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Volume 6, Number 1 January 2002

Feature Articles Columns
From the Editors Welcome to LLT by Mark Warschauer, Dorothy Chun, & Pamela DaGrossa pp. 1-2 On the Net MERLOT: Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching by Jean W. LeLoup & Robert Ponterio pp. 3-5 Emerging Technologies Wireless Networks by Bob Godwin-Jones pp. 6-10 Announcements News from Sponsoring Organizations pp. 11-16

Video Recording in Ethnographic SLA Research: Some Issues of Validity in Data Collection
Margaret A. DuFon California State University-Chico pp. 40-59

Social Dimensions of Telecollaborative Foreign Language Study
Julie A. Belz The Pennsylvania State University pp. 60-81

Categorization of Text Chat Communication Between Learners and Native Speakers of Japanese
Etsuko Toyoda and Richard Harrison pp. 82-99

Effects of Students' Participation in Authoring of Multimedia Materials on Student Acquisition of Vocabulary
Ofelia R. Nikolova Southern Illinois University At Carbondale pp. 100-122

Edited by Jennifer Leeman Computer Applications in Second Language Acquisition Carol A. Chapelle Reviewed by Stephen A. Bird pp. 17-20 Essential Academic Skills in English: Listening to Lectures CD-ROM (Volume I) CELTE Reviewed by Meena Singhal pp. 21-26 Advanced French: Interactive Video Language Learning with "Au coeur de la loi"

Visible Or Invisible Links: Does the Highlighting of Hyperlinks Affect Incidental Vocabulary Learning, Text Comprehension, and the Reading Process?
Isabelle De Ridder University Of Antwerp pp. 123-146

Providing Controlled Exposure to Target Vocabulary Through the Screening and Arranging of Texts
Sina Ghadirian Mcgill University, Montreal pp.147-164

EuroTalk Ltd. Reviewed by Susan Carpenter Binkley pp. 27-32 Tesoros: A Multimedia-Based Spanish Course on CD-ROM McGraw-Hill Companies Reviewed by Joseph Collentine pp. 33-39

Student Perceptions on Language Learning in a Technological Environment: Implications for the New Millennium
Jonita Stepp-Greany Florida State University pp. 165-180

Acknowledgement of LLT Reviewers, Volume 5
p. 181

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Language Learning & Technology

January 2002, Vol. 6, Num. 1 pp. 1-2

Welcome to the first issue of volume six of Language Learning & Technology. We expect 2002 to be another exciting year for LLT with special issues coming up on indigenous languages and teacher education. In this issue, the first general issue since last January, we are pleased to bring you a wonderful variety of articles. Three of the articles examine social aspects of language learning. Margaret A. DuFon begins a discussion of ethnographic, artistic, technological, and other concerns of obtaining authentic language learning material through video in "Video Recording in Ethnographic SLA Research: Some Issues of Validity in Data Collection." She illustrates some of the theoretical and methodological questions she raises with her own experiences with her students in Indonesia. In her article "Social Dimensions of Telecollaborative Foreign Language Study," Julie Belz analyzes socio-institutional dimensions of a German-American telecollaboration partnership, revealing tremendously practical points of consideration for any inter-language telecollaboration project. And, Etsuko Toyoda and Richard Harrison, in "Categorization of Text Chat Communication Between Learners and Native Speakers of Japanese," look at how difficulties in communication trigger negotiation of meaning between students and native speakers of Japanese in chat conversations. Through their examination, they discovered crucial communication aspects which were not taught in class and which students would not have learned had they not participated in chat with native speakers. The next three articles are related to vocabulary learning. Ofelia Nikolova's "Effects of Students' Participation in Authoring of Multimedia Materials on Student Acquisition of Vocabulary" reports on a study which considers the effect of student involvement in the learning process on vocabulary learning. She also discusses the effectiveness of text, sound, and image versus text and sound only. Isabelle De Ridder addresses the question, "Visible or Invisible Links: Does the Highlighting of Hyperlinks Affect Incidental Vocabulary Learning, Text Comprehension, and the Reading Process?" In "Providing Controlled Exposure to Target Vocabulary Through the Screening and Arranging of Texts," Sina Ghadirian proposes exposing students to reading texts in an order which introduces them to words of incremental frequency in the target domain. This is now possible through the use of a computer program which sorts collections of texts and finds the target words while creating an order for the texts. Finally, "Student Perceptions on Language Learning in a Technological Environment: Implications for the New Millennium" by Johanne Steppe-Greany reports on a survey of beginning Spanish students' responses to technology-enhanced learning environments. This kind of feedback is certainly valuable to any institution considering developing technology-enhanced language classes. We have two regular technology columns. In On the Net, Jean W. Leloup and Robert Ponterio introduce us to MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching), a free online collection of reviewed authentic language learning materials. And in Emerging Technologies, Bob Godwin-Jones describes different types of wireless networks, both those available now, and those becoming available. Though Europe is somewhat ahead of the game in this area, it is a growing option in other parts of the world.

Copyright © 2002, ISSN 1094-3501


Have a wonderful 2002! Sincerely. Please continue to send us manuscripts." And Joseph Collentine reviews Tesoros: A Multimedia-Based Spanish Course on CD-ROM. Bird reviews Carol Chapelle's Computer Applications in Second Language Acquisition (2001). We also welcome feedback from our readers and encourage each of you to subscribe. and it helps us to better know you and your interests. Susan Carpenter Binkley reviews Advanced French: Interactive Video Language Learning with "Au coeur de la loi. commentaries.Mark Warschauer. Meena Singhal reviews Essential Academic Skills in English: Listening to Lectures CD-ROM (Volume I). and reviews. Stephen A. Dorothy Chun. Thank you all for your continued support of LLT. It's free. & Pamela DaGrossa From the Editors We also offer you one book and three software reviews. Mark Warschauer & Dorothy Chun Editors Pamela DaGrossa Managing Editor Language Learning & Technology 2 .

400 campuses. Discipline Communities These Discipline Communities include. Business. languages. They are subject to a peer review process that applies evaluation standards to the resources in the collection. and of course World Languages). Engineering. 6. The main goal of MERLOT is to develop and present organized collections of online teaching-learning resources for the various disciplines represented in the communities. there is a community for faculty development (Teaching Well Online) and one for academic technology staff (CATS). Chemistry. Vol. the MERLOT project has developed into an international cooperative effort that serves over 1. Information Technology. What is MERLOT? MERLOT stands for Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching. peer reviews and assignments. Health January 2002. but such online lessons are not themselves easy to find. LeLoup SUNY Cortland Robert Ponterio SUNY Cortland Locating and evaluating online authentic materials of use in the language classroom is a time consuming but essential prelude to integrating Internet technology in the foreign language curriculum. Mathematics. it also provides peer reviews that help us evaluate them. Copyright © 2002. MERLOT was created by the California State University-Center for Distributed Learning in 1997. They are focused primarily around academic disciplines (Biology. including more than 350.msu. Music. Physics. These resources are generally online materials that have been submitted as exemplary in their particular field. This home page statement from the MERLOT project explains the essence of this Internet endeavor. Num. MERLOT is a free and open resource designed primarily for faculty and students in higher education. 1 pp. indeed. In addition. Quality teaching materials that help us integrate this authentic online content are an invaluable resource. though not all submissions are. ISSN 1094-3501 3 . Since that time.000 faculty and 8 million students. History. MERLOT has 23 institutional partners working together to support and maintain MERLOT's Discipline Communities. MERLOT is also a community of people who strive to enrich teaching and learning experiences. 3-5 ON THE NET MERLOT: Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching Jean W. but are not limited to. With a continually growing collection of online learning materials. Teacher Education.Language Learning & Technology http://llt. The MERLOT project not only points us to such teaching materials. Psychology. reviewed. MERLOT helps faculty enhance instruction.

zooming in on the desired resources. and send in their credentials (CV).Materials not worth using at all 2 stars . The site provides an extensive explanation of the rating system and the rationale for it. The review rating system is one of one to five stars: 1 star . Italian. The results for any search done in the site include a link to the advanced sub-search form.Materials do not meet minimal standards but there might be some limited value 3 stars . Permission to post the review is also requested of the author. Materials listed in the MERLOT database can be located by keyword search or by browsing through subcategories. Greek. date entered. Languages represented by materials submissions and/or online resources currently include Arabic.Materials are very good overall but there are a few minor concerns 5 stars .Jean W. Any MERLOT member and any individual reviewer of the peer review teams can post User Comments if they wish. Chinese. However. which should indicate experience with online learning materials as well as content expertise. submit user comments on some of the sites in their languages. The final reviews may all be posted or may be compiled into one summary review. At this writing. World Languages The Discipline Community most likely of interest to foreign language educators is entitled World Languages. even for the database novice. ESL. The MERLOT project is always in search of qualified external reviewers for the World Languages Community in order to have sufficient number of content experts to do peer reviews in all of the languages in MERLOT. with the default sort order being by 5 star rated materials first. Hebrew. Latin. For example. Japanese. Clearly. Russian. if desired. A complete subject index of all subcategories can assist the visitor to MERLOT looking for specific areas of interest. LeLoup and Robert Ponterio On the Net Peer Review The Peer Review Process is a procedure whereby materials are evaluated for • Quality of Content • Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Learning Tool • Ease of Use Faculty evaluators are trained in the review process and have their work validated through inter-rater reliability checks. French. and Spanish. there were 587 submissions to the World Languages community. The usefulness of this wonderful Language Learning & Technology 4 . author. User Comments can include ratings from 1-5 stars. Portuguese. Language teachers who develop high quality online lessons should seriously consider submitting their work to MERLOT for inclusion in the database and for peer review.Materials meet or exceed standards but there are some significant concerns 4 stars .Materials are excellent all around MERLOT's policy is not to post peer review ratings of 1 or 2 stars. "Humanities/World Languages/French/Culture" is just one subcategory found in the World Languages category. rating. Faculty who are interested in being considered have to become MERLOT members. LCTLs. The collection can be sorted by title. An advanced sub-search form is a valuable option that makes it very easy to design complex search criteria. facilitating access to the form when needed. or item type. German. individual users should examine all the materials carefully with regard to their own particular curriculum and potential educational use. Two or three reviewers are assigned per site selected for examination. The author of the materials is provided feedback and given an opportunity to respond to the reviewers comments. MERLOT's search engine allows searches of the entire database and also makes it easy to perform a subsearch to narrow the search results farther.

The end result is that MERLOT is not building just a repository but "a space where there can be real interaction among language professionals. Language Learning & Technology 5 . The idea here is to establish a vehicle for educators to find other colleagues with similar interests in the profession. or if they even just share comments about how they use the sites. consequently." says Laura Franklin ( Northern Virginia Community College) who. along with Carla Meskill (SUNY Albany). in turn. They are. The directors of the MERLOT project feel that they are successful in their mission if community members want to contribute resources as well as use them. peer reviews not only help potential users evaluate a site. feel more invested and more part of the community. The community aspect of MERLOT is its greatest asset. Joining MERLOT Individuals can contribute materials to the MERLOT site but must become members in order to so.Jean W. more likely to come back to MERLOT for future use. email. If faculty and other site users submit the learning assignments that they write dealing with objects they find in MERLOT. In addition. The membership form requests a name. LeLoup and Robert Ponterio On the Net resource for teachers will continue to grow as we contribute the materials we develop for our students. and primary/secondary areas of interest. they can be an excellent source of feedback as those who develop lessons work on revisions. coleads the World Language Discipline Team. they. authors and learners.

Infrared Infrared (IR) ports have been standard on most laptops and PDA's ("personal digital assistants") for quite some time. We will be looking in this column at the varieties of wireless connectivity now in use. always-on radio signal that lets devices of all kinds communicate with one another. or file transfer. Financial transactions. the most significant of which is the Object Exchange protocol or OBEX. as does IR. A project is underway at the University of Tromsø (Norway) to develop an open source implementation of OBEX which promises to make available OBEX functionality without license fees (to Extended Systems ). and even older Newton Messagepads (JetSend. communication does not require a line-of-sight connection between devices. as well as those just now arriving on the scene. WindowsCE/PocketPC devices. although now some IR ports can transfer at a zippier 16 Mbps. But IrDA compatible ports are also being added to devices such as cameras (the Casio WQV3 cameras) and scanners (Hewlett-Packard CapShare and the QuickLink Pen from WizCom). Linux. Since it uses RF (radio frequency) waves. Like IR. The idea is that once Bluetooth components become inexpensive enough (from the current US $20 to US $5). 6-10 EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES Wireless Networks One of the most striking changes in the use of technology in the last year or so has been the explosive growth in the use of wireless networks for Internet and local network access. backup. What allows communication among digital devices through infrared is a common set of specifications developed by the Infrared Data Association (IrDA) and first published in 1994. IR ports are also used to transfer contact information or calendar entries between hand-held devices. new applications continue to be developed for the its use. laptops. in fact. In a rare example of not re-inventing the wheel with each new technological advance. Bluetooth is short range (the normal limit is 10 meters) but is also omnidirectional and can travel through non-metal obstructions (clothes. Bluetooth uses a short-wave. The promise of ubiquitous wireless networks dramatically enhances the usefulness of small Internet-capable devices. IrDA capability is built into mainstream operating systems including MS Windows. and MacOS. Peacemaker. Num.11b). a new "point and pay" wireless payment standard. Utilities are available which allow for IR interoperability among Palms. Longer range transmitters. Bluetooth A wireless protocol which has been highly touted in the last several years is Bluetooth. ISSN 1094-3501 . they will become embedded in all kinds of Copyright © 2002. which can then be beamed and stored on a hand-held computer offers interesting possibilities for collecting such materials as newspaper clippings or realia for language learning purposes. including infrared. are also being developed.msu. 1 pp. While IR is the granddaddy of wireless protocols. and Infrared Financial Messaging (IrFM). including InfoPort. and Wi-Fi (802. furniture. are seen as a major future use of IR. particularly for exchanging business cards and downloading short messages. a product for beaming large documents to Palm devices from kiosks or other public terminals (being used at the University of South Dakota for transferring documents to students). printers. Some printers and cell phones come equipped with infrared ports as well. 6. including cell phones. cellular. Bluetooth transmits at a maximum rate of 1 Mbps. This use is quite popular in Japan and Europe. walls).edu/vol6num1/emerging/ January 2002. capable of sending signals up to 100 meters. the Viking king who united Denmark and Norway in the 10th century. such as Bluetooth and 3G. There has been quite a buzz about Bluetooth and the era of "personal area networks" (also being called "piconets") or "information clouds" this wireless technology promises to create. The principal use has been to provide a communication channel between devices for synchronization. as it is a more secure means of communication than other wireless protocols. since devices have to be lined up in close proximity to one another. The transfer rate is not as fast (4 Mbps or megabits per second) as wired connections (such as USB). BackTalk). OBEX has been selected as the standard for file exchange on the new Bluetooth wireless protocol.Language Learning & Technology http://llt. developed originally by Ericsson in Sweden in 1994 and named for Harald Bluetooth. Scanning text or images into a hand-held scanner. and hand-held computers. Vol.

Commercial Internet providers are also now beginning to offer Internet access (for a fee) through Wi-Fi. allowing for self-monitoring and automated interactions. The home growth in the US has been driven in part by the increasing popularity of higher-speed Internet access through cable and DSL ("digital subscriber line") modems. Some Wi-Fi enthusiasts have taken to trolling urban areas for available Wi-Fi networks (comprehensive world-wide guides are also available). Individual configuration of Wi-Fi connections is not difficult. washer-dryers. Bluetooth communication can be initiated by the devices themselves. which generally use Wi-Fi PC cards or desktop adapters to connect to the base station. or approximately the same transmission speed as traditional wired Ethernet connections. MacOS and WindowsXP automatically detect the presence of Wi-Fi signals (assuming a Wi-Fi client card is installed) and walk the user through set-up of the network for Internet access. schools.11b. Of interest to language teachers is the fact that Bluetooth supports voice as well as data.Bob Godwin-Jones Emerging Technologies machines. In fact. all devices can share just one IP number. the standards setting body. Since DHCP ("dynamic host configuration protocol") is built into the Airport hub. Mac and/or Linux computers can co-exist quite comfortably and easily on the same Wi-Fi network. the ease and power of Wi-Fi networks has led to the establishment of wireless freenets in several urban areas in North American and elsewhere. However. Bluetooth allows point-to-multi-point connections. This is the standard generally referred to today as Wi-Fi ("wireless fidelity") or wireless LAN. IEEE. and the networks operated at low-speed (1-2 Mbps). and can be extended up to 20 miles through the use of high gain antennas . and offices. With a series of base stations and antennae. or cameras might send instantly pictures to relatives as they are taken. Others see such " renegade wlans" as a way to bridge the "digital divide". The base station can be connected to a dial-up or Ethernet Internet connection." Also. Wi-Fi requires use of a "base station" or "access point" for transmitting signals to clients.4 GHz). Wi-Fi is seen widely as a replacement of wired Ethernet. In contrast to IR. In 1997. This standard was later updated to 802. It is already incorporated into a variety of phones available in Europe. which some dub "parasitic grids. and CD-players. wireless networks have sprouted throughout the US in homes. although they traverse better through wood or drywall than through stone and brick. Wi-Fi began to be widely used when in 1999 Apple introduced its "Airport" wireless networking technology which uses the 802. along with network-capable printers and mobile devices equipped with Wi-Fi cards. where connections are available for a fee. different proprietary approaches were used. As prices have dropped and vendors multiplied in the past year. Transmission distances vary from 50 to 300 feet. depending on equipment and configuration. released the 802.11 standard for wireless local area networking using the unlicensed 2. taking over the role of wired serial or USB connections. Bluetooth is expected to gain a foothold there first. Language Learning & Technology 7 . which raised the transmission speed from 2 to 11 Mbps. Like Bluetooth (which also transmits at 2. For some. Mixed networks of Windows. Actually wireless LAN (local area network) technology has been around since the late 1980's. Linksys or Nokia) incorporate firewall support. Some base stations (such as those from D-Link. microwaves. especially in smaller communities. bringing Internet access to the inner city. Ericsson envisions a scenario in which mall shoppers would access sales information on their PDAs as they stroll. Apple integrated antennas for Wi-Fi into all of its laptops and offered an attractively priced base station capable of communicating with up to 10 clients (the latest version serves 50 clients). as opposed to IR. As opposed to Bluetooth.11b standard. this kind of all-encompassing network is more threatening than enticing. Others see a more modest role for Bluetooth principally as a cable replacement technology. Base stations such as Apple's Airport allow sharing of an Internet line by multiple users. Wi-Fi signals can travel through solid objects.4 GHz frequency band (as opposed to the 900 MHz band used previously). Wi-Fi connections are also showing up in public and commercial spaces such as airports or coffee shops. Today many Wi-Fi base stations and adapters are available from a variety of vendors. it is not difficult to set up such a network. all of which could be monitored and controlled by Bluetooth. thus creating an ad-hoc wireless connection of "master" and (up to seven) "slaves. Given the proliferation of cell phones in Europe. Wi-Fi If Bluetooth is being promoted as a cable replacement technology. stoves. including VCRs." In the aftermath of the September 11 tragedy several such networks were quickly established in Manhattan (such as NYCWireless).

which enables Internet access. 802. but suffers from a slow transmission rate of 19.1x. It should also be noted that there are several other standards for wireless local networks.11g runs also at 54 Mbps but operates in the same 2. such as Sierra Wireless' AirCard.2 kbps (kilobits per second). Alternatives and Outlook It seems likely that Europe and North America will travel different paths to wireless local networks."Cellular Digital Packet Data").0) increments throughput from 1. since there is yet another new protocol being discussed.4 GHz. combines the 802. developed by Nokia and Ericsson. its future appears uncertain. it is incompatible with existing Wi-Fi networks. however. Products based on 802. and Bluetooth devices. The higher bandwidth of 802. guaranteeing a reliable stream of data transmission to individual clients."Time Division Multiple Access")."Advanced Mobile Phone Service") and digital (CDMA -. since 802. A wireless standard just emerging which looks more promising is HiperLAN2. creating the potential for serious interference problems. The data transmission service of analog cellular in North America (CDPD -. use compression Language Learning & Technology 8 . 802. It's likely that vendors will offer dual-standard products. A new security protocol.11e. 802. with North America embracing 802. at least in part. Interest in GSM is being driven in part out of interest in world-wide compatibility and in part due to an add-on/successor to GSM called GPRS ("General Packet Radio Service") which provides always-on. Wi-Fi runs on a radio frequency (2. namely limited bandwidth. vital for effective video streaming. However.11a transmits at a different frequency.11a. HiperLAN2 also provides for unicast. however. Actually.11a addresses these issues. while 802.Bob Godwin-Jones Emerging Technologies Despite Wi-Fi's popularity there are several concerns in its use voiced by users and system administrators.11a is primarily a data-delivery protocol.11a runs at 5. Security experts. WEP has not been used on Wi-Fi networks out of concern that throughput will be negatively effected. 802. suitable for e-mail but painfully slow for Web browsing (landline modems typically operate at 56 kbps). new base stations and client cards will be needed. It is available for both hand-helds and laptops through PC cards such as Novatel's Merlin series. Due to the incompatibility issue. Given Intel's recent drop of support for HomeRF. point out that WEP is not impenetrable and recommend use of VPN ("Virtual Private Network") software for secure network access with wireless clients. HiperLAN2 offers built in support for voice and video and allows for QoS transmissions. however. configuration and security concerns usually reduce throughput to something more like 5-7 Mbps. another revision of the standard has been proposed but not yet finalized.11b and the Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) portable phone standards into a single system. and broadcast transmissions. thus avoiding that conflict.4 GHz) shared by microwave ovens. and approved by the European Telecommunication Standardization Institute (ETSI). A revision of the specification called 802. for both standards to co-exist in the same environment. but they are not yet available. or Wi-Fi5 as it is being called. A similar data enhancement to CDMA is known as "1xRTT" and is just beginning to reach the market in North America. is just being added to Wi-Fi setups (and is supported in WindowsXP)."Code Division Multiple Access".4 GHz frequency with a throughput of 54Mbps. and security. with Europe (and most of the rest of the world except Japan) using GSM ("Global System for Mobile Communications") while North America has gone its own way with analog (AMPS -. but not compatible with.11a runs at the higher speed of 54 Mbps. Stay tuned. 802. Most experts see it as the most advanced wireless standard currently available.6 to 10 Mbps.11a may encourage greater use of WEP. HomeRF.4 GHz frequency as Wi-Fi.11a in that it uses the 5. developed by Proxim (and marketed under the "Symphony" name). The latest version (HomeRF 2. most cordless phones. Both wireless standards have a built-in security protocol called WEP ("Wireless Encryption Protocol") which allows for encrypted transmissions. GSM is also available in the US and Canada but coverage is far from universal. This mirrors the unfortunate state of affairs in cellular phones. Some more expensive PC cards. TDMA -. which adds QoS ("quality of service") to high-speed bandwidth. thus allowing for backwards compatibility with existing Wi-Fi networks. However. It is not compatible with Wi-Fi. This is still a significant increase for applications needing higher bandwidth such as streaming media. It is possible. In other words.11x and Europe tilting towards HiperLAN2. radio interference from other devices. Often. higher-bandwidth data transmissions/Internet access. multicast. 802. although real-world use will be lower. This leaves the rest of the world to choose one of the two or (God forbid) come up with a different standard. are now being marketed in the US. Although Wi-Fi runs at about the same speed as 10 Mbps wired Ethernet. has been available for some time and enjoys wide coverage in the US. It is similar to.

hand-held computers. Standards. Resource List Organizations. But cards are available for both Palm devices and PocketPCs. DirecPC.Wireless Network Association Infrared Data Association MPEG home page with wealth of links to info on MPEG-4 Language Learning & Technology 9 . AvantGo . These systems will be using satellites in geostationary orbit broadcasting "spot beams " in the "Ka-band" of 20/30 GHz. 2001. East Carolina University has been using hand-helds and AvantGo in several humanities classes. More applications are being developed that enhance Internet use on such devices. designed to run on mobile devices accessing the Internet from wherever they may be. the network's parent company. the two dominant hand-held platforms. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently awarded licenses to 11 satellite vendors to provide new satellite telecom services including high-speed Internet. Wi-Fi is not likely to show up as an add-on to cell phones due to excessive power requirements of PC cards. hand-held computers seem poised to become popular choices for Internet access. which proponents have hailed as the future of Internet access. and General Information on Wireless Networking • • • WLANA . Given price reductions. but hardware costs are considerably higher than for other broadband services. Much of the news in the mobile phone world for the past several years has centered around 3G. Unfortunately for subscribers. Aerie Networks purchased the Ricochet network and has announced plans to resume service in the US. The promise is for faster. and it seems likely that in 3G implementation North America and Europe may again go their separate ways. 3G networks promise to deliver broadband access through cell phones. However. wireless LAN solutions will provide the principal means of Internet access. While 3G is still a vision waiting to be fulfilled. Smartphones from Nokia and Ericsson. and even video players. with fast. Satellite access is particularly attractive in areas not served by cable or DSL service.S. and the recently announced "Treo" Palm devices from Handspring are examples of this trend. The U. Such a development may open the door for development of new multimedia language learning applications. which operates at 128 kbps. allowing for applications such as videoconferencing and multimediaon-demand. more affordable service throughout the US (beginning in 2002/2003). or school. The arrival of MPEG-4. with learning software specifically designed for hand-held use. This is likely to accelerate the development of so-called convergence devices. or Earthlink. A faster alternative in the US has been the Ricochet network. In North America. it seems likely that for most mobile network users. with its dramatically enhanced compression codecs. will help considerably in making this a reality. combining high speed mobile access with Internet Protocol (IP)-based services. The University of South Dakota has been experimenting with universal ownership of Palm devices for its freshman class. a widely used course management system. Metricom. went bankrupt in August. personal organizers. one other wireless Internet option is a satellite connection. the forthcoming "Stinger" phone line from Microsoft. office.Bob Godwin-Jones Emerging Technologies software to enhance considerably access speed. So far.5 which allows users to view course site content on Palms and PocketPCs through AvantGo. except in experimental trials. has recently released a plug-in for Blackboard 5. and emerging high-speed wireless Internet access (through Wi-Fi5 or HiperLAN2). Vendors such as WildBlue are planning to enable easy sharing of the satellite Internet connection with multiple users in a home. always-on connections. which combine the functions of cell phones. It is based on a revised version of CDMA called Wideband-CDMA (with several different implementations in the works including CDMA2000 and 3GPP). no 3G systems have seen the light of day. Telecommunication companies have spent billions of dollars to purchase licenses to operate 3G networks and since then have invested billions more in developing the technology and buying the hardware to build the needed new infrastructure. color screens. Anticipated data transfer rates range from 144 kbps to 2 Mbps. Blackboard. uses a "store and forward" model to sync up Web-based content on handhelds. Many periodicals in a variety of languages are available for (free) subscription through AvantGo. reliable. offered by vendors such as Starband. Once they arrive on the scene. Olaf College (Minnesota) has been using Palm devices with AvantGo and KingKanji software to help students with Japanese reading and writing skills. for example. Participants found the devices especially helpful in practicing stroke order in writing. St. the third-generation cellular network.

11b Takes a Lickin' and Keeps on Tickin' practical tips on Wi-Fi use.11B WIRELESS LAN STANDARD brief introduction to Wi-Fi The Wireless LAN Revolution from the Portland Community LAN Resource Guide 802.Bob Godwin-Jones Emerging Technologies • • • • • MPEG4 Industry Forum Wi-Fi. Bluetooth beating up on 3G from ZDNet News Bluetooth home page IEEE international standards setting body ETSI European Telecommunication Standardization Institute Infrared and Bluetooth • • • • • • Point and Shoot: Infrared-enabled proximity payments are here about IrFM applications Hewlett-Packards CapShare 910 review of the hand-held scanner in PC Magazine Pocket Scanner for Your PocketPC review of the QuickLink Scanner Pen from PocketPC Magazine Open Obex open source OBEX development project from the University of Tromsø I talk to the Palm guide to software for moving data between hand-held devices (PocketPC Magazine) Can Bluetooth live up to the hype? from CNN Wireless LANs • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • IEEE 802. including interference issues (such as microwave ovens) 802. Tricks. detailed information on GPRS 3G or not 3G discussion of pros and cons of 3G 3G Cometh not so fast discussion of implementation issues with 3G Sendo Stinger phone coming this spring news release on new smartphone using Microsoft's Stinger technology Palm devices in Higher Ed article highlighting use of Palm devices on campuses Language Learning & Technology 10 .Fast Wireless Networking comprehensive overview of the new Wi-Fi5 standard from ExtremeTech HomeRF Proxim Symphony review of Symphony cards for use on HomeRF networks Hiperlan2 about HiperLAN2 from the HiperLAN Resource Center A Wireless Neighborhood Freenet article by Moshe Bar on setting up a Wi-Fi network in Isreal 'Parasitic grid' wireless movement may threaten telecom profits from InfoWorld Renegade WLANs: Pararsitic or Free-Spirited Anarchistic Mobile Phones and Hand-helds • • • • • • • Blackberry hand-held device for viewing e-mail (uses CDPD network) Handspring unveils wireless triplets from Cnet.11b Tips.11a .11b Wireless LAN Card popular PC card for Wi-Fi in laptops (now called Orinoco) Agere Plugs XP article on the "enhanced media sense" built into WindowsXP. on Handspring "Treo" convergence phones An Introdcution to General Packet Radio Service from GSMWorld. allowing automatic detection of Wi-Fi networks Wireless Comes Home review of 12 different Wi-Fi access points in PC World Performance Test: 802. and Facts from O'Reilly Getting Started with Lucent's 802.

July 22 . Copyright © 2001. with strong emphasis on written communication meeting high standards of literacy.msu. Vol. 2002) This two-day symposium provides practical information. Ia Faalautele Lau Gagana . which engages in research and materials development projects and conducts Summer Institutes for language professionals among its many activities. resources. language structure and use) Web-based Workshops for Advanced Reading & Writing Development & Maintenance (tentatively. focus on the development and/or maintenance of communicative language skills at the advanced level. 1 11 pp. The intensive courses.g. 11-16 NEWS FROM SPONSORING ORGANIZATIONS This page includes announcements from the organizations sponsoring LLT.August 2. literacy education. and technology workshops by experts who have extensive knowledge and experience in developing innovative K-16 heritage language programs.Language Learning & Technology http://llt. Questionnaire forms used and prototype tasks developed in English and Korean are presented in the appendices. ISSN 1094-3501 11 . 2002) This workshop serves as an online professional development opportunity for non-native-speaking teachers of Chinese and Korean language at the K-16 level. It contains an overview of college-level Korean language teaching and testing in the United States as well as an introduction to task-based performance assessment in general and the design of performance assessment tasks using test and item specifications in particular.Samoan Pedagogy Workshop (June 24 . community awareness.. literature) to share information and to discuss a range of Samoan Language curriculum development issues (e. T.21.hawaii. by J. there has been expanding interest among language scholars in capitalizing on the linguistic resources of language minority students through developing their heritage language January 2002. 6. This Research Note reports on a task-based performance assessment development project for Korean as a foreign language through the National Foreign Language Resource Center at the University of Hawai`i. grammar.cfm. Num. this 5-day workshop brings together experts in Samoan Language teaching. D.. particularly those of Asia and the Pacific. teacher training.28. Hudson & Y. 2002 NFLRC SUMMER INSTITUTES Heritage Learners and National Language Needs (June 20 . we will offer 2 two-week intensive language courses in Chinese and Korean. and program/curriculum models for language education that utilizes existing heritage language resources. Such a "language as resource" approach has numerous benefits. visit http://nflrc. culture. materials development and Samoan Language content areas (e. This symposium will offer a range of language. NEW PUBLICATIONS FROM THE UH NFLRC Developing Korean Language Performance Assessments. 2002) Immediately following our Summer Institute symposium on heritage language. University of Hawai'i National Foreign Language Resource Center (NFLRC) Less commonly taught languages. Recently. Kim. For more information about the 2002 NFLRC Summer Institutes. As part of our mission to serve the development and enhancement of Asian language and area studies in the United States. are the focus of the University of Hawai`i National Foreign Language Resource Center.g. oratory. delivered entirely over the World Wide Web using a tested and proven pedagogic model. theoretical considerations. Brown.

Michigan State University Center for Language Education and Research (CLEAR) CLEAR’s mission is to promote foreign language education in the United States. cognitive anthropology. Language. materials development. PDF files from CLEAR’s Web site) Portuguese Pronunciation and Phonetics CD-ROM Modules for Assessing Socio-Cultural Competence for Russian (CD-ROM) Thai Tutorial Guide The Internet Sourcebook for Business French Coming Soon! • • • • Language Learning & Technology 12 . To meet its goals. Watson-Gegeo. Mind. The aim of the project described in this Research Note is to capitalize on community language resources in developing programs and products to improve foreign language education. and Spanish. and human development research. presented at the 4th Pacific Second Language Research Forum (PacSLRF) conference. visit the publications section of our Web site. first language acquisition studies. and teacher training. For more information or to order NFLRC publications online.News from Sponsoring Organizations Community Language Resources: A Handbook for Teachers . Karen Watson-Gegeo’s plenary talk. Menacker. Approaches were developed in Hawai‘i schools to serve as a model for similar projects and programs that can be carried out elsewhere in the US. by T. lays out the issues involved and argues for a language socialization paradigm for second language acquisition that is consistent with and embraces new developments in second generation cognitive science. German. FOREIGN LANGUAGE RESEARCH • • Feedback and Interaction Longitudinal Analysis of Foreign Language Writing Development MATERIALS DEVELOPMENT Products • Business Chinese (CD-ROM) • • • • • • • • • Modules for Assessing Socio-Cultural Competence for German (CD-ROM) Pronuncia ción y fonética (CD-ROM) African Language Tutorial Guide (guide and video) Foreign Languages: Doors to Opportunity (video and discussion guide) Task-based Communicative Grammar Activities for Japanese and Thai (workbook) Test Development (workbook and video) The Internet Sourcebook for Business German The Internet Sourcebook for Business Spanish (online links from CLEAR’s Web site) Business Language Packets for High School Classrooms (French. by K. projects focus on foreign language research. and Epistemology Toward a Language Socialization Paradigm for SLA.

The 2002 Summer Workshop offerings are • Teaching Writing in the Foreign Language Classroom – June 17-19. didactics. 2002 For more information on the Summer research. Contact the CLEAR office to join the mailing list or see it on the Web at http://clear. CLEAR offers stipends to help defray the workshop fees and travel/accommodation Have a new idea for a Game-O-Matic activity? Contact Dennie Hoopingarner at hooping4@msu. but it also regularly invites papers in other languages so as to strengthen scientific and technical exchanges between linguistic communities that too often remain Apprentissage des Langues et Systèmes d'Information et de Communication (ALSIC) ALSIC (Language Learning and Information and Communication Systems. Language Learning & Technology 13 . The journal gives priority to papers from the French-speaking community and/or in French. psycholinguistics. TEACHER TRAINING 2002 Summer Workshops CLEAR is offering eight summer workshops in 2002 for foreign language educators to help strengthen and expand their teaching skills. 2002 Developing and Managing a Tutorial-Based Language Program for LCTLs – August 5-6.msu. Teachers can make original Game-O-Matic games by visiting http://clear. MI 48824-1027 Phone: 517/432-2286 Fax: 517/432-0473 Email: clear@msu. http://alsic.News from Sponsoring Organizations Game-O-Matic The Game-O-Matic is a suite of wizards that create Web-based activities for language learning and practice. and computer science. For more information about 2002 Promoting Motivation and Interest in Foreign Languages Inside and Outside of the Classroom – June 25-28. 2002 Beyond Web Pages – July 15-19.msu. Newsletter CLEAR News is a biyearly publication covering FL teaching is an electronic journal in French for researchers and practitioners in fields related to applied linguistics. 2002 Basic Web Pages for Late Bloomers – July 9-12. go to http://clear. contact Center for Language Education And Research (CLEAR) A712 Wells Hall Michigan State University East Lansing. 2002 • • • • • • • Using Communicative Activities in a Grammar-Based Curriculum – June 20-22. computational linguistics. educational sciences. 2002 Materials Development Marathon: Creating Online Communicative Activities from Start to Finish – July 29-August 2. and 2002 Putting Flash into Your Course – July 22-26. The editorial board of ALSIC invites you to contact them for any prospective contributions at the following electronic address: infos@alsic. content-based language teaching through technology. materials a register of projects. German. and technology and second language learning. We intend to establish a network of complementary and collaborating resources for teachers and learners in the TELL domain in schools and tertiary institutions. Check out these and other CARLA resources on the CARLA Web site at http://carla. less commonly taught languages. exchanging. whose e-mail location is atell@lingua.uq. second language learning strategies.arts. current and Prof. Launched in 1993 with funding from the national Title VI Language Resource Center program of the U. Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition. listservs for teachers of less commonly taught languages and immersion educators. culture and language studies. The University of Queensland (sussex@lingua.S. in TELL research. Roly Sussex. Mike Levy. speaking. courseware a section for FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) what's new -.News from Sponsoring Organizations The Australian Technology Enhanced Language Learning Consortium (ATELL) Contacts: Dr. Mike Levy and Professor Roly Sussex are developing the concept in collaboration with Mr.uq. and advance the quality of second language teaching. development. and applying this knowledge in the wider society. Language Learning & Technology 14 . University of Minnesota (CARLA) CARLA is one of nine National Language Resource Centers whose role is to improve the nation's capacity to teach and learn foreign languages effectively.uq. libraries. second language assessment. and a battery of instruments in French. It has recently been moved to The University of Queensland. and resources such as • • • • • • • • • • a register of Australian TELL experts links to other sites with TELL-related information and materials links to reviews of hardware. which will include information. and Spanish for assessing learners' proficiency in and assessment by conducting research and action projects sharing research-based and other forms of knowledge across disciplines and education systems extending. The University of Queensland (mlevy@lingua. and listening at the intermediate-low level on the ACTFL scale. we are reviving the ATELL mailing list. a working paper series. CARLA's research and action initia tives include a focus on the articulation of language instruction. ATELL is supported by the Language Laboratory at the University of Queensland. a database which lists where less commonly taught languages are taught throughout the CARLA's mission is to study multilingualism and multiculturalism. conferences and workshops. language immersion education. learning. and related resources for developers audio and video files for language learning support policies and discussion special interest groups In addition.umn. CARLA offers the following resources: a summer institute program for teachers. implementation software modules. where Dr. Department of Education. To share its latest research and program opportunities with language teachers around the country. writing.arts. ATELL is an informal collaboration of Australian language teachers involved in technology-enhanced language learning and teaching. There will be a Web site. develop knowledge of second language acquisition. Greg Dabelstein. software. collaboration.ideas. coordinator of the CALL special interest group of the Association of Modern Language Teachers' Associations of Australia (AFMTLA).

Publications include books on language education. and policy analysis. and linguistics. and bilingual education including our newest Digest. CAL carries out a wide range of activities in the fields of English as a second language. instructional design. conference planning. The latest NCLE Digest. Recent articles in Language Link include a review of the 2000 US Census and its implications for language educators. and serves as a resource for information about language and culture. and a Language Policy update. technical assistance. nonprofit organization that promotes and improves the teaching and learning of languages. Recent ERIC/CLL Digests cover a range of topics in ESL. research reports. cultural education. teacher education. profiles of effective Early Foreign Language Programs. ERIC/CLL Language Link.News from Sponsoring Organizations The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) The Center for Applied Linguistics is a private. CAL collaborates with other language education organizations on the following projects: News from the ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics • News from the National Center for ESL Literacy Education Facts and Statistics Related to Adult ESL provides links to resources that NCLE most often consult for statistics on adult ESL and the populations served by adult ESL programs. These activities include research. foreign languages. CoBaLTT (computer-assisted language learning). and print and online newsletters. Diversity & Excellence Improving Foreign Languages in the Schools Project of the Northeast and Island Regional Laboratory at Brown University National Capitol Language Resource Center National K-12 Foreign Language Resource Center National Network for Early Language Learning ERIC/CLL’s quarterly online newsletter. Language Learning & Technology 15 . information dissemination. Lexical Approach to Second Language Teaching. covers current topics in language education. Major CAL projects include the following: • • • • § § § § § • ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics National Clearinghouse for ESL Literacy Education Refugee Service Center Pre-K-12 School Services Center for Research on Education. curricula. Reflective Teaching Practice in Adult ESL Settings offers the adult ESL practitioner background information and step-by-step suggestions for using reflective processes as a tool for professional development. identifies and solves problems related to language and culture. foreign language. online databases of language programs and assessments. teacher training materials. program evaluation.

CALICO provides both leadership and perspective in the ever-changing field of computer-assisted instruction. The 2003 IALLT conference will be held at the University of Michigan. CALICO Monograph Series.News from Sponsoring Organizations Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO) Since its inception in 1983. creativity. and culture. published by Cambridge University Press. and works towards the exploitation of electronic communications systems for language learning. International Association for Language Learning Technology (IALLT) Established in 1965. European Association for Computer Assisted Language Learning (EUROCALL) EUROCALL is an association of language teaching professionals from Europe and worldwide aiming to • • • Promote the use of foreign languages within Europe Provide a European focus for all aspects of the use of technology for language learning Enhance the quality. visit the CALICO homepage at http://www. ReCALL.eurocall.21. community colleges. Forthcoming EUROCALL conference • EUROCALL 2002 will be at the University of Jyväskylä. The association organises special interest meetings and annual conferences. dissemination. is one of the leading academic journals covering research into computer-assisted and technology-enhanced language learning. K-12 schools. Special Interest Groups (SIGs). It comprises language teachers and researchers from universities. and efficiency of CALL materials EUROCALL's journal. integration. IALLT (formerly IALL) is a professional organization whose members provide leadership in the development. To learn more about CALICO activities and how to participate in them. military academies. 14 . contact us at http://www. CALICO Resource Guide. and numerous other publications. and the IALL Lab Management Manual. developers and vendors of hardware and software. Members include directors and staff of language labs. the LLTI listserv (Language Learning Technology International). literature. and key publications such as the IALL Journal. Language Learning & Technology 16 . the IALL Language Center Design Its strong sense of community promotes the sharing of expertise in a variety of educational contexts. visit the IALLT Web site at www. For information. CALICO has served as an international forum for language teachers who want to develop and utilize the potential of advanced technology to support their teaching and research needs.17 August 2002. grant project developers and Finland.calico. and management of instructional technology for the teaching and learning of language. language teachers at all levels. evaluation. For those involved in education and training. EUROCALL provides information and advice on all aspects of the use of technology for language learning. June 17 . resource or media centers.iallt. Through its Annual Symposia. and diversity of its members. CALICO Journal. The strength of CALICO derives from the enthusiasm. For full details. IALLT offers biennial and commercial enterprises. government agencies. regional groups and meetings.

unlike these research domains. as well as theory-based rubrics for assessing second language teaching. 6. 2).Language Learning & Technology http://llt. Bird Computer Applications in Second Language Acquisition is one of the latest offerings in the Cambridge University Press Applied Linguistics Series.g. testing. computer-assisted second language acquisition research (CASLR). UK Reviewed by Stephen A. Cambridge University Press Cambridge. Her book aims to provide some of that understanding. CASLA's research questions and methodology are focused on identifying "theoretically and empirically based criteria for choosing among the potential design options and methods for evaluating their effectiveness for promoting learners' Copyright © 2002. reliable data from which to evaluate learning performance under various conditions. Related fields such as corpus linguistics. It presents a detailed review of computer technology's contribution to the teaching and learning of second languages.95 228 pp. the impact of which has been pervasive and profound. Chapelle's book assumes from the outset that "anyone concerned with second language teaching and learning in the 21st century needs to grasp the nature of the unique technology-mediated tasks learners can engage in for language acquisition and how such tasks can be used for assessment" (p. And of course. 41). 17-20 REVIEW OF COMPUTER APPLICATIONS IN SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION Computer Applications in Second Language Acquisition Cambridge Applied Linguistics Series Carol A. Chapelle 2001 ISBN 0-521-62646-3 £ 13. Chapelle questions the extent to which computer technology has benefited SLA. computational linguistics. a field where the aim. e. The detailed electronic records of student communication that are now possible allow scholars and teachers to access accurate. she argues. teacher-researchers now have ready access to statistical software packages allowing efficient data analysis. The volume reflects the rapid expansion of computer applications in second language acquisition (abbreviated by Chapelle as CASLA) and related fields of inquiry such as computer-assisted language learning (CALL). Vol. the LLT special issue on corpus linguistics). ISSN 1094-3501 17 . The advent of local area networks and then the World Wide Web has generated an amazing increase in the amount of target language available to January 2002. Chapters 1 and 2 present a detailed history of the use of computers in second language acquisition (SLA) research and practice since the 1950's. as well as greater opportunites to communicate with native speakers. Chapelle makes it clear that there is really no area of applied linguistics that has not been dramatically affected by the advances in computer technology of the last 20 years. and educational technology have exploited technology effectively and can make huge contributions to SLA (see. and computerassisted language testing (CALT). Num. artificial intelligence.msu. and research materials and methods. is centered on improving learners' L2 communicative ability (p. However. 1 pp. However. which have become immensely important domains. and does so quite well.

meaning that CASLA has a unique research agenda. Num. 42). ISSN 1094-3501 18 . Vol. 1 January 2002.Language Learning & Technology http://llt. Copyright © 2002. 6.msu. 17-20 communicative ability" (p.

Chapelle's book may reflect the limit of theory construction in applied linguistics as a field. it is actually to her credit that the chapter lays out the many tricky dimensions of language testing. Chapters 4 and 5 suggest some directions forward if computer technology is harnessed appropriately. and authenticity. The criteria included are extensive. a far more robust set of data is available to teachers and researchers. Chapelle describes a few studies but concludes that "in short. The fact that test tasks can now be constructed on computer platforms means that detailed information about student performance can in principle be recorded and analyzed.seems to be a bit misleading given their lack of specificity. Bird Review of Computer Applications in SLA Chapter 3 raises the possibility of developing "a theory concerning ideal cognitive and socio-affective conditions for instructed SLA" (p.Reviewed by Stephen A." But if this limitation is real. and address questions of validity. one can run many more repeated-measures tests over long periods of time. examination of CALT in 2000 demonstrates that many … questions … about how to improve both Language Learning & Technology 19 . are not easy to determine and that teachers thus need to evaluate usefulness on a case-by-case basis. With this sort of power. If testing regimes allow an automated system to track student results on tests over time. Little of the theoretical content here looks like much of an advance over work produced in the late 1980's. but the advice offered here reads rather like formalized common sense and provides little in the way of practical guidance. arguably the domain where computers have had their most powerful impact (see the recent LLT special issue on computer-assisted language testing) Chapelle provides a comprehensive discussion of the relevant issues. practicality. As the chapter stresses. the recommendations offered here can be reasonably characterized as fairly general. testable theories. one cannot help but feel that this chapter is more of a problem statement than a useable solution to the task of constructing or evaluating a valid and reliable test of language learning. focusing on what she refers to as a "usefulness analysis" (p.that is. Chapter 4 is somewhat scant on examples of this sort of investigation. thus potentially yielding far more valid and reliable data on which to develop robust. these criteria are more subjective and context-dependent than they might appear at first. the ideal conditions for SLA are so complex and context-dependent that it is impossible to offer anything more precise than statements such as "motivated students will learn more quickly. and so on -. Chapelle is optimistic about the future of SLA theory. one wonders what the purpose of these rubrics and theories is. As in the case of materials evaluation in Chapter 2. One of the chronic problems in SLA research is that studies are often too short-lived for learning outcomes to be assessed properly or predictions to be tested in a convincing way. 45). reliability. Nonetheless.error rates.collecting in an automated fashion far more data than has been possible thus far in most SLA research. Considering the number of usefulness criteria presented. For example. reaction times. Unfortunately. such as validity. recording numerous factors -. 148) of test materials. For the most part. The ideal conditions for learning discussed in this chapter are fairly vague and not particularly new. the chapter stresses that many of the criteria." Admittedly. How near are we to Chapelle's stated aim of constructing a theory of ideal conditions for second language learning that can help in the design and evaluation of computerbased learning? In fact.46). For example. as statements that allow testable predictions about optimum conditions for learning -. experimental sense -. Chapelle proposes that the teacher (or computer programmer/materials developer) select "a range of structures" because some SLA research suggests "learners will acquire particular structures when they are ready to" (p. Chapter 4 addresses computer technology's impact on language testing. it is impossible to provide specific. concrete recommendations to cover all learning contexts. But to call them theories in a scientific. But it would be misleading to say that this makes the job of constructing and evaluating a valid and reliable computerized test much easier. useful statements that inexperienced teachers can consult as a starting point for evaluating and developing materials and methods. she cautions that teachers should also be aware that "learners need to be exposed to language which is within their grasp" on the grounds that "language far beyond or beneath learners' abilities or needs is not useful for acquisition. This is not a criticism of Chapelle's book. However.

CALT and CASLR. R. this volume is a good beginning. CALT.M. Computer technology offers potential in this regard but is yet to be fully exploited. There is an over reliance on just a few studies when providing examples of computer-assisted SLA.for example. REFERENCES Reber. and hence. J. S.Reviewed by Stephen A. Chapter 5 examines the contribution of computers to CASLR. as an early contribution to what is a promising area of SLA work. This chapter is perhaps the least convincing of the book. And. E-mail: stevebird@appliedpsycholinguistics. to improve second language instruction. G. Nevertheless. ABOUT THE REVIEWER Steve Bird holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge Research Centre for English and Applied Linguistics. the final chapter offers a rough guide to what those materials should do but few specific recommendations. 855-863. In general.T. materials that allow authentic learning to take place while automatically recording a wide range of data relevant to testing CALT and CASLR. Two modes of transfer in artificial grammar learning. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior. Language Learning & Technology 20 . Tunney. Memory. The final chapter sketches some future directions for CALL. Implicit learning of artificial languages. Bird Review of Computer Applications in SLA theory and practice in language testing through the use of computers still remain" (p. for an early example. see Tunney & Altmann. Chapelle concludes that innovations in CASLA have the potential to allow CALL. although artificial grammar learning is an extensively researched terrain in experimental psychology (see Reber. CALT and CASLR.not even a review -. And the limited number of examples of CALT tests presented in the chapter leave the reader with no clear idea of the form these advances will take. For example.. 27(3). 1967.from outside of SLA journals is lamentable and leaves the chapter looking fairly thin in its coverage of important research. Computer Applications in Second Language Acquisition provides a very readable overview of the issues to consider in developing and employing CALL.130). (2001). and Cognition. consistent with the rest of the book. The fact that the chapter does not cite any work -. and again provides a list of criteria for evaluating research methods. a language learning software development company. (1967). He is founder and CEO of Applied PsychoLinguistics Ltd UK. Chapelle makes it clear that there is yet much to be done but. for a recent study and literature review). A. 2001. & Altmann. Chapelle stresses the importance of developing software that cuts across all of these fields . and CASLR to gain deeper understanding of SLA. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning. DeKeyser's (1995) study of implicit and explicit learning using an artificial grammar is cited repeatedly. 614-639. particularly in terms of the amount of research reviewed.

Language Learning & Technology http://llt. 6.00).uk 0902683-46-4 PC only. Vol. Structure and Organization. Getting started with Listening to Lectures is easy. Upon beginning a unit. Windows 95.00) ISBN Platform System requirements Support Target language Target audience Price Reviewed by Meena Singhal. These clips are divided among six units: Openings. the user can access the entire transcript of what the lecturer is saying by clicking on the speech bubble. 16 bit color or better). Full-site license (£400. Num. 21-26 REVIEW OF ESSENTIAL ACADEMIC SKILLS IN ENGLISH: LISTENING TO LECTURES Title Publisher Essential Academic Skills in English: Listening to Lectures CD-ROM (Volume I) CELTE University of Warwick Conventry CV4 January 2002. SVGA display (800 x 600. computer speakers. Users simply click on the unit they wish to study. ISSN 1094-3501 21 .00). The video clip can be controlled by clicking on the pla y and pause buttons and by dragging the slider with the cursor. Users also have the option of going through an introductory tour before beginning. Long Beach City College OVERVIEW Essential Academic Skills in English: Listening to Lectures is a stand-alone PC software package designed for non-native speakers of English who intend to undertake university study in English. The tasks are organized around watching video clips from lectures. At any time during the program.00). contains digital video of academic lectures as well as activities based on these lectures. Attitudes and Significance. including the sciences. and Argumentation. Listening to Lectures. 5 user license (£120. 486 processor or better with 8 MB of RAM (16 MB preferred) English (British) Not stated. Functions 1. In addition. sound card. or NT. the first in the EASE CD-ROM series.msu. Functions 2. and thus introduces learners to the kinds of lecture situations and listening activities they will likely encounter in academic settings.ease. 6-20 user license (£220. social sciences. 1 pp. the user can also access the dictionary Copyright © 2002. United Kingdom Phone: (0044) (0)-24 7652 8440 Fax: (0044) (0)-24 7652-4318 Email: easeteam@warwick. mouse http://www. but it appears to be designed for advanced intermediate or advanced adult students. Learners first complete pre-viewing activities and then watch the video clip. 2000. and humanities. Single user copy (£30. the instructions inform the user of how to proceed. DESCRIPTION Listening to Lectures contains 85 short video clips (approximately 1-2 minutes) from 40 authentic lectures given in 25 different departments. Information about the lecture such as the title and the speaker of the lecture can be obtained by clicking on the "i" button.

