Links of interest
Learner Language, Corpus Linguistics and Mobile Learning
20 July, 2016
One-day workshop in the context of TALC 12 Teaching & Language Corpora Conference
Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany
This workshop sets out to bring together researchers, practitioners, language teachers and students in the areas of corpus linguistics, Data Driven learning, (personalised) mobile learning, (learner) corpus research, teaching with mobile learning applications, assessment with mobile learning devices and, among others, automatic feedback in mobile learning devices, to discuss the possibilities to integrate language-related analyses and activities in mobile learning and mobile apps.
The workshop will offer ample opportunities for the discussion and the debate of ideas in a very dynamic context which will include (a) the presentation of TELL-OP outputs and App, (b) a Keynote on mobile learning with te title Language, Learning, Mobiles and Transformation from a leading expert in the area, Professor John Traxler, University of Wolverhampton, (c) different presentations on research in the areas of mobile learning, corpus linguistics and language learning and (d) a round table that will try to wrap up the main contributions of the day and offer leads into future developments in this novel, yet relevant, area. Paper presentations will consist of a 20-minute talk followed by 10 minutes for questions and discussion.
Prof. John Traxler
Professor John Traxler was Professor of Mobile Learning, the world’s first, since September 2009, and now Research Professor of Digital Learning in the Institute of Education at the University of Wolverhampton UK. He is one of the pioneers of mobile learning and has been associated with mobile learning projects since 2001 when he was evaluator for m-learning, the first major EU project. He is a Founding Director and current Vice-President of the International Association for Mobile Learning, responsible for the annual international mLearn research conference running since 2002. He is co-editor of the definitive book, Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Educators and Trainers, and Mobile Learning: the Next Generation with Professor Agnes Kukulska-Hulme. He is also co-author of Mobilizing Mathematics: Case Studies of Mobile Learning being used in Mathematics Education and Mobile Learning and STEM: Case Studies in Practice.
Language, Learning, Mobiles and Transformation
There is an account of learning with mobiles that goes as follows. We can identify two contrasting paradigms of learning with mobiles, firstly, the ‘mobile learning’ movement of the research community. This paradigm, probably the dominant one over the first decade, can reasonably claim a number of achievements, those of extending learning, enriching learning, engaging learners, extending learning theories and adapting the theories of e-learning. It was and still is a research-driven and funding-driven community, under-pinned by the rhetoric and mechanics of ‘innovation’, working within existing curricular, institutions, professions and ideas and based on the pedagogic and epistemological foundations of European modernism. Its foundational disciplines were computing, education and psychology as earlier espoused by e-learning and its aspirations and research agenda come from the same ancestry. It had the modernist imperative to generalize and theorise.
There is however also a second, an emergent and more subversive, paradigm. This portrays connection and mobility as defining characteristics our societies, arguing that this connection and mobility change attitudes, abilities and expectations about how we can generate, transform, share, discuss, store and consume ideas, images, information and opinions. This has a rather different conception of learning with mobiles that resonates with post-modern notions of transience, fluidity, partiality, subjectivity and relativity and draws more on a loose and emergent ‘sociology of mobilities’ community. More apparent in this paradigm, incidentally, is the hegemony of those global, or rather US Anglophone, corporations that own, supply and control most content, platforms and infrastructure.
Somewhere between these extremes is the growing phenomenon of user-generated learning for mobiles, characterized by content, contexts, communities and conversations generated by learners for learners, often exploiting the affordances of mobile access to Web2.0 technologies.Each of these three has clear implications, opportunities and challenges for teaching and learning, and specifically for the teaching and learning of languages.
Paper Presentation 1: Exploiting a corpus of pop music lyrics for personalized mobile learning Valentin Werner (University of Bamberg) & Maria Lehl (Tonguesten) Online handout here.
In this paper, which takes a combined theoretical and practical perspective, we argue that pop lyrics represent a rich, but underused resource in language learning. In applied linguistic attempts to exploit them for foreign language teaching purposes they have mostly been sidelined to the role of “additional” or “light” material, and have been barred from the use for the instruction of “serious” matter, such as aspects of grammar. This is striking in the view of analyses from the fields of motivational and cognitive psychology (see, e.g., Syed 2001; Beath 2010; Israel 2013), didactics as well as linguistics, which all provide evidence for the inherent potential of this genre (see, e.g., Lems 2005; Allmayer 2008). It is even more striking given the ubiquity and universal availability of lyrics and music videos in the everyday life of the learner population, who access them both online or offline, on mobile devices, for instance.
