Online Synchronous English Learning from Activity Theory Perspectives

Online Synchronous English Learning from Activity Theory Perspectives

Lorna Uden (Staffordshire University, UK), Nian-Shing Chen (National Sun Yat-Sen University, Taiwan), Chun-Wang Wei (Far East University, Taiwan) and Jui-Chu Fan (National Sun Yat-Sen University, Taiwan)
DOI: 10.4018/jicthd.2009070101
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Abstract

The implementation of Online Synchronous Learning (OSL) poses many challenges to existing instruction technology theory because of the complexity of the digital age. Although many studies have been carried out for an OSL, there is little evidence of OSL for teaching language learning. This is especially so when it involves multiple cultural perspectives. This chapter describes the implementation of OSL for teaching English to foreign students from different cultures. The authors believe that the cultural historical Activity Theory is ideal for understanding OSL and its pedagogy. Through the lens of Activity Theory, this study takes close look at OSL courses and examines the socio-cultural factors affecting the success of the course as well as their complex relationships. Applying Activity Theory to analyze data collected over three years we have developed a framework to help educators who intend to implement OSL from multiple cultural perspectives.

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