The exercises are varied in terms of type and format. Video clip and transcript After users watch the video clip. these exercises emphasize lecture content and rhetorical features. they complete exercises about the lecture. On-screen note-taking Language Learning & Technology 22 . For the most part. drag and drop exercises. Figure 1. and they include matching questions. thus providing them with the context for the word. Users also have the option of taking on-screen notes while watching the video (see Figure 2). multiple choice questions. including discourse-level as well as sentencelevel activities. Figure 2. and cloze-tests.Reviewed by Meena Singhal Review of EASE: Listening to Lectures which contains definitions of words in the lectures and allows learners immediate access to the video-clip in which the word is used.

users views three video clips and are asked to identify (from a list) the ways in which the speakers opened their lectures.Reviewed by Meena Singhal Review of EASE: Listening to Lectures Learners can get feedback on their answers or choose to see the correct answers by using the Done and Reveal buttons. respectively. in all cases a brief explanation of why the user's answer was incorrect is provided Figure 3. and transitions. In the second unit. Choices include "the speaker tells a joke. while in another they identify opening and closing phrases used in a video clip. the focus is on the ways in which speakers structure their lectures and the language they use to talk about structure. Structure and Organization. More form-focused activities in this unit require the user to identify the tense of the verbs being used by the speaker in the clip. While the form of feedback varies depending on the type of exercise. and thus the six video clips in this unit are all of the beginnings of lectures. focuses on some of the things lecturers commonly do at the outset of their lectures. In one activity. or to type the missing words from the speaker's lecture. questions on discourse and rhetorical features include." "the speaker states what they're going to talk about. Language Learning & Technology 23 . Openings. Topics covered include opening and closing summaries. "Did the speaker introduce himself?" "How many parts is the speech divided into?" and "How many broad questions is the lecture organized around?" Other activities require the user to type in the phrases that the lecturer uses to talk about the structure of the lecture. In this unit. In one activity. Feedback The first unit." and so forth. markers. users watch video clips and then identify whether they were opening or closing summaries.

" and "serious" with the appropriate clip. users are asked to consider the purpose of academic discourse and their role within it. classifying. which is based on truth and is factual. Functions 1 and Functions 2. users are first presented with information explaining a common organizational pattern for arguments.Reviewed by Meena Singhal Review of EASE: Listening to Lectures Figure 4. comparing and contrasting. navigation is straightforward ." "formal. style and manner. Drag and drop activity. In addition to thinking about how arguments are constructed. They also engage in activities in which they are asked to listen for specific phrases that might indicate a lecturer does not agree with a particular notion. which is based on imagination and is invented. users identify arguments and study the language and structure of arguments. this unit also contains activities based on longer. and exemplifying. and identification of non-literal meaning. the focus is on features of academic discourse. and fiction. In Unit 5. Attitudes and Significance. In other words. A drag-and-drop activity asks them to match words such as "informal. They are asked to identify which ones appear in a speech and which phrases are used to evaluate an argument. learners can click on the Home icon to return to the main Language Learning & Technology 24 . users are introduced to some of the things speakers usually do in lectures such as defining. In another activity. Further. In the third and fourth units. speakers' attitude about a topic. the user practices distinguishing between significant and less significant points made by lecturers and examines the degree to which the lecturer is committed to what he or she is saying. they view a video clip and try to match the points the lecturer makes with the pattern." "humorous. In addition to exercises centered around video clips. in one activity on style and manner. and page numbers inform users of their progress through units. This is done through activities that ask users to identify importance markers. In the final unit. EVALUATION This program offers a well-designed user interface and the operation of the program is self-explanatory and clear. written passages. Argumentation. Users begin by learning about the differences between documentary. For example. users view video clips of two different speakers. At any time during the program. Next.

effective listening activities should be based on authentic. after having moved beyond the first unit. 1991. She is the editor of an online publication. Rubin. Such activities are in line with constructivist approaches to language learning which view knowledge acquisition as a dynamic process where learners are the architects. as well as use in courses. as users cannot only listen to speakers but can also see their gestures. A strong feature of the program is the sound pedagogy on which it is based. may find this somewhat distracting initially. including using non-verbal cues to assist in comprehension. Rubin. 1998). Another important point to note is that the videos provide visual support. it is best as a curricular supplement for high intermediate and advanced levels. rather than scripted input designed specifically for nonnative speakers. Listening to Lectures provides users with opportunities to employ both top-down and bottomup processing skills (see Dunkel.Reviewed by Meena Singhal Review of EASE: Listening to Lectures page of the first unit. Although the form of feedback varies. such as those who aim to enter a U. On the other hand. or planning to enter. CALLEJ. and predicting information. the feedback is generally useful and in many sections. the sound quality is quite good. ABOUT THE REVIEWER Meena Singhal (PhD. However. facial expressions. Morley. of knowledge (McGroarty. 1991. Some of her publications have appeared in Language Teaching and Research. Some feedback responses. The overall format and content is most suited to students in. While all learners will likely benefit from exposure to a wide range of English pronunciation patterns. In Listening to Lectures. recognizing rhetorical organization. In addition. and extracting implied meaning from what they hear. evaluation and synthesis of material. 1994. CA. is that all speakers have British accents. Generally speaking.S. such as "Are you serious? Try again" offer little in the way of encouragement. to name a few. Nonetheless. Another positive aspect of the program is that many activities are designed to help users develop listening strategies. SUMMARY Essential Academic Skills in English: Listening to Lectures is easy to use and could undoubtedly improve listening comprehension and academic listening skills. for example. they have an opportunity to replay the clip and attempt the question again. and On-CALL: The Australian Journal of Computers and Language Education. rather than the recipients. Students can also practice a range of skills such as inferencing. learners in other settings. college or university settings. Mendelsohn. learners of British English will likely appreciate this aspect of Listening to Lectures. which deals primarily with Language Learning & Technology 25 . input (Dunkel. correct answers and a brief explanation are always provided. 1995). The Reading Matrix: An International Online Journal. According to current research. synthesizing and summarizing information. Because its main focus is on improving listening skills in this type of setting. however. 1995). The reviewer highly recommends this program and believes it will be useful to both nonnative and native students who wish to improve their academic listening skills. 1983. learners are presented with naturalistic spoken language. Such an approach is consistent with current theory. the user cannot return to the main menu without exiting the program and starting again. rather than simplified. One important point to note. when learners get the wrong answer. which views listening as a highly active process of selecting and interpreting information from auditory and visual cues (Ric hards. however. Many of the pre-listening activities are designed to provide background information and activate schemata by encouraging the users to think about what they already know about the lecture topic and the skill to be practiced. and body language which can increase comprehension. 1991). The availability of feedback makes Listening to Lectures suitable for self-instructional purposes. college. The University of Arizona) teaches Academic Reading and ESL at Long Beach City College.

cc. TESOL Quarterly. D. San Diego. Mendelsohn and J. (1991). procedure. design. Her research interests include reading instruction and technology and the design of CALL materials for academic reading and reading comprehension. Morley. Rubin (Eds. Celce-Murcia (Ed. Constructive and constructivist challenges for applied linguistics. 81-106). Listening comprehension: Approach. Rubin. Teaching English as a second or foreign language (2nd ed.Reviewed by Meena Singhal Review of EASE: Listening to Lectures issues related to second language reading and literacy.. (1991). The contribution of video to the development on competence in listening. CA: Dominie Press. In D. (1994). 431-457. P. CA: Dominie Press. J. 591-622. Mendelsohn. Language Learning. Learning to listen: A strategy-based approach for the second-language learner. 219-240. J. (1983). J. 151-165).). M. Listening comprehension in second/foreign language instruction. TESOL Quarterly. 17(2). (1995).). (1998). Boston: Heinle and Heinle. A guide for the teaching of second language listening (pp. McGroarty. pp. E-mail: msinghal@lbcc. San Diego. 25(3). Richards. Language Learning & Technology 26 . J. Listening in the native and second/foreign language. In REFERENCES Dunkel. Toward an integration of research and practice.

uk/ETWebPages/Orders/orderF. ISSN 1094-3501 27 . Vol. 27-32 REVIEW OF ADVANCED FRENCH: INTERACTIVE VIDEO LANGUAGE LEARNING WITH "AU COEUR DE LA LOI" Title Platform System requirements Advanced French: Interactive Video Language Learning with "Au coeur de la loi" Mac OS 8. There are no directions explaining where or how to begin the program.Language Learning & Technology http://llt.6+. word search. 200 Mh. Italian. which includes Advanced English. record your own voice. Windows 98/2000 PC: Pentium. Each DVD in the series. is based on an episode from a television program in the target language. 6. Copyright © 2002. Advanced French is based on an episode of Au coeur de la loi (At the Heart of the Law).uk/ETWebPages/Products/DVDF. 50MB free disk space. Spanish. Soundcard Mac: G3 or G4 processor (e. although the "video and text" button does receive prominence at the top and center of the screen (see Figure 1). Num. a French television series which features a female detective and her male colleagues in Paris.html) 1-862-21403-4 Publisher / contact information Support offered Target language Target audience Price ISBN Reviewed by Susan Carpenter Binkley. these are all based on the video. 16 bit color display. DVD ROM drive.msu. activities.g.eurotalk. and quiz. German. January 2002. 315-317 New Kings Road London SW6 4RF Tel: 44 (0) 207 371 7711 Fax: 44 (0) 207 371 7781 http://www. and Italian as well as French. DESCRIPTION The main menu of Advanced French presents users with six choices: Video and text. dictionary. DVD ROM drive Microphone is needed to record one's voice EuroTalk Ltd. according to ordering information on Web site (http://www. 800x600. While it is possible to begin with the 64MB http://www. and Spanish programs also available) Intermediate or Advanced French (suitable for university and high school levels) 34.html "Help" screens are provided within the program Printed instructions are inside cover of product French ( DVD iMac).99 GBP. and thus users who are unfamiliar with the episode will likely become confused. The Five Colleges of Ohio Consortium OVERVIEW Advanced French is a new DVD-ROM in a series of advanced language lessons produced by EuroTalk Interactive.eurotalk.eurotalk. 128MB RAM. This button takes the user to the heart of the DVD: the 50-minute video episode of Au coeur de la loi. 1 pp.

with the French transcript appearing as subtitles below the television frame (see Figure 2) . as it includes information from the other activities.Susan Carpenter Binkley Review of Advanced French… Figure 1. However. users can consult the reference tools and complete the activities largely in the order they see fit. Video and text screen Language Learning & Technology 28 . Au coeur de la loi plays within a television-like frame. the quiz should probably be done last. Video and Text (Vidéo et texte) Clicking on Vidéo et texte takes the user to the video and transcript. Main menu After viewing the video. Figure 2.

users can eliminate one incorrect answer by clicking the question mark icon at the bottom of the screen. Advanced French includes both untimed "practice sessions" (entrainement) and timed "tests. icons. clicking on a given word displays a frame from the video with the corresponding object circled while a voice-over provides a pronunciation model. and those several seconds seem to go by rather quickly. The dictionary is accessible only from the main menu and is not hotlinked from any other activity in the program. and spelling. or menu items) or to scroll through the episode's transcript in its entirety." In the practice sessions.Susan Carpenter Binkley Review of Advanced French… It is also possible to view the video at full screen size (without subtitles. it lists the words spoken in the dialogue. No translations or definitions are provided. There is also a scene menu from which the learner can easily jump to any part of the video without scrolling through the dialogue or using the somewhat difficult to control fast-forward and reverse buttons. The spelling activity in particular requires a fair amount of clicking and dragging in a short time (see Figure 3). Figure 3. but instead of listing objects seen in the video. Some of the timed tests allow only several seconds to respond. listening comprehension. Dictionary (Dictionnaire) The dictionary consists of an alphabetical list of objects and characters seen in the video. In this mode. Rather than providing a definition. the student must rely exclusively on context to determine the meaning. Instead. Spelling test Language Learning & Technology 29 . Activities (Activités) The activities section consists of four different types of exercises which focus on vocabulary. For all four activities. clicking on any line of dialogue will cause the video to jump to the corresponding section of the episode. Word Search (Recherche de mots) Recherche de mots is similar to the dictionary. Clicking on a word plays the scene in which that word was uttered.

after users choose a character. unlike most of the others. out of six that are displayed (see Figure 4). Many of the targeted items are often covered in beginning level texts (e. recording their own voices. since the actors speak quickly.Susan Carpenter Binkley Review of Advanced French… Feedback for both correct and incorrect answers is provided. a transcript of the scene is not provided. with the exact form of the feedback varying by activity. here learners click and drag letters to spell the missing word. The spelling activity (épeler) is also based on a short clip from the video.. and "une voiture" (a car). Learners first view a very brief clip -. This activity is similar to the fill-in-the-blank exercise. In both practice and test modes. rather than choosing from a list of choices. the user's score. Language Learning & Technology 30 . Here. based on the total number of questions in the activity. As learners view the scene. They do not need to memorize the line. since a written transcription is provided. learners see and hear a single word and then click on the corresponding image.g. Learners repeat each line of dialogue. the transcript is provided with one word missing. which can be quite challenging. The vocabulary activity (vocabulaire) is a multiple-choice exercise based on the objects in the dictionary. Figure 4. However. Record Your Own Voice (Enregistrez-vous) The speaking component is located in the Enregistrez-vous section. After individually recording about five lines of dialogue. learners can play the entire scene with their own voice inserted into the proper places. is reported. "le pied" (a foot). For each item. so users must rely solely on their listening ability. In this activity. Finally.consisting of just one line of dialogue -. a scene with that character is shown. "What is the next line?" (Quel [sic] est la prochaine réplique?) is perhaps the most difficult of the four activities.and then must choose the next line of dialogue from a list of three possibilities. Learners click on the missing word from a list of 10 choices. However. Vocabulary activity Mot perdu is a fill-in-the-blank exercise based on brief scenes from Au coeur de la loi. users must keep pace with the original video. "une ceinture" (a belt). in that the transcript appears with one word missing.

particularly towards those of Language Learning & Technology 31 . none of the activities are based on communication. however. it could be challenging to incorporate this DVD into a class lesson and/or evaluate students' progress because of the absence of units or clearly divided segments. the comprehension questions do not require learners to use any higher-order skills such as reasoning. and then attempt to complete some of the exercises. Questions in the various exercises are posed in apparently random order and do not move chronologically through the storyline. and the running score for any tests taken. rather than speaking or writing. however. However. is about 50 minutes. It is therefore questionable whether the program lives up to the producers' billing as "interactive" since learners do not interact with other speakers. self-guided work in an intermediate to advanced language class. and the real challenge is to repeat the lines very quickly. In fact. however. In most cases. if the learner doesn't respond correctly. 186). Unfortunately. Users sign in when they begin. Moreover. this DVD would work nicely. English is the default language for the instructions. and a multiple choice question based on that clip appears and is read by the voice of a game show host. bookmark partially completed exercises. create oral and written activities to serve as a follow-up to the video in order to encourage oral and written communication. Advanced French provides even less than a "databank of preprogrammed responses". Of the four basic skills. nor does it return the users to point where they left off on the previous use. users are given the opportunity to choose the language for the instructions on the help screens. the speaking exercises consist only of repeating lines of dialogue. they could become frustrated. since the exercise questions will not necessarily reflect that portion of the video. For example. An instructor could. "the learner is in reality not interacting with another speaker . Help Features Upon launching the DVD. a rehabilitated delinquent. but one can also choose French. EVALUATION Advanced French is appropriate for individual.Susan Carpenter Binkley Review of Advanced French… Quiz (Quizz Vidéo) The Quizz Vidéo provides a game show format with a virtual competitor named Mathieu. if learners watch the first 30 minutes of the video. several days work to get through most of the activities because the video alone. However. A short clip from the video is shown. and all of the computer's supposed interactive responses are in fact drawn from a limited data bank of preprogrammed. but it is not clear which answer he chose. Holliday (1999) has noted this shortcoming of supposedly interactive software. This lack of segmentation is perhaps the biggest drawback for the teacher wishing to integrate Advanced French into a course syllabus. If the instructor has a regular "lab day" incorporated into the class schedule. the storyline involving Aziz. whenever users click on the small red and white life preserver at the bottom right of each screen. Thus. the only response to the learner's recorded voice is the next line of dialogue. the video addresses many current social issues that could form the basis for further discussion in class. before the recording function shuts off. played without interruption. they can read instructions in that language.. the questions tend to be straightforward and fact-oriented. Instead. alludes to problems of racism in the workplace. and the program keeps track of their progress for each use by indicating the date of the previous use. It does not. as well as a variety of other languages. the number of sessions practiced. Subsequently. from vocabulary and grammar ("Quel est l'impéritif présent du verbe réfléchir?" / What is the imperative of the verb to reflect?) to comprehension of the storyline ("Pourquoi est-ce que l'agent de police arrête la voiture?" / Why does the police office stop the car?). pre-audio-recorded or pre-video-recorded items" (p. there is apparently no way to learn the correct answer: "Mathieu" hits a button and receives the points. he writes.. It would require. Advanced French is strongest on listening and reading. These questions cover a range of information.

interaction. the use of Au coeur de la loi is one of the most attractive aspects of Advanced French in that it offers exposure to authentic French. Thus. *** Language Learning & Technology 32 . (1993). Nunan. the lack of opportunities for meaningful communication in these exercises provided means that instructors will likely want to supplement the DVD with various additional activities. (1999). Ohio Wesleyan University). juggles several different -. However. Theory and research: Input. son. Teaching language in context. *** Omaggio Hadley. Denison University. UK: Cambridge UP. Kenyon College. Béatrice. Her current research focuses on instructional design for foreign language Web activities. Although learners may at first feel overwhelmed by not being able to understand all of the spoken dialogue in the film. *** Holliday. the exercises are likely to alleviate this frustration by requiring much simpler language skills. rather than a film produced specifically for pedagogical REFERENCES Dickinson. In J.Susan Carpenter Binkley Review of Advanced French… North African descent. and boyfriend. (1989). and the use of digital video for second language acquisition. VA: TESOL. A. Alexandria. Hanson-Smith (Eds. Cambridge. UK: Cambridge University Press. and critical issues. The main character. SUMMARY Many students will likely find it interesting to watch a recent television episode created for native speakers of French. L. Boston: Heinle and Heinle. (1987). and CALL. E-mail: binkleys@kenyon. Designing tasks for the communicative classroom. Cambridge. The activities created by EuroTalk do not elaborate on these pertinent topics or coax the learner to explore them in more depth. ABOUT THE REVIEWER Susan Carpenter Binkley has a PhD in French from the Ohio State University. Oberlin College.and often competing -relationships with her mother. L. D. She currently serves as Language Technology Specialist for the Ohio Five Foreign Language Project (The College of Wooster. CALL environments: Research. practice.). Egbert & E. Self-instruction in language learning. supported by a grant from the Mellon Foundation.

8x CD-ROM Customer service: http://www.service@mcgraw-hill. 640 x 480 256-color display.5 or later. Num. It forms the core of a larger package that includes a textbook and a workbook/laboratory manual which is appropriate for self-study or classroom-based learners. To understand the content of an January 2002. 640 x 480 256color display. SoundBlaster compatible sound card with microphone and speakers Macintosh: PowerPC 100 MHz processor. 33-39 REVIEW OF TESOROS: A MULTIMEDIA-BASED SPANISH COURSE ON CD-ROM Title Platforms System requirements Tesoros: A Multimedia-Based Spanish Course on CD-ROM." The narrative-based curriculum centers around a detective who searches for a hidden treasure located somewhere in the Spanish-speaking world. Each of the 16 lessons is organized around a multimedia episode of the story. 16 MB of RAM.msu.mhhe. Copyright © 2002. ISSN 1094-3501 33 . 1). 6. Introductory level. The student plays the detective's 0-07-234220-X Publisher Support offered Target language Target audience Price ISBN Reviewed by Joseph Spanish. completing a number of tasks that are meant to help the sleuth find the hidden treasure. a plot element which takes users to a myriad of countries.mhhe. Stand-alone set of 5 CD-ROMs: $45 Institutional lab pack (10 sets of 5 CD-ROMs): $320 Site license: Contact your local McGraw-Hill representative http://www. 8x CD-ROM drive. students view and listen to a comic -strip-like episode. First. students can roll their mouse over a caption to hear an audio-recording of the dialogue. 16 MB of RAM. OH 43218-2605 Phone: 1-800-262-4729 (students) Phone: 1-800-338-3987 (instructors) Fax: 1-614-759-3644 E-mail: customer. Windows: Pentium 100 MHz processor. Windows 95/98 Macintosh: System 7. microphone and speakers McGraw-Hill Companies PO Box 182605 Columbus. Vol. According to the accompanying information booklet (p. Northern Arizona University Tesoros is an introductory multimedia Spanish course on five CD-ROMs. 1 pp.Language Learning & Technology http://llt. Tesoros "offers students the opportunity to explore Spanish through an intriguing story line" and it "contains many interactive task-based activities.

. Figure 2. Dialogue with hyperlinks to lexical and grammatical information.Reviewed by Joseph Collentine Review of Tesoros. Figure 1. Story episode Double-clicking on any frame in the episode opens a window with the dialogue transcribed and hyperlinked to information about lexical and grammatical features (see Figure 2).. Language Learning & Technology 34 .

Reviewed by Joseph Collentine Review of Tesoros. 1996). concentrating on the extent to which Tesoros is compatible with what are presumed to be effective computer-assisted language learning (CALL) design features. 1989).. Finally. the student reads and listens to a list of vocabulary items related to the episode. although Tesoros does not include any of the currently available technologies that allow learners to negotiate messages with either fellow students or their instructors (e. Finally. & Duguid.. since it appears to be more informed by cultural and social psychological theories of learning. Collins. which posits that the acquisition of linguistic phenomena is facilitated by negotiating for meaning. Subsequently. Tesoros' designers also attempt to engage Spanish learners in taskbased activities. Lafford (2001) recently reviewed the Tesoros package for CALICO. who requires them to compose e-mails and record biographical information about certain characters.. Learners then complete a series of tasks assigned by the detective. Various activities are designed to help the learner retain these lexical items. which reflects the increasing acceptance of the social psychological thesis that instruction should encourage knowledge acquisition through "situated cognition" (Brown. The perspective on learning taken by Tesoros' designers is somewhat broader.g. Figure 3. Learners must also recreate portions of the episode's dialogue by means of a drag-and-drop activity. each lesson ends with a grammar explanation and accompanying exercises. chat rooms). 2001). Using a mystery story as the foundation for the course is consistent with one thesis of cultural psychology: that the narrative is an effective tool with which to foster knowledge acquisition (Bruner. Language Learning & Technology 35 . Chapelle's features are motivated by interactionist SLA research. Lafford's thorough and insightful assessment concludes that Tesoros is compatible with about half of the multimedia design features that Chapelle (1998) argues will create fruitful conditions for second language acquisition (SLA). the designers demonstrate an awareness of recent CALL discussions on the need for materials to provide so-called "interactive software features" that give learners frequent feedback and that affect a non-linear experience (see Labour. Vocabulary and grammar activities.

. To be sure. Other groundbreaking FL projects include French in Action and A la rencontre de Philippe. derive a solution for some dilemma. advanced organizers) facilitate the acquisition process because they add new memories to related. vocabulary. bits of information (McLaughlin. what the detective might see and eat. Activities that involve learners' episodic memory and cognitive "scripts" (e. 1997. Most linguistic structures (e.g. 1989. and make choices about how to achieve a goal. see also Salaberry. as narratives provide an anchor with which to integrate new information. a work of art that the learner enjoyed might "mysteriously" reappear in a subsequent episode. For example. portions of the narrative's development could be contingent on the user's interaction with cultural materials.. historical. since learners must use Spanish communicatively in the role of a detective's assistant who needs to gather and organize clues. However. and musical information about any given place. Tesoros effectively uses its story line as a unifying theme when providing opportunities for learners to develop their lexical and grammatical abilities. the use of narrative as a curricular cornerstone can be particularly beneficial in this medium. TESOROS' USE OF THE NARRATIVE AS A CURRICULAR FOUNDATION Narratives whose content constitutes a central and unifying theme within a given curriculum represent a key factor in facilitating knowledge acquisition since they provide a cognitively efficient mechanism around which learners can build new knowledge about culture and language (Bruner. links. the materials do not clearly specify task demands that might require the learner to seek specific information. Education. Tesoros does not adequately integrate this cultural information in the narrative. 1989). Long. pedagogues have spoken of the need to involve learners in task-based activities. and Narrative Organization) has specifically researched the facilitative effects of narratives on learning in multimedia environments. It is questionable whether some activities labeled "tasks" will truly involve learners in situated cognition.. In future versions of this software.. or. a student might choose from a selection of songs to buy. grammatical phenomena) are introduced through the comic -strip episodes. While the CD-ROM and Web links provide a plethora of social. 1996). even though one of the learner's duties is to study cultural information about the country in which each episode takes place.. Because computer-based materials can overload the novice with data (e.g. teachers using Tesoros in courses will likely want to design such activities.g. Technology-based Spanish FL materials have embraced the potential benefits of the narrative since the introduction of Destinos. 1996). Some of Tesoros' task-based activities reflect these stipulations. writing tasks require students to use Spanish to uncover and maintain biographical information about the story's participants and correspond with the detective via (simulated) e-mail. Students role play. one duty that Language Learning & Technology 36 . Thus. stimuli). For instance. TESOROS AS A SOURCE FOR ENCOURAGING LEARNING THROUGH SITUATED COGNITION Situated cognition is a theory of social psychology asserting that knowledge acquisition results not only from abstract explanations of concepts but also from experiencing how that knowledge is useful in realworld problem solving (Brown et al.and foreign-language acquisition. Nunan. and more recently with the McGraw-Hill/Annenberg/CPB Nuevos Destinos project. Each chapter requires learners to complete various tasks based on the accompanying episode. rather than isolated. a video-based introductory course. or assignments where learners employ the target language while working towards some nonlinguistic goal (Crookes & Gass. Tesoros would have done well to provide activities requiring learners to conjecture about some of the places that the detective might visit in a given country. the Open University's MENO project (Multimedia.Reviewed by Joseph Collentine Review of Tesoros. literary. and important people that could provide information or even clues to the treasure's whereabouts. and that music might form the background music for some subsequent situation. 1987). Within the fields of second. 1993. and hyperlinks encourage students to seek the definitions of unknown words and grammar explanations. For example..

Cloze exercises. a linguist and a software engineer could collaborate to capitalize on various string operations to examine whether a particular verb appears in a user response (i.g. one of the learners' designated "tasks" is not. an activity might require a learner to pose questions to a character in the story. Similarly. 1999). Tesoros does not make clear the non-linguistic (i. drag-and-drop exercises). an input-oriented activity might require the learner to choose between one of several possible notes to send to the detective. Tesoros relies heavily on discrete-point types of exercises that require mostly one-word answers and that entail matching tasks (i. task-based at all. the application could prompt the learner to get that information from the dialogue. has raised concerns about the accuracy of software marketing that claims to give students an interactive experience (Blake. while recreating the content of a conversation is reasonably authentic detective work (to the extent that detectives often take notes on what they have heard or observed). From a software engineering perspective. the situational) purpose of such a task. Tesoros' authors do not mean to equate "interactive task-based activities" with interpersonal interaction. Concerning comprehension checks. the copula).. the comprehension checks do not provide the level of linguistic interactivity that the Macromedia Director authoring environment in which Tesoros was created could support. in a chat room environment) or between a user and the software (e....e. however. 2000). by definition. the Language Learning & Technology 37 .e. Tesoros does provide a non-linear experience. Yet. if the detective needed to know the whereabouts of a person possessing an important clue. Director contains numerous built-in string operations that parse simple and complex phrases. code such as that shown in Figure 4 could check the learner's response to see if it contains the appropriate interrogative..e. Figure 4. For instance. several grammar activities prompt students to write sentences employing a targeted structure (e. multiple choice questions. As one who authors pedagogical materials in Director (see Collentine. b) the degree to which students can explore content in a non-linear fashion. Erroneous or problematic portions of the learner's text automatically change to green. For instance. String operations checking for presence of interrogative. it simply requires learners to record and listen to sentences that they repeat from the episode. The student might then need to write a note reporting the person's whereabouts.g." Tesoros' principal author. Alternatively..g. in all likelihood. the comprehension checks could be more engaging. For instance. For the most part. yet. via some sort of Natural LanguageProcessing technology). targeting the use of interrogatives. Future versions of the software could ask students to act somehow on the information in the dialogue. Finally. TESOROS' INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE FEATURES An important CALL design issue as of late is the extent to which an application is "interactive. whether the response contains the targeted semantic information) and then whether that verb appears in the correct form..g. With a high degree of reliability. Robert Blake..Reviewed by Joseph Collentine Review of Tesoros. Students complete a drag-and-drop activity.. this reviewer believes that the software designers have not taken advantage of the algorithms that the Director API and its Lingo scripting language offer language instruction. matching written segments with their place in the episode's dialogue. Labour (2001) asserts that there are two important factors by which to assess an instructional application's degree of interactivity: a) the frequency and the variety of comprehension checks (e. the detective assigns his assistant involves the recreation of a portion of each episode's dialogue. Given that this program does not allow users to exchange information either between two people (e. open-ended questions). For example.

Tesoros is testimony to the need for commercial educational software to exploit more fully the tools that authoring environments offer.e.. this approach is likely to lead learners to consider the semantic value or grammatical features of terms that they might already know within a paradigm (e. singular. Yet. however. whereupon they see a "reference card" that reveals the grammatical paradigm to which the form belongs and any other related forms. Tesoros allows students to move freely within the various chapters of the story and within the various scenes of an episode. in the form of drawings). the interface and the application's software features allow for an interactive experience. a grammar lesson treating direct-object pronouns)." and "offset STRING1.Reviewed by Joseph Collentine Review of Tesoros.. learners can retrieve "graphic" glosses of unknown numerous vocabulary items in the dialogue (i. is that these reference cards do not contain links to parts of the software application where learners can access full lessons on the referenced grammatical item (e. direct-object pronoun).. Language Learning & Technology 38 . such as is stem and its inflection). this design feature might seem like a shortcoming. These forms are not translated into English.g. a list of direct-object pronouns appears.the first-person form -. convert it so that it takes parameters representing certain segments of any verb. Additionally. Perhaps by deductive efforts the learner will discern the meaning and/or function of te. STRING2" (where the result is the character position of STRING1 within STRING2) to determine whether the learner's utterance has a form of dormir and whether it is inflectionally appropriate. At the same time. in concert with Tesoros' print materials and any teacher-specific tasks. String operations checking for presence and accuracy of dormir Regarding linearity.represents)... the inclusion of more task-based activities that parallel real-world demands and linguistic interactions that take full advantage of Director's built-in string-parsing operations would likely provide learners with a more beneficial experience. The designers would do well to include specific tasks based on the cultural information provided." "STRING contains STRING. It would not be difficult for an engineer to make this code re-usable (i. Here students can explore in detail a wide variety of forms found within the narrative's dialogue. The multimedia materials. With any number of mouse events. Users can also click on a grammatical form.. SUMMARY The Tesoros CD-ROM package resides on a solid foundation of learning theory and materials design. it employs built in methods such as "the number of words in STRING.e.g. Superficially. What will likely be frustrating for some learners. Specifically. a learner may already know what me -. will provide learners with opportunities to develop their knowledge of the Hispanic world and the Spanish language in an engaging fashion. if a student clicks te (the second-person. Furthermore. For example. Figure 5. in future versions of this courseware. code shown in Figure 5 employs Lingo to examine a user's entire response to a question prompting the use of dormir (to sleep).

Reviewed by Joseph Collentine

Review of Tesoros...

ABOUT THE REVIEWER Joseph Collentine is an Associate Professor of Spanish at Northern Arizona University. He has published on CALL theory, materials design, and tracking technologies. He also researches the acquisition of morphosyntactically complex structures by foreign language learners of Spanish. E-mail: REFERENCES Blake, R. (1999). Nuevos destinos: A CD-ROM for advanced beginning Spanish. CALICO Journal, 17(1), 9-24. Brown, J. S., Collins, A., & Duguid, S. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 18(1), 32-42. Bruner, J. S. (1996). The culture of education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Chapelle, C. (1998). Multimedia CALL: Lessons to be learned from research on instructed SLA. Language Learning & Technology, 2(1), 22-34. Retrieved November 15, 2001, from Collentine, J. (2000). Insights into the construction of grammatical knowledge provided by user-behavior tracking technologies. Language Learning & Technology, 3(2), 44-57. Retrieved November 15, 2001, from Crookes, G., & Gass, S. (Eds.). (1993). Tasks and language learning: Integrating theory & practice. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters. Labour, M. (2001) Social constructivism and CALL: Evaluating some interactive features of networkbased authoring tools. ReCall, 13(1), 32-46. Lafford, P. (2001). Tesoros review. The CALICO Review. Retrieved November 15, 2001, from Long, M. H. (1997). Focus on form in task-based language teaching. Retrieved November 15, 2001, from McLaughlin, B. (1987). Theories of second language learning. London: Edward Arnold. Nunan, D. (1989). Designing tasks for the communicative classroom. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Salaberry, R. (1996). A theoretical foundation for the development of pedagogical tasks in computer mediated communication. CALICO Journal, 14(1), 5-36.

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Language Learning & Technology

January 2002, Vol. 6, Num. 1 pp. 40-59

Margaret A. DuFon California State University-Chico ABSTRACT In recent years increasing numbers of researchers have begun to investigate second language acquisition within the socio-cultural context in which it occurs using qualitative methods and approaches such as an ethnographic approach. This frequently entails audio and/or video recording of the participants in naturalistic contexts. Yet theoretical and methodological issues related to video recording have not yet received a great deal of attention in the second language acquisition literature. The purpose of this paper is to initiate such a discussion among SLA researchers. This is accomplished by reviewing the visual anthropology, educational anthropology, and ethnographic filmmaking literature on three questions concerning the collection of valid video recorded data: a) How should the interaction be video recorded? b) Who should be video recorded? c) Who should do the video recording? Examples from my own research are presented to illustrate the kinds of problems that might be encountered in each of these areas. Finally I present my reflections on the decisions I made when videotaping so that other SLA researchers using video recording might gain some insights that will assist them when dealing with the theoretical, methodological and practical considerations of planning and implementing their SLA studies using an ethnographic approach.

INTRODUCTION In recent years, increasing numbers of second language acquisition researchers have begun to study the process of second language acquisition within the socio-cultural context in which it occurs (Lazaraton, 1995) -- whether it be in the classroom (e.g., Duff, 1995; Ohta, 1999; Poole, 1992) or naturalistic settings outside the classroom (DuFon, 2000; Iino, 1996; Krupa-Kwiatkowski, 1998; Schecter & Bayley, 1997; Siegal, 1995), or both (Rymes, 1997) -- using qualitative theoretical and methodological approaches. One type of qualitative approach is the ethnographic approach. Many studies of second language acquisition that use an ethnographic approach require microanalysis of the speech of the learners and the input from and interaction with native speakers of the target language (e.g., DuFon, 2000; Iino, 1996) or with other learners of the target language (e.g., Duff, 1995; Willett, 1995) and with their teachers (e.g., Duff, 1995; Willett, 1995). In order to meet this requirement and to study the acquisition process in the socio-cultural context in which it occurs, linguistic data are typically obtained by audio or video recording of speech during naturalistic interactions. Yet, many times, SLA researchers are not adequately trained for the task of video recording. The training that they receive in ESL and applied linguistics programs in the areas of ethnographic methods in general, and visual ethnography in particular, is limited when compared to that received by linguistic anthropologists. Students of ESL and applied linguistics are likely to take only one or two courses in qualitative research methods, and with all the issues that must be covered (e.g., negotiating entry, selecting informants, writing field notes, utilizing various methods of data analysis), little time is available for issues specifically related to video recording. Not only are they not trained in the technical aspects of how to video record, but the theoretical and methodological aspects of video recording are not
Copyright © 2002, ISSN 1094-3501


Margaret A. Dufon

Videorecording in SLA Ethnographic Research

necessarily covered in classes on qualitative research methods. Additionally, little time, if any, is devoted to providing students with practical experience in video recording for research purposes. As a result, SLA researchers are often left to self-train. They may seek training from video or film production professionals, who can help researchers with learning the technical aspects of video recording, but are often unaware of and unconcerned with the theoretical and methodological issues that must be considered by the second language researcher using an ethnographic approach. Consequently, SLA researchers often go into the field less than adequately prepared to deal with video recording and its associated theoretical, methodological, and technical issues. The purpose of this article is to share with other second language researchers who are interested in collecting data through video recording what I have learned both through the academic literature in visual anthropology, ethnographic filmmaking, educational anthropology, and the educational uses of ethnographic and video technologies and through my own field experience. This particular article will focus on an ethnographic approach to research, which is the approach I used in the investigation and that I will use to illustrate some of the points that I make here. The theoretical and methodological constraints on videotaping will vary somewhat according to the approach that is used. Therefore, researchers using other theoretical and methodological approaches to research in SLA may not have identical concerns with those discussed here. Nevertheless there may be some overlap and they may find some issues discussed here to be relevant to their work. For those who are unfamiliar with an ethnographic approach, I begin with a brief description of what it is. This will be followed by background information on the study I conducted and which I use to illustrate the issues presented here. Next I will focus on three specific questions which deal with the issue of obtaining valid videotaped data in naturalistic settings that will enable the researcher to compose a valid account of the phenomenon under investigation: 1) How should the interaction be video recorded? 2) Who should be video recorded? and 3) Who should do the video recording? For each of these three questions, I will review the relevant academic literature from other disciplines, and then illustrate some of the problems I faced concerning the issue in question in my own research and field experiences. Through this discussion, the reader should gain some understanding of the types of problems and concerns associated with video recording in the fie ld, as well as some of the issues that need to be considered when planning and conducting ethnographic research using video recording as a method of data collection. This article will not deal with the technical aspects of how to film (e.g., light source, type of microphones, etc.), which are dealt with by Duranti (1997), Goodwin (1993), and Jackson (1987). Rather the technical aspects will be discussed only as they influence the theoretical and methodological considerations. Transcription and analysis of audio and video recorded data in ethnographic research are important issues and should be addressed in the second language acquisition literature, but they are beyond the scope of this paper. For further information on transcription, the reader is referred to Asch (1988), Corsaro (1982), Duranti, (1997), Edwards & Lampert (1993), Green, Franquiz, & Dixon (1997), Ochs (1988), Roberts (1997), and Schieffelin (1990). For information on various aspects of analysis of video recorded data, good sources include Corsaro (1982), Erickson (1982, 1992), Erickson and Schulz (1982), and GoldmanSegall (1993, 1995, 1998). Furthermore, this article will not deal with the ethical issues related to the collection, transcription, and presentation of recorded data. This topic is a very large one in and deserves an article of its own. For more information on this topic, see Asch (1992), Besnier (1994), Biella (1988), Duranti (1997), Erickson (1992), Grimshaw (1982b), Harvey (1991, 1992), Heider (1976), Iino (1999), Punch (1986), Ruby (2000), and Watson-Gegeo, Maldonado-Guzman, & Gleason (1981). Finally, this article does not deal with telling the story crafted as a result of the research either through the video itself or through accompanying textual materials. For information related to issues of producing ethnographic videos or multimedia for public consumption, see Goldman-Segall (1998) and Heider (1976) and for writing the ethnographic text, see Golden-Biddle & Locke (1997) and Wolcott (1990).

Language Learning & Technology


gathering naturalistic data using a variety of techniques -. to build trust with the participants. audio and/or video recordings. and to gain insights regarding how it works with respect to the issues under investigation. the native language community of the learners and the target language community. 1988). In contrast to experimental research. Dufon Videorecording in SLA Ethnographic Research An Ethnographic Approach Ethnographic research focuses on the behaviors (including the linguistic behaviors) of the members of a particular community by studying them in naturally occurring. an ethnographic approach is holistic (Lutz. the purpose of an ethnographic study is to focus on the community in question. which is typically done with words or textual data rather than numerical data (Miles & Huberman. However. event. Tobin. Today. and an etic perspective. Third. Language Learning & Technology 42 . 1998). Wolcott. 1995. data analysis is ongoing and early findings are used to guide subsequent observations in terms of what is being investigated and how that investigation is carried out. The thick description of an ethnographic account is accomplished through a number of means. or the culturally specific framework used by the members of the community under study for interpreting and assigning meaning to their experiences. Lincoln & Guba. 1995. Wu. I will discuss this further after first describing the context of the study that I draw on in this article. 1989) in order to get multiple perspectives or points of view on a particular behavior. 1981. the purpose is not to generalize beyond it to other communities. begins as soon as the researcher selects a problem to study and continues throughout the project until the last word of the report is written (Fetterman. & Davidson. 1998. 1985. 1989) or even with outsiders who come from other communities (e. 1994).from different sources (Diesing. based on the academic frameworks. they are often cultural insiders. 1971. This kind of comparison is referred to as ethnology (Davis. Davis. That is. Africa. 1982. The ethnographer may be an insider to one community and an outsider to the other. 1976. or phenomenon. & Davidson. 1982. Lincoln & Guba. and categories of the researcher's discipline (Watson-Gegeo.participant-observation. 1973) or a descriptive-explanatory-interpretive account of that community or some aspect of life within it. and the Arctic. 1988. 1986. the Pacific Islands. Watson-Gegeo. consequently. 1985. Its aim is to provide a thick description (Geertz. the anthropologist was always an outsider with respect to the community under study. though in foreign language settings. the target language community may be more imagined due to its lack of a physical presence. Asia. Data analysis. thus yielding a thicker description and increased credibility or validity (Goldman-Segall. builds in layers of description. as well as in the collection of them. 1998). Therefore. ongoing settings. it involves triangulated inquiry. 1995). interviews and so forth -. incorporating both an emic perspective. field notes. Erickson. This triangulation in the process of interpretation of data. there are both Western and non-Western ethnographers and both often study their own cultures. there are at least two communities under investigation. and to test information and analysis for accuracy (Asch. 1995. 1992. 1981). which allows time for the researcher to become socialized into the community. GoldmanSegall.. Sevigny. Second. Wu. 1981) and checking it with various members of the community (Corsaro. In the study of second language acquisition. European and North American anthropologists went off to distant lands to study exotic cultures in Latin America. 1992.Margaret A. 1988). 1995. 1993. Lutz. 1995). to observe the phenomenon under investigation repeatedly so as to gain some idea as to its degree of typicality and its range of variation. it involves prolonged or intensive fieldwork in the community under study. Heider. Corsaro. Tobin. Davis. the (linguistic) behaviors are investigated in the context in which people produce them and they are interpreted and explained in terms of their relationship to the entire system of which they are a part (Watson-Gegeo.g. First. it is often the case that comparisons based on ethnographic studies of two or more communities can be made on a more abstract level. In the past. concepts. typically while they participate in mundane day-to-day events. that is.

Like the learners. including those which they had audio taped. the following: a) allowing me to accompany them on a tutoring session. Yet I was not a total insider either. OBTAINING VALID VIDEO DATA There are a number of advantages to video recording in ethnographic research. COTIM). and acquaint us with the setting in which the people function and the types of activities they engage in from day-to-day as well as the nature of these activities themselves. All were between the ages of 20 and 22. Three were absolute beginners and three were intermediate level learners. 2000) I conducted using an ethnographic approach investigated the acquisition of linguistic politeness in Indonesian by foreign language learners. Nevertheless. and obligations were not the same. Dufon Videorecording in SLA Ethnographic Research THE STUDY The study (DuFon. 1999. at least the American ones. East Java. Two of the women were Japanese nationals. One advantage is the density of data that a visual recording provides (Grimshaw. Videotaping was often a challenge given the conditions of the situation. In the following sections.the Indonesian native speakers and the foreign learners of Indonesian -. easily identifiable as such by immutable characteristics such as my body height. as well as behaviors such as foreign accent. I discuss issues related to the problem of obtaining valid video data. Iino. Consequently. In contrast. 1982a). These learners were six undergraduate students from American universities who were studying the language during a four-month study abroad program in Malang. They can give us a more complete sense of who the people are. and gait. and obtaining valid data on tape was not a given. With respect to videotaping. who spoke English as their native language. I was a generation older than the learners and my status was that of researcher. In an ethnographic approach to research. not only does video recording enable us to Language Learning & Technology 43 . we seek to study real people in real situations. to the learners. With all six learners. a study-abroad program for advanced learners of Indonesian. and I was not comfortable with it. posture. Therefore. Three were male and three were female. not student in the program. which with time and attention might increasingly conform to Javanese Indonesian norms. our privileges. Video recorded data can provide us with more contextual data than can audio recorded data (Gass & Houck. who spoke Japanese as the first language. and nose shape. I had used only audiotape. I shared a similar study-abroad experience. the "second city" of East Java. audio taping the interaction. They all studied in daily language classes with their teachers at IKIP-Malang (now Universitas Negeri-Malang) as well as in weekly sessions with a private tutor. four years earlier in 1992. skin and eye color. although I had previously conducted ethnographic research. and our experiences were not identical. Videotaping was new to me. I was a cultural outsider to the Indonesian community. Indonesia during the fall semester of 1996.and the extent to which I could integrate into them. c) audio taping themselves in a minimum of nine naturalistic interactions with native speakers of Indonesian during the four-month program. rights. In second language studies. they were also fluent speakers of English. I found that the videotaping that I had collected under good conditions yielded valuable and usable data. The 1992 COTI program was held in Malang at the same college and shared many of the same host families. b) allowing me to videotape them during a naturalistic interaction of their choice once during the course of the program. doing real activities. All agreed to participate in the study. which involved a number of obligations including. but not limited to. Four were Americans. now Consortium On the Teaching of Indonesian and Malay. I was to a large extent a cultural insider. I had been a student in the COTI Program (Consortium On the Teaching of Indonesian. I shared with the four American learners a common national background and consequently a considerable amount of common cultural background. All lived with Indonesian host families in Malang. and d) keeping a journal on what they learned about politeness in Indonesian through their interactions with Indonesian native speakers. 1999).Margaret A. Factors such as these affected the ways in which I could participate in the two communities involved in the study -.

thus giving us information about the unobservable. Heider. 1976).the unedited videotaped material of a particular event (Crawford. deliberate. and we need to bear these limitations in mind. who has spent sufficient time in the field as a participant-observer. which allows us to experience an event repeatedly by playing it back. Fiksdal. which can be particularly useful in determining the levels of comfort and involvement of the interlocutors (Gass & Houck. and other visual interactional cues also provide important information both on the negotiation of meaning and the negotiation of affect. Video (as well as audio) recording also provides us with denser linguistic information than does field note taking. gestures. that is. Wu & Davidson. we can change our focus somewhat and see things we had not seen at the time of taping or on previous viewings (Erickson. as well as linguistic and paralinguistic means. 1981) in order to attempt to get them to recall and describe their thoughts. and hence serves to ward off premature interpretation of the data. Erickson. 1992). videotaping only allows the event to be experienced vicariously. clothing. triangulating with other methods of data collection in order to know something about the frequency (as well as other characteristics) of the event being recorded (Corsaro. Hastrup. 1999). 1982.g. 1992) -. By showing clips to others. 1982a). modern video. Furthermore. Watson-Gegeo et al.. but also it provides information about posture. Dufon Videorecording in SLA Ethnographic Research accurately identify who is speaking. One advantage of video. but if a participant is successful at dissembling. necessarily limited. Gestures. can enrich our data base in many ways. when captured on tape. the information is limited in that the videotape itself tells us nothing about statistics. feelings and reactions at different points in time during a given event. Tobin. which in turn provide us with some information concerning the extent to which the learners have been socialized into the target language community. Still. With each repeated viewing. 1975. Is it a frequent event or an unusual event or a unique event? That kind of information must be supplemented by the ethnographer. and Language Learning & Technology 44 . Finally. what ought to have been said or done. Replaying the event also allows us more time to contemplate. one can test out emerging theories in the field by trying them out. 1999). 1998). hypotheses can be developed and tested to some extent (e. Erickson. the amount of information contained in ethnographic footage -.. Erickson & Schulz. It does not allow for hypothesis testing in the way participant-observation does. a video is limited because it can capture only what is observable. and how they assess or interpret the behavior. 1988. Third. The unspoken thoughts and feelings of a participant cannot be seen or heard on the tape. 1982. for ideally it allows us to record every word. is that it can be played back to the participants (e. 1999). or recording only brief interactions consisting of a few short turns because of constraints on memory and the inherently slower speed of writing as compared with speaking (Beebe and Takahashi. 1982. Even a rare event. how typical this event is. however. the visual information in videos also provides information on directionality and intensity of attention.. the inference will not be accurate. the researcher is limited to writing down the gist of what the interlocutors said. They might be guessed at or inferred. then. 1989). Second. 1992). When taking field notes. especially those whose linguistic means are limited. Corsaro. video data can also provide a means of hypothesis testing. First. 1993. may rely extensively on extralinguistic means. computer. Iino. can be replayed repeatedly for a thorough analysis so that it can still be studied intensively. 1982. These kinds of visual contextual information. 1992. Furthermore this kind of visual information can help us to disambiguate verbal messages by narrowing down the possible number of accurate interpretations (Iino.g. and proxemics. Non-native speakers. and asking them pertinent questions about what was said or done. thus giving an idea of what is acceptable (Erickson. which inform us regarding native speaker norms with respect to these features and the degree to which the learners conform to them. facial expressions. With participant observation. 1982. Another advantage of video recording is permanence (Grimshaw. both cultural insiders and outsiders. Fetterman.Margaret A. 1989). to convey both their referential message and their relational message (Gass & Houck. Real time observation does not have this advantage (Erickson. Nevertheless. 1992. and ponder the data before drawing conclusions. 1996.

Even the human eye has a limited range of view and cannot take in everything that is happening in a scene. this is what GoldmanSegall (1995. Heider.. but a less informative one for ethnographic purposes. 1988). 1981). 1976. 1996. 1995. McMeekin.. The limits of one's perspective also affect the videotaping in another. Watson-Gegeo et al.g. e. This enabled her to tape interactions in private hospital rooms from two perspectives with less movement and obtrusiveness and still keep both the nurse and patient in view regardless of where the nurse was standing.. Keeping this in mind. 1982. however. revealing everything there is to know about an event. only one camera is used at a time (e. In many studies. how can we obtain video data that will best enable us to construct a valid account of the phenomenon in question? This question entails a number of other questions. Although a video camera can capture a great deal of both auditory and visual information. Rollwagon. For research purposes.g. There are various schools of thought on this issue. a greater degree of technical imperfection can be tolerated and I believe the way to proceed is clearer.Margaret A. This limitation can be overcome to some extent by using multiple cameras and filming the event from various perspectives simultaneously. in spite of the sense of being there that a film can provide. Even when two or more cameras are used for recording. Heider. 1998. forthcoming) and even those in which two or more are used (e. DuFon. but only that which was occurring within the range of the camera lens (Fetterman. if the research budget and human resources allow. Iino. Iino.. with remote control pan/tilt and video switcher. 1998. 1988). Given these limitations. 1998) refers to as configurational validity. For research purposes. cinematic and artistic concerns increase in importance (see. 2000. the videotape will not be able to portray a complete picture. Goldman-Segall. it nevertheless confines the view. more physical way. When a video is being recorded for educational or commercial purposes. Biella. 1993. Therefore. still the angle of view of the human eye is wider than that of the lens of the video camera.g. 1999. 1994) some data are lost because part of the activity falls outside the range of the lens. Bottorff. when the film is going to be used only for analytical and possibly for playback purposes rather than for audience consumption. therefore multiple points of viewing help to offset those limitations and increase the validity or credibility of the study (Asch. b) with wide Language Learning & Technology 45 . though split screen or picture-within-a-picture viewing are possible with modern technology. however.. This is because each person's interpretation is necessarily limited by his or her own experience. 1992. it does not show every observable thing that happened.g. HOW SHOULD THE INTERACTION BE VIDEO RECORDED? The Literature The question How should the interaction be videotaped? has been hotly debated in the field of visual ethnography (e. Compromising the standards of ethnographic research for artistic concerns may produce an interesting an aesthetically pleasing video. Corsaro. Dufon Videorecording in SLA Ethnographic Research Web technologies have made it possible for many people to engage in collaborative theory construction in order to strengthen the findings of one researcher or a small group of researchers. It is based on the belief that the collaborative construction of theory that results from the participation of many diverse persons in viewing and commenting on the video adds strength to a study by adding layers of interpretation and weaving a thicker description than could be accomplished by one analyst or a few analysts alone. 1976. three of which will be addressed here: a) How should the interaction be videotaped? b) Who should be included in the videotape? and c) Who should do the videotaping? It is to these questions that we now turn. and if it is not too intrusive for the setting. when the videotape is viewed usually only one of these perspectives will typically be seen at a time. mounted on tripods. Exactly how the event is portrayed on videotape depends on the purposes for which the film is being recorded. Bottorff (1994) conducted a study on nurse-patient interactions using two video cameras. 1996). For example. it is generally advocated that one a) shoot whole events using long-takes. Heider advocates putting ethnographic concerns first in any case in which one is producing an ethnographic video. however.

or the script . since we are concerned with the sociocultural context. to continue with the dinner event. Nevertheless. who leaves the table first. Goodwin. Dufon Videorecording in SLA Ethnographic Research angle views and c) without manipulating the setting. 1992. the participants. For example. Erickson (1992) recommends that taping begin a few minutes prior to the beginning and continue for a few minutes after it has ended. There may be times. and American-Israeli dinner talk. obtaining a sample of dinner talk. 1976. then videotape parts of the inside. However. and so forth. it allows us to see whole bodies. Having a recording of only parts of an event could make it difficult to judge the appropriateness of a comment. it is generally argued that they should be used sparingly and avoided except when they help us to attend to details that are lost in the whole. Furthermore. 1988. are necessary if one is to determine the structure or organization of the event. we would not know how the family comes together. one might videotape the food being prepared in the kitchen and then being brought out to the dining room table. 1993). Heider. Blum-Kulka (1997). she was able to capture the complete event. the best option. particularly when analyzing the discourse of an event is to have a complete record of that event on videotape from start to finish. Heider. In this way. how the family breaks up after the meal. Alternatively. More context can be created for the viewer by videotaping a larger area for the viewer than what will appear in front of the lens once the actual event begins. When close-ups are used. 1982. and finally the dining room itself. For example.. Such an approach would not give a complete picture. 1982. one camera can take a wider view while the other focuses close up. because close-ups on the speaker's face can cause us to miss the non-vocal responses of his or her listeners. perhaps even show the other public space in the house to give the viewer a better sense of the family and their environment. thus reducing the physical area that needs to be captured in the film. whole dinner conversations were videotaped from the beginning to the end. the ethnographic researcher has but one camera to work with and must make a choice concerning the angle of view. Whole events. both linguistically and extralinguistically. or at least complete sequences of activities within events. Corsaro. whether or not they say a grace. this would be particularly useful when the interlocutors are few in number. Heider. who was already familiar with the culture. they should be preceded and followed by contextualizing wide-angle shots in order to give a better sense of the whole and the context in which the close-up expression took place (Heider. videotaped the dinner conversations from the point at which the family began to gather around the table to the point at which they left the table rather than waiting until they were all seated and eating before beginning. 1982. It is also useful to zoom in on an object or picture that is the subject of conversation in order to have a better idea what the interlocutors are talking about. For example. Erickson. and hence to capture body language. What is a whole event? We can look to Blum-Kulka (1997) for an example. Watson-Gegeo et al. 1976). 1992. Because of this. One could also videotape only part of the dinner conversation. One might even begin videotaping in the neighborhood as one approaches the house. furthermore. Language Learning & Technology 46 . Some ethnographers (Erickson. if a middle segment of a dinner were filmed. the video camera could pan the entire dining room. how food is served and by whom. not just faces. Therefore. we need to view not just the learner but also the other speakers that the learner is interacting with (see Corsaro. Recognizing the boundaries of a particular event are not always clear (Corsaro. 1992. that is. 1976). question or response. For example. 1976) recommend the wide-angle view because this view gives the viewer a better sense of the big picture. Filming whole events is particularly crucial in studies focused on pragmatics and discourse because the interpretation of the meaning of any given utterance is influenced by what has come before. in many cases. We can see how the participants are responding to any given speaker at any given moment in time. Another possibility is to videotape one or more of the family members prior to and following the dinner so that we might better see how that dinner fits into their lives. American. a close up view would enable the viewer to see facial expressions better. what the participants say (Asch. 1981). In this study of Israeli. When using two or more cameras. when we want to zoom in closer. The wide-angle view allows us to see all (or at least a greater number) of the participants in the speech event. whether or not permission is asked to leave. Balikci.Margaret A.

