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26 January 2005 University of Cambridge Language Centre 1 The Myths and Realities of E-Language Learning: CULP Nebojša Radić Language Centre.

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Presentation on theme: "26 January 2005 University of Cambridge Language Centre 1 The Myths and Realities of E-Language Learning: CULP Nebojša Radić Language Centre."— Presentation transcript:

1 26 January 2005 University of Cambridge Language Centre 1 The Myths and Realities of E-Language Learning: CULP Nebojša Radić Language Centre University of Cambridge

2 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre2 The Language Centre of the University of Cambridge ▫ Following a Review in 1999, the Language Centre has now as its Mission “to provide language-learning opportunities to all members of the University “ ▫ Following a Review in 1999, the Language Centre has now as its Mission “to provide language-learning opportunities to all members of the University “ ▫ Dual challenge of quantity and quality: - Quantity: in terms of increased numbers of learners - Quality: in terms of varying and diverse needs ▫ The “John Trim” Independent Learning Centre: ▫ The “John Trim” Independent Learning Centre: - Self-access to resources in 150 languages (multimedia, print, online, CD ROM, DVD, satellite TV) - Discussion groups - Learning advisors ▫ Taught courses since 2000: CULP, Pressland Fund, EAP ▫ Taught courses since 2000: CULP, Pressland Fund, EAP

3 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre3 CULP The Cambridge University Language Programme ▫ Non-specialist language learners

4 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre4 CULP: some basic facts - French, German, Italian, Spanish & Chinese - 1,100 students - 58 groups - 18 teachers - 4 teaching rooms - Teaching:12-7pm in Michaelmas/Lent 10am-7pm Long vacation

5 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre5 Fees ▫ Students - £ 40 ▫ Students - £ 40 ▫ Staff- £130 ▫ Staff- £130

6 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre6 Student numbers YearApplicationsEnrolments 00/ / / / /

7 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre7 Enrolments

8 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre8 Enrolments per language ’04/’05 LanguageEnrolments French370 German170 Italian180 Spanish360 Chinese20 Total1100

9 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre9 Enrolments ’04/’05

10 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre10 Student background ▫ 53 different countries of origin (’02 data) ▫ Most from the UK - 41% ▫ 60 different mother tongues: - English - 63% - German/Chinese - 6 % - Greek, Spanish, Italian & French - 3-4% ▫ 60% graduates ▫ 32% were undergraduates ▫ 8% staff ▫ ONLY 15 % with experience in computer-mediated language instruction

11 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre11 Delivery Three modes: ▫ 45 hour-course over 15 weeks / 2 terms - 2 hrs F2F weekly - 1 hr online over the Uni. broadband network ▫ 45 hour-course over 15 weeks / 2 terms (pilot) - 1 hr F2F weekly - 2 hr online over the Uni. broadband network - 10 students per group - 10 students per group ▫ 45 hour-course over 15 days / 3 weeks during the LV: - 2 F2F daily - 1 hr online over the Uni. broadband network

12 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre12 CULP and distributed-Learning Classroom+Multimedia interactive materials delivered online

13 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre13 Distributed-learning “... A distributed learning environment is a learner-centred approach to education, which integrates a number of technologies to enable opportunities for activities and interaction in both asynchronous and real-time modes. The model is based on blending a choice of appropriate technologies with aspects of campus-based delivery, open learning systems and distance education. The approach gives instructors the flexibility to customize learning environments to meet the needs of diverse student populations, while providing both high quality and cost-effective learning... For example, we now have courses for fully registered, on-campus students where a substantial part is available on the Web or on CD-ROM. Students can access this material at any time, from either terminals on the campus, or from home. It certainly makes the course more easily accessible and convenient for students than attending lectures at a set place and at a set time. However, these students have to be 'resident', i.e. available for lectures. This is certainly distributed learning, but it is not distance learning. Nor is it open learning, since students have to meet all the stringent entrance requirements to be registered as a UBC student.” Bates (1996)

14 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre14 Why distributed learning? ▫ Pedagogical considerations: ▫ Pedagogical considerations: - Authentic materials delivered online - Flexibility in time, space and pace - Caters for a diversity of learning paces, styles, needs and proficiency levels ▫ Practical considerations: ▫ Practical considerations: - Flexibility in time and space - Student numbers Vs classroom space - Student attendance

15 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre15 Two distinct learning environments ▫ The ONLINE ▫ The ONLINE ▫ The CLASSROOM ▫ The CLASSROOM

16 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre16 The online ▫Interactive multimedia materials designed and produced in-house - Delivered online - Accessible on any computer ▫Key features: - Video/audio input - Language functions (audio) - Activities (comprehension, extension, manipulation, production) - Grammar notes - Cultural notes (audio) - Interactive self-test - Audio Glossary

17 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre17 The classroom - 20 students - Networked multimedia and DVD capable computers - Audio/video players - White boards - OHP

18 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre18 Pedagogical aspects of the two environments ONLINE - Input - Noticing - (Non)open-ended communication exercises - Asynchronous discussion forums? CLASSROOM: - Social aspect - Communication (role-plays → open-ended comm.) - Negotiation of meaning

19 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre19 CULP methodology ▫ Learner support > student as independent, life- long learner ▫ Focus on listening, speaking and reading skills ▫ Functional-notional syllabus promotes transactional and situational language

20 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre20 The challenges Key areas: 1. Online materials development as part of an “action research cycle” 2.Integration of the online <> classroom 3.Students as “Life long language learners” 4.Teacher training: - Application of technology in materials development - Methodology of communicative teaching with tech. 5. Sustainability

