Digital Literacies and Technology-Enhanced Language Learning: Interdisciplinary Intersections and Interactions
As new technology-mediated forms of interaction, learning, and meaning making have increasingly become integrated into all domains of life, from everyday to academic, foreign language educators and researchers have embraced the concept of Digital Literacies to frame new understandings and pedagogies. At the same time, the field of CALL (Computer-assisted Language Learning) has also evolved to consider new technologies as tutors, tools, environments, and ecologies for language learning. Theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical practices have differed, even as goals align.
Building on the successes of the 2014 symposium, 2016’s L2DL symposium, Digital Literacies and Technology-Enhanced Language Learning: Interdisciplinary Intersections and Interactions, was co-convened with AZ-CALL, a conference that brings together CALL researchers and practitioners from across the region. The joint symposium was sponsored by CERCLL (the Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language and Literacy) and a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, with support from various units at the University of Arizona and Arizona State University.
Format and Schedule
The symposium began on September 30, 2016, with a plenary presentation by Shelley Staples (University of Arizona). Abstracts for digital presentations were submitted in the summer and accepted presentations were hosted online during the week of October 3 – October 8, with asynchronous fora (discussion threads) allowing for question-and-answer for that entire week, and some of the presenters conducting synchronous chat at designated times as well. On October 8 live webcast and in-person events included keynotes by Heather Lotherington of York University and Steve Thorne of Portland State University/University of Groningen; a panel presented by Joshua Thoms (Utah State University), Jill Castek (University of Arizona), and William Crawford (Northern Arizona University); and other presentations.
All live presentations were recorded and/or livestreamed and are now available to view below (and on CERCLL’s YouTube channel).
Keynote Presentations (October 8)
Heather Lotherington, York University
From Multiliteracies to Posthumanism: Language, Literacy, Education and Society at a Digital Crossroads
Abstract: Over the past two decades, following the publication and widespread take-up of the New London Group’s landmark call to action: A pedagogy of multiliteracies, teachers, researchers, and policy makers have been refocusing teaching and learning for an emergent global society that is interconnected in real time and space, and, simultaneously, in a virtual dimension that was only vaguely perceived in 1996. A pedagogy of multiliteracies signalled the pressing need to lift the concept of literacy off the linguistically and technologically restricted page towards complex, hybridized multimedia literacies that spill across the ephemeral borders of education, literacy, second language acquisition, media literacy, cultural studies, and applied linguistics. As the static, unidirectional 2D world on paper has disintegrated into dynamic, multidirectional, crowd-sourced, cloud-based knowledge construction, individually measurable reading-writing-listening-speaking skills have given way to cognitively-distributed problem-solving, using a digital toolkit enabling collaborative R/W authoring; plurilingual and multimodal design; ludic and maker pedagogies; even post-human communication with bots. In this wildly changing communication landscape, interdisciplinarity is an essential coping mechanism.
In 2002, I walked into an inner city elementary school in northwest Toronto as a researcher, wanting to understand how multiliteracies were reshaping the coalface of emergent literacy. They weren’t, but the principal was keen to understand how to improve learning for a 90% immigrant population. The school had a mandate to use what was then naively described as technology to boost the chances of success for children who were poor, and had little, if any, knowledge of English, much less of the cultural complexities of Canadian identity. Through shared “how do we do this?” problem-solving, we formed a small school-university working group to try out new ideas for bringing children’s linguistic and cultural knowledge—their funds of knowledge (Moll et al, 1992)—into digital cross-curricular literacy projects. As our learning community grew, it became a regular theory-practice workshop timetabled into the school day, where a core of dedicated educators and researchers met to plan, and conduct pedagogical interventions across classes, grades, and subjects to inject the languages of the community into digitally-supported, multimodal projects (see: Lotherington, 2011). Over a decade, we rewrote literacy education, school culture, and our own understandings of learning, responding in the process to challenges about how to teach a class of 25 children speaking 16 different languages, and how to cope with the incessant rate of technological change. This presentation describes our dialogic learning process, and pedagogical experimentation, and showcases a sample of elementary school children’s beautiful plurilingual, multimodal products.
Lotherington, H. (2011). Pedagogy of multiliteracies: Rewriting Goldilocks. New York, N.Y: Routledge.
Moll, L.C,, Amanti, C., Neff, D., & Gonzalez, N. (1992) Funds of knowledge for teaching: Using a qualitative approach to connect homes and classrooms. Theory into Practice, 31(2), 132- 41.
New London Group (1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social futures. Harvard Educational Review, 66(1), 60-92.