Consequently. The two batteries enabled me to video record for several hours. My Field Experience Because I was interested in the interaction between native speakers and learners of Indonesian. Because of financial constraints. Also. Dufon Videorecording in SLA Ethnographic Research Some visual anthropologists may disagree and perhaps even feel that angle of view is not an issue. However. must avoid any manipulation of the participants in terms of what they say or the physical setting in which they are interacting. I either opted to focus on the learner and those closest to him/her or to move the camera lens back and forth. I tried to position the video camera at some distance from the participants. on tape. In determining the angle of view. Had I bought a better camera with a greater range of view in the zoom lens. Thus I was not able to simultaneously capture what the learner was saying and how others were reacting at all times. by filming scenes of a village that we visited. one needs to consider the purpose of the research. putting the theory into practice was not always successful. I had only one regular and one back-up battery. while I might not have videotaped an entire visit to a village on tape. Nevertheless I was able to capture whole segments of events. I rationed. I found its viewing angle too limiting for the field. In her case. moving in close to the center might have been far more intrusive and far less appropriate. I was able to record an entire meal plus the conversation that preceded it and some that followed it while we were in the village. Therefore what I had. the role of the researcher. I was not always able to video record the learners the entire time that I was with them. To keep the situation naturalistic. she changed her filming style. I was able to create some context with the videotape. a SONY Handycam Video 8 CCD-TR330E. which by definition study participants during naturally occurring events. In such a case. for fear of being too obtrusive. however. for example. zooming in on a particular house before entering it. Although I wanted to focus on linguistic politeness. While the camera had performed adequately in the store. However. ethnographic studies. Goldman-Segall (1998) relates that she initially held back and filmed from a distance. videotaping whole events requires using a lot of videotape. she was actually investigating the relationship between digital media and children's thinking. To be less obtrusive. The videotape I needed for my camera was not always readily available in the city in Indonesia where I conducted my research. moving in close worked well. as this would compromise the naturalness of the situation. I tried not to manipulate the setting or what the participants said. Therefore. I had purchased low-end equipment. after observing another ethnographer move in close with the camera. thus filming with a wider angle of view. 1982a). In a study such as Bottorff's (1994) investigation of nurse-hospital patient interactions. but not an entire afternoon. I would have been able to overcome this problem. Therefore. to be able to better interpret later utterances in relationship to what had gone before. I was interested in videotaping whole events in order to have a better sense of what the event consisted of. I wanted to be able to capture both verbal and non-verbal reactions. Language Learning & Technology 47 . I wanted wide-angle shots that could get whole bodies of all the participants involved in an interaction. Finally. I also wanted to use the videotape to give me a picture of the larger context that the learners were interacting in. It was not always possible to back up far enough in order to capture all the participants within the range of the camera lens. and panning across the inside of the public areas of the house before focusing in on the space where the primary interaction was to take place. I also wanted the videotapes to provide me with non-verbal information that would be useful in interpreting the interactions between learners and native speakers in terms of politeness norms (both linguistic and extralinguistic). First. and to observe learner and native speaker behavior throughout the entire event.Margaret A. then. which did not have as wide an angle of view as some of the more expensive models. The biggest difficulty I had was in obtaining wide angle shots. For example. Furthermore. where I was working in very small spaces. and the comfort and safety of the participants (see Grimshaw. or events within events.

I would give a strict test to the equipment. the built in microphone did not always pick up their voices well. Again the low-end equipment forced me to make a few compromises here. the spatial arrangement (e. buying one that guaranteed me satisfaction or a refund or exchange. It did not seem necessary because when I tested the camera in the store. Buying a mid-range camera and external microphones was difficult for me to reconcile with my extremely limited budget. I video recorded the learner during a cooking lesson in the kitchen. A wider angled lens would have allowed me to get closer to the participants and therefore get better sound quality with the built-in microphones.Margaret A. external microphones would have been used. However. Because of cost and quality concerns. I would test the video recorder and the external microphones outdoors as well in order to verify their ability to pick up voices outdoors at various distances. In other cases. Because of the practical problems involved in finding a perspective that would work at all. when I was in the field. That is. low light. to save money. Then. The kitchen was small and had solid walls on three sides. Sound was another problem. before leaving my home territory. With the small confining spaces in many Indonesian homes. poor acoustics. high ambient noise. For example. I would try it out in small. Again.. In order to keep the interaction naturalistic. the characteristics of the setting that might affect the acoustics. For that very reason.g. Ideally. I once asked the participants to move closer together and to change their angle of seating so that I could get better light and sound quality. I was further limited in my options regarding where to place the camera. That meant I could only shoot from the doorway. as it would have paid off with much better quality in picture and sound in the end. I would have liked to try out the video camera in the field prior to purchasing it. I would think in detail about the size of space that might be available. where walls and other barriers that might limit angle of view are). However. in one interaction. recording participants in open spaces or at greater distances from the camera. I needed to buy the video camera before I had the opportunity to enter the field and to see what it was actually going to be like to videotape there. Ideally. If there were any possibility that I might be video recording outdoors. cramped quarters with limited angles of view. By following such a procedure. the choice of perspective is necessarily a practical one. I would be more likely to arrive in the field Language Learning & Technology 48 . using these simulations to test out the equipment under field conditions. The result was sometimes a poor quality picture. I had not purchased external microphones. I made every effort not to manipulate the setting in any way. this was not practical in my case. Therefore I had no opportunity to pre-test the camera before I actually needed to use it. or highly variable light sources. I would try to videotape under similar conditions. based on previous experience in that same field. it picked up the sound quite well. I compensated somewhat for this by simultaneously audio recording with a small cassette recorder. In future field studies. Reflections It is clear from my experience that buying a low-end camera with no external microphones was counterproductive. I feel it would have been worth it to invest several hundred dollars more in better equipment. When unsure of the conditions that I might encounter. Dufon Videorecording in SLA Ethnographic Research Since I had only one camera. try to envision from the perspective of a videographer the situations in which I might be video recording and the conditions obtaining in those situations. For example. Nevertheless. I would. in spite of the financial hardship. I found I could devote little attention to the theoretical and methodological issues related to selecting my angle of view. I found that something like closing a curtain could improve the picture quality by reducing the backlighting effect. I faced the participants' backs as they worked at the counter and the stove. I should have bought a more expensive camera and external microphones because it would have given me more flexibility in less than ideal situations. I was limited to recording from one perspective at a time. Nevertheless I was often reluctant to make even small changes such as these because they reduced the naturalistic quality. For most of the interaction. and the lighting that might be available.

Iino (1996. Dufon Videorecording in SLA Ethnographic Research with a camera that would perform adequately for the needs of my research project. In Israeli society. Rollwagon. The researcher and videographer remain behind the camera lens and do not appear in the films themselves. He set up the camera in the dining area and then left the scene so that his presence would not affect the interaction between the learners and the host families. the researcher may not actually be there. when the participants are mobile. and American immigrant families in Israel. the film or videotape. where symbolically minimizing social distance is more highly valued. reminding their audience that that their presence is having an effect on the course of events (Collier. For example. drawing a curtain would significantly change the lighting so as to cause a major improvement in the quality of the picture. should the ethnographer/videographer be video recorded while doing his/her research tasks including that of video recording? This is another area of considerable debate in the field of ethnographic filmmaking. giving the film a more "objective" quality (Ruby. In participatory film. and in all three cases. In observational filmmaking. Furthermore. the benefits of this kind of small manipulation would outweigh the costs. More specifically. native Israeli families. expecting that it would have little. the ethnographer and/or videographer step out in front of the lens. another question to consider is whether or not the researcher should also be filmed. I would not have to concern myself as much with the practical concerns of obtaining quality footage and this would free me to deal more with the theoretical and methodological concerns of videotaping. if during a visit to someone's house. WHO SHOULD BE VIDEO RECORDED? The Literature In an ethnographic study of second language acquisition using videotaping as a method of data collection. Films are categorized into three major categories -. Such an option is possible when the participants remain stationary for the duration of the event being video recorded. if any. However. Participatory films focus on the producer as well as the product. Filmmaking involves a producer. a process. who like them was a native speaker of Japanese. He chose this approach after first trying to operate the camera himself during the dinners. However. participatory. the camera acts as a "passive" recording device. the participant-observer took a more participatory role. I would most likely be willing to draw the curtain.Margaret A. and reflexive -. p. divulging personal information and even Language Learning & Technology 49 . the learners and their interlocutors would of course be among those who are video recorded. 1988). 1988). 1980). the researcher was invited to join the dinner table as a matter of course.according to the emphasis they give to these various dimensions. Iino's leaving the scene encouraged the families to interact with the learners. I think that I would be more flexible and feel a little bit freer to make minor adjustments in the setting rather than stick to a hard and fast rule not to manipulate the setting in any way. the ways in which it did so varied according to the particular cultural group. p. Obviously.observational. and a product. 78). he discovered that his presence encouraged the host families to interact with him. 1999) used what he refers to as the "remote observation method" (Iino. 1992. Observational films emphasize the product. In all three cases. meaning that it allows the viewer of the film to see the events as they unfold and to let these events "speak for themselves" (Crawford. 1988. in his study of dinner table conversations between Western learners of Japanese and their Japanese host families. For example. Thus the viewer sees the events almost as if the camera and the researcher were not there (Rollwagon. In other words. 1996. effect on this type of interaction in most cases and hence would not destroy the naturalness of the interaction. 116). thus allowing themselves to be seen by the viewer. One study in second language acquisition research that used this approach is that of Blum-Kulka (1997) in her study of family dinner conversations in American Jewish families. In some cases. however. in this case. remote observation is not an option. and the language learners became mere observers at the dinners. the presence of the researcher affected the course of the interaction.

Chronicle of a Summer is considered one of the best examples of reflexive ethnographic filmmaking because it was designed precisely for that purpose (Ruby. Thus ethnographic SLA researchers have decisions to make regarding the extent to which they want to observe. which gives attention to the process as well as to the product and the producer (Ruby. In contrast. 1998). Nevertheless. Finally. a reflexive approach might be useful when. but also focus on the process. the participants were not stationary for the entire duration of the event. for research purposes. Rouch and Morin explored the thoughts and feelings of the people of Paris during the Algerian War. all with encouragement from the participants. Language Learning & Technology 50 . the film is shown to others for their points of view. I did not use the remote observation method. they played back the rough cut to some of the participants and interviewed them regarding their reactions to the film and to how they had been portrayed. I was always present at the events that I video recorded for this study. Reflexivity is perhaps a more important issue when ethnographic footage is used to produce films for public consumption than when it is viewed strictly by the ethnographic researcher. one of the most important things that is happening is the fact that the film is being produced at all. which was influenced by the work of avant-garde Soviet documentary director Dziga Vertov's (1928) Man with a Movie Camera (Ruby. In the film itself. thus making their role in the process clear to the viewers. who was present at the event and who has field notes available on the methodology. that is. 1980. they try to reveal their methods of inquiry. and to focus on their methodology in their video recording. Proponents of the reflexive style of filmmaking contend that in the production of an ethnographic film. The first ethnographic film using this style is believed to be Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin's (1961) Chronicle of a Summer.Margaret A. with its scientific tradition in the social sciences that insists that observers be as unobtrusive as possible. to the point that it felt rude not to accept. Nevertheless. to participate. A third style is reflexive filmmaking. 2000). Dufon Videorecording in SLA Ethnographic Research taking sides in conflicts. One reason for this choice is that usually the activities that were video recorded involved some movement or change of setting from time to time. the researchers felt that they should not participate any more than necessary. in American society. which with modern multimedia technology is a procedure that is likely to increase in frequency. Consequently. 1982a) and by cultural preferences as well (Blum-Kulka. Thus it is important to allow the viewer to see not only the people and events that are the subject of the film. Another factor influencing my level of observation versus participation was the pressure applied by Indonesians for me to participate. ethnographers reveal not only themselves as producers and the subjects of their study in the product. whether in the homes of natives or immigrants. A reflexive approach could also be useful when a long time has elapsed between the videotaping and the analysis of data from the videotape in that it might remind the researcher of some of the details of the data collection procedure that have since been forgotten. After editing some of the footage. These decisions should be based on sound theoretical grounds. but also to see the researcher-producer and to show how the film was made and the data collected (Banks. I found that the Indonesians were not always content to have me there. Although originally it was my intention to remain behind the camera lens. those American participants being observed maintained a non-intimate relationship with the observer and did not encourage more than minimal interaction. One or the other of the filmmakers often appeared before the camera. They frequently coaxed me to join them in their activity. I often became a participant in the interactions I was observing. These playback interviews were also filmed and added on to the rough cut. 1992). Likewise. as recommended by Goldman-Segall (1995. My Field Experience The extent to which I participated in any taped interaction varied according to the situation. 2000). Even today. 2000). the degree to which one chooses to participate or observe will likely be influenced not only by theory but by the other roles the ethnographer plays in the community (Grimshaw. discussions between the two filmmakers in which they evaluated the film were filmed and added to the final version. In reflexive filmmaking. 1997).

2000. the Indonesians tended to talk with me and to pitch their language to my level of comprehension rather than to that of the less fluent learner. Consequently. a more advanced learner of Indonesian.) The learner then began to speculate as to why that might be so and eventually concluded that it had something to do with the social distance between his tutor and the various interlocutors in question. With the beginning learners. my presence had an inhibitory effect on the learners' acquisition of Indonesian and in other cases it had a facilitative effect. Pressure from the participants to participate and to join into the activities. I needed to monitor myself and the effect my participation was having on the interaction of the other participants. did have an affect on the interaction that occurred between Indonesian native speakers and the learners in my study. Since much of the conversation was beyond the learner's comprehension. On one hand. I was able to verify that this observation was accurate. he was less able to participate. (Later. I could see that my participation did not seem to have an adverse effect on their participation. His role. With the more proficient learners. there were times when I wanted to be a participant and to join in the fun rather than be an observing researcher at a distance from the activity. When I was actively involved as a participant. I believe that at the time I first entered the field. speaking a local language as their home language and Indonesian as the language for intergroup communication. One step I took to monitor the effect of my participation on the interaction was to critically view the videotapes shortly after the taping. While social distance is not the only factor that affects the frequency of terms of address. Reflections In reflecting back on my videotaping experience. Other pressures were more internal. Javanese is often used even in the presence of non-Javanese speakers. most people speak Javanese as their home language. I was hoping to remain as "objective" and unobtrusive as possible by maintaining my distance as dictated by American scientific tradition in the social sciences (Blum-Kulka. they promoted language acquisition by increasing the amount of input (some of which was comprehensible) in Indonesian available to the learner than might have otherwise been the case. Therefore. at the same time. Most Indonesians are bilingual. For example. one learner commented that he noticed that his tutor frequently addressed me and an Indonesian friend of mine with vocatives using our names preceded by a kin term whereas his tutor almost never did this with the learner or with family members. 1999) study. 1997). my participation sometimes increased the level of Language Learning & Technology 51 . However. as also happened in Iino's (1996. as they could remain active participants in the conversation. however. Since this study took place in Java. was reduced to that of observer for much of the time. in checking the entire video recording from that day as well as the audio recordings from other days. it is indeed a key factor (DuFon. On the other hand. This kind of exposure helped to promote the learners' acquisition of pragmatics and sociolinguistics in Indonesian language. there were positive effects that resulted from my presence. My presence as a researcher also seemed to cause some participants to make a greater effort to use Indonesian (rather than Javanese or English) as the medium of communication than was typically the case. however. however. Another positive aspect of my presence was that it allowed the learners to observe variations in the pragmalinguistic and sociolinguistic behavior of their Indonesian interlocutors as they interacted with different non-native speakers of the language. I wanted to be a good ethnographer and not forget the task that had brought me there in the first place. Thus the recorded interactions were atypical in some respects.Margaret A. Dufon Videorecording in SLA Ethnographic Research As with the other second language acquisition studies discussed so far. caused me to reconsider and to behave in a more sociable manner. my presence as a researcher. my presence added to the number of non-Javanese speaking participants present in multiparty interactions and therefore most likely increased the amount of Indonesian used as the medium for communication. In some cases. during the play back interview. On the other hand. I sometimes appeared before the camera lens once I got the camera set up for any activity that did not involve frequently moving from place to place. This was particularly noticeable in one interaction. in press).

If I were to try remote observation. the videographer may want to produce a film that is more interesting and artistic. when invited to eat a meal with the rest of the guests) and how they thought people might react to different responses (e..g. I would try to imagine how each approach might affect the outcomes in terms of the learner's access to comprehensible input and opportunity to speak during the interactions with native speakers as well as the native speakers' reactions to my behaviors in terms of politeness norms. It also gives the researcher greater control over the filming process. thus cutting down on costs and intrusion by outsiders at the events being recorded. refusing an invitation to eat in order to continue controlling the camera). The first option is to have the researcher double as the videographer. a videographer. and whether the participants were indeed remaining sufficiently stationary for this technique to work. taking field notes) and his or her view of the event will be constricted to what can be taken in by the lens. however. Also the videographer may have different goals in mind than the researcher.g. my decision would be more strongly grounded in theoretical and methodological principles rather than just practical considerations. WHO SHOULD DO THE VIDEO RECORDING? The Literature The third question under consideration here is Who should do the filming? There are several options: the researcher. It can be more costly and more intrusive since more people are involved. carefully considering which approach to videotaping I thought would be best to take for each videotaped event given the nature of the event itself. For example. I would also consider asking one or two assistants or friends to view the recording with me and to comment on the effect that they felt that I was having on the interaction. Dufon Videorecording in SLA Ethnographic Research the discourse beyond what was comprehensible for them so that they were reduced to observers for some segments of the interaction. I used this information to make adjustments in my degree of participation in the next interaction. One way would be to experiment with different approaches of the same kind of interaction with a similar group of interlocutors and then view the tapes to see how my physical presence or active participation had affected the interaction and access to input. It likewise frees the researcher to do other activities such as note taking or to view the big picture rather than be confined to the limited view of the lens. I might check on the effect of my participation in a number of other ways. and the relationship of the various participants to each other and to me. In future studies..g. whole events. properly greeting a participant) in a given situation.g. A second choice is using a professional videographer. the researcher may be unable to attend to the required social tasks (e. By considering each approach and its consequences beforehand. There are several disadvantages with this approach. or the participants. whether there were any technical problems that needed to be ironed out. Nevertheless. would give me a better idea of what to expect as a result of my decision. This has the advantage of using a minimum number of human resources. while the researcher is actively occupied with operating the camera. On the other hand. he or she may not be able to attend to other research tasks (e. In future projects.. Having carefully thought about the consequences beforehand... I might even ask native speaker researchers about what they would suggest I do in various situations (e.Margaret A. This approach brings with it technical expertise in filming and a better quality product from a technical standpoint. Language Learning & Technology 52 .g. there are practical considerations and I would want to remain flexible and perhaps change my pre-decided approach in a given situation depending on circumstances. the learner and his or her proficiency level. I would view the video tapes as soon as possible after the taping in order to determine whether the tape was being shot as I had wished (e. wide angle views). I think I would spend more time planning the videotaping events. Likewise while operating the camera.

work. people at church. 1988. He found some striking differences between the albums of Japanese-Americans as compared with Anglo Americans. For the Navajo. Dufon Videorecording in SLA Ethnographic Research while the ethnographer may want something that is more complete and accurate in the story it tells (Heider. sheep. 1992). or showed the head with the face turned away from the camera. From this literature. p. Since the SLA researcher is by definition working across cultures. 1972. A third difference was that Navajos were extremely reluctant to film anything (e. such as snapshots of funerals. and what should be video recorded and what should be avoided. that is. while both groups photographed happy social events such as birthdays and weddings. and how to achieve proper exposure. In one study. it is clear that there is significant variation across cultures and subcultures with respect to how they view the process of video recording in terms of who should video record. it is necessary to give some Language Learning & Technology 53 .. They then gave the Navajos film and sent them off to produce their movies. 1992. is associated with a position of power. achievement. for the Japanese-Americans there were many more photographs of group membership. reports that these differences were influenced more by social class than by either ethnicity or gender. how to load and unload film. Chalfen. 1976). In mainstream films. 1991. editing. which is not associated with a position of power. horses. but rather is the activity itself. which Chalfen notes. and the patterns of narrating and telling the story of the film. the patterns of searching and looking for material. One notable difference was that in films about traditional Navajo society a high proportion of the time (roughly 75%) was spent walking.Margaret A.g. houses) that did not belong to them. The third choice is to have the participants of the study do the video recording. Worth and Adair (1972) are generally recognized as the innovators of this approach. They did not teach or discuss aspects related to the content of the film or the art of filming so as not to influence them in any way in terms of what they thought was a proper film. Another clear difference was the avoidance of close-ups of the head by the Navajo filmmakers.. with someone who is calling the shots. walking is not a transitioning. This option might be particularly enlightening when the learners in the study are from a different cultural group than the researcher because significant differences in video recording behavior have been found across cultural and sub-cultural groups (e. walking is usually viewed as a bridge between activities or places. Chalfen (1981) used an approach modeled after Worth and Adair (1972) to compare the approach to filming taken by eight groups of Philadelphia youths ages 14 to 16 in four stages of film production: planning. He concluded that these Japanese-American albums emphasized the significance of family. and exhibition. 1992) conducted a number of studies comparing the photographic habits of people according to their cultural or sub-cultural group. In contrast. and spent two days teaching them the basics of camera operation (i.. filming. For example. Close-ups tended to be cut-off at the head. 1972). What they found was that there were some startling cultural differences between their films and the films of mainstream American society. Chalfen (1981.g.e. and honor. 1992. Also. the lower socio-economic class preferred a more participatory approach. and these were broader in scope that what was typically found in Anglo American photo albums. Chalfen (1981. the Japanese-Americans took pictures of events and situations that Anglo-Americans typically did not.sort of staring inwardly" (Worth & Adair. Chalfen (1991) compared the still photos of two Japanese American families with the photo albums of mainstream American families of European descent. and people working at work or school. 1981. In another study. Faris. Hughes-Freeland. 1992. 152) was used by filmmakers to indicate that the person was thinking about something. and how one should go about the process of recording. Worth & Adair. Collier. group experience. a certain pose "with the eyes looking slightly upward -. The higher socio-economic groups preferred a more observational and distant approach to filmmaking. The close-ups of the face that did occur were of short duration and limited in function. and the amount of time that this transitioning is depicted in mainstream films is relatively short. good focus and so forth). the photographer's relationship to the material. He found significant differences in terms of the type of material that they selected for shooting. They gave cameras and film to Navajos. For example.

the learners began recording sometime after the interaction had begun. I chose a middle ground between giving the learners control of the equipment and maintaining complete control myself. However. this diversity gave me a good range of data. typically they appeared on the tapes only when another interlocutor entered the scene in the middle of an ongoing interaction. Yet they rarely occurred in the recorded data. Minako. and in this way they were able to record what they experienced rather than what I told them to experience. 1976. I also exercised control in another way in that I asked the learners to change their recording habits to some extent part way through the program. I preferred to keep it in my possession and to be the one to operate it. either by mounting it on a tripod and participating in the interaction. in for each learner and one for me.g. This might yield some unexpected yet fruitful results. I gave each of them a tape recorder and told them to record themselves approximately once every week or two in an interaction with a native speaker of Indonesian. one of the subjects. I could not have collected as many recordings if I had needed to be physically present at all the events recorded by the learners. then to ask permission. I noticed that because I had instructed the learners to get permission to record before they began. which typically preceded the request for permission to record. The learners had somewhat different language learning experiences in Indonesia. if the learners were from a different culture than the researcher. 84-85). more often than not. was not trivial (see Fetterman. I did audio record some of their interactions myself as I accompanied them on some of the events in which they participated but I wanted the learners to be able to record whenever they had a good opportunity to do so. I do not know of any study in second language acquisition that has systematically invested the effect of participant recording versus their being recorded by the researcher. One disadvantage of allowing for this diversity was that it limited comparability. a relatively quiet environment without significant ambient noise). Another participant. I then asked the learners to begin recording before they began the interaction. This was unfortunate because greetings were a key feature of interest in my investigation. He often recorded a conversation with someone he had just met. Kyle. Dufon Videorecording in SLA Ethnographic Research thought to whom should do the video recording as the decisions made could dramatically affect the output. which.Margaret A. My Field Experience In my own study. I allowed the learners to choose the situation they wanted to be videotaped in provided that they chose a relatively private and quiet place where the camera could pick up the sound of their voices. collected almost all of her data with familiar people. The video recordings that I took were supplemented by audio recordings. I controlled the camera. pp. the events that they chose to videotape or the way in which they conducted the videotaping may be quite different from what the researcher would have chosen. For example. rather than theoretical concerns. and to erase the tape in front of their interlocutor if permission was not granted. On the other hand. but only partial ones. he had only one interaction with these people. I had only one video camera and a small budget. over which the learners had greater control. thus I maintained control of the video camera. One advantage was that of taking individual differences in experience into account. Nevertheless. collected a number of tapes with strangers and acquaintances that he did not know well. I did give them some suggestions and guidelines so that they would have some idea of the kinds of events they might record and the conditions under which they needed to record (e. while low end. but the recordings are often missing the beginnings of the interactions. or by operating the camera myself from behind the tripod. and continued sometimes till the end. Giving the learners the freedom to choose the interactions they recorded had both advantages and disadvantages. I rarely got any greetings. I had seven audio recorders -. For example.. The decisions regarding who did the taping were motivated mostly by practical. sometimes not. and hence they do not document whole events (see Heider. In most cases. namely her host family and her tutor. The only time she collected data with strangers was when she was interviewing Indonesians for her course project. Given the cost of the video camera. but it is a question that merits investigation. Language Learning & Technology 54 . 1998). For example. Secondly.

Kyle on the other hand. Specifically three questions have been addressed which relate to obtaining valid video data on tape: a) How should the interactions be video recorded? b) Who should be video recorded? And c) Who should do the video recording? The academic literature in the fields of visual anthropology. Finally. I had technic al problems that needed to be overcome with better equipment and more experience operating it. I controlled the video camera. Furthermore. He did not have any major reservations about asking them to allow him to tape. educational anthropology. I did not feel comfortable with a number of aspects of it. There were also the practical concerns of protecting the equipment from the weather and thieves. but let the learners choose the context in which they wished to be video recorded within certain limits dictated by the limitations of my video camera. Reflections As I conducted this study with its procedure of videotaping. I also gave them control over the audio recording. some directions for future research on video recording in SLA research have been suggested. providing me with greater insights into the target language culture as well as the learner culture. I feel somewhat more comfortable with all of these issues.the learners and members of the target culture -. However. recorded himself with strangers a number of times. These differences in recording habits do not necessarily reflect differences in actual experience in terms of the learners' interactions with Indonesian native speakers. particularly when it involved giving up control of the equipment. we might learn something both about the cultures involved and about their use of language. These patterns may be more representative of whom the learners felt comfortable in recording rather than of their language learning experience as a whole. it seems to be an approach to videotaping worth experimenting with in ethnographic second language acquisition studies. In my study. who fulfill different roles in the study. Consequently I was not ready to be too experimental in my approach to videotaping. there is also the possibility that this approach would produce far richer results than if I did all the videotaping myself. Language Learning & Technology 55 . It is possible that they might select events that the researcher had not even considered but which may turn out to yield very interesting and revealing data. One concern that I have is that in giving the control of the video recording to others. Minako reported that she did have interactions with strangers but did not feel comfortable asking strangers to allow her to tape record. and my reflections on that field experience have been presented in order shed light on these issues for SLA researchers using video recordings as part of their data collection procedures. I was concerned with how the people being videotaped felt and did not want to be too intrusive. I opted for a middle ground. Thus the freedom given to the learners resulted in different recording patterns. Dufon Videorecording in SLA Ethnographic Research and that was the tape recorded interaction. such an approach might provide insights into what taboos there might be in terms of what should not be filmed. and ethnographic filmmaking. Therefore. CONCLUSIONS This paper has initiated a discussion among SLA researchers of some of the theoretical and methodological issues as well as some of the practical concerns related to the topic of video recording naturalistic interactions in investigations using an ethnographic approach. behind the camera and seeing what kind of recording they produce.Margaret A. I had to rely on other data sources such as learner journals and interviews in order to determine how representative the learner recordings were of their language learning experience as a whole. Thus. my field experience. By putting people from the various cultural groups. Inadvertently violating these taboos could interfere with obtaining good interactions since the participants would likely be uncomfortable and might even refuse to well as the researcher do the actual videotaping. I risk not getting the kind of data I am hoping for or looking for. I believe one direction for future research in SLA would be to experiment with having the various participants -. As I have gained some more experience in videotaping. 1992) is evident here. the problem of statistics (Hastrup.

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Language Learning & Technology http://llt.. Warschauer & Kern. p. notes that in order "to fully understand the interrelationship between technology and Copyright © 2002. 1 pp. 470. VanPatten. Layder. ISSN 1094-3501 60 . Some CALL researchers have also recently recognized the need to place sociocultural dimensions of language learning and use toward the center of their developing research agendas. or b) the linguistic characterization of networked discourse.g. and social dimensions of CALL and of le arners engaged in CALL activities (Chapelle.. 3. 2000. I explore socio-institutional dimensions of German-American telecolla boration and the ways in which they may shape foreign language learning and use.. In this analysis. Kern. Norton. 1996. Vol.. by definition. and learning accreditation and the micro features of situated classroom interaction and individual psycho-biography in order to provide a rich and multi-faceted characterization of foreign language learning and use on both ends of a GermanAmerican telecollaborative partnership. Kramsch.. Erickson. p. 2000.msu/edu/vol6num1/belz/ January 2002. Carter & Sealey. 1993). Salomon & Perkins.g. 1995) and descriptive characterizations of computer-mediated communication (CMC) at the interactional level (e. p. Num. Warschauer. Warschauer. 1995. Sotillo. 2000). Warschauer (1998a. INTRODUCTION In its relatively short history. 1995. In this paper. McGroarty. 145). Broadly conceived. 1998. 1997. for example. the social turn pervasive in educational research in general (e. These have appeared as narrative accounts of the integration of technology into language and culture curricula generally regarded as successful (e. SLA and FLT researchers have subsequently begun to investigate language learners as agents in sociocultural context(s) as well as input "processing devices" (Lantolf & Pavlenko. Researchers in this area have not yet robustly examined cultural. 1999. Telecollaborative partnerships represent particularly productive sites for the examination of social aspects of foreign language study since. 1999). 2001. they entail tight sociocultural and institutional interface. 760). much of the research on computer-assisted language learning (CALL)2 has focused on pedagogical and structural issues (Appel. 6. respectively. 60-81 SOCIAL DIMENSIONS OF TELECOLLABORATIVE FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDY1 Julie A. 1998) has begun to make inroads into the non-CALL variety of this field as well (e. I intertwine the socially and institutionally contingent features of language valuation.g. Within the theoretical framework of social realism (e. p.. Rampton. Although mainstream second language acquisition (SLA) research is still characterized by primarily psycholinguistic approaches to language learning (e. situated activity and individual agency. 1994. 315. computer know-how. for Foreign Language Teaching [FLT]). 14). p. These include socia l context and institutional setting. see Freeman & Johnson.g. any human activity is thought to be shaped by both macro. 2000.g. Belz The Pennsylvania State University ABSTRACT Previous research on network-based foreign language study has primarily focused on: a) the pedagogy of technology in the language curriculum. Chun.g. 2000. p. Internet access. historical. Lantolf. 1986. 2000.and micro-level sociological features. the social turn recognizes the culturally and historically shaped nature of learners as well as that of the learning and teaching processes in which they are situated. 217). p. 2000. 1998.

but also include such information as demographic statistics. Methodologically. where researchers such as Margaret Archer (1988. Theoretically. 2001. 78). Warschauer and Kern (2000) advocate the application of socio-cognitive frames of interpretation to SLA phenomena (see also Kramsch. Socio-cognitive interpretation necessarily entails the complementarity of sociocultural. Rampton. Nevertheless. 159). 113) insists that quantitative data must be brought into the analysis in complementary fashion. where pedagogical revolutions have frequently demanded "a fervent commitment … to a single theory of teaching and [a rejection of] all other methods or approaches as ineffectual and outmoded" (Omaggio Hadley. For example. structure) and micro-level phenomena such as linguistic interaction and psycho-biography (i. multi-strategy approach which attempts to make as many "analytic cuts" (Layder. 2000. Carter & Sealey." Language Learning & Technology 61 . 108) into the research site as possible in order to elucidate the meanings of particular social actions for the people involved. Within this variegated and layered world. 1999. defined here as the application of global communication networks in foreign language education (e.. 1992. Kinginger. Belz. Layder (p. researchers have to investigate the broader ecological context that affects language learning and use in today's society. p. social action is embedded within history and inequitable relations of power and both of these influence the ultimate meaning and shape of human activity in important ways. xv-xix. context and setting) and agency (i. 55) suggests a research map (see Table 1) which clearly emphasizes the multi-directional interrelationship of structure (i. "Put very simply.g. 1998b.e. may shape language learning and use on each end of a German-American partnership. Layder (1993. Harvey. As a field guide to social realist investigation. I examine the ways in which social dimensions of telecollaboration.. 1998).. 104). on the basis of a wide variety of quantitative and qualitative data. Salaberry..Julie A. pp.e. 1999... 2000.e.. Warschauer. in press. Wegerif. is of particular interest with respect to social dimensions of language learning and use. 1996. Telecollaboration. Gourves-Hayward. some proponents of the social turn in SLA research have been more tempered in their uprising. "a central feature of realism is its attempt to preserve a 'scientific' attitude towards social analysis at the same time as recognizing the importance of actors' meanings. Belz Social Dimensions of Telecollaborative. since this type of learning environment consists of pairs or groups of distally-located students embedded in different sociocultural contexts and institutional settings. situated activity and self) in the investigation of human activity. Frazer." Layder (p. 16) remarks. language learning. Lantolf. Furthermore.e. Warschauer. 1995) and Derek Layder (1993) have advanced social realism as an approach to the exploration and interpretation of social action such as telecollaborative language learning (see Cameron. p. p. 2000. Lantolf & Pavlenko.. 316. agency). & Richardson. However. These recent developments in SLA theory building and investigative methodology find precedence in the field of sociology. p. ethnographic. p. 2001. and qualitative data sources on the one hand. the realist position construes the empirical world as highly complex and multifaceted. the social and institutional factors impinging on language learning and use in this configuration have been underexplored (see.g. theory-generating. 1996). p. espousing the inter-illumination of culture and cognition as explanatory factors in SLA. 2000. social action is shaped by an intimate interplay of both macrolevel phenomena such as social context and setting (i. Kramsch & Thorne. Although realist accounts are predicated on a "bedrock of interpretive work" such as interviews and participant observation. in tight conjunction with learner agency. 1993. both inside and outside the classroom" (see also Chapelle. grammatical features of CMC). It relies on an exploratory. quantitative data are not limited to counting observable instances of behavior (e. & Simpson. Belz & Müller-Hartmann. In this paper. linguistic. and quantitative data sources on the other. Candlin. and psycholinguistic. for applications of social realism to applied linguistics research).. 1993. 2000. social realism reflects the complex and layered nature of the empirical world.. SOCIO-COGNITIVE INVESTIGATION Unlike the field of FLT.

g. institutional histories. The methodology of social realism brings a disciplined flexibility (Layder. 74) writes. p. e. the self "points to an individual's sense of identity. while simultaneously legitimizing the explanatory contribution of previous and prevalent quantitative approaches. p. Its insistence on the inter-penetration of structure and agency (indicated by dashed lines in Table 1) nicely reflects the sociocultural gist of the social turn.g. 80).g. e.. situated activity "shifts focus away from the individual's response to various kinds of social situations towards a concern with the dynamics of interaction itself…" Embedded within this particular situated activity were 16 American and 20 German selves. e.g. 109) to exploratory investigations of new SLA environments afforded by technological advances. I highlight the relationships between certain aspects of structure (e. Some of these constructs do not appear to be highlighted to the same extent in other sociocultural approaches to human activity. la nguage learning and use) in the situated activity of transatlantic e-mail correspondence. occurrence of linguistic features in electronic discourse.. p. informational interviews with administrators. e.g. and power in the explanation of social action. and Self). 1993.g.. p. I also attempt to divert the tendency for sociocultural accounts to be interpreted as a form of social determinism by briefly discussing the multi-directional relationships between structure and agency in these data (see Multidirectional Interaction of Context. e. statistical correlations between experimentally controlled variables SETTING SITUATED POWER. Finally. Multi-strategy research in German-American telecollaboration (Adapted from Layder. e. each with his own psycho-biography. The research map provides clear guidelines for sites as well as forms of data collection. since it is this area which has been under-explored in the literature on computermediated language study to date. Setting. personality and perception of the social world as these things are influenced by her or his social experience." As indicated in Table 1 above.. 1993.. The focus here is on the inter-relationship of the broader ecological context of telecollaboration and language learning and language use in telecollaboration. ACTIVITY student-teacher or NS-NNS differentials. In particular. As Layder (1993. institutional affordances and constraints) and agency (e.. Situated Activity. history. I apply the multi-strategy methodology of social realist investigation to the situated activity of German-American telecollaboration in order to provide as rich a picture as possible of language learning and use in this configuration. policy documents. learning accreditation pressures SELF • Simple forms of counting. computer ownership by race/ethnicity from governmental statistical databases • Traditional quantitative data. social realism clearly acknowledges the crucial roles of the self.g. Table 1. number of email messages composed per group In this paper. data sources for these two micro layers include biographical Language Learning & Technology 62 .Julie A.g. scholarly publications • Participant observation • Interviews with learners • Classroom discourse • Learner portfolios • E-mail correspondence • Chat transcripts • Biographical surveys • Project assessments Quantitative • Aggregates of individuals in specific social circumstances. According to Layder (1993... However. Belz Social Dimensions of Telecollaborative. patterns of socialization into classroom FLL Research Elements CONTEXT Types of Data Qualitative • Theoretical/interpretive characterizations. 114) Additional Factors HISTORY...

In order for both the German and U. pp. In Phase II. "Cinderella. German Conversation and Composition. German class collaboratively engaged in a series of tasks for the express purpose of developing foreign language competence and intercultural awareness. 2001. German class represented the first foreign language elective beyond PSU's three-semester undergraduate requirement. and academic publications. the institutions of the German and American universities. pp. and student-produced course portfolios. The primary task in this Phase was discussion and analysis of the parallel texts with native-speaking partners via e-mail. Hatch.Julie A. discussion occurred bilingually in Language Learning & Technology 63 . p. 1995) and American Beauty (Mendes. Belz Social Dimensions of Telecollaborative. twice in a computer laboratory. formed the final set.S. facilitates significant shifts in aspects of the culturallydependent classroom script (Belz. They also read the first set of parallel texts. Germany. e-mail and chat transcripts. Parallel texts are linguistically different renditions of a particular story or topic. Using e-mail. and Web-based information exchange (e.. and Maille t. the U.S. entitled Encounters between the US and Germany: Intercultural Readings of Texts and Films. 1998). DESCRIBING THE SITUATED ACTIVITY OF GERMAN-AMERICAN TELECOLLABORATION The networked German-American learning community reported here consisted of a teacher education Proseminar at Justus-Liebig-Universität (JLU) in Gießen. the juvenile novels Ben liebt Anna (Härtling. gender.g. 1997) and If You Come Softly (Woodson. and the particular foreign language class in this study are all levels of setting. Aschenputtel. since it is the culturally-conditioned varying representations (Widdowson. German class met four times per week. 1999). 143-145. English. in comparison to the conventional foreign language classroom. Grimm's original Germanlanguage fairy tale. Layder (1993. and Disney's English-language animated adaptation. in part. The U. and ethnic relations comprise the typical macro elements of contexts. the computer-mediated foreign language classroom. German students prepared Web Project I. which deal with intercultural/interracial first love (see Müller-Hartmann.S. interviews. Furstenberg. in order to introduce both themselves and their community to the JLU English students (click here to sample pages from Web Project I). at Penn State University (PSU). In Phase I. 1992. The JLU English Proseminar met once a week in a computer laboratory.S. participant observation on the part of the author. Data sources include institutional and societal statistics. 10) points out. Kinginger et al. a compilation of biographical sketches and university information.g. 90) defines settings as "already established forms of organization" in which situated activities take place. was one of several options for fulfilling a variety of Teacher Education program requirements in foreign language pedagogy. German and American society in general and post-secondary educational systems in particular frame the situated activity of telecollaboration on the structural level. while the contemporary feature films. which deal with middle-class family life. policy documents.. foreign language classes at universities in general. 1999). the students formed transatlantic pairs or groups based on mutual interests. and a fourth-semester German class." illustrate the concept for a German-American partnership.. 92). These interactions were based. 16-25) of a single story or topic that are at issue as a prompt for intercultural learning. 65-66. 1992. they are not literal translations of the same text. see also Kramsch. As Tella (1996. the German Proseminar and the U. prior to the commencement of the German academic semester.3 The JLU Proseminar.. while the U. and technological surveys. The students in this Proseminar were enrolled in degree programs which lead to certification as an English teacher at the elementary and secondary levels in the German education system. synchronous chat. pp. In this case. 2001. Levet. 1985). The Cinderella versions comprised the second set of parallel texts. for a rationale of the use of juvenile literature in networked FLT. p. informational interviews. 2000.S. Nach fünf im Urwald (Schmid.. p. while class. crucially. on students' common reading and viewing of parallel literature and film (e. The JLU-PSU interaction was loosely organized around the topic family issues and consisted of four phases. students to profit linguistically. the construction of Web sites).

In addition to discrete-point grammar. a 22-year-old German student. Methods of learning accreditation are addressed at the level of setting. In Phase III of the partnership. sound. 1999. betrayed her pre-conception of her U.g. The e-mail discussion took place and was archived for analysis in FirstClass (2001). in contrast." "beauty. Setting. while the reverse trend is not in evidence. let me introduce myself in English. the English language is pervasive in present-day German media and popular culture (Hilgendorf).3% of all children in the fifth grade and 99. discourse grammar (e. Situated Activity. one could surmise that Germans generally have more exposure to English than Americans do to German. This difference can be seen vividly with the example of foreign language instruction in secondary education in each country.S. students may be less proficient in German than the German students are in English surfaced at the level of situated activity in e-mail correspondence during Phase II.. In the German-speaking world. hinted at the relationship between the macro-level shaping of this discrepancy in proficiency and her position as a U.S." "family") from multiple perspectives. This additional exposure may facilitate higher English language proficiency levels for Germans when compared to German-language proficiency levels for their U. wrote the following to her U. both German and English (Appel."5 The expectation that the U. and topic-related informational hyperlinks into their Web sites. Indicative of the inter-penetration of structure and agency in the social realist paradigm.. students were evaluated on their demonstration of electronic literacy (e. For the 1998/1999 German school year. 18-year-old Nancy.S. semester ended at the conclusion of Phase III. pp. They are further discussed in Multidirectional Interaction of Context. The U. McCarthy & Carter.8% of all children in the seventh grade receive instruction in English. The task during this phase was for each group to develop a Web site (click here for sample pages from Web Project II) which contained a bilingual essay pertaining to the parallel texts and a bilingual discussion of a cultural construct (e.S. Furthermore. Belz Social Dimensions of Telecollaborative. National Center for Education Statistics reported in 1994 that 2. the transatlantic pairs/triads merged to form seven larger transatlantic groups. student in a GermanAmerican telecollaborative partnership: "I figured they [the Germans] expected to have a much higher level of English I mean they've had English forever. Jennifer. does not share the same status in American society.. My pen friend from England is not as good as you are. and Self. that will be easier for you to understand. 1994). students by the German students as the linguistically less competent members of the partnership may be perceived by the Language Learning & Technology 64 . "racism. For example. Das Statistische Bundesamt (Federal Statistics Office) reported that 97. 62-63). Level of Context Language Valuation.Julie A. a 24-year-old German student. click here for a screen shot of the FirstClass working environment). knowledge of English is often considered to be a prerequisite for success in certain areas of professional and personal life (Hilgendorf.g.S.S. student. a teleconferencing software program that enables the simultaneous maintenance of e-mail correspondence between multiple pairs/triads as well as multi-room synchronous chat (Gillespie. partner's (21-year-old Mitch) ability to understand German: "Okay. the U. German. the JLU students discussed their experiences in the telecollaborative partnership from practical and theoretical perspectives. DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS The current focus on social dimensions of telecollaboration is reflected in the data presentation by proceeding from the level of structure. in her second e-mail: "I think that it must be hard to learn our language. Based on this macro-level demographic information. video. I guess. 1999) as evidenced by the appropriate integration of images. In contrast. 2000. age peers.4 a 19-year-old U. Language valuation and technological access and know-how are discussed as representative of the level of context..g. partner. Verena." These initial positionings of the U.S. During Phase IV. 1996). Warschauer.S." Corinna.S. and content. data pertaining to the micro-levels of linguistic interaction and psycho-biography are woven through these sections in narrative fashion.7% of all pupils in Grades 9 through 12 receive instruction in German..

114). wrote that the proficiency difference influenced her to withhold particular linguistic actions from him: "It was difficult for me to correct mistakes because I didn't want to give my partner a feeling of inferiority. to differences in the respective educational systems. 19-year-old Jackie. I tried to write it in English first and then translate it into German. for a case study of Jackie). p. 34." Mismatches in foreign language proficiency affected both interpersonal and linguistic aspects of the telecollaborative partnership in the case of 21-year-old Joe and one of his German partners. Marike. 1998. For example. Nancy conjectured that the German partners may be less likely to participate if they perceived the U. because she spoke German well: "I had very good luck with my partner Jackie who was linguistically super fit which enabled deep discussions and analyses" (see Belz & Müller-Hartmann.S. may have meaning for their ability to "open up to each other on an emotional plane" (Müller-Hartmann.S. In an interview. if Jackie had had a lower proficiency level.e. The German students … have learned English since grade school. He tried really hard and I found that to be more important. 2001. 2000. From talking with my classmates. 20-year-old Gabi.S. 1997." Similarly. while composing e-mail messages to his partner during class time): The class period is only fifty minutes so when you get in there … you start reading what they have to say and then you got about a half hour left. 19-year-old Alice explicitly cast herself and her U. Belz Social Dimensions of Telecollaborative.. 130) and establish the positive personal rapport that is important to maintaining a viable electronic partnership and engaging in intercultural learning (Appel. 1987) which. U. Joe explained. In a post-semester interview. 1999. we all are a little nervous that our German isn't quite as good as you expect. I felt childish when I spoke with my German partner … It was particularly problematic when we were in a chat room. The U. Joe's partner. I got upset because I write very slowly in German … I think that my partners also got a little bit upset. Mitch gave a clear picture of how his proficiency level in German affected his linguistic performance at the level of situated activity (i. in turn." Other German students acknowledged the role that their partners' proficiency level played in the development of the individual telecollaborative partnership.S. I'm sure that some of the stuff I wrote [Corinna] was like ohhhh great! What is he trying to say…" (see also Fischer. p.Julie A. students as threats to positive face (Brown & Levinson. p. students in this partnership also tended to position themselves as the linguistically less competent members. Language Learning & Technology 65 . The implication may be that Marike would have been less inclined or able to participate in the way that she would have liked to. p. For example. Wegerif. Gabi. Then you start trying to compose your ideas. On a written project assessment.. It was painstaking and slow and I'm like wait a second I got to correct these grammar mistakes first so you do that first and then you try to write as much as you can in German to get it out of the way … I know I could write English really fast so I'm trying to do the German first and by that time the class is almost over … and I really didn't get a chance to get across the true point of what I wanted to say. a 22-year-old German student.. partners to be less proficient: "Maybe [they wouldn't want to write because] they thought it was like funny when they'd get the emails from us and like not really understand the German. because you have studied English for much longer than we have studied German. classmates in this role in her first e-mail to her partner. 50). 1998. 24-year-old Patricia: "It is a little intimidating for us. On the same assessment instrument. commented on a post-semester questionnaire that she got lucky with her American partner. see also Byram. p. Joe related the discrepancy in proficiency. at least in part. 55. Mitch imagined what his German partner might think when she received e-mail from him: "Yeah.

" Ilse indicated that sharing a partner caused her to feel stress. 20-year-old Ilse wrote. an 18-year-old U.…I also didn't learn very much about cultural differences." The U. and linguistic action at the micro-interactional level of situated activity. most German students reported that they did not profit in the course of telecollaboration with respect to the target language and culture.S. in written project assessments. The differences in foreign language exposure may have significant influence on learning expectations and perceived learning outcomes in telecollaboration. two German students were paired with one U.Julie A. In fact.S. "Personally I didn't notice any improvement in my linguistic abilities. he experienced it in the following way: "It was kinda just like a relief that it was over." Ilse's assertion about cultural learning may reflect the infiltration of German popular culture by American cultural artifacts. or if you're considering what to say. tended to perceive that both their linguistic and cultural knowledge improved over the course of the partnership. and Mitch gave a vivid account of the effect of his limited German ability on the linguistic composition of emails in German within the confines of the 50-minute class period. Judy." Differences in the social and economic values of German and English as foreign languages may create logistical issues which have meaning for telecollaborative language learning at the micro-interactional level. in four cases. if one has his own partner. thought this arrangement was disadvantageous when she related that it hindered her ability to establish a personal relationship with her partner. partner with Ilse.S. For example. 6 The higher demand for speakers of English (based perhaps on the social and economic value of the language in Germany) was reflected in the JLU-PSU partnership where. student. but I also didn't set any store by that.. a comment which may point to the differing expectations of the American and German students in general: "Linguistically I also didn't profit [from the partnership]. a 21-year-old German student who shared a U. Belz Social Dimensions of Telecollaborative. Eighteen-year-old Suzanne's assessment of the partnership is representative of their commentary: "My German is now better than before the project began. Everything that I know about that I learned outside of class. Gabi remarked that she did not value linguistic development in the course of the project.. Now I know more words than before … Every email that I wrote I learned something from my partner. For instance. that is. the teaching and societal valuation of specific foreign languages. The German-English subnet of the International Tandem Network. described her experience of this phenomenon well in an interview with the author: "…when I was over there the music they listen to is all our music it was in English and you know there was tons of billboards and signs that were in English and movies they watch movies that played in English…" Other German students tended to agree with Ilse. you always have the feeling that this is bothering your [German] partner. students. Gabi did not correct JOE as much as she would have if his proficiency level had been higher. the very criterion which Little and Brammerts (1996) and Müller-Hartmann (2000) consider to be significant for long-distance intercultural telecollaborative foreign language study: "It is much easier to establish a personal relationship.S. I find that it is easier to write in German. an agency which facilitates the pairing of autonomous networked tandems for the purpose of language learning. on the other hand. 66 Language Learning & Technology . If you can't think of something. student and approximately 20 JLU students were turned away at the beginning of the German semester." These examples clearly suggest the relationships between macro-level data. which may have interfered with the type of language she offered her American partner: I or rather we ascertained during the project that it's not so easy to share a[n American] partner. Clara. When Mitch's partner dropped out of the Proseminar after the third week of the German semester. recorded that Germanspeaking learners of English outnumber English-speaking learners of German by 366 to 1. how you should say something. You sit together with your [German] partner in front of the PC and feel pressured by him. Marike indicated that Jackie's proficiency level had a significant effect on her ability and desire to engage in content-related discussions of parallel literature.

