Teachers' Experience as Foreign Language Online Learners: Developing Teachers' Linguistic, Cultural, and Technological Awareness

Teachers' Experience as Foreign Language Online Learners: Developing Teachers' Linguistic, Cultural, and Technological Awareness

Congcong Wang (Washington State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6042-7.ch005
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Abstract

Due to the continuing linguistic and cultural diversity among K-12 students in the US and across the English-speaking world and the increasing influence of digital technologies on learning, this qualitative study was conducted to explore pre-service teachers' perceptions of learning a foreign language online, and how such experience influences teaching linguistically, culturally, and technologically diverse students. Participants comprised 35 teacher education students, all of whom took a 9-week online Chinese language/culture course. A variety of surveys with closed and open-ended questions were conducted before, during, and after the course. Data were collected online and then coded and analyzed. The participants' responses suggested that: 1) new forms of online learning were engaging to teacher-learners with diverse learning styles, prior technological experience, needs, and goals; 2) the pre-service teachers perceived that online foreign language learning during their teacher education program enhanced their linguistic, cultural, and technological awareness; and 3) the participants felt that they benefited from being prepared to work with linguistic, cultural, and technological diversity in classrooms. This study has implications for similar contexts around the world.
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Literature Review

The two trends of a continuing increase in the linguistic and cultural diversity of students in K-12 classrooms and the influence of digital technologies on 21st century learners are having crucial impacts on education, especially in the case of ELLs (Crawford, 2004; Egbert, 2009; New London Group, 2000). Influences of these trends and the resultant teachers’ challenges are discussed below.

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