Internet Technologies and Language Teacher Education

Internet Technologies and Language Teacher Education

Darren Elliott (Nanzan University, Japan)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-190-2.ch023
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Abstract

This chapter looks at the ways in which teacher training and teacher development are taking place online. It seeks to address the ways in which teachers learn to teach and considers how “Web 2.0” applications and other collaborative, interactive technologies may transform teacher education. In an overview of teacher development theories, including social constructivism and critical reflection, the chapter attempts to situate current practices in relation to research in teacher learning. The second part of the chapter focuses on blended and distance learning, Computer Mediated Communication, and the applicability of Web 2.0 applications to teacher development. It is hoped that the chapter will provide a useful summary for teacher trainers and classroom practitioners who are hoping to use technology for developmental purposes. At the same time, it may assist those who are working with technology but are less familiar with the context of how teachers learn.
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Introduction

English Language teachers are a disparate and diverse professional group. There are teachers working in tertiary, secondary and primary education, as well as private institutions, across the globe. Teachers may work with students on a one-to-one basis, or teach hundreds at a time. Certain approaches or methodologies are practiced rigidly by some, while others take a more eclectic approach. It is also very important to remember that the vast majority of English teachers are not native speakers of the language.

Teachers from different contexts also learn to teach in different ways. Non-native speakers of English, especially those working in state sponsored institutions, usually require nationally recognized qualifications to enter the profession, with formally established developmental pathways. On the other hand, many native speakers come to English Language Teaching with little or no specific teacher training. This chapter will deal with the idea that, whether teachers are “educated” in directed programmes or they “develop” through experience and reflection, all teachers are to some degree responsible for their own growth. The assertion is that all teachers operate in their own “spaces,” both metaphorically and literally, and the issue of how they develop themselves professionally is a pertinent one. As the Internet evolves, the options for both teachers and teacher educators are changing; flexibility across time and space is improving and new paradigms of interaction are beginning to gain credibility.

Changes in the role and influence of ICT in teacher development occur very quickly. Technology cannot yet meet the goals of some practitioners, who are glimpsing the possibilities of this new world. As they race ahead, there are far more who are in danger of being left behind. The digitally poor, who do not have the equipment, the knowledge or the confidence to enter the online world fully, may be missing out on developmental opportunities. Normalization, as defined by Bax (2003), is not a uniform process. However, even those who are not familiar with the term “Web 2.0” may well be familiar with some of the applications to which it refers. What Web 2.0 is exactly is not so easy to define. O’Reilly’s (2005) comparative list of Web 1.0 and 2.0 applications has been much re-presented, and remains one of the pithiest distillations of the concept. Kelly (2005) was almost evangelical over the development of Web 2.0 as a religious “Beginning,” which concerned Carr (2005) greatly. His criticism of those who sought to assign ethical values to technology is not directly relevant here, although it is worth remembering that computers are merely tools and will never be a panacea for all social or educational problems. Tim Berners-Lee, one of the Internet’s founding fathers, is somewhat cautious about the term, and has complained that it “lacked coherent meaning,” having become a marketing buzzword (quoted in Anderson, 2006). Brown’s insights (2007) into the links between constructivist theories of learning, CMS (Content Management Systems) and Web 2.0 in education seem especially apposite to this study. He drew parallels between the characteristics of Web 2.0 and the learning paradigm (active, multilateral, engaged), as opposed to Web 1.0’s traditional teacher centred style, and cautiously suggested layering higher education CMS’s with appropriate Web 2.0 applications.

Despite some misgivings about the term itself, what is undeniable is that millions of people have access to broadband, and that interactive Web applications and platforms are now increasingly part of the mainstream. This chapter approaches the Internet from the perspective of teacher education and defines Web 2.0 as a platform through which tools can be accessed, a shared space for collaboration, and as a repository of knowledge which can be added to, manipulated and re-presented.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Teacher Development: Self-initiated or directed activities which enable the teacher to learn more about teaching and / or themselves.

Social Constructivism: A learning theory. Each of us is shaped by our experiences and interactions. Each new experience or interaction is taken into our schemata and shapes our perspectives and behaviour.

Metacognition: This term is used in cognitive theory to describe the awareness of one’s own thinking or cognitive processes in order to improve self-development.

Reflection: The act of critical consideration on experience, in order to grow.

Novice / Expert: A teachers experience and confidence leads to expertise. Novice teachers may be skilful, but experience enables teachers to know “what to do.” Expertise is neither a permanent state nor a foregone conclusion.

Virtual Learning Environment: A platform which allows educators to deliver material, interact with learners and track progress.