Steven L. Thorne, Portland State University & University of Groningen
Technologies and Morphologies of Communicative Action: Method, Investigation, and Transformation
Abstract: Applying principles expressed in cultural-historical and ecological approaches to development (Bateson, 1972; Engeström & Sannino, 2010; Kramsch, 2006; van Lier, 2004), extended and embodied cognition (Atkinson, 2010; Clark, 2008), ethnomethodological conversation analysis (Thorne et al, 2015), and usage-based linguistics (Tomasello, 2003; Yuldashev, Fernandez, & Thorne, 2013), this talk presents a design approach to creating digital environments for language learning. The presentation traces a 20-year arc of scholarly inquiry that examines various internet communication tools, massively multiplayer games, mobile augmented reality projects, and uses of social media. Emphasis will be placed on the complex relationships linking theory to practice and methodology to findings. Specifically, brief portraits of research on a number of technology innovation projects will be presented that describe the theoretical frameworks and questions guiding these formative interventions, the kinds of data gathered, the methodologies used for analysis, and the outcomes of these studies in terms of their findings and significance. Together, these projects address foreign, second, and indigenous language contexts. In conclusion, I suggest that language development is usefully understood as adaptive semiotic bricolage motivated by social relationships of consequence, with the extension that educational processes and contexts should be designed accordingly.
Plenary Presentation (September 30)
Shelley Staples, University of Arizona
Boundary Work: Reflections on Collaboration across Disciplines for Technology Enhanced (Language) Teaching and Learning
Abstract: This presentation is intended to open up discussion about interdisciplinary intersections and interactions and the opportunities and challenges afforded by such work. While I identify primarily as a corpus linguist, my work has a broader focus on the use of technological tools to enhance teaching and research, with a particular emphasis on L1/L2 writing. In my talk, I will focus on an interdisciplinary collaboration with Technical/Professional Writing and Rhetoric/Composition faculty and graduate students at Purdue University, called Crow, or Corpus and Repository of Writing. Our collaborative work began through a shared interest in building an online database of writing and teaching materials for the first year writing program at our institution. The lessons learned from interacting in both disciplinary specific spaces (conferences) and interdisciplinary spaces (our own research meetings) will be presented, including the disciplinary focuses that we brought (and continue to bring to the project), methodologies and approaches that inform the creation of our online tool, conducting research in this interdisciplinary space, and the impact on our graduate and undergraduate research team.
Panel Discussion (October 8)
Digital Literacies, Computer-Assisted Language Learning, Corpus Linguistics: Intersections and Interactions
Jill Castek, University of Arizona. Leveraging Digital Literacies for Digital Equity: A Call to Action
Digital technologies have fundamentally transformed literacy practices, which have in turn expanded the ways we read texts, access information, and interact with one another. Implications of this change have profoundly affected education (e.g. the texts we use, the instructional practices we employ, and the learning environments we design). Digital technologies can encourage wider access to texts and information, expand creativity in self-expression, and support collaboration within a globally networked world. Drawing from her research in online reading and research and digital problem solving, Dr. Castek will address the potentials and possibilities for digitally enhanced teaching and learning as well as some of the constraints and inequities technology introduces.
William Crawford, Northern Arizona University. Adapting a Methodology: Register Analysis and Task-based Language Teaching
Over the past 25 years, corpus-based work on register variation has expanded our understanding of language use by illustrating how linguistic features co-occur and vary in different situations of use, modes, topics and contexts. In many respects, the actual linguistic features under investigation were not pre-determined but emerged from the data using different corpus techniques (e.g., corpus-driven methods) and statistical procedures (e.g., multi-dimensional analysis). Roughly over the same time period, work in Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT) has provided a theoretical and empirical basis for research in the area of instructed Second Language Acquisition. Within in the TBLT framework, one common approach has been to investigate the extent to which the manipulation of task variables (e.g., planning time, task type, task complexity) results in variation in language production. This presentation explores potential relationships between issues raised in TBLT and the methods used to describe language variation in register analysis.
