participation Patterns = the number and the length of token, messages, paragraphs, and threads of the discourse. Turns Taking = the rate of the participants’ participations, the length of their turns, and the type of their interactions. Grammatical Complexity and Accuracy = the use of different verb forms, the morphology of tenses, the passive voices, nominalizations, subordinating and relative clauses, and the definite and indefinite articles. Social Presence (Garrison et al., 2000, 2001; Rourke et al. 1999, 2001) Emotional Expressions = referring aspects of humor, sharing feelings about experiences or repetitious punctuation. Mutual Awareness and Recognition of other’s Contributions = referring to others’ comments or quoting someone, and recognition of each other’s contributions. Group Cohesion = building a sense of a social group.

24  The study will utilize a mixed-methods methodology in collecting the research data and analyzing the data sets.  The site of this study will be the English Department of the Faculty of Languages and Translation (FLT) at King Khalid University (KKU) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Research Methodology

25 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Research Design ParticipantsData Instrument 150 Saudi University EFL Students 30 Students 1) CMC forums. 2) A questionnaire of closed and open-ended questions. 3) A focus group interview of open-ended questions. 120 Students 1) CMC forums. 2) A questionnaire of closed and open-ended questions.

26 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Research Design Participants Student-to-Student ACMC Interaction Student-to-Instructor ACMC Interaction Frequency of Instructor’s Presence 30 Students 15 Higher-freq. (6 postings a day) 15Lower-freq. (3 postings a day) 120 Students120 Duration of ACMC Interactions 2 weeks

27 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Research Design MaterialsStudent-to-StudentStudent-to-Instructor CMC Environment Asynchronous CMC (ACMC) 2 online forums Asynchronous CMC (ACMC) 2 online forums CMC Tasks7 discussion topics

28

29

30

31 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Research Design ConstructAnalysis Linguistic Features Computer-Mediated Discourse Analysis (CMDA) (Herring, 2001, 2004) Social Presence Community of Inquiry (CoI) Framework (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2000) Perceptions and Attitudes Descriptive statistics and narrative procedures

32 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Research Design Linguistic Features Analysis Participation Patterns 1.Number of words (quantity or fluency) 2.Richness of vocabulary/textual quality (lexical diversity) 3.Word length (lexical sophistication) 4.Average number of words per sentence (syntactic complexity)  Using program (Ellis & Barkhuizen, 2005; Kol & Schcolnik, 2008; Ortega, 2003) Turns Taking 1.The frequency of students’ turns (the number of turns) 2.The length of students’ turns (average number of words per turn) 3.The type of students’ turns (the direction of interaction) (Ellis & Barkhuizen, 2005)

33 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Research Design Linguistic FeaturesAnalysis Grammatical Complexity 1.T-units 2.Clauses  Independent clauses  Dependent clauses  Embedded clauses ( Foster et al., 2000; Hunt, 1966; Sotillo, 2000; Storch, 2005 )

34 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Research Design Linguistic FeaturesAnalysis Grammatical Accuracy 1.Articles (definite and indefinite) 2.Verbs formation (main verbs: regulars and irregulars, and helping verbs: to be, to do, to have, and modals ) 3.Tense/aspect choice and formation (present, continuous, past, prefect, future, passive voice) 4.Vocabulary choice 5.Spellings 6.Capitalizations (Kessler, 2009; Storch,1999, 2005 )

35 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Research Design Guidelines for coding and assessing linguistic features: (Polio, 1997; Sotillo, 2000; Storch, 2005) T-Units 1.A T-unit is defined as either an independent clause and all its attached or embedded dependent clauses, or an independent clause only. 2.Count run-on sentences as 2 T-units. 3.Count sentences fragments---only when the verb or copula is missing---as a T-unit (Storch, 2005). 4.Do not count imperatives and noun phrases (NP) as T-units. 5.A coordinate clause without having a subject is not counted as a separate T-unit. 6.Count clauses in parenthesis as separate T-units. 7.Quotes from others should not be counted as T-units.