" The German and U. while 11 of the 13 U. respondents fell into the same category. Technological Access and Know-How Americans tend to have greater home access to computers and the Internet than their German counterparts do. households with college graduates owned a computer and 64% of the same population had Internet access. Ilse directly related aspects of the situated activity. In addition. b) become familiar with the technology required to execute it.S. p. "I also got the impression that American students are significantly farther along [than we are] with respect to the internet. In contrast." Social and institutional discrepancies in Internet access and technological know-how may have meaning for the situated activity of telecollaboration at the level of linguistic interaction. described her familiarity with technology: "Today we finally got access to the FirstClass program. while the U. the U.. National Center for Education Statistics reports that 89% of U. In contrast. her American partner. schools has Internet access in 1998 and 95% of all schools has internet access a year later in 1999. the U. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) reports that 51% of all U.S.Julie A. a higher demand for native speakers of English as e-mail partners. German students' e-mail was punctuated with stories of computer difficulties. More relevant to the current study.S.S. to the online processes of language production with respect to content and lexis. 472). Ilse's commentary is particularly significant if one assumes that foreign language input is a primary factor in the development of foreign language competency. In the context of elementary and secondary education. p. According to the Statistisches Bundesamt.S. 127). the German Ministry for Education and Research reports that 36% of German schools had Internet access in 1998 (see also Brammerts.S.5% of all households has access to the Internet.4% of all German households in the former West German states had Internet access. At the outset of Phase II. the German students needed to a) become oriented to the project as a whole. partner with another German student. First I couldn't log on and then a written letter was deleted. 18-year-old Beth. This misalignment may exacerbate the meanings that technical difficulties may have for the development of language competency and intercultural awareness within the partnership. the NTIA reported that 74% of all U. partner based on the student biographies posted at Web Project I.Also. To illustrate. 2001. 4 of the 11 German respondents indicated that their primary point of computer access was in their place of residence. Twenty-three-year-old Christa.S. Alice summarized this sentiment well in her first e-mail to Language Learning & Technology 67 . Belz Social Dimensions of Telecollaborative. -. it's pretty confusing. That might be a result of the brilliant homepages that they produce. Jana opened six of the nine e-mails she wrote to Elizabeth in Phase II of the project with stories of computer difficulties: "Today I had some technical problems in class. It should be noted that this arrangement may be shaped by the differing social valuations of English and German. On written project assessments some German students commented on the differences in technological know-how between the two groups. In contrast. For example. the U. In the Digest of Educational Statistics 2000 (Snyder. on the first day of the German Proseminar. 1996. for example. one observes disparity between the US and Germany in relation to Internet access as well. c) pick a U. households owns a computer in 2000 and 41. Clara wrote. and d) compose a first e-mail to the U. sharing a U. academic calendars overlap for a maximum of 8 weeks in the Fall or Winter term. students have had nearly 2 months to learn about the project-mediating technology and were quite eager for the e-mail correspondence to begin. but it took some time until everything worked. Technical problems also seemed to plague the partnership between Elizabeth and Jana. 47% of German households owned a personal computer in 2000 and 17.S.. average was nearly 3 hours per day. in Schulen am Netz in Deutschland. the German respondents indicated an average daily computer usage of less than one hour.7 These macro-level features of the respective societies seem to be reflected in the individual biographies of the project participants." In contrast. that is. took part in a German-American e-mail exchange in high-school and in a Spanish-American computer-mediated partnership in seventh grade. partner. For example.S. I am really sorry about that!! Please don't be frustrated.S.S.S. as self-reported on a technological survey.

her partner: "It took a long time for this project to really begin! We've already been in class for two months and we've already done a lot of work on this project. March 2001). 1978). Internet access." Such considerations were perhaps difficult for the PSU students to entertain since. January 2001. German students did have Internet access at home but they had to pay for it..Julie A.. 34. 62-63. I focus on course accreditation. partners may have experienced the relative lack of response from their German partners as a social threat to face rather than as a technological constraint on participation particular to the German institutional setting. I hate this situation . they ran into problems which were unlikely to be experienced by their U. reported that wait time in PSU computer labs is virtually non-existent with 4. counterparts. however. in some cases. led to transatlantic electronic confrontations (see Fischer. Institutional Level of Setting Studies in comparative education have documented the many differences between educational systems in the US and Germany (e. personal communication. and server space and all dormitory rooms offer free ethernet connections (Kerlin.S. In contrast. I have about 5 min to write a mail and there is no available computer [emphasis added] and what I hate the most in the world is to write in a hurry" (see Appel. the Director of Education Outreach at the Center for Education Technology Services at PSU. such as the non-delivery of messages. 127-219. pp. 773) writes quite illustratively that comparing these two systems is like comparing "apples and sauerkraut.S. Nerison-Low. Noack (1999. We've all waited a long time to meet our partners!" Technological difficulties at this point in particular. In some cases. Wallace.. pp. 1997. personal communication). for technological mismatches in other telecollaborative partnerships). major difficulties in socio-collaboration arose in Phase III. Belz Social Dimensions of Telecollaborative. This feature of the institutional setting constrained telecollaboration to such an extent for Anke and Catharina that they suggested that Internet access at home become a prerequisite for enrollment in the JLU Proseminar. For example. reported that she was constantly nervous when she was writing e-mails from home because it was expensive. 2001. 21-year-old Katrin explained to Joe how computer wait time influenced her correspondence with him in an e-mail from Phase II: "Dear [Joe]. Perkins & Burn. 88-105). Writing outside of class time. Meskill & Ranglova. upon matriculation. 1999.372 university-owned computers available for an undergraduate student population of approximately 30. 1998. Annike's partner. p. Jennifer. pp.g." While Phase II of this project ran relatively smoothly.. For example. Milotich. may have lessened the likelihood that a productive transatlantic partnership would develop. 19-20.000 JLU students have access to approximately 250 university computers (MüllerHartmann.. Kerlin. Twenty-threeyear-old Inge. Twenty-two-year-old Annike indicated that this aspect of her setting had a direct influence on the frequency and length of e-mail correspondence with her American partner: "I had the problem that I constantly had to be online and that was pretty expensive in the long run. Foraker. & Milotich. When some German students did try to correspond out of class time. Ashwill. Ash. For example. January 2001). If that hadn't been the case I might have been online much longer and in more detail. pp. for instance. 2000. Technological discrepancies between the two groups influenced telecollaboration for some pairs/triads for the duration of the project. the 20. In this section. p. 1999.000 (personal communication. discussed Phase II of the project in this way: At first I was pretty happy … but then it just like really frustrated me that I'd only get an email once a week especially when we wrote twice a week cuz like what could you say? You'd write an email you'd ask questions and then you wouldn't get anything back … it's just so hard when you're writing all the time and you're not getting anything … I think they should have to write outside of class. was subject to institutional and social constraints particular to the German end of the partnership. which. each student received a free e-mail account. In other cases. lack of Internet access at home limited the frequency of correspondence to the weekly class meeting for some of the Germans. the U. a major difference between the German and US post-secondary 68 Language Learning & Technology .

student investment in class work and projects increases significantly. the U. Corinna and Mitch illustrate this well. two German students. educational systems. After that point. For example. Evaluative scenes which entail student participation (e.. In the JLU-PSU partnership.S. undergraduate studies. system emphasizes frequent low-stakes learning assessments (e. Belz Social Dimensions of Telecollaborative.g.S..S.. German students may drop an individual course from their schedules without penalty at any point in the semester. 92-101) as well as aspects of individual learners' psycho-biographies. Thus. on the other hand. present a formative portfolio in an oral conference with the instructor at mid-semester. Course accreditation differs dramatically in the two systems. students were gearing up for the end of their semester. a period when demands on U. have the opportunity to drop an individual course from their semester schedule without monetary or grading penalty only up until a certain deadline.. In fact. okay?" In a post-semester interview Mitch commented on Corinna's characterization of the class as a "fun-e-mail-writing-thing": "Ah! (laughter) Ow! … I'm like what are you talking about? I'm like this is like some big project … Are you crazy? Like this is like our grade!" Clearly. in some cases. Elizabeth registered her surprise vis-à-vis German evaluation and accreditation procedures during a synchronous chat with her German partner Jana: "I asked her one day in a chat session like how grading works over there [in Germany] and she said I haven't decided if I want to take the grade for this class or not!" In contrast. as the Germans were comfortably entering the fourth week of their semester at the onset of Phase III. German students were required to participate in the e-mail partnership and to submit a portfolio by the beginning of the next term in order to receive a graded certificate for the course.S. These systems may have meaning for student participation and thus foreign language learning and use in the telecollaborative partnership. German students may choose to receive accreditation in a particular course at any point in the semester and sometimes months after the course has concluded.g. complete Web Projects I and II. students. students viewed Web Project II as an important component of their final grade in an accredited university Language Learning & Technology 69 . pp. students were required to participate regularly. and these may have been contingent on the location of evaluative scenes in German and American classroom scripts (Hatch. Staatsexamen) are not located within the temporal confines of a course at the German university to the same extent that they are at American universities. this seminar is only an fun-e-mail-writing-thing! Do not be too hard with me. Course Accreditation The German post-secondary educational system favors intermittent high-stakes learning assessments. my English is not perfect. U. students' learning and participation in a particula r course are evaluated constantly throughout the semester and accredited immediately after the course has taken place according to a sometimes complex formula of frequent low-stakes assignments and. Verena and Christa. and present a summative portfolio at the end of the semester.S. Accreditation comes in the form of graded or un-graded certificates of participation (qualifizierte or unqualifizierte Scheine) and is typically based on the completion of a single high-stakes exam or project. at least some members of the two groups had different conceptualizations of the activity in which they were involved and thus their need to pay attention to it.S. U. the U. complete numerous homework assignments. a final examination or project. 1992. Corinna had the following reaction: "Yes. they receive a grade for the course in their permanent academic records. Despite the fact that participation in the telecollaborative partnership was presented and treated as the cornerstone of each class. From the outset. I thought.S. while the U. homework. dropped out of the JLU Proseminar after Phase III was completed. the distinctions between the two systems in course accreditation may have influenced the two groups' differing conceptualizations of the relative significance of participation in the partnership. quizzes). The mismatch in academic calendars amplifies these institutional differences in assessment and accreditation.S. the U. while such assessments play no role at all in U. I know that. After Mitch corrected some of Corinna's English mistakes (a required task) in an initial e-mail. German students are required to take comprehensive content examinations such as the Staatsexamen at various points in their university careers.Julie A.

S. it's not true!" Even U. They [Anke and Language Learning & Technology 70 . course. Elizabeth. Like just seemed very funny that they just didn't show up.S. Mitch reported that the perceived behavior of his German partners in Phase III of the project contradicted beliefs that he held concerning the German work ethic: It kind of seemed interesting to me how lackadaisical they were about coming to class -." American Perspectives on German-American Telecollaboration Perhaps one result of these institutional differences in course accreditation was the common U. students were located relative to the time structure of the German semester). 216 e-mail messages were exchanged: 102 were written by PSU students. as Jennifer's commentary illustrates: They wrote some stuff in German. perception that the Germans did not participate adequately in Phase III of the partnership. while 114 were written by JLU students.I come to class every day -.8 they plagiarized stuff … after like the second email they sent us we realized they're only emailing us like in class they didn't do anything out of class so we were like alright we have to do this whole thing … and then I was really pissed because they sent an email like the Tuesday after it was due and uh were like could you at least send us an email to tell us if you got this it would be nice and I was like what the heck! you send me this a week after it was due and then you're mad that I didn't write back! Apparently. During Phase III. whereas the Germans did not. students' evaluation of the German students' participation was sometimes quite negative (and may have been exacerbated by the point in the semester in which the U. Mitch replied. Elizabeth expressed surprise at the fact that her German partners Anke and Catharina appeared to be working on the project only during class time: "Eric and I did all the organizing for the project. the U. reported that she was upset about her partner's level of participation during Phase III: "I got pretty worked up about it cuz I was getting like mad I was like they aren't doing any work on the project … it's not fair … I'm like this is my grade I really really care about this I want to do a good job…" Elizabeth's desire to "do a good job" was clearly related to her desire to get a good grade in the course. Beth reported that her experiences in Phase III also flouted her expectations of German behavior: "You know all that stuff we said at the beginning of the semester? Like they're punctual and hard-working? Well. were under no pressure in terms of grades to participate in Web Project II to the extent that the Americans did. however. The German students.. 1996) from their German partners in Phase II of the partnership perceived a discrepancy in participation during Phase III." In the same format. they just didn't write… When asked in a post-semester interview how his characterizations of Germans had changed from the beginning of the semester due to his experiences in Phase III. but I had the feeling that the Americans and Germans had different conceptualizations of the project.S.S. who was "so excited to get every single email" from Jana. Belz Social Dimensions of Telecollaborative. these differences in participation were related to Internet access. For example.but they're supposed to be like we're coming to class we're doing this work you know -. In some cases. students expected increased participation in Phase III since Web Project II was their final project which comprised a significant portion of their final grade in a 4 credit-hour course. the U. because a lot of them didn't really do any work on the project. students who appeared to experience mutual support and understanding (Little & Brammerts.Julie A.. On a qualitative level. "I guess I don't think they're punctual anymore. In Phase II. in contrast. Annike again underscored the possible differences in each group's conceptualization of the project: "Everybody knew what the task was [in Phase III]. there was somewhat less German participation in terms of total messages sent: PSU students sent 92 messages. while JLU students sent 82.S.

the German segment of Jennifer's group demonstrated the differential conceptualization of deadlines." (first e-mail to German partners in Phase III) In response. in Ben liebt Anna.. And outside of class? you know like we're out of luck cuz you know they're not going to do anything. Of course. The U. she nevertheless accepted it based on her understanding of the German postsecondary educational system: "I just kinda accepted it [the fact that the Germans didn't participate] because I knew that they don't like get graded or anything. because the problem of racism is conveyed much clearer there…" Throughout their text the American students used the word Rassismus. In an interview." Some U..S. semester structure. students related the perceived lack of German participation to the German course accreditation system. they were older…" Jennifer. Belz Social Dimensions of Telecollaborative. and project significance along national lines in their last e-mail to their American collaborators: "Hello partner group! First of all we want to apologize that things didn't work out the way we wanted them to be. Jennifer was disappointed that her German partners at JLU did not raise this point and related her lack of learning in this respect to the partners' perceived lack of participation which she. with its National Socialist connotations. Not like the way it was planned or anything. Jennifer related that German friends at PSU explained to her later that it would have been better to use terms like Ausländerfeindlichkeit (animosity toward foreigners) or Fremdenhass (hate of the other) to describe the latter situation given the associations of the German Rasse (race) and Rassismus with National Socialism in mid-twentieth century Germany. racism is typically over the color of a person's skin. related to their institutionally constrained conceptualization of the 71 Language Learning & Technology . the German partners Anke and Catharina expressed surprise at the fact that Eric and Elizabeth did not seem to realize that they only worked on the project during class time: "In our opinion. whose mother is a high school German teacher. members decided to write on racism for a component of Web Project II and used the German word Rassismus (racism) to refer to this phenomenon as they understood it: Maybe we could talk about the differences in the types of racism in the US and in Germany. "If you come softly" is a more clear-cut example of racism. a Polish-born. German-speaking Aussiedlermädchen. to refer to the prejudice experienced by both Jeremiah. related that although she found the perceived lack of German participation in Web Project II to be frustrating. an African-American character in If You Come Softly and Anna.S. the German collaborators wrote: "…all of us three believe that it is better to concentrate on If You Come Softly. the group work with Eric and Elizabeth didn't go so well … We feel that it wasn't clear to them that we mostly didn't have the opportunity to check our accounts everyday and to get their changes right away.S. Nancy commented on and rationalized Verena's perceived behavior in Phase III in the following way: "The only thing that she did contribute was a few ideas and a little bit to the conclusion at least she did that … because they weren't getting a grade -. We just got to know today that the last session we had was the final one [for you] and that you really get under pressure because you have to finish your homepage." The meaning that this institutional difference may have had for language learning in a telecollaborative partnership was illustrated at the lexical and conceptual level in this group." Contrastively. It seems to us that in Germany racism is more about religious background. It was just like the differences in the structure of the two school systems because like there you know they have to like write their term paper and they have like up to a year pretty much to write it and to hand it in so like they don't understand like when this is due it's due and you better have it done… Indeed.they had less motivation about it not only because of that but also because they came once a week. In the U.Julie A. but we think it may be interesting to use Ben liebt Anna as a contrasting example. Catharina] just read our outline and did whatever they wanted … they're gonna do their part in class. or ethnicity and less about people's outer appearance. nationality." Jennifer went on to explain how she thought that the differences in the two educational systems affected the execution of Web Project II: I thought that was the biggest problem with the whole project. in turn.

and b) the U. Belz Social Dimensions of Telecollaborative. Hatch. while the Germans tended to expect to learn about U. students tended to expect to learn the German language in the course (what this entails was. 1999. students complete Web Project II by a specific deadline influenced processes of transatlantic meaning negotiation and topic choice within those negotiation processes. In a post-semester interview. "I didn't really like the fact that my partner didn't reciprocate my attempt to establish contact on a more personal level…" Similarly.Julie A. in turn." These differences with regard to personal discussions in telecollaboration may relate to differences in course expectations. perceptions regarding German participation.. which may be a representation of his culture. influenced by institutionalized scripts for foreign language education and instruction. 85-120).S.. Hall.S. discussing the books and films) may reflect the course accreditation system in which they are embedded: They need to respond to frequent low-stakes assignments in order to get a socially and professionally acceptable grade. Elizabeth explained how these institutional tensions were demonstrated in the discourse of synchronous chat sessions among the members of her virtual group: I had talked to Jackie and they were like having problems even getting to a thesis by the time the project was due. the contact was more or less limited to aspects of the seminar and tasks that had to be completed for the seminar. or to get to know an American person. Just as distinctions in course accreditation systems can have meaning for the typical U. verschult] and this causes the students to be quite inflexible. Language Learning & Technology 72 .. students did not share (enough) personal information.g.S.S." In some cases.g. varying institutional constraints may have had meaning for each of these reactions as well. Many German students commented in summative post-telecollaboration assessments that they did not get to establish a personal relationship with their American partners. culture or technology in language teaching. e. Differential learning expectations may be reflected in the perceived discrepancies in learning outcomes.S.S. focus on the task (e." German Perspectives on German-American Telecollaboration From the German perspective there tended to be two salient characterizations of perceived U. one of the German members of this group.e. as discussed above. for example. related. significance of Web Project II: "Our partners said at the beginning I don't think Ben liebt Anna is really racism but they didn't explain why and then I found out why and I was like 'oh' … like all the terms we used in German [in our essay] are like wrong.S. The U. Anke and Catharina appeared to come to this conclusion as well with respect to Eric's perceived behavior: "He appeared to be very interested in his grades. 21-year-old Angelika commented that she perceived the personal touch to be missing in her correspondence with 18-year-old Jane: "However. If it is the case that institutional parameters such as the immediacy of grades influenced transatlantic meaning negotiation... behavior in Phase II and in Phase III in particular: a) the U. then these social dimensions of the situated activity of telecollaborative language learning may turn out to be of more consequence in language acquisition processes in some cases than individual psycholinguistic factors. The U. In this way the danger exists that they will cling too much to assigned [tasks] and/or that they won't let go of an idea once they get it into their heads. Twenty-three-year-old Nadja. described her experiences in the group in that she directly related American behavior to the pressures of the educational system: What occurred to me again is that the College [sic] system is very much like elementary school [i. 1992. She'd just be sitting there chatting with her partner pulling her hair out cuz they were like I thought you meant this why don't we do this and she was like you don't understand the project is due in like two days we need to get this done! Inge. pp.S. students appeared to be more oriented toward project completion than topic discussion. the institutional necessity that the U.

For example.7% of white non-Hispanic U. it may also result in discriminatory educational practices (see Warschauer. and accreditation systems may have meaning for perceived participation levels and the establishment and facilitation of personal interaction and thus personal rapport between keypals. in the US. 65.. 23. while technological prerequisites for telecollaborative participation may benefit language learning in terms of increased target language exposure and interaction. 55. For example. aspects of individual psycho-biography.S.. 72). participation in the project was guided more by locally contingent task requirements and course accreditation procedures (which are beyond instructor control) than the opportunity to discuss a cultural issue with native speakers of the target language. p. Setting Institutional differences in computer access.. For example. These inter-relationships are first summarized at the levels of context and setting. p. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS This investigation indicates that the social action of telecollaborative foreign language study is a complex and multifaceted human activity. Jackie. academic calendars.2% of Black non-Hispanic households. as well as language and computer socialization experiences and particular power relationships. who also appeared to agree with Inge's assessment. I think they kinda need to learn about how the school systems work over here and then realize that you know it's not our fault that we're this way it's like if we want to graduate we got to be like this you know and if we want to get a job that's how we're like expected to act.. 1998. As the NTIA reports.7% of Hispanic households. When asked about Inge's comment in a post-semester interview. In sum. and 33. in Web Project I. This activity is shaped by an intricate inter-relationship of social and institutional affordances and constraints. Elizabeth. but it will also preclude technologically (and almost invariably) economically more disadvantaged students from certain learning communities.Julie A. Personal rapport is considered to be a significant factor in successful telecollaborative foreign language study (Fischer. as the Germans Anke and Catharina suggested (see Wegerif. I guess that's probably true um cuz I know a lot of the times when we were discussing things because of the structure that we were given for the essay we'd say no no no we have to have this we have to have this and maybe we didn't feel that we needed all of that but we knew that in order for us to get the grade that we wanted we'd have to have that so I think I would agree with that. 1998b. for the relationship between ethnicity and computer know-how). for a similar recommendation)? This type of participation prerequisite may alleviate socio-collaborative difficulties in dyadic or group work configurations. one of Inge's American partners in Phase III. In a concluding section telecollaborative best practices for German-American partnerships are addressed. should participation in German-American partnerships be limited to students who have Internet access at home.S. In this instance it does appear to be the case that U. raised more difficult questions in her response: She [Inge] doesn't realize that we don't have a choice that's the way universities work here . Language Learning & Technology 73 . computer ownership co-varies with racial and ethnic identity.6% of Asian American and Pacific Islander households. remarked. households owns a computer in 2000. at least. 1998. Then the multi-directional nature of structure and agency is illustrated by providing several examples of cases where learner agency appears to override particular institutional pressures. Context National differences in technological know-how and computer access raise important ethical and methodological questions for telecollaborative foreign language study. 46. Belz Social Dimensions of Telecollaborative.

Belz Social Dimensions of Telecollaborative..Julie A. he had rearranged the interface and just removed all the programs that were of no use for the computer linguists without consulting anybody in TEFL.. Human beings are not mere pawns in the grips of social and institutional forces. two forerunners in the application of social realist tenets to applied linguistics research.. The misalignment of the German and American academic calendars compelled the JLU instructor to accomplish a great deal in the first class period... one should not be tempted to conclude that this study is meant to represent a form of social determinism in foreign language learning. Thus it appears that the political situation with respect to academic disciplines at the German institution also had consequences for the ways in which the German students were able to interface with Web Project I and. that is. none of them used the little response boxes or answered our questions . 2001 e-mail to the author. In fact. Situated Activity. Multidirectional Interaction of Context. Carter and Sealey (2000. Setting.. in turn." Language Learning & Technology 74 .. rather. each American student built an electronic response box into his or her Web biography where the German students could answer questions they had posed. Lantolf and Pavlenko (2001. This administrative work took away from the time that students had to interact with Web Project I. Less readily available home and university Internet access may have precluded students from re-accessing Web Project I and responding to the input boxes at a latter date. explain the idea of the course to them. change rooms . p. that the sociocultural mediation of mind entails a strict one-to-one causal relationship between socia l structure and the ultimate course of human activity. In a July 3. purposes and reflexivity: it is only human beings who can act in the world and are thus the 'agents' of social action. No German students replied to any of these questions using the response boxes. clearly state that "it is only human beings who can have intentions. have them choose their partners from the short descriptions I chose from the websites. and have them write first letters.. I was disappointed that they didn't answer. Perhaps the greater social valuation of English in Germany shaped the greater demand for the Proseminar. p.. In a June 21. for the ways in which some of the American students construed their reactions to the Web biographies in general and their use of the response boxes in particular." Other sociocultural researchers in the field of Second Language Learning approach the social realist view of the inter-relationship between structure and agency in social action by insisting on the co-construction of language learner agency. 148) argue that "agency is never [just] a 'property' of a particular individual. the JLU instructor related that part of the confusion on the first day of class was because the technician had removed FirstClass the week before the course started (and I only realized this the night before I wanted to use the room) ." More detailed knowledge of the German institutional setting clarifies this development. 2001 e-mail. it is a relationship that is constantly co-constructed and negotiated with those around the individual and with the society at large.. and Self Although the focus of this paper has been on the ways in which society and institution may have meaning for the development and execution of a German-American telecollaborative partnership. For example.. Responses to each question were to be mailed to all members of the American class and the instructors. Since they had to write their e-mail letters to present themselves I think they just didn't consider to write anything in the response fields. 5).. In an interview Jackie expressed her reaction to this situation: "I guess I expected a little more reaction to our biographies . the JLU instructor explained the circumstances surrounding the German students' first contact with Web Project I on their first day of class in mid October 2000: I had 1 1/2 hours to get rid of surplus students (there were about 35-40 in the class at first). It is at this stage that students were able to look at the webpages .

Jana attributed her uncharacteristic heavy participation in the course to the personal relationship she established with Elizabeth: "I found it totally interesting to find out what Elizabeth (my partner) thought about. According to Lantolf and Pavlenko (2001. I would like to draw on the psychologist A. Patricia. email. it is possible to help people move their learning and development forward. 132-136).." Therefore. two modern interpreters of Leont'ev." "family") and more to epiphenomena which arose in the process of task completion.g. the American students appeared to indicate that the main cultural learning they did in the situated activity of telecollaboration was related less to the pedagogical goals of the tasks assigned (e." Telecollaborative Best Practices In post-semester interviews with the American students. 1992). Best practices in the design and execution of intercultural telecollaborative foreign language learning will have to grapple with issues of the locus of intercultural learning. p. his or her psycho-biography and aspects of the situated activity) contributed to countering the social and institutional constraints at play in this particular learning community. the Web essay assignment). or chat. To illustrate. they were sometimes able to re-interpret their classroom roles in terms of expected participation levels. A. the benefit of participation in the project may outweigh its locally perceived time-intensive nature for some students. the fact that Elizabeth is a native speaker of the language that I study and will later teach motivated me to participate. write. I would like to present several instances in the data where an individual learner's agency (i. For example . The authentic communication which arose as a result of that really motivated me to write regularly. a 24-year-old German student. pp. It's really nice to observe this learning process. learning about the culturally contingent conceptualization of constructs like "racism.. Activity Theory "is committed to the proposition that by changing the material circumstances (artifacts and social relations) under which individuals operate. To illustrate this point in the study at hand." "nudity. carefully. 157). American Beauty.Julie A." Second. In other words. 1993... In other words. I would like to demonstrate the multidirectional nature of the interrelationship between structure and agency in shaping human action. Hatch. I have the freedom to choose if I telephone. First. that I have the possibility to play around with communication. a branch of sociocultural theorizing.. In other words.e. Lantolf and Pavlenko explicitly echo this sentiment when they write. but that's over now. Leont'ev (1981) and his work on second language pedagogy and Activity Theory. 2001. the thrill of acquiring new technological skills in the course of the telecollaborative partnership and thus becoming apprenticed into an electronic discourse community (EDC). should telecollaborative projects be designed to minimize the difficulties associated with institutional interface in an effort to shift the locus of learning to the task (e.g. At the beginning my problems as a [computer] user hindered the content of my communication. 205-232) inherent in the institutional interface be allowed to surface and function as the locus of intercultural learning? In order to provide a tentative answer to this question.g. vividly described the growing centrality of her membership in EDCs in the course of German-American telecollaboration: During the semester it became clear to me. and with interest. For a long time I wasn't able to appreciate that. thus flouting aspects of their culturally-specific socialization into classroom behavior (e. For example. Language Learning & Technology 75 . for example. many of them commented that they learned about differences between the German and American educational systems and the conceptualization of group work during he telecollaborative partnership. because I had to first slowly figure out how to deal with email and chat. might diminish the ability of institutional constraints on computer access and technological know-how to squelch the virtual partnership. Jana explicitly connects her heavy participation with the attainment of career goals: "Furthermore. in those cases where transatlantic partners were able to establish a positive rapport (Belz. the parallel texts. or should the cultural faultlines (Kramsch. Belz Social Dimensions of Telecollaborative. educational development may be effected by calculated pedagogical intervention.. Finally. p.

Many such Web sites concentrate on educational differences. p. I would suggest that in future German-American telecollaboration of this nature both American and German students participate in guided cultural sensitization on social patterns of communication and institutional conditions which may influence (but not determine) the execution of task-oriented electronic collaboration. through the use of expository materials. 1997.. things about the other they don't understand) without resorting to the perpetration or even the creation of (new) cultural stereotypes. and h) geographical layout of university buildings and student housing.. e) course expectations. for "languacultural experts"). they should be encouraged. To that end. discussion sections). foreign language educators should "teach the boundary" between the source and target cultures/languages. (p. Suggestions for the German side of the partnership might include a critical viewing of the recent American Public Broadcast System (PBS) documentary American High which provides an inside look at various academic and social aspects of American secondary education. one of the steps toward developing critical awareness as a competent intercultural speaker according to Byram (1997). labs. where learning happens.. f) institutional facilities (e. Belz Social Dimensions of Telecollaborative. libraries. lectures.. particularly at institutions located in more rural and culturally homogenous regions of the US and Germany. 63) by engaging with short literary texts such as Peter Schneider's (1991) Amerikanische Biographie. cheating in school).. in a way which leads to the establishment of a new stereotype such as the American perception in this study that Germans are lazy) without the guidance of more expert intercultural explorers such as foreign language teachers (Byram. c) course load. and reflect on the particularities of their respective institutions and their working conditions in order to better understand and appreciate how these institutional factors might differentially facilitate and constrain the activity of intercultural telecollaboration. 1997. which present an outsider's view on perceived differences in the two educational systems (e. p.g. dormitories). Sections of Scollon and Scollon's (2001) Intercultural Communication may be suitable as reading material in Phase I of the project (Kinginger et al. Such engagement may facilitate a shift in perspective. see also Agar.. students may become more sensitized to the concept of intercultural communication itself.e. students and instructors might exchange. such clashes should not develop and persist in a counterproductive way (i.Julie A.. d) methods of educational financing. computer labs. Language Learning & Technology 76 ..g. p. Students may be guided in the development of their critical cultural awareness of both self and other (Byram. In this way. seminars. among other things. Finally. teachers might compose tasks such as sentence completions or situation reactions (see Furstenberg et al. indeed. b) course accreditation system. Also in Phase I.g. …it is not sufficient only to observe what transpires in those places. 1999). compare. 51) on the basis of which they may interpret cultural faultlines (e. 1994. In other words. 58) which would enable learners in the initial stage of Phase II to exchange information on their a) course of studies. 1997.g. virtual partners may then have more adequate factual knowledge (Byram. 2001. more time could be spent on the critical comparison of the two partner institutions as represented by their official Web sites. Web-published journals by students who have spent a year abroad provide an invaluable source of information concerning the cultural reality of their immersion experience. However.. schummeln vs. For example. but [Activity Theory] compels the researcher to intervene in communities of practice in order to help find ways of ensuring that all individuals have access to full participation and with it the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential. such as language classrooms. a teenage German Gymnasium pupil who spent a year living with his American host in a trailer in rural northern Florida. Particularly rich in cultural faultlines and opportunities for intercultural learning and reflection is the diary-like Web site of Timm Gehrmann. g) social forms of instruction (e. As Kramsch (1993. 254. 228) advises. the clash of cultural faultlines in telecollaborative learning communities such as the one under study should not be smoothed over or avoided based on the sometimes negative results of a study such as this one. Both groups might read Ernst Noack's (1999) accessible comparative piece on secondary education in the United States and Germany. p. p. 157) In short.

Providence. Culture and agency: The place of culture in social theory. from http://www. February.. RI: Berghahn Books. thus. and Assessment Office of Educational Research and Improvement U.ed. learner identity.. Centre for Language and Communication Studies. 2001. (Ed. Language shock: Understanding the culture of conversation. A. University of California at Berkeley) is an Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics and German and an affiliate of the Center for Language Acquisition at Penn State University. second language play. New York: Cambridge University Press. Müller-Hartmann (personal communication. Müller-Hartmann. Nerison-Low. S. Realist social theory: The morphogenetic approach. Crisis or renewal. S. E-mail: jab63@psu. (1988). M. 3. W. & Milotich. National Institute on Student Achievement. NOTES 1. L2 pragmatics. Dublin: Trinity College. I present commentary from the PSU German students in plain text and commentary from the JLU English students in italics. All students' names are reported as pseudonyms. The JLU English Proseminar was taught by A. She teaches graduate courses in Applied Linguistics and undergraduate telecollaborative courses in German language and culture. M. R. Occasional Paper 54. She has conducted research and published articles on L1 use. 5. All translations from German to English are mine. New York: Cambridge University Press. 7. U. A stipulation of the task is that learners write in their target language. the university students reported in this study would have been in school prior to this intervention and thus may have experienced relatively low levels of participation in electronic discourse communities in the school (1995). Department of Education Report. (1994). Ashwill. C.. 2. Archer. The author is a research associate on this grant and the instructor of the experimental German section.017A). M. 84. [Accessed on-line via ERIC ED 430396. M. However. M. German universities past and future. Ash. Comments which were originally given in German are provided here in English translation only.. Belz (PhD. M. I am using the term CALL broadly to refer to all uses of the computer in the service of second/foreign language learning and teaching including the use of network-based technologies such as the Internet and e-mail. M. Language Learning & Technology 77 . The educational system in Germany.). REFERENCES Agar. (1997). 8. Foraker. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Julie A. (1999). 4.Julie A. Belz Social Dimensions of Telecollaborative.. Appel. contemporary metaphors in German. (1999). 2001) reports that the situation has improved drastically since 2000 when AOL and Telekom began to provide free Internet access to German schools. case study findings. As reported on line on January 22. G. Curriculum.S. Tandem language learning by e-mail: Some basic principles and a case study. This project is funded by a United States Department of Education International Research and Studies Program Grant (CFDA No. literary accounts of language learning. Retrieved July 15. the Germans writing in German is perceived as a violation of the assignment by the Americans. Milotich. New York: William Morrow..] Archer.html. and telecollaborative language study. 6.

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2000). 1993). focusing on its nature for inducing negotiation of meaning. 1994. ISSN 1094-3501 82 . Many researchers regard this type of communication as a promising tool for language learning. 1 pp.msu. confirmations. Vol. sudden topic change. and improves the quality of written and spoken language (Sotillo. grammatical error. INTRODUCTION As a result of technological innovations. namely network-based communication. In light of these findings. 6. the authors make pedagogical recommendations on some classroom tasks for improving chat conversations. Num. 1994. 1993. e-mail and chat in particular. Negotiation of meaning is defined as "modification and restructuring of interaction that occurs when learners and their interlocutors anticipate. Australia Richard Harrison The University of Nagoya. pronunciation error. induces a series of negotiations of meaning (Blake. SLA Theories Second language acquisition (SLA) theories advocate that oral interaction that requires negotiation of meaning is necessary for enhancing learners' interlanguage (Ellis. recasts. Copyright © 2002. Using discourse analysis methods. 1985. misuse of word. have emerged. 2000). Frommer. and that students would not have noticed if they had not had the opportunity to chat with native January 2002. reformulations.Language Learning & Technology http://llt. comprehension checks. as it allows learners to interact with native speakers from the country where their target language is spoken. & Schwartz. Long. Japan ABSTRACT A number of CALL studies suggest the potential benefits of network-based communication for L2 acquisition. and clarification requests (Long. The data showed that the difficulties in understanding each other did indeed trigger negotiation of meaning between students even when no specific communication tasks were given. and inter-cultural communication gap. p. 1996). are being used increasingly in second/foreign language (L2) learning environments. abbreviated sentence. Pica. it was found that there were some language aspects that are crucial for communication but that had been neglected in teaching. Modification and restructuring include repetitions. slow response. 495). perceive. Swain. 1991. new types of communication. 1995). This study examined negotiation of meaning that took place between students and native speakers of Japanese over a series of chat conversations and attempted to categorize the difficulties encountered. the negotiations were sorted into nine categories according to the causes of the difficulties: recognition of new word. Through the examination of these categories of negotiation. Previous research suggests that it increases learners' opportunities to use the target language (Barson. or experience difficulties in message comprehensibility" (Pica. inappropriate segmentation. 82-99 CATEGORIZATION OF TEXT CHAT COMMUNICATION BETWEEN LEARNERS AND NATIVE SPEAKERS OF JAPANESE1 Etsuko Toyoda The University of Melbourne. These new technologies. confirmation checks.

CALL Studies on Negotiation of Meaning Many CALL researchers postulate that network-based communication can facilitate second language acquisition in a similar fashion to face-to-face negotiations in classroom settings. which can then be reviewed later on by the learners and their teachers. Pellettieri. E-mail is one type of asynchronous communication where people can take time to read and write messages. On the other hand. 2000. 1993. Pellettieri. 1997. By comparing synchronous and asynchronous modes. 1998). The Interaction Hypothesis (Gass. Negotiation of meaning also occurs on occasions where the native speakers' input is above the learners' threshold level of understanding. which in return may induce changes in the learners' output. Warshauer. a lack of non-verbal cues. 1995) explains that producing output is one way of testing a hypothesis about comprehensibility or linguistic well-formedness (Swain. and may request clarification. The Output Hypothesis (Swain. as the learners can view their language as they produce it and they are more likely to 'monitor' and edit their messages (Kitade. 2000. The purpose of this study is to examine the Japanese chat data in order to uncover specific types of communication difficulties that trigger negotiation of meaning.. 1997. 2000). requires instantaneous responses as in face-to-face communication. 1995.Etsuko Toyoda and Richard Harrison Categorization of Text Chat Communication. 2000. p. more research based on discourse analysis is called for. may facilitate negotiation of meaning as communication has to rely merely on verbal correspondence(Kitade. 2000). The delayed nature of this type of communication gives learners more opportunities to produce syntactically complex language (Sotillo. Another advantage is that logs of the communications can be saved. few have investigated the triggers for negotiation in a free conversation setting. Long. as it provides more opportunities for comprehensible input and modified output. and based on findings from these analyses. In order to beneficially use network-based communication for L2 learning. such as chat. 126). These logs can be valuable resources for the enhancement of the learners' interlanguage (Blake. 1998). One of the distinctive features of network-based communication. learners can engage in asynchronous communication or synchronous communication. synchronous communication. Native speaker difficulties in following learners' interlanguage may trigger feedback. 2000). chat may be referred as a 'text-mediated telephone conversation. and that learners' hypothesis testing often invokes interaction between the learners and their interlocutor(s). and have found abundant evidence of comprehensible input and modified output resulting from negotiation of meaning (Blake. 2000. In the networked environment. Sotillo claims that the quality and types of discourse functions present in synchronous discussions were similar to the types of interactional modifications found in face-to-face conversations. 2000).'' Research Questions Although a number of CALL studies suggest the potential benefits of network-based communication for L2 acquisition focusing on its nature for inducing negotiation of meaning. They claim that this type of communication may be beneficial for enhancing learners' interlanguage even more than oral conversations. As there is no physical environment or non-verbal signals to share (Kitade. Learners may notice a gap between their interlanguage and the language that native speakers produce. Ortega. 1991) claims that resolving miscommunication (negotiation of meaning) enhances L2 learning. Warschauer. 1996. Even fewer have mentioned how the logs can be utilized for the enhancement of learners' interlanguage. Kitade.. 2000. Language Learning & Technology 83 . to make recommendations on how the quality of communication can be improved. The output hypothesis thus claims that the output induces negotiation of meaning and the negotiation leads to the enhancement of the learners' interlanguage.

All the chat dialogues appear in the chat log window immediately below the 3-D window.Etsuko Toyoda and Richard Harrison Categorization of Text Chat Communication. JEWELS We created an online virtual university campus. and are rendered as 3-D avatars which appear in the scene. In face-to-face communication with the teacher. tables. the users see the 3-D environment in the left hand window of the browser (see Figure 1) and on the right side see a window for displaying WWW pages based on Internet Explorer. and so forth. They can even fly if they want to. they had no trouble getting their meaning across despite making some subtle errors. Japanese Multimedia.activeworlds. and has a library of ready-made objects such as chairs. Communication between the users in the environment is through a chat window below the 3-D window. offered in Semester 2. Their partners were all native speakers of Japanese (students and teachers) who resided in Japan or the USA at the time of chatting. STUDY Participants The participants were 5 undergraduate students enrolled in an advanced level Japanese course... and electronically interacted with their partners using the chat function of a 3-dimensional language learning environment called JEWELS. Figure 1. Users can communicate to all the other users in the environment. created a Web This software allows one to create 3-D models of buildings. When they log in. The participant students undertook a semester-long project. and computers for creating rooms. The users log in with a username and password. named JEWELS (Japanese-language Education Worldwide Electronic Learning Space) using software from an American company called Activeworlds (www. or to individuals using a whisper chat window. 2000 at the University of Melbourne.2 The students were all advanced learners of Japanese who had studied the language for at least 4 years and had in-country experiences prior to participation in the project. Language Learning & Technology 84 . One of the main aims of this course was to enhance students' autonomous learning skills in Japanese through research and presentation using multimedia tools.

whereby the avatars could be programmed to look more appropriate to the context. as they were experienced at neither the electronic chatting. Such complexity may lead to breakdowns in communication for novice users (Werry.. due to the fact that multiple participants can type messages simultaneously. we were interested in getting the students to use the chat facilities rather than to use the avatars. Each avatar had associated programmable actions such as waving. and that an important part of building an online community is to use personal profiles to distinguish individuals within the online community (p.Etsuko Toyoda and Richard Harrison Categorization of Text Chat Communication. and c) the participants thanked each other (the last session). they made little use of the other movement features. with programmable actions associated with Japanese cultural gestures such as bowing. and we limited the number of participants to a maximum of three in each zone. Secondly. Following Kitade's study (2000). dancing. The ideal situation would have been to have an avatar construction kit. some utterances addressing unrelated topics may often be interwoven into any discussion thread. and so forth. In our case we used Japanese fonts for the chatting. However. nor the manipulation of avatars. we allocated our students to different communication zones in the JEWELS environment. This is the standard form of Japanese input used on every Japanese capable computer. the avatars could move around in the environment using the arrow keys. taking different viewpoints of the environment. Another interesting project would be to investigate how avatars can be used to express cultural non-linguistic features such as bowing and other culturally laden gestures. 1996). the appearance of the avatar could be chosen so that it could be female or male or even a bird. Kim (2000) notes that avatars are one way in which participants are able to create their own persona. the participants were instructed to discuss with their partners ideas and thoughts regarding the Web page creation project. and so forth. After excluding the units where no communication breakdowns were observed. However. excluding the sessions when a) the participants moved around the learning environment to familiarize themselves with it. this was dependent on the user having a Japanese Windows operating system running on their computer. In the current project. Our students and their Japanese partners used the first features of changing the appearance of the avatars to those that they liked. which the software automatically converts into Hiragana or Katakana (phonetic-based scripts) as appropriate. Chat Data In chat. which allowed Japanese fonts to be displayed in the chat windows and in the WWW browser window.101). Firstly. the data were first segmented into sequential units of conversation. In all seven sessions. Data used for this study were the students' chat logs over the course of seven sessions. probably because we did not give them tasks that required such movements. We configured the program to handle Japanese fonts using a utility program called Emigrant32. Input in Japanese is carried out through standard QWERTY keyboards with the users typing in Romanized Japanese. this was beyond the scope of our project. the remaining 45 units were Language Learning & Technology 85 . Pressing the space bar brings up a window from which the users can choose the correct Kanji (non-phonetic-based script). To minimize the confusions and misinterpretations resulting from the multiple threads. b) we had a mock job interview. Data Analysis The chat data were analyzed using discourse analysis methods. fighting. This would also involve creating tasks in which the avatars would be required to move and act. A sequence of conversations was separated from others based not only on topic changes but also direction shifts within the same topic. however. The students had chat exchanges with their partners for 1 hour per session over 10 sessions in the semester. Use of Avatars The built-in avatars in Activeworlds could be used in two ways. We installed Japanese versions of Windows 98 on the Melbourne machines so that the software would run correctly. Also the students seemed not to have any spare time to attempt to use these features while they were chatting..

this study does not distinguish between the two. as shown in this example (NS is a native speaker and NNS is a non-native speaker.. response. there are generally a response from the speaker who caused the problem and a reaction to the response. in many cases (8 times out of 12). we focused on the trigger of the negotiation. a student). What are you majoring in? Medicine! Which area? What does area mean? Things like internal medicine and pediatrics. Table 2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 NS NNS NS NNS NS NNS Senmon wa? Igaku desu! Dono bun-ya desu ka? Bun-ya tte doo iu koto? Nai-ka toka shooni-ka toka. and where the two could not agree. and an indicator alerts that there is a communication problem. Word level W-1 Recognition of new word W-2 Misuse / misunderstanding of word W-3 Pronunciation / typing error Sentence level S-1 Grammatical error S-2 Inappropriate segmentation S-3 Abbreviated sentence Discourse level D-1 Sudden topic change D-2 Slow response D-3 Intercultural communication gap The distribution of the negotiation of meaning in each category was as follows. Categories The conversations observed in the chat tended to follow the typical schema noted by Varonis and Gass (1985): trigger. indicator.. the student in the dialogue noticed the new word and presented a clarification question to ask for the meaning of the word. Following an indicator. Briefly stated. We have observed in the collected data that the triggers could be grouped into three levels: word. Upon introduction of a new word from the native speakers. a third person's opinion was sought for the judgment.e. Language Learning & Technology 86 . Two experienced Japanese language teachers carried out the data analysis. However. Table 1 Distribution of Negotiation of Meaning W1 12(8) W2 5 W3 7 S1 3 S2 2 S3 6(5) D1 4(1) D2 4 D3 2(2) The next section will look into each of the nine categories. The numbers in the parentheses show the negotiations caused by native speaker triggers. sentence and discourse. I don't have an area yet. To categorize a series of negotiation of meaning. and sees these difficulties as a natural form of chat communication between native and non-native speakers. a trigger is the stimulus for the negotiation that ensues.. Communication breakdowns sometimes occurred due to the nature of conversations between native and non-native speakers. Mada bun-ya ga nai desu. resulting in nine categories all together. EXAMPLES AND INTERPRETATIONS W-1 Recognition of a New Word Introduction of new words took place on both the students' and native speakers' sides although it happened far more frequently on the latter. placed into categories according to their features. Each level also could be sorted broadly into three different categories. i. and at other times due to problems caused by the CMC (computer mediated communication) tools. and reaction.Etsuko Toyoda and Richard Harrison Categorization of Text Chat Communication.

The frequently used confirmation questions were: Wakaru? or Wakari masu ka? (Do you understand?) and X. X?). I see… Although less often (4 out of 12 cases). Wakaru? 2 NNS Wakaranai. which is derived from Chinese characters.. When the student later clarified the pronunciation of one of the words by asking how to read the characters. 8 NNS Naruhodo… This weekend I visited the grave of my father-in-law for 命日. meejitsu to iu n desu ka. 3 NS 命日 wa nakunatta hi no koto. the words were left in Kanji.. Oboo san ga kite okyoo o agete kuremasu. Is it called meejitsu? 地鎮祭 is to receive Shinto purification (Japanese style praying?) before they begin to build a new house.. In English. Table 3. Do you understand? I don't understand it.. X wa nan desuka? (What is X?). is not phonetic-based (Tamaoka. in the following excerpt. In contrast. or just repeating the unknown word with a question mark. Although Kanji is often described as ideographic or logographic. 7 NS 地鎮祭 wa jichin-sai desu.. Japanese kanji-written words convey far less information. 1991). To show that the words were introduced to the student without any clue to meaning and pronunciation. He asked the student Wakaru? (Do you understand?). the learner encountered two new words that she could neither read nor get the meanings. the native speaker gave the pronunciations of both words. . 5 NS 地鎮祭 tte iu no wa ie o atarashiku tateru toki ni.tte dou iu koto? (What does X .. pronouncing the word is usually possible even if the meaning of the word cannot be drawn from the spelling. and then gave the definitions of the words. 命日 is pronounced as meenichi 地鎮祭 is pronounced as jichin-sai. otto no jikka no 地鎮祭 deshita. By giving some examples or explaining the definition of the word in simpler language. tate hajimeru mae ni oharai (nihon-shiki no oinori?) o shite morau koto desu. the native speaker may have sensed that they were difficult for the student.. A priest comes and recites a sutra for us. 6 NS 命日 wa meenichi to yomimasu.tte kotoba shitte imasu ka? (Do you know the word.Etsuko Toyoda and Richard Harrison Categorization of Text Chat Communication. New words were sometimes introduced with confirmation questions by the native speakers. as in the following example. Because these words are specifically used in a topic related to religions. and attended 地鎮祭.mean?). In the following example. X. 4 NNS Sore wa. Nan desu ka sore? (What is that?). and. inferring the meaning of a word from a chain of unfamiliar Kanji characters is not easy. Kanji is one type of Japanese script. 命日 means the anniversary of the day someone passed away. the native speakers tried to restore the communication.tte? (abbreviated form of What does X mean?). new words were sometimes introduced by the students. Language Learning & Technology 87 . unlike the other types of Japanese scripts. 1 NS Kono shuumatsu wa gifu no 命日 no omairi to. Other frequently used clarification questions were: X..

Oh. that is. Table 4. Katakana is another type of script used for Japanese writing.. what is a BBQ? Barbecue. 8 NS Aa. What is hokkee? By then the native speaker had realized that he had misunderstood the student's utterance. though whether the native speaker understood the student's utterance is not clear from the chat log. once as "Dare ni demo atehamaru" (That can apply to anyone). is there? . and another time as "Kyoutu shiteiru" (That is in common). there isn't one.. match with). In the following conversation. 1 2 3 4 5 NNS Katakana no "hotkey" arimasu ka? NS Hokkee desu. words originated in Western languages. Is there a "hotkey" for Katakana? It's hokkee (hockey) (in Katakana). The native speaker rephrased the word in two different ways. What in the world is hokke-? I misunderstood.. the student and her partner were talking about popular TV programs in Japan. sokka. the student himself rephrased it as "Things that even older people know. about things like home stay and so on. Hey. Even though the student wrote the word incorrectly. An interesting dialogue was recorded when the native speaker misinterpreted the word that the student introduced. Ma.." Language Learning & Technology 88 . that's all right. 4 NS bbq wa nani desu ka. but was not appropriate in this context. the student used the word icchi suru (agree. Oh well. This became a trigger for the next question.Etsuko Toyoda and Richard Harrison Categorization of Text Chat Communication. bbq tte nani? 7 NNS Babekyuu. which was not totally wrong. What is a BBQ? Yes. the native speaker thought that this student wanted to know how to write hockey in Katakana. and apologized for it. By the way it is a service to let all Japanese overseas students studying in Melbourne and all Australian students learning Japanese know about things related to Japan or special events. meruborun ni ryuugaku shite iru nihon-jin to nihon-go o benkyoo shite iru aasutoraria no gakusei to ni nihon ni kankee mono ka ebento o minna ni tsutaeru saabisu nandesu.. About home stay or something? Things like festivals and BBQs and so on. When the student asked about a hotkey for Katakana. At the end. NNS Hokke. 2 NS Hoomusutee toka? 3 NNS Matsuri toka bbq nado. W-2 Misuse / Misunderstanding of Word The first example is for the misuse of a word. and is usually used for loan words.. Trying to say also common to old people.. The correct Japanese for barbecue is baabekyuu. ee wa..tte nan nan desu ka? NS Machigaemashita. Table 5. 1 NNS Sate. hoomusutee nado 6 NS Nee. 5 NNS Hai. NNS Yappari nai ka. I see. Just as I thought. the native speaker understood the word and posted the acknowledgement as a reaction to the student's response.