Joshua Thoms, Utah State University. L2 Digital Social Reading: Research and Practice
Reading is shifting from a print-based experience to one that is often carried out in a digital environment due to the proliferation of myriad technological tools and reading devices. This change is resulting in learners attempting to transfer and, at times, re-think their reading strategies with digital texts (Park, Zheng, Lawrence, & Warshauer, 2013). Digital annotation tools (DAT) facilitate the development of new, digitally based reading strategies by allowing learners to interact with digital texts and with each other in new and engaging ways. One benefit of DAT in learning environments is that they allow learners to share annotations, which subsequently means that reading is no longer simply an individual process but also a collaborative one (Novak, Razzouk, & Johnson, 2012). Some (e.g., Blyth, 2014) refer to this kind of activity as digital social reading. In this talk, I will first provide a brief overview of DAT and their features. Next, I will discuss research that I have carried out that explores the various kinds of affordances (van Lier, 2004) that emerge when undergraduate learners use DAT while reading L2 literary texts. Along the way, I will also comment about the pedagogical aspects of/considerations for incorporating DAT in L2 classroom environments.
September 30, University of Arizona Campus, Museum of Art
5 – 6 pm
Plenary: Boundary Work: Reflections on Collaboration across Disciplines for Technology Enhanced (Language) Teaching and Learning. Shelley Staples, University of Arizona. Introduced by Dwight Atkinson, University of Arizona
6 – 7 pm: Reception
October 3-8 Digital Presentations Online
Authors of some of the digital presentations will be available online to discuss their work at scheduled times October 3-7.
October 8 on the University of Arizona Campus, Memorial Student Union
Presentations on the 8th were livestreamed and accessible to registered participants.
Registration and coffee
9:45 – 10 am
Welcome: Beatrice Dupuy, CERCLL Co-Director, University of Arizona; Alain-Philippe Durand, Dean of the College of Humanities, University of Arizona
10 – 11:15 am
Keynote: Technologies and Morphologies of Communicative Action: Method, Investigation, and Transformation. Steven Thorne, Portland State University; University of Groningen. Introduced by Jinjing Zhao, Arizona State University
11:15 am – Noon
CALL/DL Intersections: Discussion of Digital Presentations, Kristin Lange, Jacob Monzingo, and Kayo Shintaku, University of Arizona
Noon – 1:15 pm Lunch (on your own)
1:15 – 3 pm
Panel: Digital Literacies, Computer-Assisted Language Learning, Corpus Linguistics: Intersections and Interactions. Introduction by Bryan Smith, Arizona State University
- Leveraging Digital Literacies for Digital Equity: A Call to Action, Jill Castek, University of Arizona
- Adapting a Methodology: Register Analysis and Task-based Language Teaching, William Crawford, Northern Arizona University
- L2 Digital Social Reading: Research and Practice, Joshua Thoms, Utah State University
3:15 – 4:30 pm
Keynote: From Multiliteracies to Posthumanism: Language, Literacy, Education and Society at a Digital Crossroads. Heather Lotherington, York University. Introduced by Chantelle Warner, CERCLL Co-Director, University of Arizona
4:30 – 5 pm
Closing. Jonathon Reinhardt, University of Arizona
5 – 6 pm: Reception
Locations: The plenary reception on September 30th was at the University of Arizona Museum of Art, 1031 N. Olive Road. The livestreamed events on October 8th took place in the Kiva room in the Memorial Student Union, 1303 E. University Blvd.
Digital presentations will be online October 3 to 8, 2016, with opportunities for asynchronous and synchronous exchange with the authors during these days. Abstracts for the following list of presentations are available on individual pages–click on the title in which you are interested.
PRESENTATIONS WITH BOTH ASYNCHRONOUS AND SYNCHRONOUS DISCUSSIONS. Synchronous discussion will be at time listed (Mountain Standard Time – note that Arizona does not practice Daylight Savings), and asynchronous comments and questions can be left anytime.