In order to present an actual implementation of an app that uses pop lyrics, we first have a closer look at arguments in favor of exploiting pop lyrics for learning purposes. Second, we present a general overview of linguistic features of lyrics (Werner 2012) and thus offer a brief stylistic analysis (in terms of locating lyrics in relation to other text types as well as on a written-spoken continuum), also considering learner-related aspects. Next, we outline gateway steps and potential difficulties on the way toward using lyrics in a video/lyrics app tailored to the requirements of an informal, gamified and personalized learning setting. More specifically, we consider hurdles in processing lyrics with available NLP tools (Werner & Lehl 2015), for instance as to reliable part-of-speech-tagging, which is due to some of their inherent structural features (such as contractions, nonstandard forms, missing sentence boundaries, etc.). Finally, we will address the topic of automatic exercise creation (Lehl 2014; Werner, Lehl & Walton forthcoming), for which accurate annotation is an essential prerequisite. We then present a beta version of ReBeats (rebeats.tv), an app based on a corpus of pop lyrics and aligned video clips. It allows the users to work on areas such as spelling and grammar with video clips of their own choice. Learners are challenged by multiple choice exercises while the clip is playing, and receive instant feedback. The app can thus be seen as an implementation of data-driven learning in a highly gamified environment.
In conclusion, we suggest that (annotated) pop lyrics can well be used to establish a connection to the world of the learners both within and beyond the language classroom. In addition, we aim to show how to take advantage of the specific opportunities offered by a corpus-based approach, and argue that an app of the type presented is especially suited for mobile learning. However, we also take account of the fact that there remain a number of technical and methodological challenges that have to be overcome to create a fully adaptable and flexible framework for using lyrics for learning purposes in mobile apps.
Paper Presentation 2: Socrative, Facebook and Whatsapp: the new age of Clickers and m-learning Bellés-Fortuño, Begoña (English Studies department Universitat Jaume I/ IULMA) & Ferrer-Alcantud, Coré (History, Geography and Art department Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain)
Albeit is not allowed, the use of mobile phone in the classroom is a fact. We therefore aim at taking advantage of mobile technology and use it as a learning tool in order to enhance the knowledge of higher education students in a bilingual instructive background (Spanish/ English).
Although mobiles have not been developed for classroom learning, the truth is that they can be used directly for that purpose or as a side benefit (Godwin-Jones, 2005). The ubiquity of m-learning and the advantage of going from formal to informal learning without changing settings opens a range of possibilities for content and language learning (Kukulska-Hulme, 2005).
Neurologically, human beings are not predisposed to learning a new topic and understanding specific terminology by listening to a lecture for regularly longer than an hour and a half. Most students have problems to retain some relevant facts of a lecture, even though these are usually repeated and emphasised.
The use of Clickers in North-American universities has become largely used and popular among scholars and university students as a learning tool. Clickers are a means of interactive technology that enable lecturers to pose questions to students just immediately after the lecture delivery and collect the responses in a very rapid and organised way thanks to remote transmitters available in the classroom setting. Questions can be of many forms, yes/no questions, multiple choice answers, opinion polls, etc. Clickers allows immediate learning process recalling and evaluation, enhancing active learning in the university classroom.
Unfortunately, Spanish university classrooms are not currently equipped with Clickers technology and we do not expect them to be in the short term, considering the financial crisis and the recent cuts in university research investments.
However, we are provided with Wi-Fi connection in the classroom and every student has his/her own mobile phone, therefore m-learning can easily be applied in the classroom setting without having to resign to active learning. Our practical case takes place at a Spanish university for 1st year degree students in the field of Ancient History and in a Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) environment, where English is used as the language of instruction along with Spanish, mainly among students’ interaction.
Following with our main objective, that is, using m-learning in the university classroom, our students’ mobile phones will work as Clickers and become the remote transmitters needed; laptops, tablets, phablets or any other mobile device could be used to this end. The possibilities for active learning using mobile phones as a class tool during a lecture are endless. For our aim, we have mostly relied on apps such as Socrative, Facebook, and Whatsapp, requiring the creation of groups or as we have called them community of learners. Students can work with these apps in order to enhance their learning process and ameliorate their understanding in both, Spanish and English new terminology via quizzes and polls (Socrative), visual learning and out-of-class questions (Facebook), as well as sharing joined difficulties and curiosities (Whatsapp).
