IAFOR Journal of Education, v8 n1 p83-99 2020. 17 pp.
Language Proficiency, Second Language Learning, Second Language Instruction, English (Second Language), Content Analysis, Language Tests, Scores, Learning Motivation, Information Technology, Student Attitudes, Independent Study, Context Effect, Extracurricular Activities, Foreign Countries, Study Abroad, Case Studies, Computer Games, Television, Travel, Computer Mediated Communication, Drills (Practice), Speech Communication, and Turkey
Although English is the de facto language of communication across nations in today's world, a limited number of foreign language learners are able to communicate well in English and perceive themselves as competent speakers. Investigating traits of proficient speakers of English and understanding the reasons behind their speaking skills can guide language teachers in creating supportive language learning contexts for their students. This study explores what proficient speakers of English do to gain success in speaking, and it sheds light on how to improve speaking skills in language learning. The study examines what factors play an important role in the language development of proficient speakers of English. Sixteen English as a foreign language (EFL) students who had the highest scores on English speaking tests volunteered for this study; four focus groups were created with four participants in each group. Content analysis results indicate that contextual factors -- including self-practice, teacher factor, experience abroad, Turkish context, out-of-class technology use, and affective factors, including motivation and anxiety -- are important for speaking enhancement. Findings clearly reveal that language learning should go beyond the confines of the school and be supported with technology-enhanced extracurricular exercises in EFL contexts. Moreover, what motivates language learners to study English and how they feel while speaking should be considered while teaching or planning their speaking lessons.
Research-publishing.net, Paper presented at the EUROCALL 2019 Conference (27th, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, Aug 28-31, 2019). 7 pp.
Second Language Learning, Second Language Instruction, Television, Programming, German, Teaching Methods, Learning Experience, Informal Education, Electronic Publishing, Listening Comprehension, Telecommunications, Handheld Devices, Computer Software, and Films
The expansion of the "Netflix" TV-network around the globe has made foreign language films and TV-series accessible for formal and informal language learning experiences. As students in educational settings are starting to engage in informal second language (L2) "Netflix" viewing, it is time that new pedagogical approaches support learners to optimise the resource for successful language learning. This pilot study reports on a project conducted with 12 intermediate level German students who watched self-selected German TV-series. For three weeks, students described and commented on each other's viewing experiences in their weekly blogs. In a final report, participants reflected on their affective and cognitive engagement with the series. Findings of this study indicate that previous informal exposure to "Netflix" series positively impacted on the participants' willingness to engage in extensive out-of-class listening. The learning experience in the formal context positively affected subsequent informal L2-series watching. [For the complete proceedings, see ED600837.]
International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, v20 n4 p1-20 Oct 2019. 20 pp.
Foreign Countries, Open Education, Distance Education, Educational Technology, Technology Uses in Education, Open Universities, Radio, Television, Educational Change, Online Courses, Shared Resources and Services, Agency Cooperation, School Community Programs, and China
Open and distance education has been playing an important role in China's development of higher education and lifelong learning. In 2012, the Chinese government approved six large-scale radio and television universities (RTVUs) to become open universities (OUs), including the Open University of China (OUC), Beijing Open University (BJOU), Shanghai Open University (SHOU), Guangdong Open University (GDOU), Jiangsu Open University (JSOU), and Yunnan Open University (YNOU). The purpose of this study is to provide a descriptive analysis of the transition from RVTUs to OUs, and the current state and challenges of open universities in China after five years' reform. Five topics are explored in this paper, including: the new positioning of open universities in China's vast and differentiated higher education system; award bearing and non-award bearing program offerings; implementation of the online teaching and learning modes; the use of Open Education Resources (OER) and online mini-courses; and the development and use of a credit bank system. A summary of these topics follows a discussion of four issues of open university reform, including key performance indicators (KPIs) for open universities, cohesion and resource sharing between the national and provincial open universities, quality assurance for award bearing programs, and planning to transform China's existing 39 provincial RTVUs into OUs. It is expected that the results of this study would contribute to knowledge about institutional differentiation in the world's largest higher education system, and on the merits of open and distance education in the human resource development in China. This paper may also provide insight for other countries that are engaged in institutional differentiation of higher education systems punctuated by the essential role of open universities in such planning and implementation.