Monday October 3
- Participant Positioning Strategies in Telecollaborative Tandem Exchanges. Brianna Janssen Sánchez (University of Iowa)
– Synchronous chat: Monday October 3rd, 11:30 am – Noon (MST)
- Memes as a Digital Literacy Tool that has Motivational Role in ESL Classes. Mohamed Yacoub (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)
– Synchronous chat: Monday October 3rd, Noon – 12:30 pm (MST)
- Corpora in the Classroom: Activities for Teaching English as an Additional Language. Claudia Maria Pereira and Rossana da Cunha Silva (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina)
– Synchronous chat: Monday October 3rd, 2:30 – 3 pm (MST)
Tuesday October 4
- Developing an EGAP Online Course: Are Japanese Digital Natives Ready? Parisa Mehran, Mehrasa Alizadeh, Ichiro Koguchi and Harou Takemura (Osaka University)
– Synchronous chat: Tuesday October 4th, 9 – 9:30 am (MST)
- Facebook Guided Telecollaboration: Bringing Monolinguals into the Classroom. William Justin Morgan and Egemen Gun (The University of Alabama)
– Synchronous chat: Tuesday October 4th, 9:30 – 10 am (MST)
- An English Learner Family’s Use of Information and Communication Technology at Home. Wyatt Brockbank (University of Iowa)
– Synchronous chat: Tuesday October 4th, 10 – 10:30 am (MST)
- Intercultural Language Learning through Video Production. Nayara Nunes Salbego (Federal Institute of Santa Catarina) and Denise M. Osborne (University at Albany, SUNY)
– Synchronous chat: Tuesday October 4th, 10:30 – 11 am (MST)
- Connected Learning: Using instructional techniques and digital tools to enhance language and content learning. Carmen Taleghani-Nikazm and Carolin Müller (The Ohio State University)
– Synchronous chat: Tuesday October 4th, 12:30 – 1 pm (MST)
Wednesday October 5
- Professional Development on Integrating Digital Literacy into Adult English Language Instruction. Kathy Harris (Portland State University)
– Synchronous chat: Wednesday October 5th, 9:30 – 10 am (MST)
- Digital Stories: Fostering the Development of English as a Foreign Language. Celso Henrique Soufen Tumolo (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina)
– Synchronous chat: Wednesday October 5th, 10 – 10:30 am (MST)
- Enhancing Technology Use and Training in Foreign Language Instruction through the Technology Training Model. Yi Wang, Borbala Gaspar and Chelsea Steinert (University of Arizona)
– Synchronous chat: Wednesday October 5th, 12 – 12:30 pm (MST)
Thursday October 6
- Intercultural Issues and Telecollaboration. Rodrigo Schaefer (Federal University of Santa Catarina)
– Synchronous chat: Thursday October 6th, 11 – 11:30 am (MST)
- #InstagramELE: Learning Spanish through a Social Network. Pilar Munday (Sacred Heart University), Yuly Asencion Delaney (Northern Arizona University), and Adelaida Martín Bosque (CEA Study Abroad-University of New Haven)
– Synchronous chat: Thursday October 6th, 11:30 am – Noon (MST)
- Teaching Discourse in Action: Realizing Multiple Literacies through Game-enhanced Pedagogies. Chantelle Warner, Kristin Lange and Diane Richardson (University of Arizona)
– Synchronous chat: Thursday October 6th, 12 – 12:30 pm (MST)
- Distributed Language Learning in a World of Warcraft (WoW) Centered Course. Kristi Newgarden (University of Connecticut)
– Synchronous chat: Thursday October 6th, 12:30 – 1 pm (MST)
Friday October 7
- Using Facebook for Telecollaboration: Fostering the Development of Intercultural Competence. Anastasia Izmaylova-Culpepper (University of Iowa)
– Synchronous chat: Friday October 7th, 9 – 9:30 am (MST)
- An Instructional Technique to Visualize Writing Process for ELLs. Yoonhee Lee (Arizona State University)
– Friday October 7th, 9:30 – 10 am (MST)
- Building a Bridge through CALL: A Case Study of L2 Heritage Learners and Non-heritage Learners of Mandarin Chinese in a Blended Learning Environment. Xuan Wang-Wolf (Arizona State University)
– Synchronous chat: Friday October 7th, 10 – 10:30 am (MST)
PRESENTATIONS WITH ASYNCHRONOUS DISCUSSIONS (comments and questions can be left anytime, and presenters will be sent notification to respond)
- An Auto-Ethnographic Study on the Use of Apps for Language Learning. Antonie Alm (University of Otago)
- An Online Module for Language Learning Strategy Literacy. Edie A. Furniss (University of Houston) and Julia Kleinheider (University of Houston)
- Corpus Linguistics for English Majors and Digital Literacies. Charles Lam (Hang Seng Management College)
- Gameplay Activities as L2 Learning Ecologies. Karim Shaker Ibrahim (Miami University in Ohio)
- How Digital Games Can Assist Vocabulary Learning of English as a Foreign Language. Caroline Chioquetta Lorenset (Instituto Federal de Santa Catarina)
- Telecollaboration: Planning and Assessment. Sara Villa (The New School)
- Towards an Interactive Learning Environment in an Online Chinese Course—Preliminary Findings and Ongoing Challenges. Bailu Li (Purdue University)
- Using Technology-enhanced Instruction in Teacher Education Programs. Kelly Moore Torres (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Meagan Caridad Arrastia-Chisholm (Valdosta State University) and Samantha Tackett (Florida State University)
- Working towards Digital Literacy, Learner Autonomy, and Student Motivation in an Intermediate Level Language Course. Robert Godwin-Jones (Virginia Commonwealth University)