Culture and Language Learning in Computer-Enhanced or Assisted Language Learning

Culture and Language Learning in Computer-Enhanced or Assisted Language Learning

Bolanle A. Olaniran (Texas Tech University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-166-7.ch005
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This chapter explores computer-mediated communication (CMC) and information communication technology (ICT) use in language learning. More specifically, the chapter addresses the impact or implications of CMC tools for computer enhanced language learning. The chapter attempts to present a review of key literature in adaptation of communication technologies to teaching or learning language in general and specifically second language acquisition. The chapter stresses the need to understand culture and contextual appropriateness of language, thus, it argues for communication technology to be used as a secondary resource rather than a primary tool for language learners. The discussion addresses the dimensions of cultural variability with respect to language learning. At the same time, features of synchronous and asynchronous CMC were analyzed in the context of language learning. Finally, the chapter addresses implications for language learning in computer mediated communication or computer assisted environments.
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Deep learning - which involves the use of class projects with the aid of technology and inquiry to engage students in with practical issues they can relate, in comparison to active learning – that puts responsibility of learning on learners has been offered by the constructivists as a good approach to foster learning environment that allows students to take control of how they learn with a key emphasis on social interaction (Driscoll, 2000; Gunawardena, Low, & Anderson, 1997). However, there is controversy about the degree to which synchronous CMC (e.g., Chat) offers a greater level of interactivity than asynchronous CMC in terms of immediate feedback that can enrich cognitive learning in online courses (Herring & Nix, 1997; Ko, 1996; Wang & Newlin, 2001). The main question to be addressed is whether language, especially new language learning, can be enhanced by CMC when taking culture into account. After all, it is not sufficient to learn just the rudiments of a language, but rather the contextual appropriateness of a language is what determines the competency at which a second language (L2) learner will be judged and evaluated. Furthermore, the contextual appropriateness of 2L points to the importance of culture in language learning.

