Foto del docente

Gabriele Azzaro

Professor

Department of Education Studies "Giovanni Maria Bertin"

Academic discipline: L-LIN/12 Language and Translation - English

Research

Keywords: CNLT Emotion and FL Teaching English with the aid of new technologies CALL e-learning

The present research project aims at evaluating the possible beneficial effects of several digital tools in the teaching of English at university level, considering such individual variables as self-efficacy and self-guides. The aim is to develop a creative-narrative framework of language teaching where both students and teachers may exploit positive emotional mutual feedback in the language learning experience/environment. This new approach is referred to as CNLT (Creative Narrative Language Teaching).


Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment, http://moodle.org/course/view.php?id=17223) is a free LMS based on a social-constructivist and cooperative approach, offering several tools for packaging, sharing and managing subject-independent content; it aims to “enhance communication within a class, between students and teacher, and among students themselves” ( Hannon 2010, p.2; Brandl 2005). One of its purposes is to establish a group as a learning community ( Pedrosa & Sousa 2007), promoting collaborative learning classes in which students can develop their autonomy also through self-directed home learning; it can mirror all class activity and add to it ( Tymczyńska 2009; Sanprasert 2010).

Constructivism posits that effective learning entails the learner's active participation, and “knowledge is constructed uniquely within each individual through the process of social interaction” ( Benson 2001, p. 36). Moodle has been implemented with these goals in mind. It is meant both for top-down teaching practices and for bottom-up knowledge construction. It is also ideal for developing blended courses ( Neumeier 2005; Young 2008; Degache & Nissen 2008), and it now integrates with MS Office and GoogleApps in a satisfactory way ( Dawson 2002).

One of the key issues of the research is to test how Moodle can be used in developing specific technical vocabulary, reading and writing skills, co-authoring, listening, describing, summarising texts, listening, understanding and producing oral materials, developing speaking skills and group interaction, and also in evaluation. This is also tied with the possibility of developing voice recognition programs which would improve students' oral production.

The aim is to develop a creative-narrative framework of language teaching where both students and teachers may exploit positive emotional mutual feedback in the language learning experience/environment, within a new approach referred to as CNLT (Creative Narrative Language Teaching).

Benson P. (2001) Teaching and Researching Autonomy in Language Learning, Harlow: Longman/Pearson Education.

Brandl K. (2005) "Are you ready to Moodle?", Language Learning and Technology, 9 (2), 16-23.

Crosato R. (2010) "Blended Learning: utilizzo di Moodle in affiancamento alla didattica in aula". In Castellano M. (ed), Atti del Convegno MoodleMoot 2010, Bari, Italy: Wip Edizioni.

Dawson C. (2002) "Moodle meets Google Apps". ZDNet Education.

Degache C. & Nissen E. (2008) "Formations hybrides et interactions en ligne du point de vue de l'enseignant: pratiques, representations, evolutions", ALSIC: Apprentissage des Langues et Systemes d'Information et de Communication, 11 (1), 61-92.

Fried I. (2010) "Microsoft creates Office plug-in for Moodle". CNet News.

Hannon J. (2010) "Content, communication, classroom, community". In Castellano M. (ed), Atti del Convegno MoodleMoot 2010, Bari, Italy: Wip Edizioni.

Neumeier P. (2005) "A closer look at blended learning - parameters for designing a blended learning environment for language teaching and learning", ReCALL, 17 (2), 163-78.

Pedrosa I. & Sousa C. (2007) "The actor-network theory and Moodle in an high school community - A strategical tool and a life-long learning approach". In Kinshuk D.G.S., Spector J.M. & Isaías P. (eds), IADIS International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age (CELDA 2007) Lisbon, Portugal: IADIS Publications. 367-72.

Sanprasert N. (2010) "The application of a course management system to enhance autonomy in learning English as a foreign language", System, 38 (1), 109-23.

Tymczyńska M. (2009) "Integrating in-class and online learning activities in a healthcare interpreting course using Moodle", The Journal of Specialised Translation, 12, 148-64.

Young D.J. (2008) "An Empirical Investigation of the Effects of Blended Learning on Student Outcomes in a Redesigned Intensive Spanish Course", CALICO Journal, 26 (1), 160-181.

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