Minna doraemon o shitte imasu ka. 4 NS Umareta nendai wa motto nenree no takai Even people who are of higher age groups by hito demo shitte iru koto wa kyootsuu birth would know the same things we know. I have a feeling that they do not conspicuously gather in groups but. now I see. Table 7. What do you think? As an Asian. they seem to gather in groups. 1 NNS Demo. 3 NS Soo iu hito to wa 4 NNS Damatte kurushimu hito ga ooi desu ne. are there any other examples? Examples? Examples of what? 5 NNS Uun.. heesa-teki de jibun no mondai o In other words. While misuse or misunderstanding of a word is not unusual. this example shows that the misunderstanding is not always easily noticed. aren't there? To keep silent and suffer? 5 NS Damatte kurushimu? 6 NNS To iu ka. The student confirmed her understanding with the teacher after this chat exchange. Oh.. don't you think? No. it seems that the student and native speaker came to realize that they were discussing two different topics. which is the primary meaning of this word. omotedatte katamaru no wa sukunai kamo shirenai kedo. After a number of exchanges. What do you mean. Language Learning & Technology 89 . or in places where they can not be seen. I have often observed people like that. Things that even people of higher age would know. while the student interpreted this word as harden. Expansion and elaboration on the word may have helped them to realize the definitions of the word. people agree on? 2 NS Dare ni demo atehamaru yoo na joohoo Do you mean the kind of information that to iu koto desu ka? would apply to anyone? That's right. although it is not clear from the chat log if she realized her misinterpretation.Etsuko Toyoda and Richard Harrison Categorization of Text Chat Communication. 6 NS Ree? Nan no ree desu ka? 7 NNS Nenree no takai hito demo shitte iru koto. hoka ni nani ka ree ga arimasu ka. don't say anything about their own problems. behind. motto toshiyori hito demo itchi no But aren't there things that even more elderly koto imasen ka. but. people like that? There are many people who keep silent and suffer. they shut others out and iwanai. hoka no kuni no hito no yoo ni. shite imasu yo ne. 1 NS This is my recent observation. ura de to iu ka. Table 6. Saikin no watashi no kansatsu dakedo. The native speaker used the word katamaru for the meaning of gather. The next example is when a polysemy caused a communication difficulty. mienai tokoro de katamatte iru ki ga suru kedo doo kana? 2 NNS Watashi wa ajia-jin to shite soo iu hito o yoku kansatsu shita koto arimasu yo. Do you all know "Doraemon"? 3 NNS Soo desu ne. 7 NS Aa. wakari mashita. and it sometimes takes a while before it is realized.

they are inclined to pronounce the words in a similar way to English. which appears in Hiragana (phoneticbased script) on the screen. many Japanese learners write intaneto for Internet when it should be written as intaanetto. NS Yuuro 2000 kana? Nihon-go de wa? (Demo jitsu wa shirimasen) Did you see Euroo 2000? What is that? The Euroopean soccer championship. If the Kanji given by the installed dictionary is not an appropriate one. NS Nan desu ka? Sore. As mentioned above. For example. Don't you mean Shusshin (where you come from)? 5 NNS Soo. and then turns into appropriate Kanji when the space bar is pressed. The native speaker was not able to guess what "Yoroo 2000" was. 6 NS (NNS) san no shusshin wa taiwan desu ka. Table 8. Katakana words are loan words originated in Western languages. The student then chose another Kanji and added Taiwan. In the following conversation. In Japanese.. NNS E. Table 9. That's right. It's perhaps called Euro 2000. The students tended to make mistakes all the more because the Katakana words are similar to their original English words. fashion for fasshon (fashion). When typing words in Kanji using a Japanese word processor.the name of a TV program). Often the same pronunciation has several forms in Kanji. and many of the words that were mispronounced or misspelled were Katakana words. it existed widespread in Euroope. NS Shusshin de wa? Going to sleep (Shuushin) Going to sleep (Shuushin)? Life-time (shuushin) is Taiwan. she was able to give a possible word. but when the student gave a context of European soccer championship. W-3 Pronunciation/Typing Error One frequent cause of miscommunication was pronunciation/typing error. and fuutoboor for futtobooru (football). The native speaker did not understand why the student abruptly began to talk about sleeping which had no connection with the previous conversation. 1 2 3 4 NNS Shuushin (in Kanji) NS Shuushin? (in Kanji) NNS Shuushin (in another Kanji) wa taiwan. Other misspelled Katakana words that caused communication difficulties were bajjin for baajin (Virgin -the name of an airline company). The next example is from a Kanji word. other options are available on a list to replace the one that had appeared in the first place. Although making a distinction between a pronunciation error and a typing error is not an easy task in the case of chat conversations. In other words. 1 2 3 4 5 NNS Yoroo 2000 o mimashita ka. the two-Kanji word that means sleep appeared.Etsuko Toyoda and Richard Harrison Categorization of Text Chat Communication. But I actually don't know. In the following example. Is Taiwan where you come from? Language Learning & Technology 90 . ronvekeshon for rongubakeeshon (Long Vacation -. yorooppa ni sakan deshita.. one of the Katakana words that this student misspelled triggered miscommunication. as the student typed in shuushin instead of shusshin and converted it to Kanji. NNS Yorooppa no sakkaa chaipionshipu. from which the native speaker was able to give feedback. the word is typed in using Roman letter keys as it is pronounced. Oh. the fact that errors occur much more frequently on Katakana words made us think that there were likely to be some contributions from pronunciation errors.

1 NS Can you sympathize with the emotions in Japanese dramas? They are cool. The error was only one particle.. 4 NNS no tame no site. Table 10. 4 minagara waraimasu. In a face-to face conversation. Tame ni naru joohoo o noseru to iu koto desu ne. 5 NS Naruhodo. You mean you are going to put information that would be useful. The particles look as if they are only supplementary in a sentence. possessive. Even though sympathy is more like a Taiwanese.? By synthesizing line 2 and 4. While grammatical errors per se were recorded numerous times. amari kyookan wa dekinai. Are you saying that you can't sympathize with them much? Even my friends in Australia laugh while they watch. Whether or not the native speaker realized this is not clear from the chat log. Nevertheless.. Nihon no dorama no kanjoo ni. I see. and Japanese students staying in Melbourne What kind of things about the Japanese language students are you going to write about? A Web site for (them).. the meaning changed completely. as in most cases the meaning gets across with the help of the context. 5 NS Soo kaa.. it appears that the student meant to say that even his Australian friends (understand and) laugh while watching the Japanese drama although Taiwanese appreciate Japanese drama in a more similar way to Japanese.. 1 NNS Sore wa. Well. is that right? Are they watching them as "comedies"…. Kyookan wa. Table 11. "Owarai" to shite. nani ka to ii masu to melbourne ni iru nihon-go no gakusei 2 NNS to melbourne ni iru nihon-jin no gakusei 3 NS Nihon-go no gakusei no donna koto ni tsuite kaku no desu ka. to tell you what it is. Oh. it may therefore cause communication difficulties. miteru no kaa. However. 3 NS To iu no wa.Etsuko Toyoda and Richard Harrison Categorization of Text Chat Communication. Particles are post-positional markers to show case functions such as nominative. miscommunication caused by grammatical errors was not one of the main causes for communication difficulties in conversation between these advanced level students and native speakers in this study. kyookan ga motemasu ka? 2 NNS Kakko ii desu ne. One of the examples is shown in Table 10. there were only three cases where the native speakers could not follow the students' intentions. since chat communication relies more on Kanji as it appears on the screen and it provokes native speakers to activate their lexical properties of the kanji. they can shift the meaning of a sentence 180 degrees. S-1 Grammatical Errors We observed very few communication difficulties due to grammatical errors. and objective. taiwan-jin no hoo ni chikai kedo. However. because the student said Taiwanjin no hou NI chikai instead of Taiwan jin no hou GA chikai. students studying Japanese in Melbourne. mixing up a long vowel with a short vowel does not necessarily cause any miscommunication. S-2 Inappropriate Segmentation Inappropriate segmentation was even less common a cause of miscommunication than grammatical errors. do you? Language Learning & Technology 91 . tte iu koto? NNS Oosutoraria no tomodachi de mo.

Part time jobs or something? I don't have one but I was a shop assistant before. Um. which means such as X but can mean What about X?. However. In face-to face communication with native speakers. in most cases they type in a particle together with the word that comes before the particle. but she segmented or broke the sentence into three utterances: a) students studying Japanese in Melbourne.. the direction of the conversation did not skew so much in this case. The most frequently used form as can be seen in the above example. when the native speaker said Arubaito (part-time job) toka?.. Language Learning & Technology 92 . In Japanese. no tame no site (a site for) looked as if it were stand-alone. soo na n desu ka. In the chat logs kept during the seven sessions.. stopping a sentence mid-way is acceptable as long as the context supports the meaning of the sentence. 2 NNS Teema ka. and tried to answer to it in line 2. Table 12. The native speaker interpreted this word as useful. and there came in another utterance made by a native speaker.Etsuko Toyoda and Richard Harrison Categorization of Text Chat Communication. or Do you mean X? all depending on the context.. the use of abbreviated sentences is frequent. gakusei no joohoo saabisu e 1 NS 3 NS Arubaito toka? 4 NNS Ima nai kedo. hoomupeeji no hanashi ni modori mashoo ka. In Japanese. there were no cases where native speakers made an utterance starting with a particle (with exceptions of the particle for quotations). Oh. there is not enough evidence to determine whether or not this is something that reflects interlanguage representations. is a noun with toka. Teema toka.. which is another meaning of the word. the students understood it. shall we go back to the topic of the homepage? The second sentence in line 1 and line 3 are abbreviated sentences. When native speakers write in Japanese on the computer. meaning Are you thinking of including part-time job in your theme?. one that shows quotations and the other that shows moods). particles are bound-morphemes and they are placed after nouns (except two types of particles. Some abbreviated sentences produced by native speakers in the chat seemed to have troubled the students as shown in the following conversations. when the native speaker said Teema (theme) toka. The native speaker's response A soonandesuka (Oh. were you?) made the student think that his interpretation was correct. Confusions were amplified when another topic intertwined in an existing topic of conversation as can be seen in the following example... Despite the misinterpretation. S-3 Abbreviated Sentence In spoken conversations among native speakers. Nani ni tsuite. 5 NS 6 NS A.. some inappropriate segmentation (ending a line without a particle and starting the next line with the particle) was observed among the students during the first few sessions although they rarely resulted in miscommunication. one may encounter a number of this type of utterance.. However. b) Japanese students staying in Melbourne. Because the student stopped the previous utterance with the noun (gakusei) without the particle (no). the student (NNS) interpreted this utterance superficially and started talking about his own part-time job experiences. tsukutte iru no desu ka. The student meant to say that "(it will be) a site for students learning Japanese and Japanese students in Melbourne. as they were still in the same topic framework. On the other hand. They may have misanalyzed a particle as a preposition for the following verb rather than a postposition for the preceding noun. To the information service of the students. What are you making a homepage on? Topic or something? Topic. and 3) a Web site for (them). What do you think of X?. In the given example. mae ni ten-in datta. were you? Ano..

Yes. 1 NS 5 NS Kyoomi wa doo iu koto ni tsuite aru no? 6 NNS Chigaou. What kind of things are you interested in? It's not right. anata no kyoomi yo. the students failed to incorporate contextual information in order to understand the utterances... In lines 1 and 2. the native speaker's use of the context had adversely led to a misunderstanding. ippai dete kuru to omoo yo. the native speaker was still trying to interpret the utterance in relation to the context. nihon toka fasshon toka iretara. which resulted in the student asking once more about the topic of the conversation. Shall we talk about the home page you are 1 NS1 (NNS) san ga tsukutte iru. Language Learning & Technology 93 . I mean. All you have to do is to enter what you are interested in into the "keyword". Please wait a moment. In the example below. ii desu yo. Uun. that the students often tried to shift the topic without a conjunction whereas the native speakers often used the conjunction tokorode (by the way) for a topic change. "YAHOO" toka de shiraberareru n ja nai kana. hanashi masu ka? 2 NNS Hai. 7 NS A. the student seemed to have been confused. mine? One of the clear differences between the students and the native speakers was. 2 NS Kiiwaado de. D-1 Sudden Topic Change In the above situations. let's do that. And then in line 3. If you enter keywords like Japan or fashion. your interests. Table 13. I think a lot will come out. sugu ni wa wakaranai kedo.Etsuko Toyoda and Richard Harrison Categorization of Text Chat Communication. with the exception of this case. "HP" ni making. followed by an abbreviated sentence asking about the situation in Australia. In Japan there are many young people who 3 NS2 Nihon de wa. soo shimashoo. such as no turn-taking competition and no non-verbal signs. Table 14. Other abbreviated sentences in lines 4 and 6 made the situation worse. I can't thnk of any straight away but I suppose you can find out through places like "Yahoo". both sides have agreed on talking about the Web page that the NNS was creating. kiiwaado ni iretara. 3 NNS Ja kyoomi wa. Then what about interests? That's right. The distinctive features of chatting. Oh. While the student abruptly changed the topic using an abbreviated sentence. negatively affected this sequence of communication. in Australia? Oosutoraria de wa? Was it about jobs? 4 NS1 Shigoto ni tsuite deshita kke? 5 NNS So That's right 6 NS1 Gutai-teki ni wa? (What is it) exactly about? 7 NNS Shosho. furiitaa to iu shigoto o are doing a work called free worker. (NNS)? tsuite. watashi no? Hmm. kyoomi aru mono ni tsuite.. How about shite iru wakai hito ga ooku imasu. 4 NS Soo. Is there anything wrong? 8 NS2 Dooka shimashita ka? What kind of topic shall we talk about? 9 NNS Donna topikku ni shiyo ka. the NS 2 abruptly brought in a new topic about freeter (a person who is not bound to one company and who freely takes up different jobs). machi kudasai. As the sentence merely means In Australia? and there is one unrelated sentence in between the utterances.

in response to these. However. giving eye contact to the addressee.g.. However. D-2 Slow Response In the following conversation. asked NS1 for the reason. that. guess dekinai no wa.. 2 NS2 Kanada de wa. and those) are used referring to the previous utterances in order to avoid confusion. dare ga sensee de dare ga gakusee ka o "guess" suru no ga muzukashikatta desu. it seems to be inevitable to have communication difficulties of this kind. they may make the subject of the sentence clear by repeating some words used before. I went to a party and it was difficult to "guess" who were teachers and who were students. 3 NNS Dooshite desu ka. eego kenshuu o uketari. gakusee wa dare ka. the question) was so slow that it induced the confusion. when NS1 started to talk about his experience in the USA. This particular communication breakdown caused by the student's slow response may have been avoided if the student used some linkage words. Jikoshuchou.Etsuko Toyoda and Richard Harrison Categorization of Text Chat Communication. NS2 added another episode from her experience in Canada. but." Language Learning & Technology 94 . the communication breakdown could have been avoided if the student's response was quicker and was made in relation to the previous utterance. conforming oneself to the situation has been a virtue in Japan. In conversations among native speakers. D-3 Intercultural Communication Gap The last category is for communication difficulties due to cultural differences. 4 NS1 Kono shitsumon wa (NS2) san ni? Soretomo watashi ni? 5 NNS Sensee wa dare ka. this sort of communication disorder can be avoided by. The student (NNS). the native speaker said that Japanese tend to assert themselves after acknowledging the other party's opinion. What was most interesting recently was that. for example. this. has been an important aspect of character-building in Western culture. 1 NS1 Saikin ichiban omoshirokatta no wa. In a reply to the student's question if Japanese are lacking self-assertion. nihon-go kyooiku no genba o kengaku shitari shita no desu ga. I did things like learning English and observing places where Japanese was actually taught. The student is using the word jikoshuchou as "asserting oneself with no relation to others" whereas the native speaker is using the same word as "expressing one's opinion suitable to the situation. On the contrary. the response (in this case. and when they ask questions about something that has been said several lines up where links were not so clear. In face-to-face conversation. a number of demonstratives (e. In Canada. or expressing one's opinion. Table 15. The following is a conversation over jikoshuchou (self-assertive) between the student and native speaker. In text-based communication. these. Why was (it)? Is this question for me? Or for (NS2)? Not being able to guess who the teachers were and who the students were. Managing multiparty conversations might have been much more demanding compared to dyads involving only two interlocutors. paatii ni itta n dakedo..

that is more like a manner/behaviour. our data showed that the difficulties in understanding each other have indeed triggered negotiation of meaning. Moreover.Etsuko Toyoda and Richard Harrison Categorization of Text Chat Communication. in thinking that the student misspelled the word. The review of the chat logs may facilitate the improvement of students' interlanguage. boku no iken dewa nihon-jin wa narubeku meewaku o kakenai yoo ni soo suru shuukan ga aru to wakatte imasu ga. We observed that as we moved away from word level and into discourse level. sentence. do you think Japanese people lack selfassertion? We do tend to try and think after listening to the opinion of the other. the native speaker corrected the word to kyougi (negotiation). desu ne. There are no clues such as facial expressions and body language to help them understand the incoming messages. which may make their interactions with their interlocutors difficult as they have to rely solely on written texts. Learners will definitely pay attention to the language in Language Learning & Technology 95 . the student concluded that expressing one's opinion after taking in the other's opinion is a kind of gyougi (manner). in my opinion. It appeared to the student that expressing one's opinions after listening to the other's opinions is a mannerly behavior. Hearing this word. Table 16. we try to find common grounds and accept the other's views? Or. we would like to look into how the quality of chat communication can be improved. the student tried to understand that not imposing oneself would be mannerly in Japan. 1 NNS Eeto. Chat logs. word. can be valuable linguistic material for helping students to reflect on their interlanguage. In this section. negotiation of meaning became more complex and less transparent.. 6 NNS Desu kara. Conceivably. The findings from the study suggest that the higher the level of the negotiation.. and discourse levels. RECOMMENDATIONS Chatting in a L2 may not always be an easy task for learners. sore wa gyougi ni chikai desu ne. 2 NS Aite no iken o kiite kara kangae yoo to suru tokoro wa arimasu yo ne. while from the native speaker's point of view it is negotiation. Accepting the other's opinion and also making an effort to make the other understand our opinions. don't you?. isn't it? You mean conferring. complexly intertwined threads of dialogues may place more burdens on the learners to comprehend the messages and subsequently impede their appropriate output. 4 NNS To iu ka. rather than trying to argue against the other's opinion with our own. don't we? Perhaps it is that. the less clear it becomes whether the negotiation is successful. especially those that learners themselves have produced. Successfully negotiating the communication problems is essential in order to take advantage of comprehensible input and modified output. 3 NS Aite no iken to jibun no iken o tatakawase yoo to suru no dewa naku. Aite no iken mo mitomete. as it requires them to read messages and respond to them quickly. So. 7 NS Kyougi. 5 NS Well. onaji bubun o mitsukete ukeirete ikoo to suru no dewa nai desu ka. Another point to make is that the data revealed that there were several levels of communication difficulties. Nevertheless. jibun no iken mo wakatte morau doryoku o suru. nihon-jin tte jiko shuchoo busoku da to omoimasu ka. After exchanging each other's view. I already understand that the Japanese customarily do that so they don't cause trouble or inconvenience to others. as the whole notion of jikoshuchou for him is kyougi(negotiation) and not gyougi (a manner).

These communication strategies for asking the native speakers for clarification could be one kind of task using the chat logs. learners need to be aware that the Kanji being chosen is relevant to the context of a conversation. In our study.Etsuko Toyoda and Richard Harrison Categorization of Text Chat Communication. Highlighting the particles that appeared in chat logs and analyzing the function of each particle in class may help students organize the acquired knowledge. dependence on the translation could cause miscommunication as meaning range in two languages often does not completely overlap. These polysemies and homonyms can be perfect materials for discussions. S-1 Grammatical Error A particle can sometimes be crucial to convey the right meaning of a sentence. looking for instances where the request for clarification was not clear. for example. The findings from this study suggest that explicit teaching of communication strategies is also necessary. W-3 Pronunciation / Typing Error Our data has shown that writing English words in Katakana is not easy. learners learn particles along with other grammatical features. W-1 Recognition of New Word Although a number of new words were introduced by the native speakers. Japanese language teaching may have focused extensively on the expansion of new vocabulary. it is also true that particles are most commonly misused among learners of Japanese. Having a good stock of expressions for clarification checks and confirmation checks seems to be critical in order to carry on a conversation. there are general rules for conversion. However. and may have neglected to teach the word usage in contexts. and discussing how they can be made clearer. with some exceptions. their logs because they are their own products (Swain. Going through the logs could be a valuable opportunity for learning some examples of the types of stock phrases the students might need. The findings from our study suggest that reviewing Katakana is necessary in the later stages of learning. However. and have rarely been taught their functions in comparison with others. the chat conversation did make the students realize that instant kanji processing skills should be improved. The findings from the analysis of the chat data shed some light on what we can do in class using chat logs as learning materials. One task would be a dictation of a passage that contains many homophones. as knowledge of the correct English spelling may interfere with proper Japanese pronunciation. In most cases. personal communication). the students sometimes failed to get the meaning of the words because they did not indicate to the native speakers clearly enough that they did not understand the word. Learners can talk about the reasons for the misuses and misunderstandings and learn the core meaning of the words by collecting many example sentences that contain the words.. W-2 Misuse / Misunderstanding of Word There were some cases where the students misused or misunderstood words that had more than one meaning and words that shared a similar meaning with other words. Language Learning & Technology 96 . and discussion on the difference among the possible types of Kanji characters. Given the limited data. and learners may be able to find out the rules or exceptions by reviewing Katakana words in their chat logs. Japanese language teaching has now shifted in approach to more communicationfocused teaching. However. these should be considered as example tasks for negotiation about form in our study context. Only when we went over the chat log with the students.. did it become clear that there were times where the students experienced difficulty in understanding words and were not able to negotiate the meaning of the words. When converting the typed words into Kanji. Learners usually learn new target words in relation to their equivalents in their native language.

It tells us that learners may be treating a particle as a preposition for the following verb rather than a postposition for the preceding noun. However. it is not easy to notice when and how abbreviated sentences are used while conversing in face-to-face situations. comprehending abbreviated sentences using contextual information was not easy. we believe there exist many repetitions of phrases to link one's utterance to the previous ones. It could be possible to practice this through pair work. Our suggestion is that learners go over their logs and discuss how their partners have changed a topic. For students who have limited experience conversing with native speakers. eliciting sentences from a picture and collaboratively combining the sentences using a conjunction. There is no doubt that coping with multiparty conversation with native speakers using an unfamiliar chat tool is extremely hard for non-native speakers. Nevertheless. and look for particular strategies for chat conversation.. particularly in cases where "why" and "how" are sought. in their chat logs and discuss the expanded form of those sentences. Learners may need to learn some strategies to respond quickly in the shortest possible abbreviated sentences that still have links to the previous utterances. It might be a good opportunity to review conjunctive words and their functions in a passage. As in the case of particles. it can cause confusion. observed in regular classes either in face-to-face communication or in written composition where utterances or sentences just flow. as interlocutors cannot see each other's facial expression of confusion. Learners should be aware that responding quickly in chat by using shorter sentences is essential. When a response is slow. D-3 Intercultural Communication Gap The concept of a word is not the same in a different cultural context. if ever. chat conversations certainly make the situation worse. conjunctive words are usually presented together with other language functions. Miscommunication caused by a gap in concepts between two cultures is typical in an international communication setting. even when cultural differences are touched upon. and talk about the sense of value in each culture. learners would not have noticed such sentences if they had not engaged in electronic chats with native speakers. if any. Learners may discuss strategies for avoiding this sort of confusion. as such a feature is rarely. Teaching abbreviated sentences has been neglected. In language classes. Learners may be able to find abbreviated sentences. The proper usage of such words needs to be taught at some stage. D-1 Sudden Topic Change A sudden topic change without a conjunctive word was one of the typical causes for communication difficulty. Language Learning & Technology 97 . Segmentation of a sentence into smaller units may be one task appropriate here. Focusing on some key words that can be a cause of communication breakdowns would be a very good way of leading learners to notice cultural differences.. although these sorts of sentences form an important part of natural conversations. However. S-3 Abbreviated Sentence We have observed frequent use of abbreviated sentences by the native speakers. they are usually discussed on a superficial level. Also. Most of our students have had experiences of living in Japan and are familiar with Japanese native speech. S-2 Inappropriate Segmentation It was interesting to see some sentences starting with particles in the chat logs. making an utterance shorter does sometimes cause communication difficulties. Some practice sessions for making shorter abbreviated sentences might be necessary. D-2 Slow Response Multiple topics of conversation intertwined together is a unique feature of chatting.Etsuko Toyoda and Richard Harrison Categorization of Text Chat Communication. and examine when conjunctive words are not used. Based on our impressionistic observation of conversations between native speakers. It may be valuable to have discussions on the meaning range of a word in the target language and in the native tongue. and is not specific to chat conversation.

Another thing that the chat logs taught us was that there were some language aspects that are crucial for communication. and made suggestions for making use of chat logs. which has been claimed to facilitate L2 learning. Ellis. M. R.. 2001. Language Learning & Technology 98 .au harrison@ecis. Retrieved May 6. Tim McNamara and Dr. Richard Harrison. His current research interests are in virtual learning environments and constructivist approaches to learning language. Understanding second language acquisition. R. Computer mediated communication: A window on L2 Spanish interlanguage. Prof. 565-584. Australia. We found that the chat exchanges induced negotiation of meaning between interlocutors at various levels. language learning and technology. born in the UK. Blake. 120-136. Language Learning & Technology. This study has been funded by the Faculty of Arts ITMM grant.. NOTES 1. We would also like to thank the LLT reviewers for their constructive feedback. E-mail: e. we categorized negotiation of meaning that took place between learners and native speakers of Japanese over a series of chat conversations. Richard Harrison. 2. and metalinguistic awareness. (1985). Journal of Science and Technology.. J. (2000).edu. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The authors would like to express our gratitude to Assoc.. Her research interests include word recognition. UK: Oxford University Press. and that students would not have noticed if they had not had the opportunity to chat with native speakers. 4(1). A series of communication difficulties was observed in the chat logs. & Schwartz. J.Etsuko Toyoda and Richard Harrison Categorization of Text Chat Communication. ABOUT THE AUTHORS Etsuko Toyoda is a senior tutor of Japanese at the Melbourne Institute of Asian Languages & Societies at the University of Melbourne. from http://llt.unimelb. frequently occurs in electronic communication. Robert Debski for their valuable comments on the earlier version of the has been teaching Japanese as a foreign language and developing/using computer-based software for Japanese for the past 10 years in the UK. and Japan. 2(4). but that had been neglected in teaching. In this paper. JEWELS has been developed by a team of researchers in Japan led by Mr. learner autonomy. (1993). An early draft of the paper was written by the first author and was submitted as a class assignment for the subject "Second Language Acquisition" offered in the Linguistics and Applied Linguistics Department at the University of Melbourne. Foreign language learning using email in a task-oriented perspective: Interuniversity experiments in communication and collaboration. particularly socially-based interaction using REFERENCES Frommer. CONCLUSION Abundant research suggests that negotiation of meaning. Oxford.

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& Leutner. Kelley. 1996. 2001. The results are discussed in light of theories of vocabulary acquisition and active student involvement in the learning January 2002. Renie. Kubota. This investigation sought to determine whether acquisition of foreign language vocabulary was higher for students who helped author the materials compared to students who simply Copyright © 2002. They were asked to participate in creating annotations for the same 20 target words. In the text. 2000. Lyman-Hager.msu. 1995. Meek. Renzulli. The present study reports data from an investigation of the effects of student participation in authoring of multimedia materials. 2000. The encouraging results of these studies have prompted the work described in this article. Num. sound. 1 pp. 1995) have shown that computerized media and a multimedia environment can be helpful for learning foreign language vocabulary. Lyman-Hager & Davis. ISSN 1094-3501 100 . Practical applications and ideas for further research are suggested. Turner & Dipinto. Groot. sound. No studies have investigated how the student authoring of computer-based materials for foreign language learning affects student acquisition of vocabulary. Hulstijn. In addition. Milone. 20 relatively low-frequency words were annotated with text. when the variable of time on task is taken into account. 1998. 1993. 1993. & Chennault. Bowman & Plaisir. The idea of cognitive and affective benefits from authoring of learning materials in a conventional or computerized environment has been the topic of numerous studies (Arnett. 1995. and pictures were found to be more helpful for vocabulary learning than annotations with sound and text only. based on authentic French texts downloaded from the Internet. 1996. there is no statistically significant difference between the experimental and the control treatments. Chun. Davis. & Lam. 1988. Sixty-two subjects were randomly assigned to two groups. Davis & Lyman-Hager. 1998. 6. Kramsch. 1997. and each group was randomly assigned to one of two treatments. Siribodhi. 1998. numerous studies (Al-Seghayer. the materials used for foreign language teaching were commercially available or teacher-produced.Language Learning & Technology http://llt. However. & Laurier. Mayer. Aust. Nikolova Southern Illinois University at Carbondale ABSTRACT This study investigated the effects on vocabulary acquisition of student participation in authoring a multimedia instructional module. In these studies. 1993. Burnett. Laufer & Hill. A'Ness. & Roby. The experimental subjects had the same text but without annotations. Brett. Brown. 2000. The study produced evidence that students learn vocabulary significantly better when they participate in the creation of the instructional module. Thus far. 2000. Duquette. 1990. 1977. 1999. provided time is not considered. Marchionini. The control subjects were asked to study a French text downloaded from the Internet and presented on a computer. Plass. 1992). 1996. on student vocabulary acquisition. however. Chun & Plass. annotations containing text. INTRODUCTION In recent years the development of computer-assisted language learning (CALL) has created the need and opportunity for investigating the effects of multimedia on vocabulary acquisition. and pictures. 100-122 EFFECTS OF STUDENTS' PARTICIPATION IN AUTHORING OF MULTIMEDIA MATERIALS ON STUDENT ACQUISITION OF VOCABULARY Ofelia R. Vol.

. Lyman-Hager & Davis. 1992) indicate that the process of creating learning materials is beneficial with respect to student motivation and attitude toward both the learning process and the subject matter.. Studies that have evaluated these models credit their success to the active involvement of the learner in the learning process. 1993. & Segalowitz. 1993). 1988) examine the role of context in vocabulary acquisition which takes place through reading or reading-associated tasks. 1989. 1998. Most studies reporting results from any type of creativity-based approaches to instruction. However. 1993. Knight. A large number of the studies in SLA (e. Groot. The present investigation. Similar characteristics underlie successful student authoring of multimedia materials. Renzulli's Enrichment Triad. A comparison was made between the scores of the two groups with and without time on task taken into account. 2001. 1995.. Foreign language vocabulary is viewed as a primordial factor in successful communication (Levelt.considers authentic creative experiences the main vehicle of the learning process (Bednar. Knight. Hulstijn. 1981. in high-level reading ability and comprehension (Anderson & Freebody. Bowman & Plaisir. 1999. Milone. Nikolova Effects of Students' Participation in Authoring. 1989) and.1994. Lyman-Hager et al. utilized teacher-created multimedia materials based on the same texts. to a great extent. Summers. p. Language Learning & Technology 101 . Cobb. Data from studies on student authoring (Arnett.the constructivist learning theory -. was undertaken in an attempt to acquire for the first time quantitative data from student participation in the authoring of foreign language multimedia materials. including student authoring of multimedia materials for learning. 1989. 2000. Horst. 1996. Duffy. numerous articles concerned with the controversy between guessing from context and the use of a dictionary or glosses (marginal or computerized) in L2 acquisition provide data in favor of dictionary/ gloss use in addition to vocabulary embedded in a natural context (Al-Seghayer. 1985. 2000.Ofelia R. 1995). Krashen. Lomicka. Kubota. are primarily concerned with the affective aspects of the impact these approaches have on the students (exception Brown. & Perry. vocabulary acquisition while reading occurs in an incidental way and is largely due to the learners' guesses (Krashen.. 1994. and Greidanaus. 1998. reading itself is frequently singled out as the most important vocabulary-building activity both for the first language (L1) and the second language (L2). Krantz. Luppesku & Day. & Anderson. Furthermore. 455). 1991. 2000. Nagy. Kramsch et al.g. However. therefore. Nation & Coady. 1996. 1995. It is the basis of numerous successful teaching models and approaches such as the Foxfire project.. and Hungerford's Investigation and Evaluation of Environmental Issues and Actions model (IEEIA. these studies were based on a qualitative design. dictionaries. student involvement. Turner & Dipinto. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE Creativity and Authoring of Multimedia Materials One of the major contemporary learning theories -. 1992. Watson. In many cases. Brown. 1989). Segalowitz. & Meara. and the creation of genuinely marketable products. Hollander. The impact of reading on vocabulary acquisition outweighs by far the impact of aural language because of the relatively simple lexicon used in the spoken language (Krashen. Kramsch et al. Zahorik. 1993). Markham. Context plays a primordial role in this acquisition by supplying the necessary input. 1988). Kubota. the real-life problems that learners have to solve. Hulstijn. 1995). and multimedia annotations in vocabulary acquisition.. 1999) reviewed an authoring experience for students in CALL. 1993. Interesting for the present research are above all the studies concerned with reading and reading-related tasks. Three of the studies (Arnett. Cunningham. L2 Vocabulary Acquisition The importance of vocabulary for overall foreign language acquisition is the basis of a multitude of vocabulary acquisition studie s. 1989. Herman. Even though the degree of creative involvement of the students in these projects varied. 1995. the authentic context. 1996. 2000. as well as studies focusing on the role of context. all of them showed evidence that students worked on their tasks with greater motivation.

process (learning) -.. even a correct guess. Chun & Plass. 2000. Kost et al. 1996. 1998). Davis & Lyman-Hager. 1999. 2001. 94). According to these studies. the computerized format is preferred by students over the paper format for dictionaries and glosses and appears to be a more efficient way of vocabulary learning (Aust et al. Several fundamental research questions have been investigated regarding this issue. 2000. promote the amount of noticing of a particular form. Chun & Plass.. 1999). These authors go on to suggest that "additional elaboration strategies will be necessary on the part of the learner before a memory trace for the noticed word is created" (p. In her work she comes to several conclusions related to practical teaching issues. or checks of meaning in reference sources (marginal glosses or dictionary) lead to successful L2 vocabulary acquisition.and a static aspect -. 1995)..of one and the same phenomenon. Plass et al. Schmidt. Aust et al. (AlSeghayer. the gloss density in a text. Annotations that have been studied extensively include text. there are some data referring to a positive impact of image-based annotations on L2 vocabulary acquisition (Al-Seghayer. 1998. does not necessarily lead to acquisition (Mondria and Wit-de Boer.. who sees acquisition (incidental learning) and learning (intentional learning) in opposition. they do not study them... This conclusion can be explained by assuming that learners who guess words correctly either do not pay sufficient attention to the link between form and meaning in the learning stage or else thinking they know the words well. Laufer & Hill. These conclusions. Roby. sound. 1993. Kost. consciousness-raising strategies. Nagata. the attitude of students toward paper versus computer dictionaries/glosses. Lyman-Hager & Davis. Student look-up behavior is under close scrutiny in recent studies which show that the variety of learner look-up preferences should be matched by a variety of media presentations and types of information included in the computerized annotations (Laufer & Hill. Checking a guessed meaning in a dictionary brings positive reinforcement and also allows for a longer manipulation of the form and the correct meaning of the word. "Learners should be encouraged to make their own lexical associations when they are actively learning new vocabulary. and the student look-up preferences. Lyman-Hager & Davis. 1991). In general. and video. 1999. Lomicka. A plausible explanation of the phenomena related in the present study is Channell's (1988) theory about the active role of the learner in the process of vocabulary acquisition. 1993. 1990). 1995. pictures. 1999. Hulstijn. are claimed valid also for second language vocabulary acquisition by Laufer and Hill (2000). which most likely leads to the associations mentioned by Channell. at present we do not know which kind of associations are the most useful in aiding retention)" (p. low-frequency words and for cases where the subjects do not have enough background for correct guesses. Lomicka.. 1996. Siribodhi. They include the effectiveness of annotations or glosses via different media for vocabulary acquisition. In line with Channell's ideas about the active role of the learner in vocabulary acquisition are a number of studies concerned with the notic ing hypothesis (Fotos. Moreover. 1993.product (acquisition) -.. (However. 2000. 1996. Lyman-Hager et al. 1998. 1998. Robinson. through formal instruction or through performance of different tasks. Dictionaries are particularly helpful for rarely occurring. 2001. 1999.. The associations created by the learner between form and meaning while attending to the unknown lexical items either during attempts to guess.Ofelia R. which in turn is an important step toward the acquisition of this form. 1998. The present study is concerned with vocabulary acquisition in a multimedia environment. Roby. Pla ss et al. Nikolova Effects of Students' Participation in Authoring. Channell considers them to be a dynamic aspect -. the richness of glosses (the extent and type of information included in them). Language Learning & Technology 102 . 1993. made mainly with regard to grammar rules. Foss. Siribodhi. 1997. 59). Plass et al. & Lenzini. Even though research does not provide evidence as to a decisive advantage of one type of annotation over another. Groot. The most important one for this paper is the active role of the L2 learner. 1996. 2000. Unlike Krashen (1989). 1995).

Research has shown that second language vocabulary acquisition is enhanced if the verbal information is accompanied by pictorial information and if the learners are encouraged to manipulate the form of the unknown word in order to create their own associations between form and meaning. The experimental subjects had to participate in the creation of multimedia learning materials based on the French texts mentioned above. 1995. 1996). & Crenshaw. Silva. particularly on the cognitive outcomes of these projects. Context is another important issue in second language vocabulary acquisition. 2000. 2. Peterson. the authenticity of an Internet-mediated context plays a positive motivational role also for texts downloaded from the net. The hypotheses. Many studies have pointed out the beneficial effects of an Internet environment for language learners (Copen. One way of encouraging the learners to manipulate the form of the unknown lexical items in order to create a link between form and meaning is asking them to prepare their own multimedia materials for vocabulary learning/teaching based on texts downloaded from the Internet. 2000. Kubota. 1997. 1995. numerous research projects have been conducted in different subject matters in which the subjects were given the opportunity to create a finished product (computer-based or other) whose users were other students or the general public. but if carefully chosen. Meagher. There are. L2 vocabulary learning also improves through reading if the L2 words are presented in authentic contexts relevant to the learner. are stated as follows: 1. Li & Hart. 1999). In addition. Hypotheses The purpose of the study described in this paper was a comparison between two groups of students working with authentic French texts from the Internet in the framework of a multimedia environment. Kramsch et al. Kramsch et al. acquisition of L2 words presented in a text via a multimedia instructional module is better when the students help create the instructional module rather than when they study the text containing the target words annotated with multimedia annotations by a teacher. If time on task is taken into account as an additional variable. Nikolova Effects of Students' Participation in Authoring.. 1993) compared quantitatively the achievements of students working in a creative condition with the achievements of a control group. One way of providing the learners with authentic and varied contexts is tapping the resources of the Internet. Nagata (1999) suggests that interactive computerized glosses enhance second language vocabulary acquisition. which the study sought to test. 1999. In addition.were the independent variables in the study. it can also offer additional affective benefits. Not only does it supply the necessary input. acquisition of L2 words presented in a text via a multimedia instructional module is better when the students help create the instructional module rather than when they study the text containing the target words annotated with multimedia annotations by a teacher. The two types of treatment -. In summary. Projects whose aim is production of computer-based learning materials are practically non-existent in CALL (exceptions Arnett. Kost. while the control subjects were asked to study a multimedia module created by the researcher on the basis of the same texts.Ofelia R... The results of such projects usually showed high positive affective impact on the students as well as some cognitive benefits. 1995. Even though these studies are mostly concerned with communicative tasks. involvement in creating an authentic product has been shown to increase the level of motivation and enthusiasm and has been found conducive to enhancing content knowledge.. 1995. McCarty. Language Learning & Technology 103 . few quantitative data. If time on task is disregarded. Oliva & Pollastrini. however. The design of the present study was conceptualized with the purpose of combining the above-mentioned factors. Valenzuela.control (reading) and experimental (authoring) -. 1996. The dependent variable was acquisition of vocabulary (with and without time on task taken into account). only one such project (Brown.

which was used as lesson content. Robinson. The unity of context was thought to facilitate the subjects' learning. from a common sense point of view as well as from the results of a pilot study. (e) Twenty target words were considered to be a reasonable and frequently encountered number of unfamiliar lexical items for one instructional module in a college-level foreign language class. These riddles constituted the text. a pretest was given to identify possible cases of previous knowledge). it was believed that they would retain the new vocabulary items better than the control group. Laufer & Hill. 1990). There weren't any previous quantitative studies in this field to help the researcher make a prediction as to the impact of time as a additional variable. 72). All students were native speakers of English. therefore. The results from this test were included in the analysis of the data concerning subjects' acquisition and retention of vocabulary. Materials Lesson content (Appendix A) Eight two-line French jokes in the form of riddles were directly downloaded from the Internet (site address There were several reasons for choosing the jokes as content. The sample of subjects participating in the study was formed by all the students who volunteered to take part.Ofelia R. Fotos.shtml). 1995. The above-formulated hypotheses were based on results from studies discussed earlier (Channell. a standardized test aimed at measuring aptitude for learning foreign languages.. Modern Language Aptitude Test (MLAT) In order to control the subjects' aptitude for language learning as a possible confounding variable.rigoler. (a) They formed a unified. The MLAT is usually administered in two versions--full and short. 1959). 2000. This assumption was expressed in the second hypothesis. Schmidt. Given that the experimental subjects had an ample opportunity to manipulate the target words and thus create a strong link between form and meaning. thus forming one experimental and one control group of 31 each. p. first-year French class at a large research university in the Midwest. It was clear. assumed that the performance of the experimental subjects would be sufficiently stronger in order to compensate for the longer time spent on task. however. Each group was then assigned at random to either the control or experimental treatment. well-defined authentic context--the context of automobiles as viewed and used by native French speakers. Since the short version contains all sections relevant to vocabulary learning. the students were asked to take the Modern Language Aptitude Test (Carrol & Sapon. it was the version selected for the current research. that the experimental subjects were going to spend more time on their tasks. (b) Expert opinion (a panel of three French teachers in the Foreign Language Department) judged the jokes easy to understand for the subjects participating in the experiment except for 20 low-frequency words mostly related to automobiles (Appendix A). This belief was expressed in the first hypothesis. 1988. The target population for subject recruitment was all students from the second semester. METHODOLOGY Design and Subjects This study followed a "randomized control-group pretest-posttest design" (Isaac & Michael. It was. All subjects in the study were first randomly assigned to two groups. 62 participated in the study.. 1995. Nikolova Effects of Students' Participation in Authoring. Language Learning & Technology 104 . Out of a target population of 69 students. 1993. (d) Seventy percent of the target words (14 out of 20) could be annotated with pictures. A pilot study also failed to give enough data to allow clarification of this issue. (c) Expert opinion judged these 20 words as appropriate target words to test vocabulary acquisition because they were most likely unfamiliar to the subjects (even though these words were not included in the vocabulary lists of the lessons these students had covered.

The distractors were used to limit possible carry-over effects of the pretest. The posttest was the same as the pretest as far as the lexical items were concerned and was administered twice: the first time immediately after the experiment and the second time 1 month after the experiment. Upon arrival in the New Media Center. Language Learning & Technology 105 . and pictures (14 out of the 20 words) and appeared in boldface on the computer screen. Time Log & Math Problem The start time and end time of the treatment for each participant was manually logged by the researcher. the words in it were rearranged randomly. Nikolova Effects of Students' Participation in Authoring. SmarTText1 Software SmarTText was chosen as the tool for annotating the text. Each time the posttest was given. one or two of the icons in the right-hand column of the screen turned dark (Figure 1). French-English Dictionaries Copies of the relevant pages of a French-English dictionary were made available to all the students in the experimental group at the time of the experiment.. The faculty's impression was that the software was user-friendly and students had a positive response to its usage.control or experimental. The dictionary selected for use in the experiment was The New Cassell's French Dictionary which contains both FrenchEnglish and English-French (Girard. The math problem was intended to help the students empty their short-term memory and direct their attention toward a different cognitive track. Control Treatment The control group had to study the text in a multimedia module presented via computer. A pilot test was run with the students from second-year French. they were annotated by the researcher with text definitions (all 20 words). which each word had. Given the small number of participants in the pilot test (10).. The most important conclusion of the pilot test was that there was a significant difference in the time on task between the groups. and Pretest A schedule with 16 time slots of 90 minutes each. However. A simple math problem was given to the students after the treatment and before administration of the immediate posttest. Supervision. Scheduling. 1970). It consisted of a list of the target words and the names of the corresponding sound files (for all 20 words) and picture files (where applicable --only 14 words). randomly arranged. the pilot-test subjects did not take the delayed posttest. Pretest/Posttest The pretest (Appendix B) consisted of the 20 target words and 10 distractors. sound (all 20 words). spread out over 3 days was offered to the participants for sign-up. By double -clicking on the "hot" word the subjects were able to see the text annotations (translation of the word). Procedures Orientation and Pilot The orientation and practice sessions were conducted by the researcher in the New Media Center at the university and were scheduled for regular class periods. When a "hot" word was double -clicked in addition to the presentation of text annotations. The students were asked to translate all the words from French into English. The procedures were the same as for the experiment. Target-Word Handout (see Appendix C) It was only needed for the experimental subje cts.Ofelia R. The experiment was held in the New Media Center where eight computers were reserved during the scheduled time slots. In this module the target words were "hot". it was impossible to seek statistically significant differences in the variables. This software package had been used successfully as teaching tool by faculty in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures prior to the experiment. each subje ct was assigned to a computer station and was provided with a packet of materials according to his/her condition -.

Picture annotation for the word décapotable Language Learning & Technology 106 . both picture and sound annotations. Figure 1.. For the word décapotable both the picture icon and the sound icon are dark..sound or picture. Figure 2. Nikolova Effects of Students' Participation in Authoring. therefore. but only 14 out of the 20 words had picture annotations as well. By double -clicking on the picture icon the students could see the picture annotation of the word. The word has. All words had sound and text annotations. By double -clicking on the sound icon the students could hear a native speaker pronounce the word (Figure 2).Ofelia R. Computer screen with a hot word highlighted Each dark icon indicated a link to a particular type of annotation -.

the delayed posttest was administered. (1996). The text was presented via the same computer template. Three subjects from the control group and 3 subjects from the experimental group did not participate in the delayed posttest for various reasons (dropping the class. all experimental subjects finished their modules and created correct hyperlinks for the annotations of the target words.00 2. The experimental subjects had to link the target words with sound and picture files previously input in the computer by the researcher. They were instructed to ask for help if they needed any. etc. SmarTText. Posttests (Immediate and Delayed) After finishing the treatment.72 2. they had to write text annotations after looking up the meaning of the target words in a FrenchEnglish dictionary and link these annotations to the target words.90 1.00 6. were gathered through the following measurements (see Tables 1 and 2 below). Descriptive Statistics for the Control Group n MLAT Pretest Immediate gain Delayed gain Immediate posttest Delayed posttest Computer proficiency Time Attitude 31 31 31 28 31 28 31 31 31 Minimum 24 0 2 0 3 0 2 12 44 Maximum 80 7 19 8 20 13 9 18 100 M 50. illness. the researcher examined the module produced by the subject. All subjects worked with headphones throughout the entire experiment.00 13. It was identical to the immediate posttest with a different. At the end of the experiment. thus reducing the experimental and control group to 28 participants each. analyzed via the statistical package SPSS. Inc. Despite several minor problems with the software.55 77. Only two students asked questions pertaining to the context in which the target words were presented. The data. Therefore. One month later. The students of the control group were allowed to spend as much time as they desired studying the text and using the annotations.93 3.10 14.96 14. However.97 1.73 13.13 1.00 4.44 Language Learning & Technology 107 .2 Table 1. Both the experimental and control subjects were encouraged to ask for help if needed. they used the author mode of the SmarTText software. For this purpose. Nikolova Effects of Students' Participation in Authoring.64 1.48 SD 13.05. random arrangement of the words. Experimental Treatment The experimental group had the same text as the control group. Testing the Hypotheses The level of significance at which the hypotheses in the study were tested was α = . the target words in the module were not "hot". the questions asked and the answers given could be heard only by the researcher and the individual who asked the particular question.. in the experimental setting. they were not linked yet to their corresponding annotations. Most of the questions were related to the context in which the target words were presented. There were quite a few questions asked in the experimental group.86 1.).. In addition. In addition.Ofelia R. but there were also questions pertaining to the software.41 3. which required help from the researcher. the subjects were asked to solve a simple math problem and were then given the immediate posttest. each experimental subject had to signal the researcher and his/her time out was logged in.

accepted.35 4.90 5. Gain 49.53) = 5. Nikolova Effects of Students' Participation in Authoring.72 2. Table 2.026* Error Imm. Descriptive Statistics for the Experimental Group n MLAT Pretest Immediate gain Delayed gain Immediate posttest Delayed posttest Computer proficiency Time Attitude 31 31 31 28 31 28 31 31 31 Minimum 16 0 7 1 7 1 2 31 31 Maximum 79 2 20 8 20 10 9 54 99 M 49.97 1.64 1.506 53 4. The values of F (2.000 Error df 52.157 Del.89 Hypothesis 1: Vocabulary Acquisition (without time on task) In order to test Hypothesis 1 (vocabulary acquisition without time on task). Box's test of equality of covariance matrices shows that the assumption for homogeneous variances was met F (3. show that there is also a statistically significant difference between the groups on each of the dependent variables separately.41 3..247.000 p .29 79.048* Del. Gain 232. Gain 23. Table 3.03 SD 13.048.10 .017 5. F (1.25 15.94 4.387 *p < .343 53 12.42 14.755.the score from the MLAT. and for the delayed gain. Test of Between Subjects Effects for Acquisition of Vocabulary with MLAT as Covariate Source Dependent Variable SS df MS F p GR Imm.025 show that there is a statistically significant difference between the two groups on the set of two dependent variables.53) = 4. Language Learning & Technology 108 . The results from the MANOVA are reported in Tables 3 and 4. 524880) = . Multiple Analysis of Variance of Acquisition of Vocabulary with MLAT as Covariate Effect GR Wilks' Lambda *p < .868 F 3..86 1.63 14. therefore.703 1 49.966 and p = . F (1. but not for time. MANOVA was run with dependent variables the difference between the mean scores on the pretest and on the immediate and delayed posttests with covariate -.017 1 23.703 4. p = .93 3.966 Hypothesis df 2.868 indicates that there is a statistically significant difference for the multivariate test.247 .05 Value . The experimental group acquired target language vocabulary as measured by the difference between the pretest and both the immediate and delayed posttests significantly better than the control group when controlled for MLAT. Table 4. Hypothesis 1 was.088.Ofelia R. MANOVA compared the means of the differences between pretest and immediate and delayed posttest scores for the control and the experimental groups adjusted with respect to the MLAT scores as a covariate.397. p = .10 38.088 . p = .025* Wilks' lambda = .52) = 3.026.05 The results in Table 4 for the immediate. Gain 644.68 6.

51) = . Gain SS 4.471 F . Table 7 gives a summary of the correct answers per target word and rank-orders the target words from the ones that were most frequently recalled downwards.52) = . Language Learning & Technology 109 .532 .Ofelia R. The results from the MANOVA are reported in Tables 5 and 6.985 indicates that there is no statistically significant difference for the multivariate test.501 df 1 1 52 52 MS 4.000 p .397. F (3. Hypothesis #2 was therefore rejected.684 show that there is no statistically significant difference between the two groups on the set of two dependent variables. p = .247 p . Hypothesis #2: Vocabulary Acquisition (with control for time on task) In order to test Hypothesis #2. p = .532 and for the delayed gain F (1.000 Error df 51. Gain Del. p = .684 Wilks' lambda = .the score from the MLAT and time on task. the first hypothesis was accepted and the second rejected. MANOVA was run with dependent variables the difference between the mean scores on the pretest and on the immediate and delayed posttests with covariates -.985 F .391 4.396. If time on task was considered.017 644. the experimental subjects acquired vocabulary significantly better.524880) = . Table 6. A post-hoc item analysis was conducted. Gain Del.396 5.755.52) = 504. there was no statistically significant difference between the groups as far as their vocabulary acquisition was concerned. The values of F (2. whether the type of annotation affected the recall of target words. p = .. Box's test of equality of covariance matrices shows that the assumption for homogeneous variances was met.382..902 23.017 12. and if so. there was no statistically significant difference between the vocabulary acquisition of the experimental and the control group. Test of Between Subjects Effects for Acquisition of Vocabula ry with MLAT and Time on Task as Covariates Source Dependent Variable GR Imm. Gain Error Imm. In conclusion. how was this influence expressed. If time on task was not taken into account. When controlled for time and MLAT.902 23.382 b Hypothesis df 2. Multiple Analysis of Variance of Acquisition of Vocabulary with MLAT and Time on Task as Covariates Effect GR Wilks' Lambda Value .485 show that there is no statistically significant difference between the groups on either of the dependent variables separately. Table 5.334 232. Nikolova Effects of Students' Participation in Authoring.481 The results in Table 6 for the immediate F (1. It aimed at clarifying the following issues: what type of words were easier for the students to recall.

une chaîne d'assemblage 77 2.. une colline 59 6. aucune* 37 * only sound and text annotations for these words Immediate C-l Exper. 18 28 23 26 27 25 26 27 24 24 17 24 26 27 23 26 20 25 21 25 21 22 17 20 19 22 22 21 16 23 20 20 18 19 16 18 15 20 14 21 Delayed C-l Exper.Ofelia R. Comparison of Correct Recall for Words with Different Types of Annotations Control group Immediate Delayed X1 n1 % X2 n2 % With pictures Without pictures 287 116 434 186 66% 62% 66 17 392 168 17% 10% Experimental group Immediate Delayed X3 n3 % X4 n4 % 335 128 434 186 77% 69% 99 20 392 168 25% 12% A z test of comparison of proportions was run to determine whether the differences in recall for items annotated with pictures vs. la valeur* 46 11. drôle* 61 5. Table 8. Nikolova Effects of Students' Participation in Authoring. décapotable 68 4. five were annotated with text. These numbers and percentages are broken down by type of annotation: with or without picture. aveugle 37 14. une crevaison 37 14. Table 7. il faut* 43 13. un dépotoir 44 12. Table 8 presents the number and percentages of correct answers for the control and experimental groups on both the immediate and delayed posttests. Correct Recall of Individual Words Type of posttest Overall Group 1. items annotated without pictures were significant within the particular groups for the different posttests (Table 9). un écrasement 54 7. and pictures. un oubli* 41 14. Five of these words were concrete nouns and one (drôle) an adjective. un volant 47 10. le sommet 77 3. faire le plein 54 7. geler* 53 9. le dégivrage 44 11. Out of these six words. une usine 78 2. pousser 54 8. Language Learning & Technology 110 . sound. and one (drôle) with text and sound only. 14 18 14 14 8 17 5 10 5 8 4 14 2 2 6 2 2 7 6 2 4 6 6 4 3 2 0 1 1 4 2 1 2 2 0 3 1 1 1 1 Six words were found to share the first five positions in the overall category. une roue de secours 57 7..