Main Focus

The challenge of culture in e-learning environments has been identified (Olaniran, 2007a). Furthermore, students participating in computer-mediated or online courses where foreign language is the mode of interaction are at a disadvantage when the courses involve collaboration and discussion (Bates, 1999; Olaniran, 2007a; Osman & Herring, 2007). The reason is that absence of visual cues and nonverbal cues affects mastery of language accuracy and fluency, which affects effectiveness of communication interaction as a whole. Culture introduces certain complexity to learning as a whole and specifically to second language (2L) comprehension with CMC and accompanying communication technologies. To this end, a number of scholars have called for the importance of considering culture and language when designing curriculum for international students in computer environments (Morse, 2003, Olaniran, 2007a, 2007b; Osman & Herring, 2007; Patsula, 2002; St Amant, 2005; Usun, 2004). First, however, it is necessary to introduce the dimension of cultural variability as an overarching point of departure in the role of culture learning and specifically in e-learning. The dimension of cultural variability is important to draw implication for computer enhanced language learning.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Chao-Han Liu
Chapter 1
Lorna Uden, Nian-Shing Chen, Chun-Wang Wei, Jui-Chu Fan
The implementation of Online Synchronous Learning (OSL) poses many challenges to existing instruction technology theory because of the complexity of... Sample PDF
Online Synchronous English Learning from Activity Theory Perspectives
Chapter 2
Eva Lindgren, Kirk P.H. Sullivan, Mats Deutschmann, Anders Steinvall
In a case study a University class undertook a translation from Swedish to English in a keystroke logging environment and then replayed their... Sample PDF
Supporting Learner Reflection in the Language Translation Class
Chapter 3
Katsunori Kotani, Takehiko Yoshimi, Takeshi Kutsumi, Ichiko Sata, Hitoshi Isahara
In this chapter, the authors examined reading evaluation methods for foreign language learners based on learners’ reading processes. The goal of... Sample PDF
A Reading Evaluation Method for English as a Foreign Language Learners Based on Reading Performances
Chapter 4
Robert Ariew, Jeremy Palmer
Enrollments in Arabic language programs are rapidly growing throughout the United States. Until recently, Arabic has received minimal attention in... Sample PDF
Developing Hypertext Reading Materials for the Teaching of Arabic
Chapter 5
Bolanle A. Olaniran
This chapter explores computer-mediated communication (CMC) and information communication technology (ICT) use in language learning. More... Sample PDF
Culture and Language Learning in Computer-Enhanced or Assisted Language Learning
Chapter 6
Indi Marie Williams, Heather N. Warren, Bolanle A. Olaniran
Within a globalized society, foreign language acquisition is essential to promote intercultural global communication. For many, the use of... Sample PDF
Achieving Cultural Acquiescence Through Foreign Language E-Learning
Chapter 7
Eleonora Pantano, Assunta Tavernise
This chapter aims at illustrating how Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) could be used to exploit and disseminate Cultural Heritage... Sample PDF
Learning Cultural Heritage Through Information and Communication Technologies: A Case Study
Chapter 8
Wei-Peng Lien, Rita Kuo, Maiga Chang
This project aimed to construct a Blended Learning model with a lecture-review Web site, which would support students’ self-learning at home or in... Sample PDF
Using Blended Learning to Teach Foreign Brides Chinese
Chapter 9
Terence Murphy
One central task faced by those interested in the corpus analysis of second language writing is how to measure ESL textual sophistication. While... Sample PDF
Exploring the Concept of Emergent Coherence in a Corpus of Korean EFL Texts
Chapter 10
Giuseppe Conti, Raffaele De Amicis, Gabrio Girardi, Michele Andreolli, Stefano Piffer
In the past years the adoption of computer graphics to improve learning experience has seen a rising success. The wide availability of dedicated... Sample PDF
The Role of Interactive Computer Graphics to Augment the Learning Experience of Cultural Heritage Within Museums and Expositions
Chapter 11
Yue Ming, Zhenjiang Miao
This chapter was inspired by the work of the designers of a Mandarin language e-learning as they attempted to find the best solution to deal with... Sample PDF
A Mandarin E-Learning System in Pervasive Environment
Chapter 12
Jiyou Jia
Computer Simulation in Educational Communication (CSIEC), is not only an intelligent Web-based human-computer dialogue system with natural language... Sample PDF
An Intelligent Web-Based Human-Computer Interaction System with Natural Language CSIEC and its Integration into English Instruction
Chapter 13
Hamdi Erkunt
Can a traditional college course be enhanced with online collaborative learning, with similar attributes to knowledge work in the modern world? Can... Sample PDF
Developing Electronic Portfolios in a Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Environment
Chapter 14
Min Kang
The goal of this chapter is to explain several experiments carried out by our research group to explore whether synthetic speech can be currently... Sample PDF
Synthetic Speech in Computer-Enhanced Foreign Language Learning
Chapter 15
Niki Lambropoulos, Martha Christopoulou, Kosmas Vlachos
This chapter presents culture-based language-learning objects (CLLOs) in computer-assisted language learning (CALL), supported by user-centered... Sample PDF
Culture-Based Language Learning Objects: A CALL Approach for a Ubiquitous World
Chapter 16
Nektaria Palaiologou
Nowadays, it is a common ascertainment that information and communication technologies (ICTs) and networked learning are not easy to access for many... Sample PDF
Intercultural Dimensions in the Information Society: Reflections on Designing and Developing Culturally Oriented Learning
Chapter 17
Karen L. Murphy, Yakut Gazi, Lauren Cifuentes
This chapter addresses the question, “How can we overcome potential cultural discontinuities in online collaborative project-based learning... Sample PDF
Intercultural Collaborative Project-Based Learning in Online Environments
Chapter 18
Diane Boehm, Lilianna Aniola-Jedrzejek
This chapter presents seven principles of good practice for conducting virtual international collaborations with students. The authors have... Sample PDF
Seven Principles of Good Practice for Virtual International Collaboration
Chapter 19
Rita Zaltsman
The present chapter assesses the key questions of communication barriers in distance learning virtual communities. To examine their cultural... Sample PDF
Communication Barriers and Conflicts in Cross-Cultural E-Learning
About the Contributors