Enhancing the Scenario: Emerging Technologies and Experiential Learning in Second Language Instructional Design

By Jonathan deHaan and Neil H. Johnson.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The affordances provided by technology for increasing efficacy of foreign language education have been a major research area within applied linguistics over the past thirty years or so (see Hubbard, 2006 for an overview). In a Japanese context, there are culturally based issues with foreign language education at the tertiary level, such as large class sizes and low student motivation, that present educators with specific challenges where technology may provide effective mediational means to improve practice and learner outcomes. In this article, we describe an eight-week teaching intervention that was designed, through digital and web technologies readily available to teachers, to improve the communication skills of Japanese university students of English. The strategic interaction framework, developed by DiPietro (1987), was enhanced by use of digital video and a freely available wiki site. Performances were digitally video recorded and uploaded to a private wiki and participants used this to evaluate, transcribe and self-correct their performances. The instructor then used the video and text to focus post-performance group debriefing sessions. The results suggest that a wiki, digital video, and strategic interaction-based experiential learning cycles can be effectively integrated to mediate Japanese university EFL students’ oral communication development. Technical and pedagogical recommendations are offered.

Keywords: Digital Video, English as a Foreign Language, Experiential Learning, Reflection, Sociocultural Theory, Strategic Interaction, Wiki

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp.321-334. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 809.013KB).

Dr. Jonathan deHaan

Associate Professor, Faculty of International Relations, University of Shizuoka, Shizuoka, Japan

Jonathan deHaan (Ph.D. New York University) is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of International Relations at the University of Shizuoka, Japan. His main teaching and research interests are in the areas of educational games and simulations. His current projects are investigating (1) teaching English for Specific Purposes with simulations and (2) developing communities’ language and literacy skills with digital games.

Dr. Neil H. Johnson

Assistant Director, English Language Institute, Kanda University of International Studies, Chiba, Japan

Neil H. Johnson is the Assistant Director of the English Language Institute at Kanda University of International Studies in Japan, where he oversees curriculum development and teaches a variety of English proficiency courses. Johnson earned his Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching from the University of Arizona. His main research interests are in sociocultural theory and discourse analysis for second language learning.

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