Setting up a SIG Week 5.2

Special interest group

Inspired by my course so far, I sent round an email at work to see who might be interested in developing their use of digital technologies for language teaching. Every year we are required to complete an action research project which, unfortunately, is often seen as another imposition on top of all the other administrative tasks we have to do. Despite this, two very experienced teachers decided to take part in the special interest group (SIG) and we had our first face-to-face meeting on Friday.

Where shall we start?

We set out by focussing on specific areas where we felt we were failing our learners or where little progress was being made. We then tried to identify which digital tools might provide new solutions to these issues. Areas that came up included learner agency, learner autonomy, engagement and personalisation. We also came to the conclusion that investigation into our learners’ attitudes towards the role of digital technology in their learning was needed. We felt the best way to start would be with a questionnaire for our students and perhaps even one for ourselves too. One of the teachers used SurveyMonkey to complete her research last year for both qualitative and quantitative data using ranking, multiple choice questions and comments. We therefore decided to focus on this tool as our first structured use of digital technologies with our students.

What questions do we need?

The questionnaire will need to focus on the following areas for both students and teachers:

  1. Attitudes to learning languages.
  2. understanding of teacher and learner roles.
  3. Past experience of technology for language learning.
  4. Current use of technology for learning.
  5. And finally, perhaps some evaluation of digital literacies.

Please join in!

This is by no means a complete list, so please feel free to suggest other areas which you feel should be included. When the survey is completed I would like to share the result here for further evaluation and for any teachers that would like to use it with their classes.

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