Quizzes are anonymous, disregarding the idea of a competition, and students are seen as equals as they use social media and text-messaging apps for solving daily questions and talking about common interests related to the subject. We believe that active learning using mobile phones as a pedagogical tool allows students to learn successfully and effectively and so have our students said in the opinion surveys we asked them to fulfil.
Paper Presentation 3: Self-regulated strategies into Mobile Assisted Language Learning: a doctoral research including the apps Babbel and Speak English Daily (Artur André Martinez Campos, João Correia de Freitas (Faculty of Science and Technology, New University of Lisbon, Monte da Caparica, Lisbon, Portugal)
Throughout the current development of a doctoral thesis on the adoption of smartphones and tablets to increase second language acquisition – English; we have researched how some specific mobile learning environments (Beatty, 2010; Burston, 2015; Chen, 2013; Kukulska-Hume, 2009, 2012; Traxler, 2009) provide language learning potentialities to students who are in charge of their own learning processes (Bandura, 1986; KiliçÇakmak, 2010, Kurbanoglu, 2006; Sha et al, 2012).
Mobile-Assisted-Language-Learning (M.A.L.L.) (Beatty, 2010; Kukulska-Hume, 2009) requires in its ‘ethos’ the development of important characteristics that basically define Self-Regulation or Self-Regulated Learning (Zimmerman, 1990). SRL is a principle where the proper control to execute pedagogical tasks and academic attainments is taken by the learner in his/her discovery learning (Bruner, 1961). According to Zimmerman (1990) in Carneiro, Lefrere, & Steffens (2007), Self-Regulated Learning shows better results when students are “self-regulated to the degree that they are metacognitively, motivationally, and behaviourally active participants in their own learning process”.
This paper presents a doctoral analysis of how the overall app design (Banga & Weinhold, 2014) as well as the Human Computer Interface (Bastien & Scapin, 1993; Dix, Finlay, Abowd, & Beale, 2004) of two language learning applications – Babbel; Speak English Daily – are developed following or not the framework of Self-Regulated Learning in their linguistic experiences and narratives. We also ponder on the content flow (Banga & Weinhold, 2014) of these apps for considering it a mandatory element that enacts right strategies to a thorough execution of each app lesson.
Paper Presentation 4: MemAsia: Memory algorithms and mobile learning in teaching Asian languages Marijana Janjić, Sara Librenjak, Kristina Kocijan (Department of Information and Communication Sciences, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb, Croatia)
Learning a second language / foreign language can secure a better future in life, as indicated by The European Survey on Language Competence, ESLC (2012). The advantages of Mobile-Assisted Language Learning (MALL) are tremendous (Chinnery, 2006; Gromik, 2012; Sarica & Cavus, 2009; Sharples et al. 2007) and studies have been undertaken to show different aspects, positive and less positive when it comes to the implementation of mobile technology in learning (Koole, 2009; Albers & Kim, 2001; Thornton & Hauser, 2005; etc.). So far, very few efforts towards research have been done in Croatia (Librenjak, Kocijan, Dovedan Han, 2012) when it comes to learning or teaching Asian languages as second languages.
In the autumn of 2015, the MemAsia project, sponsored by the EU grant, was started at the Department of Information and Communication Sciences at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. The project’s aim is to enrich the learning materials available for the study of Japanese, Korean, Hindi and Sanskrit as second or third languages at the Faculty in Zagreb and in several language schools in Croatia. We chose the web-based applications to develop such learning materials after the initial research among student population about various elements that they find difficult in the learning of at least one of these languages. After the analysis of students’ answers, the team had started developing e-materials that could help students retain new vocabulary and new grammatical and syntactical elements that needed to be incorporated in their language skills during the selected course. The project will finish in October 2016, but some results are already available and offer opportunity for debate in educators’ circles as well as in application-developers’.
The presentation will show the outline of the project, statistical data for students’ involvement with materials and students’ scores in 4 testing sessions. The presentation will also touch upon the relation between student’s motivation to learn and use e-materials, as well as between student’s use of such materials and teacher’s encouragement of students to use e-tools in general.
The workshop will start at 9:30 and will finish at 18:00.
To register please follow this link and make sure you select WS1: Learner language, corpus linguistics and mobile learning. Places will be allocated in order of receipt of registration forms. Registered and confirmed participants (excluding presenters) will get a 75€ refund after the conference.
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