The claim made in this paragraph would be better substantiated if the subjects had to work on longer Language Learning & Technology 111 . It should not necessarily be viewed as a waste. In order to investigate the effectiveness of participation in authoring. all of them remained until their modules were finished and functioning. Other aspects of this activity. on the contrary. both groups were allowed to spend as much time as they wanted on their work. it was not very surprising. The experimental subjects were not told that they had to finish the module. It is the researcher's contention that an average of 38. Table 9.90 2. however. The experimental group. Answers to these questions should be considered before the overall usefulness and applicability of authoring is judged.Ofelia R. as already mentioned. In the case of the current study. the answers to the first research question were reviewed. they were informed that they may quit at any time. A very important aspect of the time issue in this research was whether the experimental subjects could finish their work in a reasonable amount of time. a longer time on task was an inherent aspect of the experimental treatment. This was particularly clear in the delayed posttest.05* 2. the recall of items annotated with pictures was significantly better than the recall of items annotated without pictures. The reason for attempting an analysis without time on task was manifold. The conclusion from this is that authoring is not an efficient way of vocabulary teaching. even at the risk of having the results of this treatment interpreted as a low-efficiency way of learning vocabulary. immediate Exp.. since oftentimes it means that the subjects were motivated to stay longer on task and will eventually end up acquiring more knowledge.01 X1 287 66 335 99 n1 434 392 434 392 Without pictures X2 n2 116 186 17 168 128 186 20 168 z . the students recalled better words annotated with pictures. Nikolova Effects of Students' Participation in Authoring. which had only to study the module. Comparison of Proportions (z-test) for Words with Different Types of Annotations With pictures Group/test C-l immediate C-l delayed Exp. However.experimental and control -. did not surpass the efficiency of the control group. First. Even though this finding rejected the second hypothesis. delayed *p < . namely within the control group for delayed posttest and within the experimental group both for delayed and immediate posttest.05 **p < .when time on task was included in the analysis. the importance of involving students in an activity that will lead them to better learning may outweigh to a great extent the relative lack of efficiency of this activity. The scores in this experiment should be compared per activity (treatment) and not per unit of time. which had to participate in putting together a whole module. From a pedagogical point of view. and text as opposed to words annotated with sound and text only. since inclusion of time on task emphasized the efficiency aspect of the experiment. sound.20* 3.29 minutes is a reasonable amount of time for the experimental task and will not hinder application of this method in real classroom conditions. such as effectiveness and amount of time spent on task (reasonable or not) were not explored. In conclusion.. but rather as a positive aspect of the experimental treatment.54** In three out of four possible cases. DISCUSSION No significant difference was found between the vocabulary acquisition of the two groups -. A longer time on task may be a desirable effect of a pedagogical treatment.

Manipulating the form of the vocabulary item and its meaning at the same time.. Improved attention in the present study was attained through a more active approach to L2 vocabulary acquisition. The whole point of the experimental treatment was to allow for a naturally prolonged time on task as an inherent part of the authoring activity during which the students are engaged in a constant manipulation of the target words. Therefore. respectively. The subjects had to attend to the form of the word they were annotating in order to look for it in their dictionary pages. Studies based on the noticing hypothesis (Fotos. and Summers (1988). Stahl and Fairbanks (1986). and finally of the possible fit of word meaning and context had to be performed in order to obtain the best match between the lexical item and its translation. Joe (1995). Creation of one's own lexical associations seems to be a plausible way of explaining the results of the experimental group in the study. therefore. Robinson (1995).96 and 4. Such a treatment would have compensated for a possible novelty effect. whose results would have been better? This question was not asked because the researcher aimed at keeping the conditions for both groups as close to real classroom conditions as possible. an estimation of the context. Knight (1994). In other words the present study does not give an answer to the question: if the control group was forced to spend as much time on task as the experimental group. It is. Brown (1993). respectively. The means of delayed vocabulary gain were 2. (1995). The answer to the research question concerning vocabulary acquisition is consistent with most findings reported in the review of the related literature. Language Learning & Technology 112 . Channell (1988).00 and 14. Mondria and Wit-de Boer (1991). 1995. Gruneberg. is one way of encouraging creation of the above-mentioned associations. namely simultaneous manipulation of form and meaning of the target word. since they were allowed to spend as much time as they thought they needed anyway. and more specifically with Beaton. more attention toward the link between form and meaning leads to a better retention of the foreign word. The study found that students have significantly higher rates of acquisition of L2 vocabulary if they participate in the authoring of a multimedia module than if they study one prepared by a teacher. (1996). 1993. The means of immediate vocabulary gain of the control group and the experimental group in the study were 13. as the experimental subjects did in the present study. Krantz (1991). In addition. it was not clear how much time the subjects in the experimental group spent on occupations other than actually manipulating the target words and their annotations. the discussion that follows is concerned with scores and effects of vocabulary acquisition with time on task left out. it might have not guaranteed the students' attention during the entire obligatory period of time and may have not necessarily resulted in better scores. Schmidt. and Ellis (1995). Similar findings were reported by Beaton et al. The question ultimately remains. Second. of all meanings listed in the dic tionary for the particular word. should not be neglected. Nikolova Effects of Students' Participation in Authoring. difficult to say to what extent it was the time that made the difference in the results of both groups. 1990) also emphasized the beneficial effects of increased attention toward and conscious awareness of the link between form and meaning.94 words. Schmidt (1990). which may have been at play in the present study.Ofelia R. Forcing the control group to stay longer would not have been natural. Fotos (1993). This study's findings confirmed Channell's (1988) ideas about the importance of the active role of learners during second language vocabulary acquisition.25 words. texts and were asked to perform this type of activity in at least several sessions. in which the word occurred. Once the word was found. Hulstijn et al. Krashen (1989). Laufer & Hill (2000). Such other activities may have been trouble-shooting or organizing the work. why bother with authoring. since it proves to be time-consuming and not very efficient for vocabulary acquisition? It is the researcher's contention that an activity which results in engaging the students in putting together a final product in a reasonable amount of time and which leads to vocabulary acquisition significantly higher (even though numerically not very impressive) than vocabulary acquisition of students sitting with the intention for learning. As Mondria and Wit-de Boer (1991) found.. Robinson.

The target words were presented in a natural context and were either annotated (for the control group) or a dictionary was provided (for the experimental group). however. just as in the Smith. It seems logical. Mondria & Wit-de Boer. Language Learning & Technology 113 . 1988. therefore. However. 1989. whereas experimental subjects frequently asked such questions.Ofelia R. Laufer & Hill.. Therefore. Krantz.the fact that all of them completed the task and finished a multimedia unit of high quality -. even though shown to be beneficial for vocabulary learning by many studies (Aust et al. Krantz. Their success -. Both groups in the present research studied or manipulated words embedded in the same authentic context. One of the main problems with dictionary use (particularly a paper dictionary as it was in this study) is that it can become boring for the L2 learner and for this very reason is difficult to apply consistently. to draw a conclusion which stresses the beneficial effect of student participation in authoring on the usage students make of the context while acquiring L2 vocabulary as well as the beneficial role of context in L2 vocabulary acquisition in general. A speculation on the part of the researcher is that the subjects' main concern was putting together the unit. 1986. adjectives 38%. 2000. The very essence of their treatment did not allow them to disregard the context in which the target words were presented. were not statistically significant and. & Valeri-Gold (1994) study. There were five of them among the six words sharing the first five positions in the overall recall (see Table 7). The researcher's observations revealed that control subjects did not attempt to clarify the context. Krashen. It is necessary to admit. Krashen. 1989. Luppesku & Day. Miller. that the text which the students manipulated was relatively short (139 words). 1993. Stahl & Fairbanks. At first glance. Even though the context in which the target words were embedded was evaluated by expert opinion as familiar for the students. 2000. Grossman. it turned out that some of the participants had difficulty understanding it. verbs 43%.brings evidence that the boredom of dictionary use was somehow overcome. the relatively boring dictionary consulting was perceived only as a tool in the accomplishment of a more interesting and a relatively more creative assignment. The role of context in L2 vocabulary acquisition was another issue reported earlier (Hulstijn et al.. These differences in the means. Only two control subjects asked one question each with regard to the meaning of unfamiliar words. and abstract nouns 36%. 1991. on the other hand. The control subjects apparently relied above all on the definitions in the annotations in order to learn the meaning of the target words and made less use of the context. 1996. 1994. Diverting attention from a monotonous task thus succeeded in making dictionary use part of an overall more adventurous experience. 1994. Mondria & Wit-de Boer. according to which nouns are easier to learn than other parts of speech. The claim that student participation in authoring is an effective way to counteract boredom from dictionary use would be better substantiated if experiments were conducted with longer texts and over several sessions. they did not support the idea of noun superiority. The study was designed so that both groups could take full advantage of combined contextual and definitional information with regard to the target words. had to first clarify the meaning of the context in order to select an appropriate definition for their annotations. Nikolova Effects of Students' Participation in Authoring. 1993. however. 1987). The percentage for correct recall of nouns (abstract and concrete) was 44%. Knight.. Knight. the researcher observed substantial differences in the way students approached the context. The post-hoc analysis of items revealed that the words that were most frequently recalled correctly were concrete nouns (46%). Sternberg. The use of a dictionary. This fact sheds light on the ways both groups used the context in their L2 vocabulary acquisition. The experimental subjects. which brought good results in vocabulary acquisition.. In the present study the subjects were motivated to use dictionary information in order to participate in the creation of a product for whose quality they were responsible. preferably as part of real class-work assignments. Hulstijn. 1991. 1991) is a controversial topic. 1991. Nation & Coady. this fact makes it difficult to draw conclusions from the results of the study regarding the role of contextual as opposed to definitional information for L2 vocabulary acquisition.

These findings corroborated findings from previous studies (Chun & Plass. a word that the subjects had studied). Smith et al. the small sample size." a very desirable object for young people. All subjects accomplished their task in a reasonable time and helped create high-quality materials. CONCLUSIONS.05. 1999) according to which words with picture and text annotations are better remembered than words with text annotations only. therefore. In order to compensate for a possible novelty effect. Hypermnesia is a psychological effect... 1996. Some other factors may have influenced the better recall of the words in the first positions. p < . and the fact that the authoring activity was performed only once. the authoring treatment yielded significantly better results in vocabulary acquisition. Décapotable. which would monitor the level of their Language Learning & Technology 114 . if time on task was taken into account. The study showed that students can successfully participate in authoring of multimedia instructional materials based on foreign language texts. p < .Ofelia R.2. however. The main question of the study. The investigation of the impact the type of annotations had on recall yielded a significant advantage for annotations containing pictures versus annotations without pictures on the immediate posttest for the experimental group (z = -2. which explains the fact that pictures tend to be remembered better over time whereas words are more easily forgotten. The novel character of this research and the relatively small sample size make it impossible to generalize the findings of the study beyond the conditions described in this article without replication of the experiment. and the attractive picture that was used as annotation. On the other hand. Davis & Lyman-Hager. it still may have benefited from its closeness to the English word. on the other hand. Kost et al. Even in this case. drôle. had a better chance of being remembered (see Hulstijn et al. It is quite possible that its meaning "funny. Chaîne d'assemblage.05) and the experimental (z = 3." Even though it harvested some unexpected translations in the posttests such as "hi-fi stereo" and "stereo system" (probably mostly because of contamination with chaîne stéréo [stereo system]. The results of the present study are in alignment with Paivio's (1971) dual-coding theory and the claim that the use of images improves vocabulary learning. a future study might be devised whereby students would be asked to work on longer texts in several sessions over a longer period of time.. the answer was negative. was not answered in an unequivocal way. 1997. Nikolova Effects of Students' Participation in Authoring. for example. 1994). weird" triggered a stronger emotional reaction in the subjects and thus made it more memorable for them. (1994) a similar phenomenon was observed favoring recall of words presented with visuals over words presented with text only. 1996. if time on task was disregarded. Moreover. 1996). the results of the study should be interpreted cautiously because of the small numerical difference in the scores of the experimental and the control groups.54. The presence of the only adjective. On one hand. This short treatment could have been responsible for a novelty effect. but only on one of the immediate posttests is an illustration of the phenomenon of hypermnesia. AND RECOMMENDATIONS The present study made an attempt to investigate for the first time some quantitative parameters of vocabulary learning for students participating in multimedia authoring..05) and the delayed posttest for both the control (z = 2. is a partial cognate with the English "assembly line. The students would also be given attitude questionnaires.01) groups. reported in other studies (Chun & Plass. The researcher considered disregarding time on task because of the longer time being an inherent characteristic of the authoring treatment and generally a possible positive aspect of a learning activity from a pedagogical point of view. LIMITATIONS. whether students learn vocabulary better if they participate in multimedia authoring. the fact that a statistically significant difference in the recall of picture versus non-picture annotations was demonstrated on the two delayed posttests. in the top five positions could also be explained on the basis of emotional response. In an earlier study by Smith et al. may have impressed the students with its meaning "convertible. Colline and sommet were both repeated in the text and. p < ..

since teachers can function as consultants." Moreover. In real life conditions. Creating such materials for FL learning using texts downloaded from the Internet will give the students opportunities to work in an authentic context. the level of sophistication of these authentic materials should not exceed drastically the level of student knowledge in order to avoid frustration and boredom. For example. The uncontrolled time on task in this study remains a controversial point and could be approached in several ways in a future study. and even disseminated over the Internet. Exposure to unaltered texts in the target language is a very valuable experience for L2 learners with potential for important affective impact on them. by teachers in other classes. supervisors. Nevertheless.. The somewhat vaguely defined task for the control group may have been responsible for weaker motivation on the part of the control subjects and may have been one of the reasons for this group's weaker performance. Engaging the students in some activity other than direct vocabulary learning may help overcome the usual boredom related to dictionary use. They may also be encouraged to annotate texts and to link them to other Internet sites. Teacher time for developing such materials can be drastically reduced. which requires evaluation and judgment of several factors. particularly long-term retention of words. However. The study also showed that foreign language texts downloaded from the Internet can be used without alteration for multimedia instructional units partially created by students. the control subjects could be given some exercises based on the presented text. namely the lack of a well-defined goal in the control group activity. the present research showed that it could be used to help introduce variety in learner tasks. As mentioned before. If the dictionary is perceived simply as a tool for the accomplishment of an interesting and relatively complex task. students may be asked to find their own texts for annotation. This was not done in the present study since a comparison of picture versus non-picture annotations was not part of the original design of the experiment. If students successfully help create mediated learning materials for FL. motivation and their overall impressions from the treatment in order to study the long-term motivational aspect of the authoring activity. and so forth. it becomes a necessary step in the process and the students use it consistently. Thus the present experiment supports findings from previous research about the importance of visuals in vocabulary teaching. these materials can be used by other students.Ofelia R. and quality control rather than as main executors of such projects.. A future study Language Learning & Technology 115 . controlling time by simply forcing the control subjects to stay in front of the computer as long as the experimental subjects do and read the text over and over again will be highly unnatural and will most likely decrease motivation. Even though authoring of instructional materials can hardly be considered as an everyday activity in the foreign language classroom. it is unclear to what extent these conclusions were influenced by the relatively restricted length of the text. The idea of this comparison came up later when the data were collected and an interesting pattern emerged. create their own Web pages with annotated texts. The study shed some light on the very controversial debate over dictionary use. The study demonstrated that a visual element in the annotations of target words significantly improves vocabulary learning. many alterations to the activities described in this paper can be undertaken. there are potential benefits implied by student authoring of multimedia materials for FL learning which should be taken into account. A better way to control for the difficulty level of each individual word would have been a betweensubject design whereby one group is exposed to all words without pictures and the other group to all words with picture annotations. Such a treatment would allow them to fill in the time gap between themselves and the experimental subjects in a more natural way. Therefore. Thus a future experiment using such a design will help overcome another limitation of the present study. It was found to be helpful for vocabulary acquisition and thus cannot be dismissed as a simple "waste of time. Nikolova Effects of Students' Participation in Authoring.

different types of texts may be used and the impact of the nature of the text on student performance studied. In case of a flat tire . will help orient researchers' attention toward this activity and its more thorough investigation. If the promising results of the present research are confirmed. for a larger subject pool. a more goal-oriented activity for the control group and controlled time on task will give the researchers the opportunity to collect more diverse data and attain more reliable results. And a thousand Ladas on top of a hill? . What is the difference between a Lada and a guide dog? .) What is the defroster on a Lada for? . Comment doubler la valeur d'une Lada? . Where is the spare tire in a Lada? . APPENDIX A. for both. you have to be blind to buy them. The pioneer character of the present study and its limitations leave room for replications and alterations in the design.An oversight on the assembly line . Quelle est la différence entre la Lada et le chien guide? .. Et mille Lada au sommet d'une colline ? .Une drôle de place pour mettre une usine Lada.. il faut être aveugle pour en acheter.There isn't any. Using different text types. * The words in bold face are the target words.Fill it up What is a Lada on top of a hill? ..Ofelia R. For practical purposes.Il n'y en a pas. Nikolova Effects of Students' Participation in Authoring. LESSON CONTENT Où est la roue de secours * sur une Lada? . a more sophisticated and complex activity using the wholesome potential of the Internet and with practical effect on saving teacher time might become part of the foreign language teacher arsenal..A weird place for a Lada factory.To keep your hands from freezing when you push the car. Et trois Lada au sommet d'une colline ? . Finally. Any differences in the response to treatment based on ability level should suggest a differentiated application of the authoring method in classroom conditions.A pas se geler les mains quand on la pousse. In addition to the possibilities already discussed. it is our hope that the present study. utiliser le volant à la place. pour les deux.Un miracle.A miracle. And three Ladas on top of a hill? . by producing some evidence of the positive effects that student participation in authoring of multimedia materials has on vocabulary acquisition. Qu'est-ce qu'une Lada au sommet d'une colline ? . Qu'est-ce qu'on appelle une Lada décapotable ? Un oubli de la chaîne d'assemblage. of course..Aucune .Un dépotoir (ou encore un écrasement d'un Tupolev. would most likely bring more insightful information about the real-life application of the idea of student authoring. A qualitative study in which the students are observed over a longer period of time. multiple sessions. might use a between-subjects design and use four groups -. working in realistic classroom conditions on multimedia units (including creating picture and sound files) as part of their curriculum.On fait le plein. What is a Lada convertible called? . How can you double the value of a Lada? . use the steering wheel instead. Language Learning & Technology 116 .None . a future study may be done to look at the benefits of authoring for subjects with different ability levels. En cas de crevaison.A junk yard (or else the crash of a Tupolev.) A quoi sert le dégivrage sur une Lada? . This design will call.two control (one with picture annotations and one without) and two experimental (one with picture annotations and one without)..

. Nikolova Effects of Students' Participation in Authoring. un collier 7. aveugle 16. APPENDIX B. utile 2. PRETEST (ID number ) Translate the following words in English: 1. voler 13. une chaîne d'assemblage 24. un dépotoir 23. un collant 17. faire le plein 19. aucune 10. un pain 21. le sommet 28. pousser 9. la valeur 14. un oubli 25. décapotable 26. drôle 20. un écrasement 5. une roue de secours 6.. une crevaison 15. une route 29. il faut 27. une usine 8. une algue 4. le dégivrage 22. une colline Language Learning & Technology 117 . un volant 30.Ofelia R. gens 3. geler 18. un poisson 12. une écrevisse 11.

Ofelia R. Nikolova

Effects of Students' Participation in Authoring...

APPENDIX C. TARGET-WORD HANDOUT Annotate with text, sound and pictures (where available) the following words which are part of the anecdotes on your screen. Word to annotate Sound file Picture file 1. une roue de secours .......................................... roue roue 2. une crevaison .................................................... crevaison crevaison 3. un volant ........................................................... volant volant 4. la valeur ............................................................ valeur -------5. faire le plein ...................................................... plein faire le plein 6. le sommet .......................................................... sommet sommet 7. une colline ......................................................... colline colline 8. drôle .................................................................. drôle -------9. une usine ........................................................... usine usine 10. un dépotoir ...................................................... dépotoir dépotoir 11. un écrasement ..........................…................... écrasement écrasement 12. le dégivrage .................................................... dégivrage dégivrage 13. geler ................................................................ geler -------14. pousse.....................................…..................... pousse pousse 15. décapotable...............................…................... décapotable décapotable 16. un oubli..................................…...................... oubli ------17. une chaîne d'assemblage............….................. chaîne chaîne 18. aucune.......................................…................... aucune -------19. il faut ............................................................... il faut -------20. aveugle...................................…...................... aveugle aveugle

NOTES 1. SmarTText is a hypertext-based computer program created for the needs of foreign language teaching. It can be downloaded from 2. Data about computer proficiency and attitude toward the subject matter were both collected from self reports of the subjects based on a Likert scale with numerical values from 1 to 10. Immediate and delayed gain as reported in these tables refer to the difference between the words recalled on the immediate and delayed posttests respectively, minus the words familiar for each student as shown on the pretest.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Nikolova is currently Assistant Professor of French in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Her research interests are in second language acquisition, CALL, and multimedia in foreign language learning. She has published articles and presented papers in these areas. E-mail:

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Ofelia R. Nikolova

Effects of Students' Participation in Authoring...

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(1977). 8-12..html. Proceedings of the CALICO 1993 Annual Symposium on "Assessment" (pp. (1991). Milone. Segalowitz. 11. Renzulli. 2001. Review article: Attention memory and the "noticing" hypothesis. Plass. & Chennault. J. J. The role of consciousness in second language learning. B. 469-479. Retrieved May 14. 20(2). Hypermedia and learning: Freedom and chaos. In F. Burnett. Carter & M. L. (1995). (1996). 93-97). Nagata. Nation. The effects of contextual richness on the guessability and the retention of words in a foreign language. J. M. 90(1).. (1971). P. & Leutner. "What's in a gloss?" Language Learning and Technology. NC: Duke University. Educational Technology. (1998). S. (1999). McCarthy (Eds.10-12. S. 551-63. 48-49. Electronic portfolios: Who's doing them and how? Technology and Learning. 97-110). Journal of Educational Psychology. In R. Schmidt. Effects of contextual versus definitional computer-assisted vocabulary instruction on immediate and long-term vocabulary retention of advanced ESL students. Peterson. New York: Holt. J... & Wit-de Boer. Watson. Une Vie de Boy: Interactive reading in french. (1995).). 25(1). Foreign Language Annals. 9(2). Paivio. G. CT: Creative Learning Press. Chun. M. N. The enrichment triad model: A guide for developing defensible programs for gifted and 44-52. On 25 years with Foxfire: A conversation with Eliot Wigginton. Foreign Language Annals. P. & Segalowitz. Supporting visual and verbal learning preferences in second-language multimedia learning environment. M. (1990). Educational Leadership. J. 249-267.. P. N. Johnson (Eds. & Crenshaw. Valenzuela. 30-35. Reading Research Quarterly. A. Four days that changed the world (and other amazing Internet stories). P.. (1985). 45(2). A. M. & Anderson.... (1995).. Markham. A. Y. D. Durham.msu. Rinehart & Winston. Roby. 121-126. (1997). (1995). 47(6). A. Mansfield Center. Mondria. J. R. 2(2). Meek. Vocabulary skill: Single -case assessment of automaticity of word-recognition in a timed lexical decision task. J. Educational Psychology. V. T. Educational Leadership. Language teaching and networking. 16(3). M. R. Vocabulary and language teaching (pp. New York: Longman. & Pollastrini. P. Lyman-Hager. Second Language Research. & Coady. Applied Linguistics.. N. P. M. (1995). Silva. Applied Linguistics. W. Borchardt & E. 53(2)..Ofelia R. Vocabulary and reading... Marchionini. 28(4). (1988). The effectiveness of computer-assisted interactive glosses. Language Learning.. Robinson. E. from http://llt. Learning and Leading with Technology. 94-101. 29-39. (1999). System. R. Oliva. D.. (1988). 23(5). (1993). E-mail: Real-life classroom experiences with foreign languages. M. Nagy. Herman.. 25-36. Mayer. (1989). Language Learning & Technology 121 . 233-253. 129158. 121136. 28(11). 12(3). 11(2). Imagery and verbal processes. C. McCarty. W. 32(4). Davis. Learning words from context. (1990). Internet resources and second language acquisition: An evaluation of virtual immersion. 283-331.). M. Nikolova Effects of Students' Participation in Authoring. S. R. Meagher.. E.

& Fairbanks. McCarthy (Eds. Hillsdale. & Dipinto. E. V. A. Effects of three interactive multimedia CALL programs on the vocabulary acquisition of elementary level EFL students (Doctoral dissertation. S. S. (1996). D. T. (1986). Grossman.. (1995). Action in Teacher Education. T. S. Zahorik. Summers. Smith. 25(2).89-105). 244-252. G. Stahl. Vocabulary retention: Effects of using spatial imaging on hemispheric-preference thinkers.. (1992). Turner.. Dissertation Abstracts International. 31-39. M. A. 111-125).). Students as Hypermedia authors: Themes emerging from a qualitative study.. Journal of Research on Computing in Education. F. Language Learning & Technology 122 . 56(1). Siribodhi. McKeown & M. Effects of vocabulary instruction: A model-based meta-analysis. J. C. 27(4). Foxfire: Constructivism for teachers and learners. (1988). & Valeri-Gold. B. (1996). R. New York: Longman. (1995). The nature of vocabulary acquisition (pp. 18(2). Miller. 1995). In M. Constructivist teaching. M. & Starnes. Inc.5. (1987). 187-199.). Chicago... (1994). J. Carter & M. Teets. Bloomington. The role of dictionaries in language learning. SPSS. Journal of Research and Development in Education. 56(09).Ofelia R. V. IL: Author.. Sternberg. Nikolova Effects of Students' Participation in Authoring.. 3552A. IN: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation. 72-110. Most vocabulary is learned from context. Curtis (Eds. version 7. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. University of Kansas. Vocabulary and language teaching (pp. M. In R. Review of Educational Research. SPSS for Windows. B.

Lomicka. cited in Muter. It is still unknown to what extent findings from paper media can be extended to electronic media (Muter. Hulstijn.. However. presented digitally on a computer screen) influences the user's reading process. 1 pp.. and consulting any of these extras is no longer seen as a major interruption of the language-learning activity. & Greidanus. font size (Frenckner. vocabulary learning).. incidental vocabulary learning. information is considered to be one of the preeminent advantages of language learning via computers. 1996). separate from the learning that is going on? In reading research. Copyright © 2002. and affects the cognitive aspects of text processing: variables such as comprehension and reading speed are said to be influenced by typefaces. In general. screen size.e. AND THE READING PROCESS? Isabelle De Ridder University of Antwerp ABSTRACT This article investigates how the signaling-mode of electronic glosses in online texts (i.g. highlighted) or invisible affect the foreign language learner's look-up behaviour and as a consequence the possible learning outcome? Furthermore.. The article discusses empirical research conducted in an attempt to address these questions. The results indicate that when reading a text with highlighted hyperlinks. and text comprehension. INTRODUCTION Current technologies in language learning allow student-users to consult translations. interline spacing. often multimediatic. Indeed. the article addresses the question whether the type of reading task (general vs. but it has become clear through empirical research (see Dillon.e.msu. for a review) that features such as the use of colour. Num. Brett. they were found to be beneficial to several aspects of language learning (e. grammatical explanations. 1998). ISSN 1094-3501 123 . independent of the learning process. TEXT COMPREHENSION. But is this truly the case? Is the layout of the screen an autonomous issue. Research has concentrated on the effectiveness of this supplementary information and has evaluated whether these annotations improve. how these features should appear to the learner-user is still under investigation. 1990. January 2002. The reading task does not seem to alter the clicking behaviour of the students but seems to influence the reader's vocabulary learning: A content-oriented reading task decreases the reader's attention for vocabulary. and size of characters can play a role in the optimisation of reading from the screen and thus the learning that accompanies this reading. does not affect text comprehension. The availability of this kind of additional. margins. does the fact that hyperlinks with dictionary definitions are visible (i. line length. 1997. 123-146 VISIBLE OR INVISIBLE LINKS: DOES THE HIGHLIGHTING OF HYPERLINKS AFFECT INCIDENTAL VOCABULARY LEARNING.Language Learning & Technology http://llt. this increased clicking does not slow down the reading process. although many things have been said about what should appear on the screen to obtain better results in language learning. 1998. 1996). readers are significantly more willing to consult the gloss. 1996. Vol. However. 1996. dictionary definitions. for instance. 1992. and does not increase the vocabulary learned incidentally. The how question is often considered to be a simple design question.g. it has been suggested that the presentation-mode of a text on paper matters. 1997. specific) affects the learner's use of these links and the amount and quality of the language learned. 6. text comprehension or actual language learning (e. and cultural information at the simple click of a mouse. Chun & Plass.

. It is called "incidental" because the major purpose for the interaction with the particular environment or material is not to learn words.have an impact on the reading and/or language learning process. semantic. In software designed to improve foreign or second-language readings skills. learners seem to "guess" (Huckin & Coady. Moreover. with additional underlining of the word. a choice that would result in a text in entirely the same type and font colour. 1990. However. 1983) the meaning of unknown words from the context.. To summarise. & Norman (1992) indicated that readers use electronic definitions only for short-term purposes and that long-term retention is almost non-existent. RESEARCH AIMS AND RATIONALE FOR THIS STUDY Reading in a second language is considered to be a meaningful language-learning activity.which in itself is nothing but a visualisation of the hyperlink -. and syntactic information that can be processed and possibly learned/remembered. Tanaka. world or domain knowledge [Drum & Konopak. a study by Black. specific) involved. "reconstruct" or "derive" (Sternberg.1 It is therefore of great importance that students make the utmost use of the dictionary definitions the software provides. for instance. Indeed.Isabelle De Ridder Visible or Invisible Links… Within the entire spectrum of all possible on-screen features that could have an impact on the amount and the quality of language learning. where the vocabulary is "picked-up" during normal L1 or L2 reading activities. 1992. the primary aim of this study is to evaluate whether the way in which the software indicates that glosses are available influences the learners' willingness to consult the gloss. the influence of marginal glosses on vocabulary learning and text comprehension has been studied intensively. 1989). I chose to focus on the signaling-mode of glosses. highlighted) or invisible links might be affected by the reading task (general vs. 1987). 1985. many second-language specialists see reading as a pre-eminent means of acquiring new vocabulary (e. & Anderson. while attempting overall text comprehension. since. Hyperlinks can be visible or invisible: the highlights are the means by which the hyperlink is visualised (in itself a graphical issue). I would like to stress that the effectiveness of the (electronic) gloss itself is not at issue here. 1987]) the use of a dictionary or of marginal (electronic) glosses is one of the factors that can promote pick-up rates (Ellis. but to understand the message of the text and to build up a coherent text base.. 1994). 1992) and that inferring word meanings from context is still one of the most effective strategies for learning new words. Whenever the context fails to deliver the correct meaning of unknown words (when the context contains too many unknown words or whenever the reader lacks the adequate cultural. vocabulary learning) and overall text comprehension. 1996. as mentioned above. this highlighting -. a differentiation is made between the actual gloss (which is a content-related issue. Sternberg & Powell. 1999). it is also taken into consideration that the possible effects of visible (i. What is questioned here is whether the highlights -. Wright. Another option would be not to use highlights but to insert invisible links. However. Nagy. Nation. The study hereby presented addresses these issues by discussing empirical data collected from an experiment conducted at the University of Antwerp (Belgium). Advocates of this kind of vocabulary learning rely on the theory of "cognitive depth" Language Learning & Technology 124 .g. Krashen.e. the translation and/or the dictionary definition that appears when the hyperlink is activated) and the hyperlink (which is a technical feature that enables the gloss to appear). these additional annotations can then appear in a pop-up window or in a separate window at the bottom or the top of the screen. Hulstijn et al. Moreover.e. Hulstijn. is referred to in the research as "incidental" vocabulary learning (e..g. one might opt for highlighting difficult words. See Appendix A for an example of the two discussed interfaces. 1987. thus indicating a link with the provided extra information. Moreover. 1994..used as a signalling-mode. it has also been suggested that inferred meanings are remembered better than given meanings (Hulstijn. a graphical indication of a hyperlink leading to additional information -. Black. learners interact with different types of cultural. More concretely. be it on paper or on screen. While reading. & Yamazaki.g. Sternberg. This kind of vocabulary learning. i. Knight. When activating the hyperlink. Herman. this research concentrates on how this affects the readers' language learning (e. Indeed..could be the use of boldface type or a font colour different from the text colour.

displayed as a superscript immediately after the glossed word. 1986). Indeed. (1992) could not establish that the involvement of a particular reading task (reading for gist or for detailed knowledge acquisition) differentiates the readers' clicking behaviour. 1995). Hulstijn et al. (1996) therefore suggest that dictionary use should remain "well-determined. but should also prevent the reader from excessive clicking (called "click happy behavior" by Roby. Yet another small-scale study by Black et al.. In reading research. which could lead to a more temporary vocabulary acquisition. (1992. and. text summarisation versus knowledge acquisition. research has established that the way in which a text is read is strongly influenced by the readers' study goals (e. and reading process (reading time. a condition where the hyperlinks are invisible could encourage the students to make a more careful use of the glosses and rely more on the context to figure out the meaning of unknown words (which in turn. The present study aims to clarify the following issues: When difficult words are highlighted in a software reading programme. the software programme should provide the learner with dictionary definitions in order to support the reader when the reading becomes problematic. specific) on vocabulary acquisition (short-term and long-term retention). could le ad to more thorough retention of the vocabulary). and text comprehension.g. this study did not look into which effects these increased consultations might have on the reading process. in another line of thinking. Indeed. 98) which could lead to a more superficial. 1972). On the other hand. Does this imply that in a condition without highlights (a graphical tool to make words salient). which could have a positive effect on vocabula ry acquisition. Brett did not focus on reading and vocabulary learning and therefore did not address the question of comprehension of the whole text. clicking behaviour). similar but separate from the one mentioned above). highlighting) and the reading task (general vs. a condition in which the hyperlinks are highlighted could incite the users to click excessively. if so. involving 20 subjects. some studies also indicate that when words are made salient. It is therefore not unlikely that a given reading task might influence the students' use of either visible or invisible links. In a study on listening comprehension. vocabulary learning would immediately become more difficult? And what would this mean in the long-term? Some research has looked into the effects of how the users' willingness to consult an online dictionary definition can be increased.Isabelle De Ridder Visible or Invisible Links… and high mental effort: the more actively we work out a solution to the problem. A study by Black et al. 1997." Summarising. which might be reflected in the learning and/or reading outcomes. actual vocabulary learning. Nevertheless. 1999. the more likely we are to store this information permanently (Craik & Lockhart. Several studies seem to indicate that when a word is made salient. The five studies by Black et al.. but these studies did not concentrate on the combined effects of marking a hyperlink (i. does increased clicking slow down the reading? Or does reading and rereading a higher number of glosses take up as much time as the combined action of consulting glosses and deriving a word meaning from its context? Moreover. it increases the students' willingness to consult this gloss. it is also possible that the highlights indicating the hyperlinks simply attract attention to the words in question.g.. which only results in shortterm vocabulary retention? Or does the simple fact that the highlights make some words in the text salient increase their chances of being better candidates for storage in long-term memory? Other studies have looked into the signaling-mode of glosses and have addressed the question of salience. Schmalhofer & Glavanov. p. 1996. they are remembered better than others. on the one hand. is Language Learning & Technology 125 . Therefore. Brett (1998) for instance posits that if language items are made salient in any way (e. As far as the reading task is concerned.e. the signalling-device of glosses plays an important part. (1992) reported on in the single article relate to firstlanguage technical-vocabulary acquisition. suggested that if the glosses are indicated by a small black spot. does this incite the readers to click intensively. does this have a positive effect on the vocabulary acquisition? Or does this lead to excessive clicking. However. they are remembered better (Chun & Plass. this has a positive influence on its acquisition. short-term learning. Liu & Reed. by exercises). text comprehension.

including 17 second-year university economics students. then this might well cause a slight drawback on vocabulary learning. was limited to strict time-constraints.Isabelle De Ridder Visible or Invisible Links… it the case that when students consult more dictionary definitions. However. 1999. other research. this positive effect seemed to have disappeared in a delayed vocabulary test. if. e. Marking Leads to a More Superficial. and were thus more inclined to look for extra information (here dictionary definitions and translations) than in a condition with invisible links. however. when the unknown vocabulary would hinder the comprehension of the gist of the text).. It also led to promising results worthy of more ample investigations. 1992.e. and if it is established that increased clicking results in better vocabulary learning.e. However. The specific reading task used in the present study. A Specific Reading Task Decreases Incidental Vocabulary Learning If it is the case that the specific reading task decreases the students' willingness to click. Brett. It was postulated that the orientation towards the comprehension of the text. De Ridder. revealed that these particular foreign language readers clicked significantly more in a condition where the text contained highlighted hyperlinks. 1983b). HYPOTHESES Expected Effect of Marking and Reading Task on Clicking Behaviour Marking Increases Clicking The experimental research of Black et al. If the willingness to consult a gloss increases by using a small black spot. the more glosses are consulted. De Ridder & Van Waes. the previous. Moreover. 1983a. introductory study on the subject (De Ridder. I therefore hypothesised that the reading task would also change the clicking behaviour of the students. would incite the students to click only when absolutely necessary (i. I therefore hypothesised that in the marked condition. 1998). Reading Task and Time on Incidental Vocabulary Learning Marking Increases Incidental Vocabulary Learning Several studies indicate that when words are made salient. The results of the introductory study tended to confirm this argumentation.. by Black et al. (1992) indicates that if words in an online text (i. it can be hypothesised that the blue font colour and underlining would have the same effect on the subjects involved in the present study. It did have a significantly positive effect on the amount of vocabulary incidentally learned from the text. presented digitally on a computer screen) are marked with a black spot behind the word. 2000..g. perhaps it is the case that the constant interruption of the reading process results in the construction of a less coherent text base. A small-scale. they attract the readers' attention. This clicking behaviour did not slow down the reading process. Nevertheless. Short-Term Retention of Vocabulary It is more than likely that the results of the delayed vocabulary test would be significantly lower than those immediately after reading. Moreover. suggested that a different reading task does not imply a difference in the consultation of dictionary definitions. nor did it affect text comprehension. the better this might be for vocabulary acquisition (see. together with a slight time pressure.. as previous research suggested Language Learning & Technology 126 . Expected Effect of Marking. students would pick up significantly more words than in the unmarked condition (at least in the short-term). who established a positive influence of glosses on incidental vocabulary learning). both in the marked and the unmarked condition.g. 2000). However. Hulstijn. introductory study suggested that readers do click significantly more in the marked (or highlighted) condition than in the unmarked one. A Specific Reading Task Decreases Clicking Research by Schmalhofer & Glavanov (1986) indicated that a text is read differently according to the reading task. One of the major advantages of this first study was that it made it possible to test the experimental design and the quality of the instrumentation (more appropriate and more in-depth testing was imperative). this has a positive influence on their acquisition (e. (1992) for instance. this also leads to a better understanding of the remainder of the text? Research does tend to suggest that a strong correlation exists between vocabulary and comprehension (Freebody & Anderson.

the subjects involved even suggested that the highlights distracted them. I originally assumed that if students click more in the marked than in the unmarked condition. since highlighted hyperlinks might help in skimming a text. readers tend to use electronic glosses for short-term purposes only and if in the marked condition readers are more inclined to consult definitions. in the introductory experiment no difference in overall reading time could be established. because excessive clicking could lead to a poor construction of the text base. In fact. the reading process would slow down.e.g. Marking Negatively Influences the Concentration Level of the Reader It is not implausible that the blue highlights also have an impact on the students' level of concentration. Expected Additional Effects of Marking Marking Does not Slow Down the Reading Process As far as reading time is concerned. Table 11 offers an overview of the hypotheses and expectations of the experiment. As far as these questions are concerned. which would distract them from the overall text and its meaning. le facettage) might be highlighted. see Fisher and Tan [1989]). Language Learning & Technology 127 . no study has looked into the effects of visible links on text comprehension. le clivage. However. similar investigations (e. the group with this particular task was expected to perform better on text comprehension than the group with the general reading task. or they lead to a more superficial." To my knowledge. If students do click excessively in the marked condition and if indeed this has a negative effect on long-term vocabulary acquisition and overall text comprehension. they can hypothesise that either the main category (indicated by the word opérations) or the subcategory (being the operations. A Specific Reading Task Increases Text Comprehension Since the specific reading task was much more oriented towards comprehension.. Marking has a Negative Effect on the Results of the Free Recall The students of the group with the specific reading task performed a free recall. the students might perform better in the marked condition. The highlighted hyperlinks either attract the readers' attention and by doing so increase the interaction with the text and thus intensify the reading. Previous research could not present conclusive evidence to prove that subjects find a target option faster in a highlighted display than in a display without highlighting. l'ébrutage. then the concentration level of the students in the marked condition might well be significantly lower than in the unmarked condition. Marking Positively Influences the Results on the Search-and-Find Question The group with the specific reading task also completed additional search-and-find questions. Its results were expected to be identical to the ones from the overall comprehension test... Appendix B. I expected to confirm these findings in the present experiment. the attention of the learners would be drawn towards the highlighted words. if the students are asked to find the four operations a diamond undergoes when it is cut.e.Isabelle De Ridder Visible or Invisible Links… (Black et al. They can start skimming the text while concentrating on the highlighted words. where text interaction would be minimal. Some researchers favour the highlighted condition and others the nonhighlighted condition (for an overview of this line of research. I hypothesised that in the marked condition. For instance. in the interviews concluding the introductory experiment. 1992). Highlighting could thus have a negative effect on the results of the free recall. then it could be expected that the results decrease significantly more in the marked than in the unmarked condition (i. since the free recall is considered to be a fully integrated part of it. i. It is indeed possible that the constant interruption of the reading process in the marked condition (more intensive clicking) would hinder the students from building up a coherent representation of the text. Black et al. "click happy" behavior. Expected Effect of Marking and Reading Task on Text Comprehension Marking Decreases Text Comprehension Up until now. le sciage.. which would then make it easier to find the answer to the question. 1992) were limited to the aspect of language "acquisition. an expected interaction effect between time and marking).

Both groups were subjected to a Latin-square design. Within this pilot study. The first text dealt with the diamond industry in Antwerp. This procedure lead to the creation of 109 glossed words in the first text and 116 in the second one. A pop-up window with a Dutch translation and a French definition (separated with a horizontal line) would then appear. comparable in length (about 2. Design of the Experiment Latin-square design 1: general reading task group 1 (N=7) 2 (N=8) 3 (N=8) 4 (N=7) 5 (N=7) 6 (N=8) 7 (N=8) 8 (N=7) reading session 1 Text 1 marked Text 2 marked Text 1 unmarked Text 2 unmarked Text 1 marked Text 2 marked Text 1 unmarked Text 2 unmarked reading session 2 Text 2 unmarked Text 1 unmarked Text 2 marked Text 1 marked Text 2 unmarked Text 1 unmarked Text 2 marked Text 1 marked Latin-square design 2: specific reading task Material Reading Materials The students involved in the experiment read two glossed French economic texts. since preferences for one or the other are said to be highly individual (Jacobs. 26 females. In the existing literature. The students were asked to read the texts online. 1990). Dufon. These students were between 19 and 21 years of age and none of them had participated in any previous experiments. A word was glossed whenever one student of the pilot study failed to know the Dutch translation of this word in a vocabulary test taken after reading. Language Learning & Technology 128 . they were just finishing up a course of business French incorporated in their curriculum (30 hours/academic year). more general information was given at the end between brackets. after a pilot study involving four texts. Design I randomly assigned the subjects to two groups of 30 students each. A Latin-square design controls for text and condition order. None of them were bilingual but all had a fairly advanced level of French (9 years of French as a foreign language). 28 students and two faculty members of French. 1978). 34 males) voluntarily participated in this experiment. grammatical difficulty.Isabelle De Ridder Visible or Invisible Links… METHOD Subjects Sixty second-year economics students (university level. 1999. and vocabulary load. I chose to offer the translation and the foreign language definition. & Fong. The texts had been selected for the introductory study mentioned above. whereas for instance Holley (1973) refers to 7%. which is about 5-6% of the total amount of words. All of them were computer literate and were native Dutch speakers. 1994). Stark. the other with a specific reading task. Moreover. The pop-up window did not cover up the portion of the text in which the glossed word was found (see Roby. one with a general reading task. Table 1.000 words each). They could easily access the glosses by clicking on the defined word. Context-bound explanations were given first. the second one was about human resources in business. the texts were evaluated for interest and difficulty level: the two texts with the most similar score were included in the study. This difference was explained to the students before starting their reading (see Widdowson. Both studies did not include the help of glosses. there is no consensus on how many unknown words a text may contain in order not to disturb the global comprehension level or the learning of vocabulary: West (1941) speaks of 2%. as clarified in Table 1.

the following aspects were divergent from these guidelines: the full justification (instead of left justification) and the line length (83 characters). I deliberately chose not to include a pre-test in the experiment because in this particular kind of experiment. Instrumentation and Observation Clicking Behaviour and Total Reading Time An Internet Explorer specific java-script made it possible to register how much time the students spent on reading and on clicking. Since it was impossible for the students to know these words. I attached a self-made. The texts appeared in a black Times New Roman font. the decision to increase their number. When scoring the vocabulary test. The tasks in question were chosen on the basis of the work of Wesdorp (1981). In the marked condition the glossed words were in blue and underlined. α = . while other authors (e. These authors give recommendations for screen design..g. 1998) find an increase in reading rate with a greater number of characters per line. p. In the unmarked condition the hyperlinks were invisible (i. To these words. N of items = 11. Scott Grabinger and Osman-Jouchoux propose a line length of 60 characters. For every word of the vocabulary test. 3 In the introductory experiment. Within this learning indication survey. Text 1. 12 points. 194-196). the students took a delayed vocabulary test (the same items but in a scrambled order) in order to measure any long-term retention of the vocabulary eventually acquired. I deliberately avoided working exclusively with non-existent words because of the artificial nature of this procedure. The screen design was based upon the "Recommendations for Basic Typography and Spatial Factors" of Scott Grabinger & Osman-Jouchoux (1996. This same technique was applied by Hulstijn et al. hence. With these log files it could be determined which glosses the students consulted and for how long they consulted them. which was followed by a reading instruction that specifically described the comprehension test that was to be taken afterwards: the general comprehension test mentioned above (multiple choice and open-ended content questions) and a summarisation under the form of a free recall.2 Vocabulary Test After having read each text. Language Learning & Technology 129 . One week after having read the text. the glossed words were typed in black and not underlined.e. all of the students took a comprehension test of 8 multiple-choice questions and 13 open-ended questions. on a white screen. I did not take into account the words that at least 70% of the students said they knew before reading the text (indicated in the learning indication survey) and answered correctly in both of the tests. only two of these words per text were included. N of cases = 60. The glosses remained identical in both conditions. (1996) in their study on the combined influence of frequent occurrences and the use of dictionaries/marginal glosses on incidental vocabulary learning.Isabelle De Ridder Visible or Invisible Links… Two versions of each text were created: a marked one and an unmarked one. see Appendix A). The students were shown how the glosses worked before starting their reading and they were explicitly told to close each pop-up window after consultation. The four non-existent words of the present study were also used as a means of verification. The reliability scores for this test were rather low. All of these items were chosen on the basis of the original pilot study and the glossed words. Dyson & Kipping. based upon both print and computer screen research. these contributed to the clarification of the students' clicking behaviour and the learning indications that were included in the tests. an "I don't know" option was also included. In the investigation carried out. the individual pre-knowledge of the students could be estimated. the students took an unexpected vocabulary test of 38 items.7351. but could be improved by leaving out some of the items of the test (item selection test.7021. acceptable. The group with the specific reading task started with a search-and-find task. Text 2. but an item selection test (included in Cronbach's reliability test) proved that these words were very good discriminators.4 Text Comprehension Test After having read the text. α = . the students were asked whether they thought they knew the word a) already before reading the text or b) from reading the text. context-bound meaning. testing the students on vocabulary knowledge before they start reading might direct their reading towards vocabulary. The two texts also contained four non-existent words each. N of items = 13). In this way..

The search-and-find task of this study contained four questions where one or more items had to be found: three questions could be found literally in the texts. Benítez. During the online reading sessions. but could be improved by leaving out 1 item in each test (see item selection test.™ a software programme that registers every on-screen movement and files them in AVI-videofiles. 1973. Kellog & Mueller. α = .6 The goal of this test is to disturb the students in their reading. took a test on text comprehension and a finished with a vocabulary test. I expected that the longer it took the students to react. For an in-depth insight in searchand-do and other possible reading strategies. If s/he only mentioned the main idea without the necessary secondary ideas. Only reproducing the subsidiary ideas entitled the student to 1 point.150) propose skimming through a text (stimulated by search questions) before starting the actual reading as a successful strategy. java-script) randomly appeared (with a maximum of 5 times in the 25 minutes of reading time). a red rectangle (4 to 3 cm.7077.6979. took a test on text comprehension and completed an unexpected vocabulary test. read the other text in the other condition. allowed to use these notes during any of the tests. Whenever a student was able to reproduce a main idea and two or three secondary ideas. however. the student received 3 points. They were not. the students received a general technical explanation (working of pop-ups. depending on the level of difficulty of that particular part of the text. they started with the delayed vocabulary test of the text of the first session. who give an overview and a critical evaluation of assessment techniques for reading comprehension. the higher their concentration level was and the higher their interaction level with the text they were reading.Isabelle De Ridder Visible or Invisible Links… Kintsch (1998.). Text 1. the students had to establish a relationship between information contained in two (not necessarily consecutive) paragraphs. a small attention test for the group of the specific reading task was incorporated. 1993). Students could obtain a maximum of 34 points for text 1 and 32 for text 2. The process data were collected by recording all sessions with Hypercam. and the longer it takes them to withdraw their attention from the text. Each session was concluded with a small interview and some general questions.). etc. The reliability scores for the search-and-find task were rather low. p. Nuttall. The students were explicitly asked to click on it as fast as possible in order to make it disappear. The evaluation procedure of the free recall occurred as follows: For every separate part of the texts. In the second session. p. The delayed vocabulary test of the second session took place in a brief third session. The 30 students of this group received the following (general) reading task before reading: Language Learning & Technology 130 . 1988. Before reading. 5 Concentration Level of the Students To establish a possible difference in the students' concentration during the reading of the marked versus unmarked text. The General Reading Task-Group (Latin-square 1) In the first session. and for the fourth one. and Nuttall (1996). the student was assigned 2 points. see for instance Fyfe & Mitchell (1985). Castrillo. A similar technique was used in research on writing in order to establish the subjects' attention capacity (Kahneman. main and secondary ideas were identified. Several studies on the teaching of reading (e. Additional Information Gathering All 60 students were allowed to take notes while reading so as not to disturb their normal reading process. & Suárez. Cerezal. 295). the more they are assumed to be concentrating on their reading. Text 2.g. 7 Procedure All students participated in three individual sessions. the students of this particular group read one of the two texts in one of the two conditions. These files were used as a means of verification. α = .. N of items = 9. N of cases = 30. For all 60 students a small interview and some general questions on the student's reading habits concluded each session.

Isabelle De Ridder

Visible or Invisible Links…

Read the text that will appear on the screen very thoroughly and try to understand as much as you can. After having read the text, you will receive a test on text comprehension. You can read as long as you think is necessary. Thus, no specific time limits were set and no particular information about the testing that would follow the reading was included. Table 2 gives an overview of the development of the experiment within this (general reading task) group. Table 2. Development of the Experiment Within the Group with the General Reading Task activity reading of one of the two texts in one of the two conditions (see Latin square design) test on text comprehension vocabulary test interview and general questions delayed test on the vocabulary of the text read in previous session session 1 X X X X session 2 X X X X X X session 3

The Specific Reading Task Group (Latin-square 2) In the first session, the students of the specific reading task group started with a search-and-find task of one of the two texts, in one of the two conditions. Afterwards, they read the text in question, performed a free recall and took an unannounced vocabulary test and an announced comprehension test. In the second session, they took a delayed vocabulary test of the first text and read and completed the tasks of the second text. The delayed vocabulary test of the second session took place in a brief, third session. For the search-and-find task, the students received a total of 6 minutes. Afterwards, they were assigned the following reading task, specifically mentioning the form in which they would be tested: You will receive 25 minutes to read the text that will appear on the screen. Afterwards, you will be asked to give an oral overview of what you have read in the text. You will also receive a comprehension test with multiple -choice and open-ended questions. As the reader can see, this particular experimental group was subjected to strict time limits, which were pre-tested with advanced learners and were adjusted to this specific group of learners. The students had the same comprehension test as the first group and they took the same vocabulary test after the free recall. 8 In Table 3 one can find an overview of the development of the experiment within the group with the specific reading task. Activities marked with an asterisk are identical to the ones of Table 2 of the group with the general reading task.

