ELF 2.0 Study – English as a Lingua Franca Discussions in the Web

Invitation to participate

Target groups:
(a) secondary school pupils who are non-native speakers of English
(b) university students who are non-native speakers of English
Proficiency level: Low to upper intermediate (A2 – B2)
Requirements: Internet, computer/laptop with sound/video, (simple) headset, webcam

In the EU project TILA (“Telecollaboration for Intercultural Language Acquisition”), we are conducting case studies of discussions in English as a lingua franca (ELF discussions) in two web environments: the 3D virtual world of OpenSim and the videoconferencing platform of BigBlueButton.
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The ELF discussions take place in small groups of three to five speakers from different countries and cultures. The discussion topics concern the speakers’ experience with social media such as facebook.
Questionnaires, replay of recorded discussions, and retrospective interviews are used to collect speaker profile information as well as comments regarding lingua-cultural divergences, communicative challenges, and strategic solutions.
The focus of analysis is on intercultural communicative interaction in non-native speaker English and on how pupils and students adapt to the conditions imposed by the respective technological environment.
Our ELF 2.0 study aims to contribute to a better understanding of the potential of telecollaboration for real and authentic communicative language learning and teaching beyond the face-to-face classroom. It is also expected to provide insights for pedagogical measures concerning learner preparation and teacher development.
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@ Teachers of English: if you are interested in this study and some of your pupils or students might want to join one of the ELF discussion groups, please get in touch.

Contact: Kurt Kohn
Steinbeis Transfer Center Language Learning Media

English for Special Purposes: Communication across Disciplines

The International Conference on English Education “English for Special Purposes (ESP): Communication across Disciplines”, 20-21 April 2013 at Shih Chien University, Taipei Campus, Taiwan (R. O. C.)

delicious dumplings

Food for Mind, Body, and Soul

An interesting and well-balanced range of talks: Keynote speeches by KAY WESTERFIELD (“Passport to Academia and Beyond”), KURT KOHN (“Collaborative Authentication – A Social Constructivist Perspective on ESP Learning and Teaching”) and YUKIO TONO (“Corpus Linguistics and ESP”) – Invited speeches by WENLI TSOU (“What’s Missing in our EAP Program”), SHIOU-WEN YEH (“What Can Technology Do to Support EAP”) and CHING KANG LIU (“The Strengths of the Project-based Framework in ESP Courses”).

Check out the full programme

Overwhelming hospitality and professional conference support by a merry crowd of enthusiastic students gently supervised by Wei-chen Chuang and Tian-Tsai Chiang (TJ), not to mention the rich cultural and culinary excursions – and of course Lyn and Eve and Jim, my “cultural bodyguard” – a BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU!

If you want to know more about “Collaborative Authentication”, here are my presentation slides.

Back from TESOL Arabia, Dubai, 14-16 March 2013

A GREAT conference experience – Interesting people, excellent insights – These were some of my favorites:

  • “Curriculum Approaches in Language Teaching: Forward, Central and Backward Design” (Jack C. Richards)
  • “Creating and Performing Jazz Chants” (Carolyn Graham)
  • “Ten Ways to Get Your Students to DO Something” (Ken Wilson)
  • “Learners in the 21st Century: Are they Any Different?” (Linda Price)
  • “The Price and Value of Education: A Dickensian Approach” (Luke Prodromou)

A big THANK YOU to the organizers Les Kirkham and Sandra Oddy.