21 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre21 The “action research cycle” ▫ Evaluation ▫ Analyses ▫ Report ▫ Design ▫ Development: - Content providers - Web page designers - Programmers - Audio/visual technicians

22 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre22 Integration online <> classroom ▫ CULP does not feature a textbook ▫ What skills? - Online: Mainly listening and reading - Classroom: Mainly speaking, communication ▫ Two technologically defined environments into a pedagogically meaningful one

23 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre23 Teacher training ▫ Part-time teachers in ongoing training: - Online content provision - Principles of communicative language teaching - Teachers as learner support - Teachers as learner support - Retention and professionalisation of teaching cadre - Materials development for classroom presentation

24 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre24 The “best” methodology “Despite the appeal of methods, their past history is somewhat of an embarrassment. Studies of the effectiveness of specific methods have had a hard time demonstrating that the method itself, rather that other factors, such as the teacher‘s enthusiasm or the novelty of the new method, was the crucial variable. Likewise, observers of teachers using specific methods have reported that teachers seldom conform to the methods they are supposed to be following.” Richards (1990)

25 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre25 The Importance of the: VARIABLES - Institutional context - Pedagogical context - Motivation - Students’ cultural, linguistic, educational background - Learning styles … etc.

26 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre26 And the role of: CUSTOM MADE TEACHING/LEARNING MATERIALS

27 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre27 Sustainability ▫ University ▫ Fees revenue ▫ Seminars (UCLES) ▫ Projects with partners (LAYF with BBC, EAYF with Tsinghua University) ▫ Implementation in other institutions ▫ Junior CULP

28 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre28 Junior CULP ▫ With St Ivo and Impington VC (supported by the DfES) ▫ At the U of Cambridge LC ▫ Pilot in summer ’04: 11 students ▫ Fully-fledged pilot in ’04/’05 ▫ St Ivo and IVC: 76 students - 56 French intermediate - 20 Spanish basic ▫ 3 intensive weeks (75 hrs), 3 Saturdays (15 hrs) ▫ Server installed in schools, web page, asynchronous discussion forum ▫ Total: 120 hrs of which 90 hrs F2F and 30 hrs online ▫ Model for other institutions?

29 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre29 Junior CULP impact Part 1 Dear Government, I am a pupil at St. Ivo school in St. Ives, Cambridgeshire and I am writing to thank you on behalf of our year group. You selected our school to participate in a language course. We were very happy to hear about this news as we had the chance to go to Cambridge Language Centre to study intermediate French and beginner Spanish. Spanish was very popular due to the school not being able to teach us it so everyone was looking forward to it. The first sessions were on a Saturday and I expected it to be a huge centre with lots of computers. Of course when I got there it was different but I still enjoyed it. It is smaller than I thought with lots of computers and with about 500 different languages coming to the Centre via aerials.

30 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre30 Part 2 Everyone was really excited on the bus and we just couldn’t wait to get there. As soon as we got there we split up into the Spanish and French groups. I was in the Spanish group so that’s all I can tell you about, we sat down, received our folders, and then we were shown around the centre and went back into the classroom to start learning. Every so often we would go into the computer suite and fill in work sheets to do with the project. The day was fabulous and the next one is a Saturday in February. We just can’t believe what a valuable course this is. Everyone is really pleased that you chose us and we can’t thank you enough. Thank you, Zoe London

31 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre31 SCHML workshop questions 1. Appropriacy of the medium: benefits pedagogically/managerially rather than ‘just because it’s there’ 2. Development of courses/materials: investment required both financially and in terms of staff time; 3. Maintenance and updating: investment required both financially and in terms of staff time; 4. Staff development requirements for both development and delivery; 5. Workloads: saving ‘traditional’ contact time but at what costs in terms of on-line delivery time (how do we combat the notion in management that it frees up time for other activities, how do we calculate workloads in terms of contact hours per week for staff etc…..) 6. How is e-learning effective and in what areas of language teaching? 7. Definitions of e-learning: e.g. synonymous with distance/blended/independent/distributed learning: do we know what we mean by these?

32 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre32 E-languages: myths and realities E-languages: myths and realities ▫ Appropriacy of the medium: benefits pedagogically/managerially - Authentic audio/visual input - Multimedia learning tools - Appropriate use of F2F and of online - Appropriate use of F2F and of online - Flexibility in time, space, learning style and pace - Room allocation issues

33 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre33 ▫ Maintenance and updating: investment required both financially and in terms of staff time: - The learning environment of the new generations!

34 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre34 ▫ Development of courses/materials: investment required both financially and in terms of staff time: - Different type of engagement - Custom made multimedia materials

35 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre35 ▫ Staff development requirements for both development and delivery: - Ongoing teacher training

36 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre36 ▫ Workloads: saving ‘traditional’ contact time but at what costs in terms of on-line delivery time (how do we combat the notion in management that it frees up time for other activities, how do we calculate workloads in terms of contact hours per week for staff etc…..) “A teacher who fears being replaced by technology should be replaced!” Unknown

37 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre37 ▫ How is e-learning effective and in what areas of language teaching? - Audio/video - Satellite TV - Audio enhanced glossaries - Asynchronous discussion forums - Flexibility in time/space/pace/learning style INPUT (receptive skills) VsOUTPUT (reproductive skills) - social context - open ended communication

38 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre38 ▫ Definitions of e-learning: e.g. synonymous with distance/blended/independent/distributed learning: do we know what we mean by these? - Distance - Blended/distributed - Independent

39 26 January 2005University of Cambridge Language Centre39 Cambridge University Language Programme


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