36 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Research Design Guidelines for coding and assessing linguistic features: (Polio, 1997; Sotillo, 2000; Storch, 2005) Clauses 1.Independent Clause: a grammatical structure that contains a subject (noun, pronoun) and a verb (main, helping, modal) and can stand on its own, as it expresses a complete thought. 2.Dependent Clause: a clause that contains finite and non-finite verbs and one additional clause element of subject, object, complement, or adverbial (Storch, 2005). Dependent clause cannot stand on its own and must appear with an independent clause. 3.Embedded clause is introduced by complementizer words such as that, which, who, for (Sotillo, 2000). 4.Dependent clause can be introduced by any of the below subordinating conjunctions: after, although, because, if, until, where, since, when, while, as if, as though, so that, in order that, so as, in order, as (many) as, more than, although, even though, despite, so (that). 5.Imperatives that require subjects are still considered as dependent clauses

37 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Research Design Guidelines for coding and assessing linguistic features: (Polio, 1997; Sotillo, 2000; Storch, 2005) Errors 1.Count verbs omissions as errors. 2.According to the context of the preceding discourse, count incorrect tense/aspect choice or formation as errors. 3.Count word/expression choice as error if it changes meaning or is considered to be wrong choice. 4.Count articles omissions or incorrect uses as errors. 5.Count incorrect spellings as errors. 6.Errors of capitalization are counted.

38 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Research Design Social PresenceAnalysis Emotional Expressions 3 indicators Mutual Awareness and Recognition of others’ Contributions 6 indicators Group cohesion 3 indicators (Arnold & Ducate, 2006; Lomicka & Lord, 2007; Yodkamlue, 2008) Coding Scheme (Rourke, Anderson, Archer and Garrison, 2001) 

39 CategoryIndicatorsDefinitionExample Affective [Emotional Expressions] Expression of emotions Conventional expressions of emotion or unconventional expressions of emotions, includes, repetitious punctuation, conspicuous capitalization, emotions “I just can’t stand it when…!!!!” “ANYBODY OUT THERE!” Use of humor Teasing, cajoling, irony, understatements, sarcasm The banana crop in is looking good this year;-) Self-disclosure Presents details of life outside of class, or express vulnerability “Where I work, this is what we do…”I just don’t understand this question” Interactive [Mutual Awareness and Recognition of other’s contributions] Continuing a thread Using reply feature of software, rather than starting a new thread. Software dependent, e.g., “Subject: Re” or "Branch from" Quoting from others’ messages. Using software features to quote others entire message or cut and pasting selections of others messages. Software dependent, or e.g., “Martha writes:”or text prefaced by less than symbol<. Referring explicitly to others' messages Direct references to contents of others’ posts. “In your message, you talked about Moore's distinction between…” Asking questions Students ask questions of other students or the moderator. “Anyone else had experience with WEBCT?” Complimenting, expressing appreciation Complimenting others or contents of others messages. “I really like your interpretation of the reading” Expressing agreement Expressing agreement with others or content of others' messages. “I was thinking the same thing. You really hit the nail on the head.” Cohesive [Group Cohesion] Vocatives Addressing or referring to participants by name. “I think John made a good point.” “John, what do you think?” Addresses or refers to the group using inclusive pronouns Addresses the group as we, us, our, group. “Our textbook refers to…”, “I think we veered off track…” Phatics, salutationsCommunication that serves a purely social function; greetings, closures. “Hi all,” “That’s it for now” “We’re having the most beautiful weather here”

40 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Research Design Pilot Study  5 Saudi EFL university students/student-to-instructor interaction/9 days/2 topics/18 postings.  Questionnaire/focus group interview. Findings  Students’ interactions seem to have sophisticated L2 discourse.  They interacted socially.  They had positive perceptions and attitudes. Applying the study analysis approach to an archive data (2007).  5 Saudi EFL university students/student-to-student, student-to-instructor/2 weeks/6 topics/38 postings of students’ interactions were examined.