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Isabelle De Ridder

Visible or Invisible Links…

Table 3. Proceedings of the Experiment for the Group with the Specific Reading Task activity search assignment for one of the texts in one of the two conditions (see Latin square design; 6 minutes) reading of one of the texts in one of the two conditions (see Latin-square; 25 minutes) free recall vocabulary test (*) comprehension test (*) interview and general questions (*) delayed test on the vocabulary of the text read in previous session (*) RESULTS For an overview of all established results, see Appendix B, Table 12. Within the design of this experiment, marking and time are within-subjects variables; reading task is a between-subjects variable. A within-subjects design means that each participant provides more than one response. With a betweensubjects variable, every set of responses comes from a different group of subjects. Effect of Marking and Reading Task on Clicking Behaviour Table 4 shows the percentage of time applied to clicking. The results were analysed with marking as a within-subjects variable and reading task as a between-subjects variable.9 The results show that marking and reading task have a significant effect on the students' clicking behaviour: marking, F (1,58)=24.292, p < .05; reading task, F (1,58)=16.331, p < .05. There is no interaction effect between the within-subjects variable and the between-subjects variable: F (1,58)=0.008, p > .05. These results show that students click significantly more in the marked than in the unmarked conditions and significantly more in the group with a general reading task than in the group with the specific reading task. Appendix C, Figure 3 illustrates these results. Marking thus increases clicking and a specific reading task decreases clicking, as was hypothesised. 10 All statistical tests were performed at the .05 level, unless otherwise indicated. Table 4. Percentage of Time Applied to Clicking condition general reading task specific reading task total Mean 12.15 7.70 9.92 marked SD Min 6.50 1.11 4.00 .86 5.80 .86 Max 26.82 19.58 26.82 Mean 9.44 4.88 7.16 MS 228.83 608.17 7.65 unmarked SD Min 5.05 1.85 3.02 .61 4.72 .61 df 1 1 1 F 24.290 16.330 .008 Max 20.16 11.52 20.16 p .00* .00* .929 N 30 30 60 session 1 X X X X X X session 2 X X X X X X X X session 3

GLM, repeated measures effect of marking (within-variable) effect of reading task (between-variable) interaction effect marking*reading task

SS 228.83 608.17 7.65

Effect of Marking, Reading Task and Time on Incidental Vocabulary Learning Table 5 presents the results of the vocabulary tests, taken immediately after reading and then one week later. These results were analysed with marking and time (test immediately after reading and delayed test) as within-subjects variables and reading task as a between-subjects variable. The results show that on one

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Isabelle De Ridder

Visible or Invisible Links…

hand, marking has no significant effect on vocabulary learning: F (1,58)=3.70, p >.05. On the other hand, time and reading task do have a significant effect on vocabulary learning: time, F (1,58)=10.62, p <.05; reading task, F (1,58)=28.16, p <.05. There are no interaction effects: marking*reading task, F (1,58)=0.17, p >.05; marking*time, F (1,58)=2.59, p >.05; time*reading task, F (1,58)=1.30, p >.05; marking*task*time, F (1,58)=.127, p >.05). Both groups thus score significantly lower in the delayed vocabulary test. The group with the general reading task scores significantly better on the vocabulary test than the group with the specific reading task. 11 Appendix C, Figures 4 and 5 illustrate these results. Thus, marking does not specifically influence incidental vocabulary learning (contrary to what was hypothesised), whereas a specific reading task does decrease vocabulary learning (as was hypothesised). Moreover, marking does not lead to more superficial, short-term retention of vocabulary learning, since there is no significant interaction effect between time and marking (contrary to what was hypothesised).12 Table 5. Results on the Vocabulary Test, Immediately After Reading and Delayed Vocabulary Test condition IMMEDIATELY AFTER READING general reading task specific reading task total condition ONE WEEK LATER general reading task specific reading task total marked Mean 70.27 53.87 62.07 SD 18.96 15.49 19.06 Min 31.43 17.14 17.14 Max 97.14 80.00 97.14 Mean 66.21 48.66 57.43 unmarked SD 13.30 16.36 17.23 Min 36.67 25.71 25.71 Max 88.57 80.00 88.57 N 30 30 60

marked Mean 66.91 47.55 57.23 SD 15.93 16.21 18.69 Min 33.33 16.67 16.67 Max 97.14 73.33 97.14 Mean 65.48 46.47 55.97 MS 520.91 595.39 19611.48 2.32 171.599 72.81 8.41

unmarked SD 11.36 15.06 16.33 df 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Min 28.57 23.33 23.33 Max 85.71 76.67 85.71 F 3.70 10.62 28.16 .017 .259 1.30 .127 N 30 30 60 p .059 .002* .000* .898 .112 .259 .722

GLM, repeated measures effect of marking (within-variable) effect of time (within-variable) effect of reading task (between-variable) interaction effect marking*reading task interaction effect marking*time interaction effect time*reading task interaction effect marking*task*time

SS 520.91 595.39 19611.48 2.32 171.599 72.81 8.41

Effect of Marking and Reading Task on Text Comprehension Table 6 shows the results of the overall comprehension test, that is, the multiple -choice questions and the open-ended questions. These results were analysed with marking as a within-subjects variable and reading task as a between-subjects variable. The results show that neither marking nor reading task have a

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799 19.35 16.91 60.34 590.00 Max 100.66 Free Recall Table 8 shows the results of the free recall performed by the group with the specific reading task.01 level). repeated measures effect of marking (within-variable) MS 312481.04 df 1 1 1 9.05.58)=1.66 Max 3177 3003 N 30 30 df 1 F 1. These results were obtained by averaging the evaluations of two independent researchers who analysed the transcriptions of the oral recalls produced by the students. Language Learning & Technology 134 . F (1. Thus.937** correlation was achieved and for text 2 a . showing that there is no significant effect of marking on the total time spent reading: F (1.09 F .05.0 100.54. for text 1 a . These results are thus identical to the results on the overall text comprehension test: marking does not negatively influence text comprehension.13 62.09 9.0 p . marking does not decrease comprehension of the text and a specific reading task does not increase text comprehension (both contrary to what was hypothesised).974** correlation (= significant at the .224 GLM.44 23. Result of the Text Comprehension Test in Percentage condition Mean general reading task specific reading task total 57.54 Mean 61.003 .00 30.16 0. repeated measures effect of marking (within-variable) effect of reading task (between-variable) interaction effect marking*reading task Additional Effects of Marking Total Time Spent on Reading Table 7 presents the total time in seconds spent on reading. p > . Total Reading Time in Seconds in the Group of the General Reading Task condition marked unmarked Mean 2071.10 Min 1113 1076 SS 312481. revealing no significant effect of marking on the free recall: F (1.968 739. Agreement between the scores of both independent researchers was measured by computing the Pearson product moment correlation coefficients.122 N 30 30 60 GLM.0 100. These results were analysed with marking as a within-subjects variable.29)=1. marking does not slow down the reading process.78 59.028. Figure 6 illustrates these results.0 SS .31 100. p > .34 20.968 739.0 92.77 0.93 57. These results were analysed with marking as a within-subjects variable. Appendix C. For issues in measuring reliability.54 unmarked SD Min 23. Thus.003.02 marked SD Min 28.799 19.13 SD 581. Table 6. Table 7.028 2.869 .46 1927. since the group of the specific reading task was subjected to strict time limits.959 . p >. see Hayes and Hatch (1999). p >.58)=. There is no interaction effect between the within.05.05.46 Max 100. as was hypothesised. reading task: F (1.58)=. only for the group with the general reading task.05.and between-variable: F (1.246.54 p . p >.58)=.Isabelle De Ridder Visible or Invisible Links… significant effect on the student's text comprehension: marking.09 9.86 MS .84 22.18.

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Table 8. Results of the Free Recall in Percentage condition marked unmarked Mean 1.72 34.11 SD 12.69 15.09 Min 4.69 7.81 SS 85.82 Max 53.13 72.06 MS 85.82 N 30 30 df 1 F 1.18 p .285

GLM, repeated measures effect of marking (within-variable)

Search-and Find Question Table 9 displays the results of the search-and-find questions in percentage. These results were obtained by counting all correctly found items. The search-and-find task only applies to the students of the group with the specific reading task. I analysed these results with marking as a within-subjects variable, which shows that there is a significant difference between the results of the marked and the unmarked condition: F (1,29)=7.02, p < .05. Marking has a negative influence on the results of the search-and-find task (contrary to what was hypothesised), since the students score significantly better in the unmarked condition. Table 9. Results of the Search-and-Find-Question in Percentage condition marked unmarked Mean 53.55 74.00 SD 32.23 25.31 Min 0.00 0.00 SS 6269.62 Max 100.00 100.00 N 30 30 df 1 F 7.02 p .013*

GLM, Repeated Measures effect of marking (within-variable)

MS 6269.62

Attention Test The values in Table 10 are the results of the attention test. They represent the seconds the students with the specific reading task needed to close the red rectangle on the screen. These results were analysed with marking as a within-subjects variable, which revealed that no significant difference could be established between the marked and the unmarked condition: F (1,29)=.220, p > .05. According to these results, marking does not negatively influence the concentration level of the students (contrary to what was hypothesised). Table 10. Seconds Necessary to Close the Red Rectangle on the Screen (Attention Test) Condition marked unmarked Mean 2.54 2.66 SD 1.15 1.40 Min 1.25 1.00 SS .217 Max 5.75 6.00 MS .217 N 30 30 df 1 F .220 p .642

GLM, repeated measures effect of marking (within-variable) DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

In this section, the questions raised in the research aims and rationale section are revisited and discussed in light of the results of the empirical investigation presented above. The first question posed, which led to several other questions, was whether highlighted or visible links increase the readers' willingness to consult dictionary definitions. According to the results of the present study, the answer to this question is affirmative. The student users consulted significantly more glosses in the condition with visible links. This finding confirms previous research of Black et al. (1992) concerning first-language acquisition and shorter texts, where a black spot behind the glossed words also attracted the learners' attention and made
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Visible or Invisible Links…

them click to access the provided word definition. Is this particular clicking behaviour altered by the reading task? The findings of the experiment indicate that students click significantly more in the marked than in the unmarked condition, be it in the general reading task or the specific reading task group. This might be an indication of how powerful a tool highlighting is to attract the reader's attention. However, the study also established that readers click considerably more when they are confronted with a general reading task than when they receive a specific one, while previous research (Black et al.,1992) seemed to suggest that a reading task variable does not influence the students' clicking behaviour. It is possible that the difference between the present results and those of Black et al. are due to the time limits that were imposed on the students. Furthermore, does the fact that students spend significantly more time consulting information in the marked than in the unmarked condition influence the incidental learning of vocabulary? On the shortterm-vocabulary test (taken immediately after reading) no difference was established, which means that whichever different vocabulary-learning strategy the students used in the two conditions can be considered equally effective in the short-term. It seems plausible that in the marked condition, students turn to a vocabulary-learning strategy based upon the reading of dictionary definitions, whereas in the unmarked condition they use a combination of this particular strategy and context derivation. The findings of the present experiment indicate that not using highlights thus making the glossed words less graphically salient, does not particularly influence the incidental learning of vocabulary in a negative way. In both conditions, the students seemed to have adapted their vocabulary learning strategies to the marking situation. In the delayed vocabulary test, the students scored significantly lower than in the test taken immediately after reading. However, the results indicate that in the marked condition, where students were guided more intensively by the highlights and clicked more excessively, the vocabulary loss is not greater than in the unmarked condition. The findings thus do not suggest that readers tend to use electronic glosses for short-term purposes, as the investigations of Black et al. (1992) indicated. The findings of the investigation presented also establish that the use of either strategy does not slow down the reading process, since no difference in reading time was found between the marked and the unmarked condition. Does the reading task have an effect on the learning of vocabulary? As indicated, reading is often seen in the research as a pre-eminent means of vocabulary learning. The findings of the empirical research presented above clearly indicate that the success of this vocabulary learning depends highly on the reading task that is set. In the experiment, the specific reading task le d to significantly less incidental vocabulary learning, which is more than probably due to the time pressure and the specific orientation towards text comprehension. Did the more intense clicking of the marked condition lead to better text comprehension? Apparently not, and this might be explained by the link that seems to exist between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension, which was suggested by previous research (Freebody & Anderson, 1983a, 1983b). Since both conditions result in equal learning of vocabulary, both conditions also result in equal text comprehension. 13 In the experiment, text comprehension was measured in different ways: on the one hand, a general comprehension test containing multiple -choice and open-ended questions was used; on the other hand an additional free recall for the group with the specific reading task was employed. Neither of these indicated an effect of marking on text comprehension. The search-and-find question, on the other hand, was subjected to an effect of marking. These results seem to confirm part of the research on localising items in highlighted and non-highlighted displays. It is possible that the highlights confused the students and that in the unmarked condition the text structure helped them to find the items they were looking for. Did the reading task have an effect on text comprehension? The findings of the current investigation indicate that, contrary to what was hypothesised, the introduction of the specific reading task did not lead to a more thorough understanding of the text. This might have been due to the time limits that were set.
Language Learning & Technology 136

Isabelle De Ridder

Visible or Invisible Links…

The fact that students concentrated more on the text content when they received a specific reading task is suggested by additional information from the notes they took while reading. In these notes, they wrote down exclusively content-related items, whereas the other group (general reading task) wrote down more vocabulary. 14 Are students more concentrated in the unmarked than in the marked condition? Is it possible for them to interact more intensively with the text in the unmarked condition? The attention test that was introduced did not reveal any differences in the concentration level of the students. The results of the current experiment do not all confirm the findings of the previous, introductory experiment. Globally, the findings are consistent. However, the present ones are much more detailed and complete (especially on the level of text comprehension). The previous experiment did indicate a better result on the short-term vocabulary test after reading the texts in the marked condition. Nevertheless, since the internal consistency scores of the current tests were higher than the previous ones, it may be assumed that the current results are more reliable. On the other hand, the p-value of this particular effect is here .059, which is not statistically significant when a 5% level of significance is maintained. However, I believe that this value indicates that further research might not be redundant. The fact that no significant effect could be established is perhaps due to the population of the study. Indeed, the present study was conducted with students who probably have a rather high and advanced level of French, especially when compared to other cultural backgrounds: they all had 9 years of French as a second language and live in a country where French is one of three official languages (also Dutch and German). It is possible that the results would be completely different with students at the beginning or intermediate level, coming from different cultural backgrounds. It might also be the case that the basic assumption that more intensive clicking leads to better results on the vocabulary test -- as was suggested by previous research on glosses -- is one that should be reconsidered. Indeed, when computing the Pearson product moment correlation coefficient with the results of the vocabulary test and the time applied to clicking, a .329* correlation was achieved for the marked condition and a .270* correlation for the unmarked condition (= significant at the .05 level). These are significant but very weak correlations. Summarising, the present experiment made it possible to evaluate what influence the signalling-mode of electronic glosses has on vocabulary learning, text comprehension and the reading process. Indeed, when foreign-language learners read a text where the link with the gloss is visible (highlighted), they are more willing to consult the gloss. However, this increased clicking does not slow down the reading process, nor does it increase the vocabulary learned incidentally. On the contrary, when reading a text in a condition with invisible links, the students' clicking will be less excessive and better determined, leaving room for context derivation, which, in the long-term however, does not particularly have a positive effect on vocabulary learning. The fact of highlighting or not highlighting the hyperlink does not have an impact on text comprehension either. Apparently, the readers seem to adapt their reading strategies and vocabulary learning strategies to the screen-situation they are confronted with. The reading task then does not alter the clicking behaviour of the students since they still click considerably more when visible links are presented, even when carrying out a specific reading task. However, the reading task did influence the students' vocabulary learning: A content-oriented reading task seems to decrease the reader's attention for vocabulary. Nevertheless, in a future follow-up investigation, some issues of the present experiment could still be improved, for instance, the way in which the study dealt with prior knowledge. I think my reasons for not including a pre-test in the experiment are defendable. The vocabulary test was based upon results with similar students and in co-operation with the students' teaching assistants. By asking the students whether they knew the word before, a means of verification was included. In the end, 30% of the words of the original vocabulary test was not taken into consideration, yet an internally consistent vocabulary test was kept with the remaining items. As far as text comprehension is concerned, some questions could not yet

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the search-and-find question. However. Godwin-Jones. For instance. However. When listening to all 60 students in the interviews. Furthermore. The results of the current research indicate that the learners involved were rather flexible and adapted easily to the material they were confronted with. text comprehension and the reading process are concerned. it should not be forgotten that the Cronbach's alpha values of the free recall were rather low and that therefore the absence of effects or significant correlations could be due to the unreliability of this particular test. 2000). the standard deviation (SD) of the percentage of time applied to clicking is rather high (see Table 4) which is also an indication of differences between the individual students. Moreover.g. especially in the light of today's technological developments.Isabelle De Ridder Visible or Invisible Links… be answered. the overall comprehension test. APPENDIX A Figure 1. It remains to be seen exactly where the differences between the three lie. Visible (highlighted) hyperlinks might be helpful for some learners while disturbing for others. as far as vocabulary learning. Screenshot of the interface using highlights (words in blue and underlined) Language Learning & Technology 138 . The notion of "usability" (see Nielsen. the design of the screen can be instantly adapted to the learning and reading profile of the user (e. I realised that different students might have experienced the different conditions in a different way. I therefore plan to include aspects of cognitive mapping in the research. The kind of research that involves cognitive flexibility and cognitive profiles would undoubtedly be useful.. This would imply that somehow these tests have measured other types of comprehension. the videofiles from the Hypercam™ reveal that within the group of participating students different reading or learning profiles might have been involved. 2000) is becoming a component that online educational settings can no longer ignore.e. In a follow-up investigation. Students whose learning style is one of external regulation and step-by-step processing might benefit more from a highlighted condition than students whose learning style is one of self-regulation and deep-processing (Vermunt & Van Rijswijk. the question can still be raised whether the users should adapt to the design of the screen and not the other way around. no significant correlations could be found between the different text comprehension tests (i. and the free recall). 1987).. With the advent of Dynamic HTML for instance.

Screenshot of the interface without highlights (invisible links) APPENDIX B Table 11.Isabelle De Ridder Visible or Invisible Links… Figure 2. Overview of the Hypothesis of Experiment 2 effect of marking (within-subjects variable) Reading process clicking behaviour total reading time Vocabulary learning Text comprehension Additional testing free recall search-and-find attention positive effect positive effect negative effect positive effect no effect positive effect negative effect negative effect negative effect + interaction effect with marking effect of reading task (between-subjects variable) effect of time (within-subjects variable) negative effect positive effect Language Learning & Technology 139 .

Isabelle De Ridder Visible or Invisible Links… Table 12. Percentage of Time Applied to Clicking. Overview of the Established Effects of Experiment 2 effect of marking (within-subjects variable) Reading process clicking behaviour total reading time Vocabulary learning Text comprehension Additional testing free recall search-and-find attention APPENDIX C no effect no effect no effect positive effect no effect no effect no effect negative effect negative effect no effect negative effect but no interaction effect effect of reading task (between-subjects variable) effect of time (within-subjects variable) Figure 3. Within-Subjects and Between Subjects Variable Language Learning & Technology 140 .

Vocabulary Test in Percentage. Within-Subjects and Between-Subjects Variable Figure 5. Vocabulary Test in Percentage.Isabelle De Ridder Visible or Invisible Links… Figure 4. 2 Within-Subjects Variables Language Learning & Technology 141 .

N of cases = 60 5. α = . However. In text 1 about the diamond industry: cautioler (to guarantee). immediately after reading. rummérer (to rime). 2. α = . α = . immediately after reading. α = . N of items = 35. The Cronbach's alpha of the free recalls: Text 1. pourver (to push to extremes). 3. α = .8015. delayed.5862. 8476. N of cases = 30 Language Learning & Technology 142 . In text 2 about the human capital in business: éloxer (to remove). α = . Text 1. N of items = 38 Text 2.8133. Text 1. α = . It is possible that the students left the pop-up window open while rereading the sentence or while copying vocabulary on paper. immediately after reading. (1996) give a detailed overview of these factors with full bibliographical references. delayed. 8208. Text 2. The vocabulary tests have a very high reliability index (Cronbach's alpha): Text 1. berluter (to encounter).8606. delayed. Other factors seem to have a positive influence on incidental vocabulary learning. N of items = 30. Text 2. le desti (the challenge). α = . N of cases = 60 When applying the filter of pre-knowledge: Text 1. these activities can be categorised under "consultation" of a gloss. mettre en devore (to incite). 8254. delayed. Hulstijn et al.8677. immediately after reading.Isabelle De Ridder Visible or Invisible Links… Figure 6. None of the log-times of glosses proved to be enormously long. N of cases = 60 Text 2. être hardelé à (to be authorised to). 8423. 4. α = . α = . N of items = 22 Text 2.5709. Within-Subjects and Between Subjects Variable NOTES 1. Text Comprehension Test in Percentage.

p <. only an effect of time was found.58)=26.5773. reading task.576. p >.171.58)= . For all of the students involved. 9.40.58)=2. p <.Isabelle De Ridder Visible or Invisible Links… 6. . this results in a (fairly reliable) test where preknowledge is absolutely excluded. 13. one can test null hypotheses about the effects of both the within-subjects and the between-subjects factors.58)=1. A GLM Repeated Measures Model including "session" and "time" as within variables and "reading task" as a between variable yields no significant effect of session.58)=14. When only taking into account the non-existent words. p >.05.333** (= significant at the . 8. On the other hand. time*reading task.58)=. since correlations between both tests are not significant (Pearson product moment coefficients: marked. the vocabulary test of the first session (marked or unmarked) was completely unexpected.005* < . marking*task*time. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I am very grateful to Gert Rijlaarsdam and Luuk Van Waes for reading and commenting on various drafts of this paper.e. F (1. p < . . p >. p = . All the results were analysed with a General Linear Model (GLM). reading task. There are no interaction effects: marking*reading task. Cronbach's α = . It is possible that in the second session.05 level). F (1. Thirty seven out of 60 students took notes: 12 in the group with the general reading task and 25 in the group with the specific reading task. F (1.05.58)=8.62. The results of these general questions and interviews have been analysed but did not reveal any relevant differences. on which they are asked to produce an oral reaction (i. F (1.05.992. Repeated Measures (unless otherwise indicated). Cronbach's α = .58)=2. the correlation between text comprehension and vocabulary learning obtained is not all that strong: For the marked condition a correlation of .05).172 (not significant) was obtained and for the unmarked condition . p >. F (1. I am also indebted to Mariëlle Leyten for her help in analysing the recalls.144). There is no interaction effect between the within-subjects variable and the between-subjects variable.58.58)=13.05. 12. Finally. Reliability: Text 1. I would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions.10. I have therefore chosen not to report them within the scope of this article.. N of cases = 60 The results on this test have been analysed with a GLM repeated measures and confirm the results of the overall vocabulary test. The fact that the free recall was performed before the students took the comprehension test did not have a facilitating effect on the latter.05.219. 10. Language Learning & Technology 143 . unmarked.05.05. F (1.71. When computing a Pearson product moment coefficient. These results are confirmed when taking into account the percentage of words clicked.58)=1. F (1. no interaction effects were established.58)=17. F (1. The results show that marking and reading task have a significant effect on the student's clicking behaviour: marking: F (1.75.40. 14. 7.311. Using the GLM-procedure.05. p >. These authors propose to confront the students with an auditory signal during writing. p < .7426.05. N of items = 4 Text 2. This is a Repeated Measures Analysis of Variance (an ANOVA for Repeated Measures). marking has no significant effect on vocabulary learning. say "stop"). p = . F (1.58)=1.05). F (1.53. p < . 11. marking*time. The results show that on the one hand.05. time and reading task do have a significant effect on vocabulary learning: time.221 > . F (1. the students might have expected a similar test.

Brett. (1989). A. Using multimedia: A descriptive investigation of incidental language learning. Hillsdale. Over de grenzen van de taalbeheersing. McKeown & M. She is currently a fourth year PhD student at the University of Antwerp (UFSIA). A. D. 39-53. CALL and the learning community (pp.). D. UK: Longman. (1999). & Yamazaki. Proceedings of the VIOT conference in Delft.. Hypermedia 4(3).ac.. (1994). (1987). Consulting on-line dictionary information while reading. L.Isabelle De Ridder Visible or Invisible Links… ABOUT THE AUTHOR Isabelle De Ridder graduated in 1993 in romance languages and has been a foreign language teacher ever since. (1972). B. Language Learning & Technology 144 . Journal of verbal learning and verbal behaviour 11. Reading from paper versus reading from screens: A critical review of the empirical literature. (1996). Castrillo. M. Language Learning 44(3).. Dillon. R. & Tan. & Konopak. & Van Waes. (2000). Brett. R. R. (1997). (2000). E-mail: isabelle. Learning word meanings from written context... A. The Netherlands: SDU. & REFERENCES Benítez. (1992). A comparative study of the effects of the use of multimedia on listening comprehension. The effects of line length and method of movement on patterns of reading from screen.. Visible Language 32(2). 183-198. L. In N. & Kipping. Reading tasks. Ergonomics 35.L. Fisher. Craik. De Ridder. The Netherlands] (pp.. Classroom interaction. Cerezal. S. (1992). I. Levels of processing: A framework for memory record. 183-195. P. 179-200.. comprehension. E. 73-87). Gemarkeerde hyperlinks en hun invloed op het leesproces. Curtis (Eds. I. C. I. De Ridder. Modern Language Journal 80(2). L. Chun. G. G.. Effects of multimedia annotations on vocabulary acquisition. UK: ELM Bank Publications. P. The nature of vocabulary acquisition (pp. vocabulary acquisition and text comprehension]. 1730. (1998). P. J . Lezingen gehouden op het VIOT congres in Delft [Over the borders of language competence. 449-491. C.. 145-169. In M. Wright. A. M. NJ: Erlbaum. Are we still reading or just following links? In K. Harlow. Cameron (Ed. Black.. P. & F. and the acquisition of word meanings. Dyson. (1997).). Visual displays: the highlighting paradox. Exeter. Language Learning & Technology 1(1). M. Y. 381-391). 60-81.. & Norman. (1988). (1998). Chun. Are we conditioned to follow links? Highlights in CALL-materials and their impact on the reading process. Ellis. 151-181. & Suárez. F.. 67-84. J.. C. J. 195-116). J. System 25(1). M. K. Ummelen. Human Factors 31(1). De Ridder.. D.deridder@ua. L. Den Haag. Maes (Eds. & Plass. Tanaka. de woordenschatverwerving en het tekstbegrip [Marked hyperlinks and their influence on reading process. & Plass. Black. Computer Assisted Language Learning 13(2). Drum.). Computer Assisted Language Learning 11(2). 1297-1326. K. Research on text comprehension in multimedia environments. Her research focuses on online reading in a foreign language and screen design implications. N. D. C. Neutelings.

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b) ensures that over the course of these texts. 147-164 PROVIDING CONTROLLED EXPOSURE TO TARGET VOCABULARY THROUGH THE SCREENING AND ARRANGING OF TEXTS Sina Ghadirian McGill University.Language Learning & Technology http://llt.msu. Sternberg. and a knowledge of the words necessary for the student to be able to resume incidental vocabulary learning. guessing unfamiliar words from context becomes extremely difficult or impossible. consisting mainly of high-frequency words. 1987). most or all target words are encountered five or more times. involving the sorting of 293 Voice of America news texts. 6. such that each new text contains a reasonably small number of new target words and a maximum number of familiar words. In other words. Montreal ABSTRACT This article considers the problem of how to bring foreign language students with a limited vocabulary knowledge. This is because the low-frequency words found in unsimplified texts make up too large a proportion of those texts. ISSN 1094-3501 147 . however. then. THE PROBLEM: L1 VERSUS L2 VOCABULARY ACQUISITION There is considerable evidence that L1 learners acquire a large amount of their vocabulary through guessing from context (Nagy & Herman. 1 pp. This is made possible by a recently developed computer program that sorts through a collection of texts and a) finds texts with a suitably high proportion of target words. that foreign language students do not undergo the same rich and varied exposure to vocabulary (Singleton. is how to expand a student's vocabulary knowledge to the point where he or she recognizes enough of the words in unsimplified texts to be able to guess unfamiliar words from context. and then having students learn these word families by reading texts in an order that allows for the incremental introduction of target vocabulary. The problem can be broken into two parts: a) Which words are needed in order to bridge this gap? b) Which methods should be used to teach these words quickly and effectively? Copyright © 2001. Research suggests. As a January 2002. ensure that the learner will eventually come across most new words in a context where the word is guessable. A computer-based study. It proposes bridging the vocabulary gap by first determining whic h word families account for 95% of the target domain's running words. and c) creates an order for reading these texts. and b) the number of target vocabulary items occurring fewer than five times could be kept to a minimum when the list of target vocabulary accounted for 96% of the domain's running words. The problem. 1987. Vol. since there are not enough familiar words in the text for the learner to use as clues. The frequency at which the L1 learner encounters words. to the point where they are able to adequately comprehend authentic texts in a target domain or genre. Put another way: what is needed is a strategy for bridging the gap between a knowledge of the kinds of high-frequency words found in elementary texts. rather than 95%. resulted in the finding that a) the introduction of new target vocabulary in each text could be kept to a reasonably small amount for the majority of texts. 1999). Num. although EFL elementary-level students quickly learn many of the highfrequency words that occur in teaching materials. they experience a breakdown in their ability to guess from context when faced with the much lower frequency words found in unsimplified texts. and the variety of contexts in which words are encountered.

. however. it may be more feasible to focus on moving the student from elementary-level texts to texts in a specific domain or genre. Unpublished research by the author suggests that domain-specific word families (defined by their greater frequency of occurrence in a narrow range of texts circumscribed by the domain) account for more than 4% of academic economics texts' tokens. How to Get 95 % Coverage in Academic Texts Researchers interested in vocabulary acquisition by students enrolled in ESP (English for Specific Purposes) courses point out that just over 90% of the running words in academic texts can be accounted for by two word-lists. academic texts contain a number of word families specific to the academic domain that is the subject of the text (Sutarsyah. Studies by Liu & Nation (1985) and Laufer (1989) point toward 95% as the amount of coverage required in order for a reader to adequately understand a text and guess new words from context. is still not able to adequately comprehend the text. 148 Language Learning & Technology . researchers working with an economics textbook found that word families from the GSL and UWL accounted for over 91% of tokens in the text. 1994). that about 80% of the running words (tokens) in any English text are accounted for by the 2. One strategy that has shown much promise over the last few years is vocabulary instruction via computerbased concordancing. and Richman (1971) pointed out. 1995).Sina Ghadirian Providing Controlled Exposure to Target Vocabulary… Which Words Carroll.000 most frequent word families of English -. has proven difficult. we can conclude that for academic texts it is possible to come up with a reasonably-sized combination of word lists (GSL at 2. West's General Service List (GSL. Cobb and Horst (1999) argue that a concordance-based tutor has three advantages over incidental reading-based and traditional word list learning strategies: a) computer concordancing conserves the efficiency of list targeting while allowing for exposure to the new word in multiple contexts. & Kennedy. Davies. Nation. 1984) -. thus bringing the total to 95%.which is made up of words frequently found in academic texts (Nation & Hwang. 1953) -. while ensuring that each item is supplied with some form of meaningful context. Finding a reasonably-sized vocabulary list that accounts for 95% of the tokens of all unsimplified texts.000 most frequent word families1 of English. and c) the learner can choose among the example sentences generated by the concordancer for one that makes sense to him or her (Cobb & Horst.2 In addition.3 If we assume that this figure holds true for other academic domains. Nation (1990) has drawn to our attention the importance of knowing these word families to reading comprehension. the next question to consider is which method is best suited to acquainting students with the word families on this list quickly and effectively. First. Instead. as there are usually multiple instances of the word in the corpus). In response to this problem. Knowing these word families should allow learners to comprehend the texts and attempt to guess the remaining 5% of tokens from context. b) it allows for a way to ensure that each word is encountered a minimum of five times. In one study. relevant to the second argument.300 word families + UWL at 800 word families + economics domain list at 460 word families) that accounts for 95% coverage of the text. Which Method Once a word list or combination of word lists accounting for 95% of tokens in the target domain has been found. At issue for these researchers is how to integrate the speed of explicit instruction with the traditional benefits of readingbased vocabulary acquisition. A reader who is familiar with 80% of the tokens in a text. a study by Saragi. a number of instructional strategies have been devised which attempt to teach target vocabulary items quickly. Note that. 2001). however. any word that exists in the corpus can be viewed by the student surrounded by its immediate context (or contexts. Some interesting solutions to this problem have been suggested by researchers interested in the problem of ESP vocabulary acquisition. Subsequently. a computer-based corpus is created by scanning texts in the students' target domain into a computer. nearly three decades ago.which includes the 2. 1994).and Xue & Nation's University Word List (UWL. and estimated the number of domain-specific word families at 460 (Sutarsyah et al.

can be resolved. My contention is that the three problems mentioned above -. before they come across a target word). it presents the program's strategy for providing controlled exposure to target vocabulary as a pla usible means of bringing this acquisition about. think about correct versus incorrect usage of the word. 4 Other computer-based lexical tutors have been drawing attention in recent years. guessing new target words from context is difficult or impossible. Developing these skills may be crucial to further reading (and again. etc. and how many are introduced to the reader in each text. as both researchers point out. however. students using CAVOCA are introduced to a word by having to guess the word from context. in haphazard fashion. the high proportion of unfamiliar words in unsimplified texts ensures that for L2 learners with a limited vocabulary of high-frequency words. Rather. Finally. and arranging texts by means of a recently developed computer program (Ghadirian. Specifically. read the word in the context of example sentences. (Note that this article does not attempt to prove that using the program does result in measurable vocabulary acquisition. since. recognizing genre.) Of course. They can be resolved by carefully selecting. which attempt to move Language Learning & Technology 149 . and c) even if a and b were not problems. this program a) finds texts with a suitably high proportion of target words. ideally. Graded reading schemes. b) ensures that over the course of these texts most or all target words are encountered five or more times. this is not the first attempt at regulating texts' vocabulary content for the purpose of optimizing vocabulary acquisition and reading comprehension. and c) creates an order for reading these texts such that each new text contains a minimum number of new words and a maximum number of familiar words. there may be good reason for encouraging reading-based vocabulary acquisition over non-reading-based strategies. The three major complaints about reading-based vocabulary acquisition are that a) it is an inefficient strategy for learning target words (readers must wade through many other words. which. that is. and finally produce the word in a CLOZE exercise. is not necessarily best-suited to ESP purposes. and c) the breakdown in learning new words that occurs because students do not recognize enough familiar words in the text -. Hence. The pleasure that many learners experience when reading a whole text is also an important factor to consider. to improve the reading-based acquisition of target vocabulary by applying careful control over what words are contained in the texts. 2000). important reading skills are exercised during the reading of whole texts that are not exercised during the reading of example sentences (making predictions. this kind of rigorous involvement with the word should encourage deeper processing and longer-term retention than traditional learning strategies like bilingual word list memorization.a) the difficulty of finding texts with a high proportion of target words.Sina Ghadirian Providing Controlled Exposure to Target Vocabulary… Nation. Such a program is designed. Of note is a tutor developed by Peter Groot (2000) named CAVOCA (Computer Assisted VOCabulary Acquisition). According to Groot. there is no guarantee it will be encountered five or more times. PROVIDING CONTROLLED EXPOSURE TO TARGET VOCABULARY THROUGH THE SCREENING AND ARRANGING OF TEXTS The strategies mentioned above offer alternatives to reading-based incidental vocabulary learning. in effect. how often they occur throughout the texts. CAVOCA is designed to operationalize current theories about how lexical storage works. further vocabulary learning). learn more words). Krashen (1989) has argued vigorously that extensive reading is the only strategy that provides the learner with complete and nonsuperficial knowledge of a word. b) the difficulty of knowing whether a reader has encountered a word five or more times.). b) even if a target word is encountered during reading. it creates the motivation to read more (and hence. screening. & Meister (1978) has shown that a word needs to be encountered at least five times in order to be well retained. to create the conditions for what we might call "controlled" or "optimized" reading-based vocabulary acquisition. If these three problems could somehow be resolved.

then. b) five or more instances of each target word occur throughout the texts. Note that articles considered graduate-level reading are not a good choice. If the word list or combination of word lists really does consistently account for 95% of tokens in texts from the target domain. together. These differences involve the amount of new vocabulary required to bridge the gap between texts at consecutive levels. As we shall see. I have talked about a program that provides controlled exposure to target words by supplying the reader with a sequence of texts in which a) target words make up a large proportion of each text. various studies suggest that students need to be familiar with 95% of the tokens in a text in order to adequately understand that text. Once the texts have been collected by the ESP instructor. The texts that remain Language Learning & Technology 150 . and c) the texts are ordered in such a way that each text contains a maximum number of familiar words and a minimum number of new target words. The first step. can provide 95% token coverage of academic texts related to economics. Once that is done. A good choice would probably be news stories related to economics or business. To assist my explanation. have been around for quite a while. there are important differences between learning vocabulary from graded readers and learning vocabulary from texts arranged by the program mentioned above. 2000) as it screens texts and sorts them into this sequence. TextLadder takes over. and academic articles suitable for the undergraduate level. however their experience with economics-related texts in English varies from limited exposure to no exposure whatsoever. Ghadirian. he/she should be able to understand the text. All the students have received bachelor degrees in economics. Their immediate need. this criterion is not met for graduate-level texts. before TextLadder even becomes involved. the next step is to scan these texts onto the computer. TextLadder's first task is to check each text to see whether 95% of the tokens in the text are accounted for by the three word lists. Therefore. but whether or not proper nouns qualify as "familiar vocabulary" is a complicated question that is discussed in more detail later) Texts that do not make the 95% cut-off are dropped. learning the word families from these three lists (the GSL. As the students are at the beginning of their graduate program.5 Providing Controlled Exposure to Target Vocabulary: The Process of Selecting and Arranging Texts So far. is to be able to read English academic texts related to economics as quickly as possible. is for the ESP instructor to find a large number of relatively short texts (article or news story-sized would be ideal) that conceivably contain words from these lists in a high proportion. As well. As mentioned previously. However. proper nouns can be included in this 95%. An important criterion of text selection at this stage is that if the texts were somehow translated into the students' L1 they would be comprehensible. the incremental nature of the program's sorting process ensures that the reader is familiar with the list words found in that text by the time he or she reaches it. The criterion at work here is this: If the reader knows all the words from the three lists found in that text. from the point of view of the students' vocabulary needs. Imagine a classroom located in a country where English is not the first language and made up of students who are beginning a master's degree program in Economics.Sina Ghadirian Providing Controlled Exposure to Target Vocabulary… learners through a sequence of vocabulary levels by having them read texts suited to the levels. I have already said that researchers have been able to identify three word lists that. and the economics specialty-words list) takes priority over learning any other kind of vocabulary. as I discuss elsewhere in the article. (Optionally. is explain the criteria used by TextLadder (the computer program briefly described above. They have been informed that over the course of their master's degree program texts written in English will be among the readings assigned. What I wish to do at this point. the UWL. I am going to draw on a hypothetical ESP teaching situation involving students with specific vocabulary needs. then. then only a small number of texts will in fact be eliminated.

and economics list words are added. & Greidanus [1996] has highlighted the reluctance students often demonstrate toward using paper-based dictionaries in reading situations. there remain words that were encountered fewer than five times. and c) the text's position on the sequence list (in general. If. Before reading the text. In the following section. The program repeats this process over and over until no more unfamiliar list words remain in any of the texts. Textladder moves on to the sorting process. UWL. I do not mean to say that the word in the text has to be an exact replica of the word in the pool. Once this text is found." This familiar words pool consists. Proper nouns and other words not on the lists are not added. TextLadder keeps track of the number of times a word is encountered over the course of all the texts with which it is dealing. or be a derived form of the same base word. In short.) The program now repeats the process of looking through the texts.e. over the course of the preceding paragraphs. It does this by comparing the words of each text with a pool of "familiar words.Sina Ghadirian Providing Controlled Exposure to Target Vocabulary… will be representative of the target domain: 95% of their tokens (or slightly less. Let me now elaborate. The program sifts through the collection of texts and finds the text with the smallest number of unfamiliar words. The unfamiliar list words found in each text are displayed prior to that text.g. basic colours. The word in the text can vary in certain allowable ways: it can be pluralized. UWL. the text is placed first on the "sequence list" (the list which describes the order in which the texts should be read). the 176 words most frequently encountered in English language texts) and an assortment of other words that are found in a broad range of elementary texts: basic numbers. and its unfamiliar words are added to the familiar words pool. Notice that there will always be a certain number of unfamiliar words for each new text. The number of unfamiliar words per text varies depending on a) the size of the text itself. of course. days of the week. TextLadder comes across a word that is apparently derived from a familiar base word but in fact has a Language Learning & Technology 151 . if proper nouns are allowed) will be words found in the GSL. Hollander. it compares the words of each text with the words of the (now slightly enlarged) familiar words pool. by the end of the whole sorting process. Again. and so forth. the number of unfamiliar words for the first few texts will be high). A third note. direct teaching or the construction of customized texts). Notice too that. in the previous discussion I said that TextLadder judges a word in the text to be "familiar" if it matches a word in the familiar words pool. preferably a computer-based one accessible either on CD-ROM or via the Internet..) The rationale for this kind of pre-reading dictionary activity is that the resulting superficial knowledge of the word attended to will be reinforced during the actual reading of the text and further reinforced by encounters with the word in new contexts over the course of succeeding texts.e. the student is asked to acquaint him/herself with these words through the use of a bilingual dictionary. a fuller discussion is provided on how the number of target words occurring fewer than five times can be kept to a minimum. the general criterion for a "match" is that the two words belong to the same word family (i. The instructor then has a number of options concerning how to make further encounters with the words possible (e. only the unfamiliar words that are also GSL. it is placed second on the sequence list. TextLadder informs the instructor of these words. and its words added to the familiar words pool. of high-frequency words of the kind taught in elementary-level EFL texts. with certain differences).7 In some cases. initially. (A study by Hulstijn. Once the elimination process is completed. and economics word lists. as well as the number of times each of these words was encountered. To be more precise. The meaning of "matches" needs to be clarified. Level 6 of Bauer & Nation [1993].. 6 Once the text with the fewest number of unfamiliar words is found. b) the number of texts that were ultimately selected to undergo sorting (the greater the number of texts. (Note that. trying to find the text with the smallest number of unfamiliar words. have a different verb tense.. the fewer unfamiliar words per text). it consists of the first 176 words of the GSL (i. I have not explained how the fiveencounters-per-word criterion is satisfied.

a fact that allows the instructor to use a word list. At the end.g. Rather.. no guarantee that the texts. of course. A partial answer to this problem is that the instructor only focus on the structures and tenses that most commonly occur in texts from the target domain/genre. and economics word list) are encountered. An important article by Flowerdew (1993) describes how computer concordancing can be used to focus on which grammatical structures. TextLadder should recognize these units. The texts on the list are ordered in such a way that reading and comprehending each new text should not be a struggle for the student: The number of words that have to be learned (via the pre-reading dictionary exercise) in order to understand each text is at a minimum. this is not a prerequisite. the instructor has a list of texts throughout which all the words from the three lists necessary for comprehending the complete set of texts (including those not on the sequence list) are encountered.. so that the student is not overwhelmed by these words during the reading.g.g. The majority of them have been encountered five or more times. or combination of word lists. Multi-Word Units A second problem concerns multi-word units. In fact. There is. However. concordancing. In the meantime. When TextLadder comes across the phrasal verb "blow up.) before they learn them in the classroom. in order to finish. not only is TextLadder unable to recognize phrasal verbs. (TextLadder is not be able to catch all these cases but it should be able to catch most of them. and discursive formations are most used in a given text or group of texts.. TextLadder does not ensure that all the words on all three lists (GSL. or two a day for a one semester course. TextLadder does not consider the two words a match. the passive voice. It is conceivable that TextLadder could be modified in a future version to allow for this. In such cases. If the number of texts scanned onto the computer is large enough. FIVE POTENTIAL PROBLEMS Grammar An important issue to consider once the sequence list has been produced is how to guarantee that the student has the necessary grammatical knowledge to tackle each text as s/he comes to it." it does not recognize the entire unit but only the individual words of which it is made. The number of texts is substantial (probably somewhere between 150 and 300 news story-length texts). notional areas. "home run") or an idiomatic expression (e. Whether reliable learning can actually take place at this pace is a separate question that is not dealt with in this paper. Language Learning & Technology 152 . students will come across structures in the text (e. etc. and factor their presence into the overall comprehensibility of the text. it ensures that all the words from these lists that occur in all the texts being sorted through are encountered.. This is not an easy problem to solve. (I estimate that the students must read one text a day over the course of an average two-semester course. "homely"). be it a compound noun (e. In many cases. This may allow the instructor to streamline his/her instruction so that the material most relevant to immediately comprehending the texts can be taught earlier and later expanded on over the course of subsequent classes.) There is one more note to consider before we wrap up our example. UWL. the present perfect continuous tense.g. and the instructor is confronted with some difficult decisions concerning pace. then conceivably all the words in all the lists would be encountered. sequenced for incremental vocabulary acquisition.Sina Ghadirian Providing Controlled Exposure to Target Vocabulary… completely different meaning (e. which is larger than is strictly necessary. it is unable to recognize any multi-word unit.) The heavy workload is hopefully offset for the students in the class by the satisfaction derived from understanding each text and seeing recently encountered words appear in subsequent texts. include them in the prereading activity. This is obviously problematic since students may understand the individual words making up a multi-word unit without comprehending the unit itself. "make a run for it"). Ideally. will also be sequenced for incremental introduction of grammatical usage.

if the latter text contained more low-encounter familiar words. if we include the original dictionary activity). has been seen by the student in the pre-reading activity at the beginning of the text. there is a good chance s/he does not remember it well. of course. Ultimately. then. The word. various studies indicate that a student must be familiar with 95% of the tokens in a text in order to be able to adequately understand the text. This reasoning appears sound. of course. Because of this penalty system.8 Language Learning & Technology 153 . Low-Encounter Words A fourth problem concerns the effect that "familiar" words that have been encountered very few times have on comprehension. a text that has eight unfamiliar words might be placed on the sequence list before a text that has seven unfamiliar words. Proper Nouns Proper nouns present us with another problem. it penalizes texts that have familiar words that have been encountered fewer than five times. which is already an important piece of information. as the student has only encountered the word once (twice. I will draw on a hypothetical situation. Some texts may assume a prior acquaintance with proper nouns that the reader does not in fact have. I have come up with a provisional answer. while one that has been encountered four times will incur the smallest penalty. each one mentioned only once or twice. over the course of the text. is how to factor the number of times familiar words have been encountered into the sorting process. To explain. the situation will be different for every domain and every genre of text. Not selecting the option may mean spending excessive amounts of time locating texts and scanning them into the computer (since the number of texts that can pass the 95% test will obviously be much smaller if proper nouns are not included). and b) the initial capitalized letter of the proper noun informs the reader that it is a proper noun. However. A familiar word that has been encountered once will incur the greatest penalty. A student comes across a word for the first time (we'll say the word is "bargain") in one of the texts. Selecting the option risks the possibility that students may not be able to comprehend the texts (since. and they may contain a large number of these proper nouns scattered over the text. Three or four texts later. Most news stories are careful to introduce proper nouns that are names of people (although place names can be more problematic).Sina Ghadirian Providing Controlled Exposure to Target Vocabulary… in the context described by Flowerdew (1993) could be useful in determining which phrasal verbs and other multi-word units are most common in the texts. But do proper nouns qualify as "familiar"? Hirsh and Nation (1992) have discussed this problem in the context of a specific kind of text: the simplified novel. when the text's proper nouns are completely unfamiliar or unexplained. This is. They present us with two arguments for why proper nouns in simplified novels should be considered as words that do not require previous learning: a) the text reveals what we need to know about the proper nouns as the story progresses. and it is difficult to see why proper nouns in simplified novels that have a low number of high-frequency proper nouns (all of which adequately introduced by the text) should not qualify as part of the 95%. Hirsh and Nation pointed out that the number of proper nouns was small and their frequency of occurrence high in the simplified novels under study. the word is encountered only once. the choice of whether or not to include proper nouns in the 95% is left to the instructor. who must consider the kinds of texts being read and decide whether or not to select the "include proper nouns" option in TextLadder. In a version of TextLadder on which I am currently working. However. Because TextLadder no longer considers it to be an unfamiliar word. the percentage of tokens that the student is in fact familiar with will be below 95%). a worst-case scenario. thus making comprehension of the text more difficult. the student comes across "bargain" once again. Hopefully. As mentioned. Still. As well. "bargain" does not appear in the pre-reading activity. and words that have been encountered five times or more incur no penalty at all. future studies will clarify the question of exactly how proper nouns factor into readers' comprehension of a text. The question. When TextLadder is deciding which text has the fewest unfamiliar words.

initial "familiar words pool" list.e. and 2) that all. s/he will be able to click on the word during the reading of the text and figure out from context which meaning is appropriate. the word tear shows up in a pre-reading dictionary activity. a fact that makes finding the combination of word lists necessary for 95% coverage much easier. the list was supplemented by words from the GSL. there remains a problem. By "simplified news texts. The first step in the study was the compiling of a word list that accounted for 95% of the tokens in Voice of America simplified news texts. consistently accounted for 95% of the tokens in Voice of America texts. even though this tear may bear a different meaning from the first tear. Key News Reader Newspaper stories." I am referring to news stories that have been specifically written for an audience that consists of EFL students. The size of the texts varied between 300 and 1. sub-genre) chosen for the study was Voice of America simplified news texts.9 Next. for example. TextLadder will already consider the word to be a familiar word. The goal of the Voice of America study was to see whether TextLadder would be able to ensure two things: 1) that each text selected for reading contained a reasonably small number of unfamiliar list words.500 words. Say. The next time a student encounters tear in a text. it will be able to differentiate between homographs which are different parts-of-speech. It was found that the Special English word list by itself did not provide 95% coverage. 1997].) It was found that the new list. Which meaning should a student focus on? This problem is partly resolved by the fact that if the student is using a CD-ROM or Internet dictionary. TextLadder was then run and 266 texts made the 95% cut-off and underwent the sorting process. (The LDD and Special English word lists are accessible in a list by Rick Harrison called Vital English Vocabulary [Harrison. and 2) a list of all the target vocabulary encountered Language Learning & Technology 154 . although TextLadder will not be able to differentiate between two homographs which are also the same parts-of-speech. How do we get around this problem? One solution. with corresponding figures describing the amount of new target vocabulary introduced in each text. All parts of the text that were not part of the news story itself were edited out. KXTV abridged news stories. PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS: TEXTLADDER AND VOICE OF AMERICA SIMPLIFIED NEWS TEXTS In order to obtain a quantitative measure of TextLadder's ability to bridge the gap between a limited vocabulary of high-frequency words and an expanded vocabulary consisting of words from a target domain or genre. which suggests that these are the kinds of texts EFL students find useful and of interest. in combination with proper nouns. and the Longman Defining Dictionary (LDD) word list. a genre was chosen and relevant texts amassed. At the end of this process. 293 Voice of America simplified news texts were downloaded onto a computer. which would effectively allow it to tell tear (as in "to rip") from tear (as in "what comes out of your eye when you cry"). This way. However. The genre (or rather. UWL. which has not been implemented yet. of the list words encountered in the selected texts were encountered five times or more.Sina Ghadirian Providing Controlled Exposure to Target Vocabulary… Homographs A final problem concerns homographs. so that TextLadder could be put through a test-run. and CNN abridged news stories (the latter two are also directed at adult L1 students in literacy programs). two pieces of output were produced: 1) a list of the names of the 253 texts selected (i. Texts from this genre are appearing in increasing numbers on the Internet. or most. and b) Voice of America has a large EFL reader/listener base. the "sequence list" mentioned in the last section). Therefore. if read in the appropriate order. My decision to work specifically with Voice of America simplified news texts was made for the following reasons: a) much of the vocabulary in Voice of America simplified news texts is drawn from a list of words called the "Special English" word list. Some examples of simplified news texts include Voice of America Special English news stories. is to have TextLadder run all the texts through a part-of-speech tagging program.

1) Amount of Unfamiliar Target Vocabulary Introduced in Each Text Figure 1 describes how the amount of new target vocabulary introduced per text changes over the course of the 253 texts placed on the sequence list." The latter is determined by dividing the number of unfamiliar list-word tokens in the text by the total number of tokens in the text. it has already dipped below 1%.Sina Ghadirian Providing Controlled Exposure to Target Vocabulary… over the course of the 253 selected texts. when new words make up such a small percentage of those texts (see Appendix B for the actual number of words). Language Learning & Technology 155 . each word accompanied by a figure stating the number of times the word had been encountered. after only 80 texts. when the lowest percentage of unfamiliar words dipped below 5%. The program was allowed to follow the old sorting strategy for the first few texts on the sequence list. Note that "amount of unfamiliar target vocabulary per text" is synonymous with "percentage of unfamiliar list-word tokens in each text. If an accelerated pace of vocabulary learning is the aim. unfamiliar list-words regularly make up less than 1% of the tokens in each text. However. TextLadder looks through the texts and finds the one with the smallest number of unfamiliar words. The question that arises from this result is whether students should invest time and effort in reading those 140 texts (over 55% of the total number of texts on the sequence list). it becomes less desirable later in the sequence. It is only in the last 35 texts that the percentage begins rising back up toward 4%. In the following 140 texts. However. the TextLadder program was modified. Although this sorting strategy is desirable at the beginning when the lowest percentage of unfamiliar words is well over 10%. Amount of new target vocabulary introduced per text As Figure 1 makes clear. the sorting strategy was reversed: TextLadder now began looking for texts with the highest number of unfamiliar list words. As a result of these findings. then the answer is probably no. Figure 1. the percentage of unfamiliar list words in each text is quite high at the beginning. The results proceeding from the adjusted TextLadder program are shown in Figure 2. The problem lies with TextLadder's sorting process: For each slot in the sequence list.

as there are serious doubts as to whether a student reading through the selected texts would effectively learn these words. TextLadder always informs the instructor of the identity of words occurring four times or fewer so that the instructor can take steps to provide the students with exposure to the words through alternate means.) The new version of TextLadder thus created shorter sequence lists than the unadjusted version. which required 253 texts in order to encounter all the list words.12 Figure 3 displays the difference between these two categories. students do not need to read any other texts besides these 216 in order to encounter all the list words in all the texts. as output. and hitting zero after the 216th text. As I have noted before. Figure 3. Language Learning & Technology 156 . (In other words.Sina Ghadirian Providing Controlled Exposure to Target Vocabulary… Figure 2. The words on this list were then divided into two categories: those occurring four times or fewer throughout the selected texts and those occurring five times or more. a list of all the target vocabulary encountered over the course of the selected texts and the number of times each word11 was encountered. words occurring five times or more As the above chart shows. The number of texts in which new list words make up less than 1% of tokens is therefore only 73 texts (those between the 144th and 216th ). Words occurring four times or fewer vs.10 2) Number of List Words Occurring Fewer than Five Times Throughout the Selected Texts TextLadder produced. a substantial number of list words (631) occurred four times or fewer over the course of the selected texts. not dipping below 1% until the 144th text. Amount of new target vocabulary introduced per text (Adjusted) Note that rather than making a steep drop down to 1% within the first 80 texts. the percentage of unfamiliar words now decreases at a much slower rate. significantly fewer than in the unadjusted version of TextLadder. This is clearly a problem. Note also that all the list words in the 266 texts have been encountered after only 216 texts.

