Connecting Language Theory and Learning: Activity theory applied to a connectivist environment for second language acquisition in a social networking site (2014)
Type of ContentConference Contributions - Published
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury. Global, Cultural and Language Studies
University of Canterbury. School of Language, Social and Political Sciences
Looking for a way to step out of the conventional classroom and to make German language study more relevant Facebook (FB) was used in a German intermediate language class at a tertiary institution. It provided a way for learners to engage in authentic communication in meaningful contexts contexts (Blattner & Fiori, 2009; Mills, 2011; Reinhardt & Zander, 2011; Wang & Vasquez, 2014). This ongoing study investigates the use of a social networking site (SNS) to see if it is a pedagogically valuable resource to integrate into a foreign language classroom. FB was chosen because it is (up to now) the most commonly used SNS, and is in line with Steel and Levy (2013) who remind the CALL researcher that current research needs to reflect current practice. This part of the study was conducted over a period of 12 weeks using ethnographic methods (Beaulieu, 2004; Hakken, 1999; Hine, 2000; Markham, 1998; Markham & Baym, 2009; Miller & Slater, 2000) Once the online FB-community was established, the researcher evaluated the connectivist learning environment and analysed the outcomes through activity theory (AT) (Engeström, 1999). A summative evaluation and retrospective analysis was carried out to establish the success and/or outcomes, identified emergent patterns, design and contents preferences, and viewpoints for effective use of FB in the language classroom, through surveys, interviews and online observation. AT was used to identify and clarify constraints. In particular, the AT analysis sought to identify the nature and extent of the contradictions or tensions that constrained the success of the online community. The number of participants was nine. The details of the findings and its limitations will be discussed in the presentation. Tables and charts will show the quantitative results, excerpts of the interview data will be discussed.
CitationLeier, V. (2014) Connecting Language Theory and Learning: Activity theory applied to a connectivist environment for second language acquisition in a social networking site. Antwerp, Belgium: ANTWERP CALL 2014: XVIth International CALL Research Conference, 7-9 Jul 2014. 2014 CALL Conference Proceedings: Research challenges in CALL, 218-227.
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ANZSRC Fields of Research47 - Language, communication and culture::4703 - Language studies::470309 - German language
47 - Language, communication and culture::4701 - Communication and media studies::470108 - Organisational, interpersonal and intercultural communication
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