Teacher Training: A top-down process in which teachers are equipped to teach. Based on the evaluation of competencies.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Foreword
Mark Warschauer
Preface
Michael Thomas
Acknowledgment
Michael Thomas
Chapter 1
Michael Vallance, Kay Vallance, Masahiro Matsui
The grand narrative of educational policy statements lack clear guidelines on Information Communications Technology (ICT) integration. A review of... Sample PDF
Criteria for the Implementation of Learning Technologies
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Chapter 2
Mark Pegrum
This chapter discusses the application of a range of Web 2.0 technologies to language education. It argues that Web 2.0 is fundamentally about... Sample PDF
Communicative Networking and Linguistic Mashups on Web 2.0
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Chapter 3
Bernd Rüschoff
Current thinking in SLA methodology favours knowledge construction rather than simple instructivist learning as an appropriate paradigm for language... Sample PDF
Output-Oriented Language Learning With Digital Media
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Chapter 4
Infoxication 2.0  (pages 60-79)
Elena Benito-Ruiz
This chapter reviews the issue of information overload, introducing the concept of “infoxication 2.0” as one of the main downsides to Web 2.0. The... Sample PDF
Infoxication 2.0
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Chapter 5
Margaret Rasulo
The aim of this chapter is to discuss the effectiveness and the necessity of forming a community when engaged in online learning. The Internet and... Sample PDF
The Role of Community Formation in Learning Processes
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Chapter 6
Tony Mullen, Christine Appel, Trevor Shanklin
An important aspect of the Web 2.0 phenomenon is the use of Web-embedded and integrated non-browser Internet applications to facilitate... Sample PDF
Skype-Based Tandem Language Learning and Web 2.0
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Chapter 7
Gary Motteram, Susan Brown
Web 2.0 offers potentially powerful tools for the field of language education. As language teacher tutors exploring Web 2.0 with participants on an... Sample PDF
A Context-Based Approach to Web 2.0 and Language Education
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Chapter 8
Lut Baten, Nicolas Bouckaert, Kan Yingli
This case study describes how a project-based approach offers valuable new opportunities for graduate students to equip them with the necessary... Sample PDF
The Use of Communities in a Virtual Learning Environment
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Chapter 9
George R. MacLean, James A. Elwood
Prensky (2001) posited the emergence of a new generation of “digital natives” fluent in the language of cyberspace and familiar with the tools of... Sample PDF
Digital Natives, Learner Perceptions and the Use of ICT
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Chapter 10
Steve McCarty
In a cross-cultural educational context of TEFL in Japan, the author sought to enhance the integrative motivation of students toward the target... Sample PDF
Social Networking Behind Student Lines in Japan
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Chapter 11
Antonie Alm
This chapter discusses the use of blogs for foreign and second language (L2) learning. It first outlines the suitability of blogs for language... Sample PDF
Blogging for Self-Determination with L2 Learner Journals
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Chapter 12
Revathi Viswanathan
Training ESL students in soft skills and employability skills with the help of Web 2.0 technologies is the current trend in Indian educational... Sample PDF
Using Mobile Technology and Podcasts to Teach Soft Skills
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Chapter 13
Andy Halvorsen
This chapter looks at the potential use of Social Networking Sites (SNSs) for educators and second language learners. It views SNSs broadly through... Sample PDF
Social Networking Sites and Critical Language Learning
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Chapter 14
Nicolas Gromik
This chapter reports on an ongoing project conducted at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. A mixed group of seven advanced EFL learners produced... Sample PDF
Producing Cell Phone Video Diaries
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Chapter 15
Thomas Raith
This chapter explores in how far Web 2.0, Weblogs in particular, has changed foreign language learning. It argues that Weblogs, along with Web 2.0... Sample PDF
The Use of Weblogs in Language Education
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Chapter 16
Nat Carney
This chapter gives a comprehensive overview of blogs in Foreign Language Education (FLE) through reviewing literature, critically analyzing... Sample PDF
Blogging in Foreign Language Education
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Chapter 17
Pete Travis, Fiona Joseph
In particular, this chapter looks at the potential role of Web 2.0 technologies and podcasting to act as a transformational force within language... Sample PDF
Improving Learners' Speaking Skills with Podcasts
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Chapter 18
Volker Hegelheimer, Anne O’Bryan
The increasing availability of mobile technologies is allowing users to interact seamlessly with a variety of content anytime, anywhere. One of... Sample PDF
Mobile Technologies, Podcasting and Language Education
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Chapter 19
Jenny Ang Lu
This chapter aims to investigate how podcasts can be made to fit into the repertoire of resources utilized by teachers, especially in language... Sample PDF
Podcasting as a Next Generation Teaching Resource
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Chapter 20
Matthias Sturm, Trudy Kennell, Rob McBride, Mike Kelly
Web 2.0 tools like blogs, Wikis, and podcasts are new to the vocabulary of language acquisition. Teachers and students who take full advantage of... Sample PDF
The Pedagogical Implications of Web 2.0
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Chapter 21
John Paul Loucky
This study describes a task-based assessment (TBA) approach to teaching reading and writing online. It then analyzes key factors emerging from the... Sample PDF
Improving Online Readability in a Web 2.0 Context
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Chapter 22
Jaroslaw Krajka
This chapter contrasts the use of corpora and concordancing in the Web 1.0 era with the opportunities presented to the language teachers by the Web... Sample PDF
Concordancing 2.0: On Custom-Made Corpora in the Classroom
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Chapter 23
Darren Elliott
This chapter looks at the ways in which teacher training and teacher development are taking place online. It seeks to address the ways in which... Sample PDF
Internet Technologies and Language Teacher Education
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Chapter 24
Sarah Guth
This chapter discusses the potential of social software and Web 2.0 tools to enhance language learning in a blended learning context. It describes... Sample PDF
Personal Learning Environments for Language Learning
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Chapter 25
Shudong Wang, Neil Heffernan
This chapter introduces the concept of Mobile 2.0, a mobile version of Web 2.0, and its application to language learning. The chapter addresses the... Sample PDF
Mobile 2.0 and Mobile Language Learning
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Chapter 26
Euline Cutrim Schmid
The first part of this chapter discusses the transformative potential of Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs), by analyzing the opportunities of using... Sample PDF
The Pedagogical Potential of Interactive Whiteboards 2.0
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Chapter 27
David Miller, Derek Glover
This chapter summarizes the work underway to chart, critically evaluate, and systematize the introduction of interactive whiteboards (IWB) into... Sample PDF
Interactive Whiteboards in the Web 2.0 Classroom
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Chapter 28
Samuel Holtzman
The process of technological inclusion begins with an analysis of the features and functions of the specific tool in consideration. Pedagogy should... Sample PDF
Web 2.0 and CMS for Second Language Learning
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About the Contributors