And here are my own presentation slides:

 

TESOL Arabia Conference, 14th – 16th March 2013, Dubai

Check this out: three talks by Kurt Kohn at TESOL Arabia [http://tesolarabia.org/conference/]

1st Featured session, Thursday 14th March 12.30-1.15, Crystal Ballroom A
“E-LEARNING FOR LANGUAGES: THE HUMAN DIMENSION”

My presentation will be guided by the overall assumption that e-learning can play an innovative and powerful supporting and enhancing role in foreign language learning and teaching – provided, however, pedagogic exploitation proceeds from a sound understanding of the HUMAN nature of the needs and processes involved. With this orientation in mind, I will first sketch out key principles and requirements of language learning and teaching, with a special focus on communicative and social constructivist models. I will then briefly trace the evolution of computer technologies – from multimedia to internet to web 2   and analyze their potential for language learning and teaching purposes. In this context, I will touch on issues of learner and teacher autonomy, authenticity, and collaboration. In terms of pedagogic implementation I will emphasize the concept of blended language learning, including its more recent revival in the guise of the ‘flipped classroom’ approach. Case studies from European projects will be used to demonstrate pedagogic solutions involving the e-learning platform Moodle, wiki collaboration and Skype.

2nd Featured session, Friday 15th March 11.00-11.45, Crystal Ballroom A
“INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE:  AN ENGLISH AS A LINGUA FRANCA PERSPECTIVE”

In my presentation, I will focus on the roots of intercultural communicative competence in ordinary everyday communication. I will first trace the development of models of communicative competence from Hymes (1972) to Canale & Swain (1980) and Leung (2004). Against this background, I will introduce the social-constructivist “My English” condition (Kohn 2011) according to which learners acquire English by developing their own versions of it in processes of individual and collaborative creative construction. I will then discuss the nature of non-native speaker English from the perspective of ownership in a globalized world of communication seemingly torn between foreign language learners’ orientation towards Standard English and the requirements of communication in English as a lingua franca (ELF). In their attempt to establish a ‘third space’ of intercultural communication, lingua franca users of English are faced with the challenge of learning to explore and trust their own non-native speaker creativity in collaborative processes of accommodation and meaning negotiation. As an illustration I will use examples from an ELF corpus of critical incident discussions.

Masterclass in ELT, Saturday 16th March 11.00-11.45, Emerald Room
“PEDAGOGIC CORPORA: FROM REAL LANGUAGE TO RELEVANT LEARNING ACTIVITIES”

I will first give a brief overview of descriptive corpus linguistics and the exploitation of descriptive corpora for pedagogic purposes within the framework of data-driven learning. Following a critical evaluation from a cognitive discourse perspective, I will then argue for a pedagogic corpus approach in which corpus conceptualization and design are vitally shaped by the pedagogic orientation itself. This concerns in particular pedagogic motivation of corpus content development, including corpus annotation with pedagogically relevant thematic and linguistic categories, content enrichment to facilitate authentication, as well as online searches beyond the familiar concordances. The approch will be illustrated with reference to copora available from the EU project “BACKBONE – Corpora for Content and Language Integrated Learning”. The BACKBONE corpora contain video interviews in English, German, French, Polish, Spanish and Turkish as well as in European manifestations of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF); they are freely available for non-commercial educational use. Moodle-based pilot courses will be deployed to demonstrate how BACKBONE search results can be used to facilitate individual and collaborative learning activities in blended learning settings.

TILA – Telecollaboration for Intercultural Language Acquisition

On 24 and 25 January 2013, partners from 6 countries met in Valencia for the kickoff meeting of the new European Lifelong Learning project TILA.

TILA Kickoff MeetingThe aim of the TILA project is

  • to innovate and enrich language teaching programmes at secondary schools by introducing telecollaboration activities to facilitate intercultural communication with peers from other countries;
  • to implement (pre- and in-service) teacher training programmes that promote teachers’ pedagogical and intercultural competences in relation to telecollaboration through experiential learning in connection with task development, implementation and evaluation;
  • to explore the added value of telecollaboration activities for language learning and intercultural communication among young learners (aged 13-16).

TILA will offer actual practice and hands-on experiences in telecollaboration activities using video conferencing tools (e.g. skype or BigBluebutton) and virtual worlds created in OpenSim as well as asynchronous tools like blogs and wikis. It promotes professional teacher development by addressing technological, intercultural, pedagogical and organisational concerns for the successful integration of telecollaboration practices in language education.