41 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Linguistic Interactions of Saudi EFL Students Participation patterns of students’ ACMC interactions Interactional pairings Student-to-Student N=19 Student-to-Instructor N=19 Participation PatternsMSDM Quantity* Lexical Diversity** Lexical Sophistication*** Syntactic Complexity**** *number of words **the ratio of different words to the total number of words ***average number of syllables per word ****average number of words per sentence

42 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Linguistic Interactions of Saudi EFL Students The differences of students’ participation patterns Participation Patterns (student-to-student)-(student-to-instructor) tdfp Quantity Lexical Diversity * Lexical Sophistication Syntactic Complexity *indicates values significant at p <.001

43 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Linguistic Interactions of Saudi EFL Students Students’ grammatical complexity and accuracy Interactional Pairings Student-to-Student N=19 Student-to-Instructor N=19 Grammatical Complexity and Accuracy MSDM T-units Error-free T-units Clauses Error-free Clauses Independent Clauses Dependent Clauses Embedded Clauses

44 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Linguistic Interactions of Saudi EFL Students The differences of students’ grammatical complexity and accuracy Grammatical Complexity and Accuracy (student-to-student)-(student-to-instructor) tdfp T-units Error-free T-units * Clauses Error-free Clauses Independent Clauses Dependent Clauses Embedded Clauses *indicates values significant at p <.05

45 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Social Interactions of Saudi EFL Students The degree of social presence in students’ ACMC interactions Interactional pairings Student-to-Student N=19 Student-to-Instructor N=19 Social PresenceMSDM Emotional Expression Mutual Awareness and Recognition of others contributions Group Cohesion

46 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Social Interactions of Saudi EFL Students The differences of students’ social presence The Categories of Social Presence (student-to-student)-(student-to-instructor) tdfp Emotional Expressions Mutual Awareness and Recognition of others Contributions Group Cohesion

47 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Social Interactions of Saudi EFL Students Emotional Expressions 1) [ I am not happy when i see that this topic will be the last one. Indeed, I swear, I find benefit of this group discussion. ] 2) [ Stocks seem to be a gambling game I know many people who have lost millions] 3) [ To me, after I will get a job I will immediately get loans from the bank because I want to replace my VERY OLD CAR. ] Mutual Awareness and Recognition of others Contributions 4) [ i do agree with my friends about what they have written. ] 5) [ Thank you for opennig this topic for discussion ] Group Cohesion 6) [ Before we find out area or place for smoking. why don't we find a very helpful solution ] 7) [ I am happy for your participation Mr. Ali]

48 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Linguistic Interactions of Saudi EFL Students Grammatical Complexity and Accuracy A 1) [well, i don't think {that T.V. prevent person from others} or {destroy the communication between family and friends}] B 2) [(if a teacher knows {that there are some people or students {will evaluate him}}), he will work hard and (do his best (to show {that he deserves his job})) ] A 3) [nowadays communication between people start losing it’s importance day after day] and [people start focusing in their own issues and (losing their sense of solidarity)] B 4) [I am sure {that our students have their own criteria (to evaluate their teachers’ performance)}] and [I hope {that we could implement our students role (by giving them the chance (to say their words freely and objectivly))}] A: student-to-student B: student-to-instructor [ ] T-unit ( ) dependent clause { } embedded clause

49 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 Linguistic Interactions of Saudi EFL Students Simple Sentences B 1) [ In libraries, it is difficult to find NEW books] but [in internet it is easy.] B 2) [ Not all students are serious], [ some of them are lazy], and [ some of them are active.] Complex Sentences B 3) [Anyway I am neither with nor against getting loans from banks ] but [again managing one’s income is the magic solution for many financial crises.] B 4) [Thank you for opennig this topic for discussion (because I think this is very critical and controversal topic) and (overgeneralization is not acceptable in any way in this issue).] B: student-to-instructor ACMC interaction [ ] T-unit ( ) dependent clause { } embedded clause

50 The Second Annual Language and Society Centre Roundtable February 2010 The Perceptions' of Saudi EFL Students Language during ACMC interaction 1) “When I write something with mistakes then I see what I write, I know my mistakes and try not to do same mistake any more” 2) “I write…with concentration and take care of making mistake” 3) “I think it is the best way to teach writing, because I knew spelling of difficult words and their meaning”, “I suggest that college should do like this group in every writing course” 4) “the most interesting thing is having the ability to access to other participants' minds by reading their points of views and discussing that ideas freely” Interacting in student-to-student / student-to-instructor 5) “they are the same because all of us are English non-native speakers. So we may make mistakes and get benefit from each other” 6) “I feel comfortable with student-teacher because you know that you will find benefits such as correcting mistakes and giving topics”

51 Thank you very much Ali Alamir Thank you very much Ali Alamir

52 References References

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