000 times or more over the course of four years of The Guardian newspaper. This is done in a way that ensures that higher-frequency low-frequency words (e." I mean that it is not necessary for the student to pre-acquaint him/herself with these words through the pre-reading dictionary exercise or through prior exposure). TextLadder's strategy for selecting which low-frequency words should be learned is to focus on those texts where ignored low-frequency words make up more than 1% of tokens. At this point. is this: A student only needs to be familiar with 95% of the tokens in the text in order to comprehend that text.13 The advantage to having 96% list word/proper noun coverage.14 Once the ignored low-frequency words make up less than 1% of the tokens in all the selected texts. up to 1% of the of the text's tokens can be made up of list words that the student can ignore (by "ignore. supplemented) in order to allow for 96% token coverage of Voice of America simplified news texts. rather than 95%. words occurring five times or more (96% list) Language Learning & Technology 157 . then the student does not in fact need to know all the list words encountered in the text. Indeed. served as the basis for this selection. however. The word list was altered (or rather. some of the low-frequency words do need to be learned. (A word frequencybased analysis of The Guardian produced by Mike Scott [1997].) Once this new list was added to the previous ones. If list words account for 96% of a text's tokens.g. This was done by adding a new list to the combination of lists that already provided 95% coverage. Figure 4 shows the results of running the adjusted TextLadder with a list that provides 96% coverage (including proper nouns) of Voice of America texts. There is a problem. the resulting combination of lists was found to consistently provide 96% coverage of Voice of America simplified news texts (if proper nouns are included in the 96%). Figure 4. List words that occur four times or fewer over the course of all the selected texts (we shall call them "low-frequency words" for convenience) still tend to make up more than 1% of the tokens in individual texts.. This new list was obtained by selecting all the words occurring 1. and the other to TextLadder itself.. 631 words (30% of the total number of words encountered) is clearly too large a load for the instructor to handle.g. it has determined exactly which lowfrequency words still have to be learned in order for a reader to comprehend each of the selected texts. rather than 95%. TextLadder stops. Words occurring four times or fewer vs.Sina Ghadirian Providing Controlled Exposure to Target Vocabulary… However. As a result of this finding. two modifications were made: one to the compiled list of target words providing 95% coverage of Voice of America texts. minus proper nouns. Which list words should be ignored? The best candidates would be the ones that occur four times or fewer over the course of all the selected texts. words that occur four times throughout the selected texts) are selected before lower-frequency low-frequency words (e. low-frequency words are selected for learning until the number of ignored low-frequency words makes up less than 1% of tokens in the text. in order for comprehension to take place. words that occur once throughout the selected texts). From each of these texts. Therefore.

The study also indicates that of the list words occurring four times or fewer throughout the selected texts a significantly smaller number need to be learned when a list providing 96% coverage of the target domain can be obtained.can likely16 be overcome through computer-driven intervention. the number should be even smaller with a list providing 97% coverage. the 250 words above could conceivably be presented to students -. These texts could then be read by the students once they had finished all the texts on the sequence list. (For example. Two important issues.with the appropriate number of repetitions -. when the 96%-coverage list is used. This suggests that using a word list that provides 96% coverage instead of using a word list that provides 95% coverage does not greatly alter the distribution of new vocabulary over the course of the texts on the sequence list. although this was not tested. a significantly smaller number of low-frequency list words is required for comprehension. to a great extent. either through direct vocabulary instruction or through customized text creation. have not been addressed by this study. for the majority of the texts on the sequence list. we can conclude that the 96% coverage list is the better list to use. and b) ensures that a significantly smaller percentage of the target vocabulary that is encountered fewer than five times needs to be learned. Note that TextLadder produces. Presumably. as output.over the course of 10 or so texts designed and written by an instructor expressly for that purpose.Sina Ghadirian Providing Controlled Exposure to Target Vocabulary… As is clear from Figure 4. Amount of new target vocabulary introduced per text (96% list) Note that the results displayed in Figure 5 resemble. These results suggest that two major obstacles to the reading-based acquisition of target vocabulary -namely. CONCLUSION The results of this study show that an adjusted version of TextLadder can ensure that a reasonable amount15 of new vocabulary is introduced in each text. however. Figure 5. a list identifying these 250 words and specifying the number of times they have occurred over the selected texts. the high number of unfamiliar words in each text.) Figure 5 shows the amount of new vocabulary introduced per text. and the insufficient number of repetitions of a target word -. Based on this finding. since it a) allows for a similar amount of new vocabulary to be introduced in each text over the course of a similar number of texts. when the newly-adjusted TextLadder is used in conjunction with a list providing 96% coverage. The instructor can use this information to provide the students with further encounters with the words. the results displayed in Figure 2. Language Learning & Technology 158 .

TextLadder is available at http://www. words occurring six times or more (95%) Figure 7. NUMBER OF LIST WORDS OCCURRING FEWER THAN SIX TIMES THROUGHOUT THE SELECTED TEXTS Figure 6. the study does not deal with how a reader might learn all the words on a given word list. This leaves unanswered the questions of how big a corpus would have to be to include all the words on the list. no attempt has been made to determine whether it in fact results in measurable learning.Sina Ghadirian Providing Controlled Exposure to Target Vocabulary… words occurring six times or more (96% list) Language Learning & Technology 159 . TextLadder is free for research purposes.readingenglish. so that TextLadder's feasibility as a method for optimizing reading-based vocabulary acquisition can be more definitively determined. It is hoped that future studies will address these questions. Words occurring five times or fewer vs. but only those list-words encountered over the course of a miniature corpus consisting of 293 texts. Second. although the TextLadder program has been written with an eye to taking advantage of recent findings in vocabulary acquisition studies. Words occurring five times or fewer vs. APPENDIX A. and how many texts would have to be read in order to encounter all these words.

Number of new list words introduced per text Figure 10. Number of new list worlds introduced per text (96% list) Language Learning & Technology 160 . Figure 8. 9. and 10 correspond with Figures 1. and 5. 2. Number of new list words introduced per text Figure 9. respectively. NEW LIST WORDS INTRODUCED PER TEXT (EXPRESSED AS NUMBERS RATHER THAN AS PERCENTAGES) Note: Figures 8.Sina Ghadirian Providing Controlled Exposure to Target Vocabulary… APPENDIX B.

this size difference is precisely the point: Smaller texts ensure that new vocabulary can be incrementally introduced in smaller. the word lists for four out of six levels did not provide 95% coverage of readers at subsequent levels. testing will have to be done in order to determine which of the factors takes precedence. and so forth. is somewhat arbitrary. the Academic Word List (AWL). 3.) For example. Of course. which requires that the interval between exposures to low-encounter words be decreased. and a frequency list based on the LOB corpus -. 8. I hope to conduct an extensive word-frequency analysis of elementary-level ESL/EFL texts. This list is shorter than the UWL and provides better token coverage for academic texts (10% as opposed to the UWL's 8. Ultimately. 4. In the future..the GSL. Many of the prefixes and a number of suffixes for Levels 5 and 6.3%). in order to better determine which words a post-elementary-level student can be expected to be familiar with. According to an analysis by Nation & Wang (1999) of a set of popular graded readers. more manageable chunks. then two options remain: Language Learning & Technology 161 . Although this approach ensures maximum comprehensibility for each new text. 2. If it is found that students are irrecoverably forgetting words in the prolonged interval between exposures. Such a situation might make acquisition of the word less likely. 1996). 7. 1993). 6. and connectable are subsumed by a single word family (Bauer & Nation. are not considered when determining a match. A new list.provides better token coverage (83. that applying careful control over the amount of new vocabulary introduced in each text can help mitigate this problem. There is also evidence that the GSL may not be the best general service vocabulary list available. the graded readers are much longer than the texts used by the program. a frequency list based on the Brown corpus. numbers. then. even when proper nouns were allowed to be part of that coverage. The use of shorter texts to sequence the introduction of new vocabulary has been attempted in a recent study (Worthington & Nation. 5. which are news story-sized. thereby making it more likely that the student will forget the word in that interval. and found to be problematic due to the varying rate of vocabulary introduction: a very large amount of vocabulary is introduced over the first few texts. Clearly. The difference between word list sizes of any two consecutive levels (i. connect. the number of words needed to bridge the vocabulary gap between any two consecutive texts arranged by the computer program varies between 1 and 25 words. 2000).4%) than the GSL itself (82. it may also create new problems by prolonging the interval between encounters of low-encounter words. while texts later in the sequence contain very little new vocabulary.e. and discussed in detail in Note #12. It is still uncertain whether or not the percentage remains above 4% when frequently occurring proper nouns are removed from the list of domain-specific words. The choice of the first 176 words of the GSL along with basic colours.Sina Ghadirian Providing Controlled Exposure to Target Vocabulary… NOTES 1. This issue is brought up again later in the article. A study by Nation and Hwang (1995) suggests that a 1.5%). In contrast. disconnect. However. for example. the "vocabulary gap" between texts at those levels) averaged out to about 400 words. as the basis for the initial familiar words pool. and the need to reduce the likelihood of forgetting. A word family consists of the base form of a word and all the inflected and derived forms of it that can be understood by a learner without having to learn them separately. however. there is a tension between the need for increased comprehensibility. The number of encounters required for learning is controversial. has recently been developed (Coxhead. The last section of the present study attempts to demonstrate.945-word family list consisting of the various overlaps between three word lists -. (This will depend to a great extent on the learner's command of prefixes and suffixes. which requires that the interval between exposures to low-encounter words be increased.

It then checks to see whether any texts remain in which ignored low-frequency words make up more than 1% of tokens. it selects words that occur four times throughout the selected texts for learning. and an even greater increase for six encounters. 12. A summary of the results obtained with a threshold of six. Note that only one word per word family appears on the list.. However. To explain why a threshold of five encounters was chosen. 1998). that encountering a word five or six times over an extended period of time (e. It checks again. The new combination of lists provided 96% token coverage (including proper nouns) for 88% of domain texts tested. These results. 10. Anderson. the reasoning being that if the reader is familiar with the words surrounding the word in question. A more recent study by Rott (1999) showed a significant increase in learning for students exposed to a word six times. i. The question of whether five or six encounters will suffice for acquisition. As mentioned. & Spada (2001) suggests that the minimum number of exposures necessary for learning is dependent on the student's prior vocabulary size. Pearson. at eight exposures (e. greater than 1% and less than 10% 16.g. The process of selecting low-frequency (list) words for learning is described here in more detail. then repeats. or b) actually reverse the penalty system. a threshold of five encounters was provisionally chosen. like those of the Saragi et al. (1978) study which showed a significant increase in learning when a new word was encountered five times. Other studies have placed this threshold higher.. it focuses on those texts. See Note #8 for details on how TextLadder might be modified to decrease the interval between word encounters and thereby perhaps increase the likelihood of acquisition. then the exposure will lead to better acquisition. a very recent study by Zahar. & Nagy. will have to be determined by future research. The list provided 95% token coverage (including proper nouns) for 91% of domain texts tested. compared to students exposed to the word two or four times. it checks to see how many +1% texts remain. 1987). Cobb. 9. From those texts. the selection process is stopped.e. study. For this reason. 13. or even twenty (Herman. See Note #12. note that TextLadder was adjusted in this second version to not place texts on the sequence list if they contained more than 25 unfamiliar words. however. If so. This assumes that acquisition of a word after 5 or 6 encounters is possible when extended time intervals between encounters are involved. Cobb. Once again.. & Meara. The studies mentioned above all involved studying vocabulary acquisition over a relatively short time period. if TextLadder finds no remaining texts in which ignored low-frequency words make up more than 1% of tokens. selecting low-frequency words that occur three times throughout the selected texts. It should not be taken for granted. one or two semesters) will result in acquisition of the word.g. Also. Language Learning & Technology 162 . is available in Appendix A. TextLadder focuses on texts where ignored low-frequency words up make up more than 1% of tokens. This restriction had the effect of saving longer texts for last. TextLadder's incremental approach to vocabulary introduction and its system of privileging highencounter words attempt to ensure that students will already be familiar with most of the words that form the context of low-encounter words. Horst. which TextLadder allows to be increased to six. 14. so that texts with high numbers of low-encounter words are "rewarded" and placed earlier on the sequence list rather than later. et al. 11. 15. At any point.Sina Ghadirian Providing Controlled Exposure to Target Vocabulary… a) simply remove the penalty system. then focuses on those texts and selects low-frequency words that occur two times throughout the selected texts. selecting words that occur once throughout the texts. suggest a threshold somewhere in the vicinity of five or six encounters. I refer back to the Saragi. for TextLadder-processed texts read over an extended period of time. rather than five. regardless of the percentage.

B. M.. Reading Research Quarterly. (1993).net/langlab/vitaleng. 69-75). I. J. (1992). 207-223. 21(2).mcgill. R. J. (1990). & Horst.ghadirian@mail. (1996). & Nation.. I. 440-464. Clevedon. (2000). NJ: Erlbaum. E. 263-284. & Richman. Coxhead. J. The Modern Language Journal. His research interests include vocabulary acquisition and computer-assisted language learning (CALL). Hirsh. S. Carroll. from http://www. 80. Pearson. System. The Modern Language Journal. Language Learning & Technology. Krashen.html. Hulstijn. Peacock (Eds. 34(2).. P. D. Teaching and learning vocabulary. (1993). Vital English Vocabulary word list. (1987). Nation. S. Ghadirian. T. 11(2). Retrieved February 27. 2001.. RELC Journal. (1989). UK: Multilingual Matters. International Journal of Lexicography. Flowerdew.rick. Reading in a Foreign Language. 60-81. G. D. B. Beyond a clockwork orange: Acquiring second language vocabulary through reading. (1971).. What vocabulary size is needed to read unsimplified texts for pleasure? Reading in a Foreign Language.. The nature of vocabulary acquisition (pp. (1997). P. Flowerdew. P. UK: Cambridge University Press. A new academic word list. Word families. & Meara. Cobb.. & Herman. 689-696. S. Factors affecting guessing vocabulary in context. & Nagy.. Laufer. Canada).A. Computer assisted second language vocabulary acquisition. Harrison. Herman. S. In J. R. P. Nordman (Eds. & M.harrison. Groot.). He has taught ESL in Canada and Thailand. M. What percentage of lexis is essential for comprehension? In C. Word frequency book. 2001. from http://llt. We acquire vocabulary and spelling by reading: Additional evidence for the input hypothesis. Horst. W. Cobb. N. & Greidanus. T. Nagy.D.). I. (1998). P. Special language: From humans thinking to thinking machine (pp. 253-279. TESOL Quarterly. S. 19-35).).msu. 33-42. P. 16(1). Hollander. Research perspectives on English for academic purposes (pp.html.. 213-238. (2001). 6(4). 4(1). (1989). New York: Newbury House.. W. Hillsdale. A. Liu. E-mail: sina. A. Reading academic English: Carrying learners across the lexical threshold. New York: Houghton Mifflin. & Nation. Cambridge. (2000). 231-244. 327-339. and reoccurrence of unknown words. Curtis (Eds. and is currently completing a MA in Second Language Education at McGill University (Montreal. REFERENCES Bauer. Language Learning & Technology 163 . L. McKeown & M. I. Davies. Breadth and depth of vocabulary knowledge: Implications for acquisition and instruction.Sina Ghadirian Providing Controlled Exposure to Target Vocabulary… ABOUT THE AUTHOR Sina Ghadirian holds a BA in English and a certificate in TESL. & Nation.readingenglish. 8(2). Anderson. P . TextLadder [Computer software]. 315-329). Concordancing as a tool in course design. dictionary use. (1987).. (2000). In M. Available from http://www. Incidental vocabulary learning by advanced foreign language students: The influence of marginal glosses. Lauren & M. M. Incidental acquisition of word meaning from expositions with varied text features. E. S. 73.. Retrieved February 27.. P. 22(3). P . (1985). T.

ac. (1995). (1953). & Nation. G. (1996).P. Curtis (Eds. I. Using texts to sequence the introduction of new vocabulary in an EAP course.. S . Graded readers and vocabulary. F. 72-78. 35-41. S. Exploring the second language mental lexicon. P. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. RELC Journal. P. Green & Co. S. & Nation. 6. G. D. Xue.. & Kennedy. Sutarsyah. P. 25(2). S. 12(2). (1997). Hillsdale. S. I. G. & Spada N. System. How useful is EAP vocabulary for ESP? A corpus based case study... West. & Meister. (1984). (2001). 1-11. (1978). 21(4). P.. A general service list of English words. (1987). M.. T. & Wang.. 589-620. 89-105). Language Learning & Technology 164 . RELC Journal. 27(2). Worthington. Vocabulary learning and reading. D. Nation.. Saragi. Reading in a Foreign Language. Nation. Studies in Second Language Acquisition. Where would general service vocabulary stop and special purposes vocabulary begin? System. 215-219. (1994). Singleton. Scott. M. S. Canadian Modern Language Review. McKeown. Available at http://www. J. The nature of vocabulary acquisition (pp. P. I. Nation. A university word list. I. 541-572. Zahar.. Most vocabulary is learned from context. UK: Cambridge University Press. T. 23(1). Language Learning and Communication. Sternberg. I. 57(3). 34-50. In M. K.Sina Ghadirian Providing Controlled Exposure to Target Vocabulary… Nation. (1999). 34-50.liv. K. R. (1999) The effect of exposure frequency on intermediate language learners' incidental vocabulary acquisition and retention through reading.). & M. R. (1999). Cobb. Rott. 32. & Hwang. London: Longman. Cambridge. Acquiring vocabulary through reading: Effects of frequency and contextual richness. G. Guardian Word List [word frequency list based on nearly all of The Guardian newspaper text from 1991-1994].

1994. improvement in self-concept and mastery of basic skills. more student-centered learning and engagement in the learning process. 6.Language Learning & Technology http://llt. 1996. Students attributed an important role to instructors and perceived that cultural knowledge.html. Studies of the effect of technology-enhanced instruction on achievement and studies of student attitudes regarding learning with technology have also increasingly been reported (Salaberry. and threaded discussions. 165-180 STUDENT PERCEPTIONS ON LANGUAGE LEARNING IN A TECHNOLOGICAL ENVIRONMENT: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM Jonita Stepp-Greany Florida State University ABSTRACT This article presents survey data from beginning Spanish classes using a combination of technologies: Internet activities. (b) the accessibility and relevance of the lab and the individual technological components in student learning. electronic pen pals. 1996) This article reports on a descriptive study of student perceptions about the use of a variety of multimedia components within one course. and independent learning skills were enhanced but were divided in their perceptions about the learning or interest values of the individual components. Students also appear to gain confidence directing their own learning. an interactive. Implications are presented that may be useful to universities developing technology enhanced instruction. Additionally. most of these studies have examined the use of only one element of technology. publisher-produced CD-ROM. there seems to be a beneficial multimedia effect. listening and reading skills. 1996. 1 pp.) A number of benefits for students related to the general use of technology in classrooms have been reported. for foreign language instruction has expanded rapidly in the United States during the last two decades. Warschauer.msu. 1996. specifically multimedia. 1998). (Many of the components described in this article can be accessed and viewed at http://www. Copyright © 2002. 1998. and more active processing. Sanaoui & Lapkin. resulting in higher-order thinking skills and better recall (Brownlee-Conyers. 1994). (Beauvois. These include increased motivation. when it is used to illustrate concepts and organize factual information (Nowaczyk. Cononelos & January 2002. 1992. However. INTRODUCTION The use of technology. More specifically. 1998. 1993). CD-ROM. 1996. Dwyer. In a project at one of California's Model Technology Schools.fsu. Goals of the study were to determine students' perceptions of (a) the role and importance of the instructor in technology-enhanced language learning (TELL). especially for low achieving students. it reports the perceptions of university students enrolled in basic Spanish classes during the first year of implementation of technology-enhanced language learning. Kern. electronic pen pals. McGrath. These classes incorporated task-based Internet activities. and (c) the effects of the technology on the foreign language learning experiences. and threaded discussions. Num. 1993. and those regarding student perceptions have been largely concerned with the use of computer-mediated communication via e-mail or networking. ISSN 1094-3501 165 . Weiss. students who engaged in self-paced learning-by-doing within an interactive environment became independent le arners who were labeled "knowledge navigators" (Blackstock Junior High School. 2001).

Warschauer (1996) identified three common factors of student motivation provided by a technologyenhanced setting: communication. She implies that the conversational aspect of writing via the network helped students to routinize a certain number of expressions. In Beauvois' 1994 study. communicative acts. students in the networked writing project displayed more fluidity of conversation.mediated communication project reported positive attitudes which could be attributed to these factors. Palmquist. Sanaoui and Lapkin (1992) found that technology encouraged the development of independent learning characteristics in high school students of French. 1993. 1994) in which the researcher concluded that the LAN is an effective motivating force. Lunde (1990) also reported that students of Japanese enrolled in a computer mediated communication project showed improvement in reading comprehension. Cochran. These results support findings from an earlier study (Beauvois. 1998. She concluded that students felt positive because the LAN represented a low-anxiety situation and because they had more control than in a traditional classroom. promoting the development of automatic structures that aid speaking. Furthermore. Sproull. According to Beauvois.Jonita Stepp-Greany Student Perceptions on Language Learning… TECHNOLOGY-ENHANCED LANGUAGE LEARNING (TELL) Affective Issues Positive affective benefits for students using technology are also reported in the foreign language classroom context. Students in the computer. Warschauer. more use of complex sentences. networked sections showed more student-teacher communication than traditional classes. empowerment. "Empowerment" describes the finding that students felt empowered in the technology environment since they felt less isolated and were le ss afraid to contact others. students assumed increased responsibility for their learning and broadened their cultural awareness. Beauvois (1998) found more student-to-student interaction in networked classes than in traditional classes. Additionally. and more self-disclosure. Language Skills The use of technology in foreign language learning also appears to influence the development of linguistic skills. Sanaoui and Lapkin (1992) also found that "considerable Language Learning & Technology 166 . There have been reports of improvement in reading as well. Several researchers have reported an improvement in student writing skills through the use of networked computers (Beauvois. 1996). In an e-mail exchange project between these students and native French speakers. Cononelos & Oliva. The researcher speculates that the increased language use promoted by the LAN environment promoted this self-confidence. "Communication" is represented by the finding that students liked the ability to communicate with others and to engage in real. Kiesler. She concludes more boldly in the later study (1998) that LAN writing supports oral language development. and learning. In this study. Neuwirth. many students expressed an increased confidence in speaking. Beauvois (1998) found that students participating in a Local Area Network (LAN) writing project showed positive attitudes about learning in that setting. as opposed to contrived. The "learning" factor describes the finding that students believed the computer gave them certain kinds of control over their learning by enabling them to learn faster and more independently and to write more creatively. in follow-up interviews in the Beauvois study (1994). Another study on computer-mediated instruction for English writing skills by Hartman. 43% of the students reported that reading skills had improved. and Zabrow (1995) concluded that the use of technology redistributes teacher and classmate attentions so that less able students can become more active participants in the class. resulting in a larger quantity and better quality of communication. She believes that the elimination of strong teacher dominance freed students to express themselves.

1993) and as a viable theory for language instruction (Blyth. Language Language Learning & Technology 167 . 1996. They reject the traditional view that language acquisition is a set of hierarchically ordered sub-skills which build toward comprehension and speaking or writing (Fountas & Hannigan.even when they are not immediately involved in a communicative exchange" (Kern. Videoconferencing and Language Learning In a study of student perceptions about a videoconferencing project between students of German and native speakers in Germany (Coverdale -Jones. where it is easier for the tutor to intervene and to direct the flow of the interaction. whole language philosophy has recently formed the basis for strategies in second language instruction (Shrum & Glisan. Context of the TELL Program Recently. 1990). 544). noting that the role of teacher as facilitator is an important variable in the success of technology-mediated instruction. 1993. interpretation. Brooks & Brooks. reinforcing each other in complex ways. by experiencing whole written or oral discourse in meaningful units. 1989. whole language theorists maintain that language learning moves from the whole to the part (Crawford. 1990) and comprehending. Learners now view the computer as a medium through which they must negotiate meaning through interaction. 2000). 36). p. Weaver. Instead.Jonita Stepp-Greany Student Perceptions on Language Learning… growth occurred in French-speaking skills and possibly listening and reading comprehension as well. In another study involving videoconferencing.. These were a) the immediacy of communication with a real person from their own age group and b) the interactivity of the videoconferencing. The implication was that a technological environment based on constructivist learning principals may be ideal for enhancing learner attitude and motivation. Whole language philosophy incorporates constructivism theory and proposes that. students assume responsibility for their learning. and Howe (1998) found that this technology aided Spanish listening comprehension skills. the learning theory of constructivism has been proposed as a basis for the instructional design of technology (Lebow. They also found that students engaged in a more multi-modal approach to learning. these students also viewed the videoconferencing as a reduced form of communication in comparison to face-to-face interaction. reading. and the teacher is a facilitator rather than a purveyor of knowledge. the students cited two advantages for the use of the technology. to the videoconference where communication factors are subject to external influences of technology/medium" (p. Glisan. fulfilling a role similar to that described by Kern (1996). 108). Instead of delegating language instruction to the computer. 1993). 2000).e. which implies that an explicit focus on one area can have an effect on the other skills" as well (p. find meaning or fill in an information gap) when faced with a new situation that creates cognitive dissonance. speaking. authoritative informational base for carrying out a stipulated language task. but the variable time on task remained the key to achievement. they are active participants in the construction of new knowledge that is idiosyncratic and derived from the learner's prior experience and need to create equilibrium (i. Changing Roles in Technology-Enhanced Classrooms Kern (1996) notes that a shift from the use of the computer for drill and tutorial purposes to a medium for extending education beyond the classroom and reorganizing instruction has resulted in role changes for both learners and teachers. Dudt. Coverdale -Jones concludes that this technology makes a powerful contribution to communication authenticity. In this theory also. teachers participate in students' communication and learning and "provide a scaffold for their students' learning with their own knowledge and experience -. This theory posits that students are not passive recipients of knowledge. and collaboration rather than as a finite. and writing skills are interrelated. Weaver. but cautions that "we cannot simply transfer typical classroom activities. students learn to analyze the parts and construct new knowledge by reordering or synthesizing relationships between the parts. Furthermore. However. Inspired by practice in first language classrooms. 1997.

Each week. such as filling out a university schedule. They also met 1 day in a traditional audio-video language lab and 1 day in a computer lab for a total of 5 days of instruction. students received face-to-face instruction three times. 2. Furthermore. but students were allowed to select which Internet activities to complete. and writing a job resumé. Electronic pen pal communication with individuals from Hispanic cultures. 6. students alternated between activity types. and grammar explanations. Computerassisted instructional (CAI) components were as follows: 1. rather than to achieve mastery of individual skills. 4. CD-ROM activities were prescribed for the students. The particular computer instructional components were thus identical for both levels. for students to use language as a vehicle for sending and receiving information.Jonita Stepp-Greany Student Perceptions on Language Learning… acquisition is. Online resources such as vocabulary lists. dictionaries. use its lab activities to enrich the curriculum in holistic ways. 3. through authentic texts and task-based activities. It was decided that the program would 1. and 6. Students used their own time to complete drill and tutorial activities and were awarded extra credit for them. although content varied to match level. Threaded discussion assignments were posted every 2 weeks. rather than by testing the material covered in the lab. facilitate and encourage problem solving by providing links to online resources. Pen pal letters were intended to be an out-of-lab activity. completing either the first or second half of the text respectively. create individual lessons with appropriate sequencing of activities to help students deconstruct and reconstruct complex texts and tasks. 21 sections of technology-enhanced Spanish were offered. therefore. create opportunities. representing a little less than one-third of the basic courses. creating an itinerary. 2. buying a house. evaluate students' performance in the computer lab by using the products of the TELL environment. Since instructional design of the TELL program incorporated a constructivist and whole language philosophy. TELL implementation for the second-semester course began in the fall of 1998. In all. Internet activities that required students to visit Spanish-speaking sites and perform simulated real-life tasks. Language Learning & Technology 168 . TELL implementation for the first semester course occurred in the spring semester of 1998 and continued throughout the summer and fall semesters. and students posted their opinions and responses either inside or outside of the lab. use Spanish as the medium of instruction. whereas Internet and CD-ROM activities were generally completed in the lab. 5. 5. choosing one of three possibilities for each chapter. DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM Students participating in the present study were enrolled in first and second semester Spanish classes at Florida State University. Both levels used the same text. An optional drill and tutorial program that corresponded to the text's grammar instruction. with a component from the CD-ROM being assigned during a particular chapter's first week of study and an Internet activity during the second. although some students used extra lab time for these assignments. ordering clothing. An interactive audio-visual CD-ROM with a high-interest mystery story format. certain principles guided its planning and implementation. 4. an active process in which the student focuses on cues and meaning and makes intelligent guesses. Threaded discussions among the classes in which students posted opinions and responses relating to a chapter theme. 3.

b) the usefulness and/or accessibility of the online resources or the lab environment itself. This practice corresponded with the preestablished principle that the products of the technology-enhanced instruction would serve as the evaluation of the students' lab performances. If students completed the activity. The study was designed to elicit answers to the following questions: 1. Writing evaluation for the TELL classes was for the two pen pal letters rather than for traditional writing assignments. since this feature was discontinued due to staffing problems. quizzes and tests. TELL was implemented in the second-semester classes for the first time in the fall. gained technical skills. The other categories for grading were the same for the TELL classes as for the regular classes. reading comprehension. The substantive nature of the TELL classes' exams was identical to those in the regular classes. Did students perceive that they gained confidence as a learner. and how important was the instructor's presence? Were the lab and the online resources accessible and useful to students? What was the technology's perceived effect on the learning of subject matter and language skills? Did students enjoy the TELL activities and experience. The standardized assessments measured listening comprehension. The total of 358 students completed the questionnaire in the CAI classes out of an enrollment of 449 students. Two additional questions asked for information regarding students' perceptions about time commitment. technical skills. Language Learning & Technology 169 . and creative writing. These included oral evaluations. 2. they e-mailed it to their instructor and received credit. a questionnaire on student perceptions about technology use for language instruction was administered to students enrolled in the first-semester Spanish TELL classes. as opposed to formal testing of the material covered in lab. so students in the second-semester classes also completed the questionnaire in the fall. e) the effect of TELL on students' confidence as learners. 4. and were the activities relevant to either their present or future use of Spanish? 5. THE STUDY At the ends of the spring. participation and homework. d) the effect of TELL on student interest and enjoyment of Spanish or the relevance of the activities to their present or future study of Spanish. except that they often covered two chapters at a time rather than one. or strongly disagreed. and performance on class assessments. Twenty out of 21 sections completed the questionnaire. and writing assignments. 3. This included 16 sections of first-semester Spanish students and 4 sections of second semester Spanish students. which was included as a percentage of their grade in the course. c) the effect of TELL on learning subject matter and skills. disagreed.Jonita Stepp-Greany Student Perceptions on Language Learning… The syllabus for the technology-enhanced classes contained a category under "grade" for Internet activities. summer. or improved their performance on class assessments as a result of the TELL experience? The questionnaire contained 45 statements with which students were asked to indicate whether they strongly agreed. Completed CD-ROM activities were counted as part of the participation grade. and fall semesters of 1998. agreed. Another question concerning the use of an online tutor was eliminated. grammar. These statements elicited information about students' perceptions in five categories: a) teachers' usefulness and facilitative behavior in the TELL environment. Fewer assessments created extra time for accommodating the lab work and also allowed maximum face-to-face instruction during class. What role did the instructor play in TELL.

These findings corroborate Sanaoui and Lapkin's (1992) finding that the use of technology enhances cultural awareness. Less than 35% expressed a preference for having access to the lab at any time. stimulating students to respond during lessons. since it is frequently cited as a factor in achievement.2%) disagreed with the statement." Students strongly perceived that their instructors facilitated instruction and that they were important to the TELL environment. without any scheduled lab. McGrath concludes that introducing technology resources alone into students' learning experience does not automatically result in improvement. Over half (54. Kern. with over 73% reporting that they liked the learning environment of a regularly scheduled lab. and was found to be important in this respect in Glisan. and critical reflection depends fundamentally on the teachers who coordinate its use" (p. data are reported in numbers and percentages of student responses for each statement. 1994. Glisan et al. conclude that teacher behaviors such as conducting review lessons. 1998) that the teacher's role is significant in technologymediated instruction. Dudt. Perceptions Concerning the Effect on Learning Time Invested Almost 71% of the students felt that they invested more time on the technology-enhanced course than they would have in a regular Spanish class. Learning of Culture Approximately two-thirds of the students perceived that they had learned more about Hispanic culture in the TELL environment than they would have in a regular class (67. for a small majority of students. cultural awareness.1%) expressed a desire to do all the activities at their own computer without any lab access.6%) and that the information from the lab activities contributed greatly to their knowledge of Hispanic culture (65.. Over 85% also agreed that having an instructor present during the lab increased learning potential in the class. McGrath. "I returned to Hispanic -related sites that I used or found on the Web to explore Language Learning & Technology 170 . Moreover. Students also believed that the instructor provided other kinds of language assistance. Additionally. Slightly over 36% "strongly agreed" with this response. Access to Lab and Resources Most students (81. The statements are ordered from those receiving the highest number to the lowest number of responses expressing agreement.Jonita Stepp-Greany Student Perceptions on Language Learning… RESULTS AND DISCUSSION For the purposes of this article. He found that both the preparation and the knowledge of teachers about technology. and Howe's study (1998). the presence of the instructor was not necessary. were the key to whether it was effective or not. and offering praise are important in the learning process. 1998. as well as how to integrate and refine the lesson with technology. 118). Glisan et al. Less than half (46. as shown in the Appendix. with 88% agreeing (34% of the total respondents agreeing strongly) that the instructor provided vocabulary help.4%). Over 85% agreed that the instructor interacted with them to facilitate difficulties in the computer use. In spite of this increased cultural knowledge.0%) was. Kern states that "the degree to which computer-mediated communication promotes language and content learning.3%) agreed that they had adequate access to a computer. Time on task may be considered to be a learning benefit. These findings seem to lend support to the statements by students that indicated the importance of an instructor's facilitative presence. 1996. they seemed to prefer a lab environment. This perception corresponds to conclusions by other researchers (Becker. "Once I learned how to do the activities. Teacher Usefulness or Facilitation More than 89% of the students agreed or strongly agreed that the instructor interacted with the students to facilitate difficulties with the Spanish activities. in the present study. few students developed enough interest in culture to pursue it on their own. The statement that elicited the lowest agreement (17. the need for instructor facilitation did not seem to decrease after initial learning curve demands were met.

as the course designers had hoped to influence students toward sustained learning goals involving Hispanic culture. Therefore. nor was there any formal error correction. in spite of the real life nature of the tasks." This was a disappointing finding. They warned instructors that ". respectively). In this e-mail project. it appears that they did not believe that any of the writing activities (Internet. Conrad (1999) found that when compared to fourth semester students. although the majority expressed only moderate agreement with these statements. the experiential nature of the activities in this course more closely matched the activities suggested by Sanaoui and Lapkin (1992).9% and 63.. this may explain our findings.2%) believed that they had learned a significant amount from the interactive CD-ROM.Jonita Stepp-Greany Student Perceptions on Language Learning… further on my own. 535). since less than half of the students (43%) attributed learning value to the Internet activities. "communication of meaning prevailed over error avoidance and accuracy in speaking and some components of writing practice" (p. or threaded discussion) contributed significantly to the development of writing skills. the increase would have to be attributed to the CD-ROM. Almost two-thirds agreed that their listening and reading skills had improved in Spanish as a result of the lab activities (65.. as in the study reported by Beauvois (1998). These perceptions of improved listening and reading skills with technology lend support to findings of improved listening skills reported by Glisan et al..2% and 27. Markham (1999) found that students showed increased listening comprehension of target language videos when there was target language captioning. 544). only a small majority (54. first semester language students gave low priority value to writing skills. no explicit writing instruction took place in this study. This finding seems to contradict students' reported perceptions about improved listening skills. in follow-up focus groups at Florida State University.need to emphasize the procedural aspects of writing through an explicit process-centered approach" (p. Although it seems that students would have attributed their reported gains in cultural knowledge to the Internet activities. Value of Specific Components In response to questions about the learning benefits of specific components. While students in this study improved aspects of their language use. If reading skills had improved. Moreover. a slight majority of students (52. researchers found that there was a ". Furthermore.9%. since the CD-ROM was the only component with any degree of listening activity. since the large majority of students in this study were first semester students. the Internet activities required the students to read large amounts of authentic texts and complete reading comprehension activities. Moreover. in spite of the lukewarm beliefs about its learning value. it was likely that the increase was due largely to the Internet activities. Only 43% of the students reported that they had learned a significant amount from the Internet task-based activities. respectively). If listening skills had improved.. Fewer felt that they had learned a considerable amount from the threaded discussion or pen pal activities (30. Writing Skills Only 50% of the students believed that their writing skills had improved when evaluating the general effect of technology-enhanced instruction on writing skills. use of the second language will not necessarily improve learners' writing abilities" (p..2%) perceived them to be relevant to real-life needs in Spanish. the CD-ROM also had a function that allowed audio texts to be visually displayed. Communication Skills Students seemed to believe that the lab activities were beneficial to their communicative skills. 545). In addition to written application tasks. they did not seem to see a relationship between the Internet activities' authentic cultural and linguistic material and their improvement in cultural knowledge or reading skills. and. permitting students to read texts to aid comprehension.. as students reported in the general questions. The first finding seems to contradict student perceptions that reading skills had improved. Additionally. (1998) and students' perceptions of improved reading skills reported by Beauvois (1994) and Lunde (1990). pen pal letters." It appears that students rushed to complete their Internet Language Learning & Technology 171 .second language writing instruction directed mostly to the . the graduate teaching assistants (TAs) working in classes in the current study said that students often hurriedly put together their writing assignments in order to "get the job done.4%. Instead. This linking failure is an area for further investigation.

despite the fact that approximately twothirds of the students expressed a high interest level in the computer-assisted classes. Furthermore. This discrepancy may be due to the high time commitment required for the computer-assisted classes. Approximately two-thirds of the students (64%) found the CD-ROM to be enjoyable. it was shown that introverts perceived computer-mediated communication less positively. not a surprising finding since it contained a highly engaging mystery story. Students also attributed more learning value to the CD-ROM than to the other components. TAs felt that the habit of quickly writing responses to complete Internet and threaded discussion assignments was generalized to the pen pal activities. Nowaczyk (1998) found that time pressures played a negative role in students' perceptions of the effectiveness of multimedia. and slightly more than half (52%) said that they would take another technology-enhanced class in Spanish. Fewer (38%) reported that they enjoyed the pen pal or the threaded discussion activities (33%). since much of the work in the TELL classes involved authentic assignments that were expected to stimulate student interest and enjoyment. This observation differs from Nowaczyk's study (1998) in which college students differentiated between the effect of the multimedia instruction on their interest level and its effect on their understanding of the content. Furthermore. although pen pal letters were graded. therefore. particularly among low-achieving students. had improved. or it may represent a need among certain groups of students for more personalized interaction with an instructor. It appears that they perceived that they had learned the most from that which they enjoyed the most. Many. 1996). consequently. less than half (41. Although the majority said they completed their Internet activities in an hour or less. which probably resulted in lower quality work and. for which there was no control in the study. The students did not especially enjoy the TELL writing activities. Less than half (45%) felt that they had learned more Spanish language skills than they would have learned in a regular Spanish course. where students reported feeling less time pressure and had plenty of time to carefully compose a response. if given a choice between a regular Spanish class and a computer-assisted class. almost half preferred traditional face-to-face instruction. felt pressured to finish during their lab time. Lastly. although slightly more (50%) found them interesting. since they conveyed strongly that the technology-enhanced class required a significant amount of time investment. No formal feedback took place.3%) said they enjoyed the Internet activities. in spite of the fact that two-thirds or more of the students reported that their listening and reading skills. they would take the latter. almost 37% disagreed. lower value attributed to the work. both linguistically and affectively. These divided responses may represent personality type preferences. twothirds (66%) of the students agreed that the computer lab made the course more interesting.Jonita Stepp-Greany Student Perceptions on Language Learning… activity before the end of lab. and students were automatically given credit if assignments were completed. Enjoyment and Interest In spite of divided perceptions about the instructional value of the TELL. This represented a very different situation from the networking project reported by Beauvois (1994). attributing both learning and interest value to one component. To summarize. These were surprising responses. Therefore. the grading procedure for the Internet and threaded discussion assignments did not discriminate for the quality of work done. students stated that the lab was not stressful and that they could take their time to monitor grammar and express ideas. Language Learning & Technology 172 . than did extroverts. In that project. as well as their cultural knowledge. none of the individual technology components were rated highly for their learning value. The perceptions about the learning value of the individual components and the TELL experience in general may have been influenced by students' feelings of lack of control over time pressures. responding at their own pace. Slightly less than half of the respondents (48%) said that. In one study of personality types and TELL (Beauvois.

students generally did not feel that the TELL hurt their performance on class tests and quizzes. 1994. it may also be difficult for students in a whole language environment to realistically evaluate their own learning.8% of the students reported that they were initially frustrated by activities in the Spanish language. These reports corroborate research showing that CAI students gain confidence in language use as well as in the use of the computer (Beauvois. complex learning environment. and make meaning out of material presented in a nonlinear fashion. (Beauvois. the student must confront a certain level of ambiguity. 1990. On a more positive note." These beginning students successfully and independently negotiated the linguistically complex Internet and interactive CD-ROM environments. and Class Assessments Learner Confidence and Technical Skills For a clear majority of students. and that the use of prescribed online reference materials does not encourage research skills. 1994. Divided Perceptions The students' divided perceptions about both the learning as well as the enjoyment value of the individual lab components may be a reflection of the discomfort caused by a holistic learning environment. Warschauer. Lunde. Additionally. Warschauer (1996) also found that the degree to which computer-based projects were integrated into general course goals and structure correlated to differences in student motivation. Cononelos & Oliva. these perceptions support results from the Blackstock study (1993) which concluded that students engaged in technological interactive learning environments became independent "knowledge navigators. and almost two-thirds (65%) expressed a gain in confidence as independent learners. Findings of this study do not support Paul's (1990) contention that technology discourages the development of independent learners. Slightly more than 79% of students believed they had learned how to be resourceful in finding the meaning of difficult words or phrases on their own. In this study. The tests and quizzes given in class did not contain questions to evaluate their lab work. since these students had one day per week less of face to face instruction than students in the regular classes. as opposed to Language Learning & Technology 173 . as opposed to the prepackaged. content-driven technology courses described by Paul. It appears that a more open. Sanaoui & Lapkin. Moreover. This may indirectly imply that the TELL contributed to the acquisition of the skills measured on the tests and quizzes. Paul contends that prepackaged materials carry an intrinsic authority which is unquestioned by students.Jonita Stepp-Greany Student Perceptions on Language Learning… Perceptions Concerning Effect on Learner Confidence. over 72% disagreed with the statement that the TELL was detrimental to their performance on class assessments. 1993. the CAI instruction appeared to have had certain benefits In spite of the fact that 57. engage in a wide array of learning choices. as there seems to be a dearth of data concerning the effect of technology enhanced instruction on regular class assessments in foreign language. 1992). task-based activities. 1996). Class Assessments Only 41% of the students stated that their general experiences in the computer lab helped them improve their scores. Technical Skills. does provide students with the opportunity to become independent learners. In fact. These findings also relate to other studies in which learner control in a technology enhanced environment is cited as a motivating factor in increased language use. This represents an area for further study. The less than enthusiastic perceptions concerning the general experiences in the TELL classes may be due to the fact that there was no direct link between individual electronic components and classroom assessments and structure. Nowaczyk (1998) found that students attributed learning value primarily to those multimedia components that directly related to course examinations. almost 72% agreed they had gained confidence in their ability to complete the complex. however. holistic learning consisted of authentic texts. Here. large amounts of linguistic material. A majority (54%) also believed that they had gained confidence in their ability to use technology successfully. 1998. and student engagement in the construction of complex knowledge evaluated through performance-based measures. regardless of the intrinsic learning value of the material.

Weiss. Glisan et al. and complete task-based activities. The preference for more traditional structure among these beginning students is consonant with a study by Conrad (1999) who found that first semester students in regular foreign language classes favored repetition and structured activities over more creative linguistic activities. Videotaped observations demonstrated that there was generally less student-to-student interaction. The students preferred the CD-ROM. Even in regular classrooms. Language Learning & Technology 174 . (Lee. which indicate that the role of an instructor as facilitator is important and complex in technologyenhanced environments and involves well-developed instructional skills. In a technological environment. Lee (1993) found that low achieving students greatly valued teacher interaction and that all students perceived consistent teacher interaction as a mark of caring behavior. and there was no other yardstick by which they could self assess their lab learning. however. who have needs for increased assistance. unlike the computer-mediated projects cited earlier (Beauvois. Moreover. despite the fact that the Internet activities led them through a planned sequence of whole language exercises. the Internet activities were inherently more holistic and authentic than the CD-ROM. 1994. since traditionally students regard tests as the measure of their achievement . where interactions are reduced. Nowaczyk (1998) also found that the use of technology resulted in a reduction in the amount of person-to-person interaction in the class and in less willingness on the part of students to ask questions.. positive attitudes. in spite of the reported high level of teacher facilitation. and some students may experience increased difficulties and blame the learning activities themselves. and less teacher-to-student interaction in the lab than in the regular classroom. negative perceptions about the learning value of the instructional components may imply that instructor facilitation was still insufficient. Kern. (1998) found that the capability of the delivery system itself to facilitate learner interaction is important in determining the effectiveness of the technology. see relationships. 1998. Additionally. These students. This was a real problem. the majority of the students in this study were students who had little or no or no prior experience in the subject matter. and traditional building block reinforcement activities with its structured story line. and student success than in courses where students have a knowledge base. Hartman et al. the lack of a strong endorsement for the learning and interest value of the CAI components may also be a reflection of insufficient facilitation within a complex learning environment. the computer la b was primarily an independent learning environment. Furthermore. specific sequencing contributes more to learner motivation. 1993) and for students with little prior background (Young. Young (1986) found that for those courses in which students have little background. this may be reduced. especially those that incorporate complex learning paradigms involving constructivist or whole language principles. as evidenced by both their responses and the TA comments. Lee also found that the degree of perception of teacher caring behaviors correlated positively to students' sense of efficacy. Therefore. although the latter provided many internal supports. 1998. 1986). 1994).Jonita Stepp-Greany Student Perceptions on Language Learning… traditional testing. In a 1986 study of university students.. The issue of teacher facilitation must also be addressed in such environments. resources. 1998. McGrath. This may be especially true for low ability students. to enable them to deconstruct texts. 1995). The lack of structure in the threaded discussions and Internet activities may have negatively affected student attitudes toward the learning as well as the interest value of these activities. 1996. Although students in this study rated teacher interaction favorably. It corroborates other reports (Glisan. Pedagogical Implications and Conclusions This study implies that instructors have an important role in technology enhanced learning environments. did not appear to value the performance-based measures. including such features as advance organizers and recognition activities as well as exploration activities. et al.

Instructors must learn to encourage students (and themselves) to engage in a holistic. students did not seem to link these achievements to the performancebased activities of the TELL components. Simply writing for real needs did not increase the motivation and performance of the majority of the students in this study. Additionally. A system of evaluation that differentiates quality in lab assignments and threaded discussions must also be implemented. rather than as an information purveyor. 1998). accountability for lab work must extend beyond performance-based measures. manage these interactions and keep them task-focused. The basic level of the students' grammar and vocabulary knowledge may have played a role in both their motivation and performance. The development of a writing mentoring program with foreign language experts similar to that described by Mather (1997) might be considered as a means to improve students' writing as well. in general. Lastly. the number of writing assignments must be manageable. nor did they highly value these activities. Such unpredictability precludes the extensive preparation and resulting customary security of a structured lesson in a regular classroom. They must also learn to create opportunities for increased person-toperson interaction within a lab environment. and at the same time. In spite of reported gains in listening and reading skills. learning process. thus allowing students to ask grammar questions "out of order. 1994) and beginning students. The issue of writing skills within the TELL curriculum must also be addressed. freedom from overly limiting time constraints must be given within the lab period. and explicit procedural aspects must be emphasized. especially for low achieving students. (1998) which were cited earlier. To encourage quality work. measures must be implemented that link TELL activities to regular assessments. This tension must be considered in making curricular instructional design decisions for TELL. Paul (1990) states that there is frequently role confusion and ambivalence among instructors working with students using technology. Some structured activities and scaffolding activities that activate background knowledge or provide advance organizers should be carefully sequenced within a holistic curriculum to enable every learner to negotiate the environment in a positive manner. so that students attribute relevancy and educational benefits to technology-enhanced instruction. however. Since students appear to value multimedia components that directly relate to exams (Nowazcyk. instructors must learn to negotiate meaning with students in an unpredictable environment in which any question may be asked at any moment. time pressures and non-graded performance-based assignments appeared to be the inhibiting factors. CONCLUSION This descriptive study has illustrated the perceptions of one group of university students about language learning in a technology environment.Jonita Stepp-Greany Student Perceptions on Language Learning… Instructors working in learning environments mediated by technology need support and preparation to adopt new roles. noting that there is internal conflict between the notion of creating an independent learner and natural instructor feelings of responsibility. Paul (1990) draws attention to the conflict that exists between structured. These were beginning language learners who perhaps had limited Language Learning & Technology 175 . the pace of the curriculum must be addressed to accommodate time constraints and feelings of student control. 1999). In addition to the facilitative teaching skills by Glisan et al. mastery-based learning that dissuades the development of the independent learner and the challenging environments that enable students to take responsibility for their own learning. The development of professional skills must also include new pedagogical as well as technical and routine management skills. Less able learners appear to learn more from drill and tutorial programs than more able learners (Rockman. Professional development must include those skills necessary for the instructor to function appropriately as a facilitator and co-learner. Issues dealing with the design of the curriculum must also be addressed. appear to value a certain amount of repetition and structure (Conrad. rather than linear. in Weiss." and answering such questions in a way that encourages elaboration.

1994). results may not be generalized to other TELL programs. Such studies may contribute to a future knowledge base that will shape and improve curriculum and instruction mediated by technology. Also. Data has been collected for the year following this study and is currently being compiled to determine whether the staff's increased experience. and that these changes occur as teachers become more experienced with the technology (Weiss. and factors that may influence student perceptions such as student ability. and personality type.Jonita Stepp-Greany Student Perceptions on Language Learning… Spanish skills as well as limited motivation and performance. studies should be conducted to compare second language learning in a holistic. and scheduling and reporting proble ms. due to the descriptive. APPENDIX Category 1 -. prior experience with technology. In addition. More empirical studies should be conducted concerning the effect of multimedia instruction on student perceptions and the relationship between such perceptions and the actual achievement of specific skills. planning issues. with some modifications indicated by the feedback provided by the students in this study. Studies should be conducted concerning the role of the instructor in the TELL environment. prior background in Spanish. The students' perceptions regarding the effect of technology-enhanced instruction on their learning of Spanish requires follow-up study. The information is self-reported. since little research is available on student perceptions about language learning using a variety of multimedia. The TELL classes described in this article have continued to the present. nature of the data. that positive changes from technology are more evolutionary than revolutionary. Reports in the research note that teachers' jobs are harder in the early stages of a technology's implementation. constructivist TELL environment as opposed to more structured TELL environments. rather than statistical. in order to identify those teacher behaviors and interactions most favorable to students' second language acquisition. were not considered. as well as the absence of routine initial problems. such as computer glitches. this study may provide insights to universities currently implementing or contemplating the implementation of technology enhanced instruction.Perceptions Concerning Teacher Role and Facilitation Language Learning & Technology 176 . This study has several limitations. positively affect student perceptions. Nevertheless.

Perceptions Concerning Access to Lab and Computers Category 3 -.Jonita Stepp-Greany Student Perceptions on Language Learning… Category 2 -.Perceptions Concerning Effect on Learning Language Learning & Technology 177 .

Jonita Stepp-Greany Student Perceptions on Language Learning… Category 4 -. Technical Skills.Perceptions Concerning Effect on Confidence as a Learner. and Class Assessments Language Learning & Technology 178 .Perceptions on Interest and Relevance Category 5 -.

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