Target languages: English, French, German and Spanish.

The TILA Consortium:
The Netherlands: Utrecht University (Coordinator); Berlage Lyceum in Amsterdam; 3D Learning Experience Sevices (3DLES)
United Kingdom: University of Roehampton; The Godolphin and Latymer School in London
Germany: Steinbeis Transfer Center Language Learning Media; Gymnasium Saarburg
Spain: Universidad de Valencia; IES Clot del Moro
France: Université de Paris 3; Collège La Cerisaie
Czech Republic: Palacky University

Associate partners: 42 institutions from the Netherlands, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Poland, Portugal and Italy

My Language – My English. Towards a Lingua Franca Pedagogy

Back from „Sprachen & Beruf“, Berlin, 25-26 Oct. 2012, www.sprachen-beruf.com,
Kurt Kohn talked about „My Language – My English”  (presentation slides)

Kurt KohnEnglish enables non-native speakers to gain access to a globalised world of communication and to overcome barriers of language and culture. But more often than not they are also forced to hide their intellectual and communicative capabilities under a bushel, while native speakers can be quite carefree about how they exploit and display their ‘home field’ advantage. It is not always easy these days for non-native speakers of English to find their place of identity in the English-speaking world. Torn between seemingly conflicting needs and requirements regarding communication, communal participation, self-image and esteem, knowing and learning, non-native speakers sometimes find it hard to feel at ease with themselves and to perform at the top of their potential. This is all the more frustrating since out there in real life, non-native speakers are on the rise. In Europe and around the world they are increasing in numbers, using their own version(s) of English for their own authentic communication purposes. Continue reading

icEurope

icEurope
icEurope – Intercultural Communication in Europe
Web Collaboration and E-learning in the English Classroom

icEurope is a Comenius multilateral project (142672-LLP-1-2008-1-DE-COMENIUS-CMP), funded by the European Commission from Dec 2008 until Jan 2010. The project was coordinated by the Chair of Applied English Linguistics, University of Tübingen and involves five other partner institutions from Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Turkey. The aim of icEurope was to explore the method of “web collaboration” (aka telecollaboration or online exchange) for authentic and interactive intercultural language learning.

icEurope combines 3 main strands for research and development:

  • intercultural communication and intercultural competence development
  • second and foreign language learning research with a focus on English and English as a lingua franca (ELF)
  • web technologies, e-learning and CALL, i.e. computer assisted language learning

Within icEurope, the project group has been investigating theoretical and methodological synergies between these three strands to create learning, teaching and training materials with a focus on intercultural language learning through web collaboration.

For more information, visit the icEurope website and the icEurope Moodle.

The icEurope project has been funded with support from the European Commission.The project information on this website reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Backbone

BACKBONE


“BACKBONE – Pedagogic Corpora for Content and Language Integrated Learning”  is a European project funded by the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP KA2 Languages 2008-2010).

BACKBONE developed web-based pedagogic corpora of video-recorded spoken interviews with native speakers of English, French, German, Polish, Spanish and Turkish as well as non-native speakers of English as a Lingua Franca.

Interview topics range from culture and region to education and health, business and technology. Interview transcripts are pedagogically annotated with regard to thematic, grammatical and lexical properties relevant for language learning and teaching.

BACKBONE Pedagogic Corpora
Links to the interview video/sound recordings, complementary websites and ready-made  interview-based learning modules provide further pedagogic enrichment.The pedagogically annotated and enriched corpora are available free of charge and can be accessed in a variety of pedagogically motivated search modes via the BACKBONE Corpus Search interface.

The BACKBONE corpus tools – Transcriptor, Annotator, Virtual Resource Pool, Corpus Management Tool, Corpus Seach – are available under a GNU General Public License  for customized BACKBONE-type corpus creation.

For more information about the BACKBONE corpus tools and the BACKBONE partnership including reponsibilities and credits, please visit the official  BACKBONE website.

The BACKBONE project has been funded with support from the European Commission.The project information on this website reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.