University of Tasmania
whole_MahnkenPhillip2002_thesis.pdf (20.94 MB)

Learner perspectives on foreign language knowledge, interaction and motivation in a computer assisted language learning environment

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posted on 2023-05-26, 17:36 authored by Mahnken, PA
Even as Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) expands, the study of Foreign languages (FL) in Australia continually fails to achieve the goals described in policy or recommended in empirical, speculative and evaluative research. At a time when active, experiential and learner-centred education is valorised, a major gap in FL discourse is the near-total absence of learner voices. This educational study used ethnographic methods including an open-ended questionnaire to investigate university learner perceptions of i) H knowledge; ii) interactions meant to promote FL knowledge construction; and iii) issues of motivation and connectedness. The paradigm swings and oscillations in foreign language teaching methodology - from the Grammar Translation Method to the communicative era - have collided with the advent of learner-centred constructivism and a rethinking of the significance of intercultural learning. At the same time, networked multimedia computers have sponsored expansion of Computer Assisted Language Learning. In this exploratory study in 1997, learners were introduced to a web-based component in their second semester Indonesian language studies. Learner perspectives on what knowledge construction may be mediated using this limited computer interactivity and what impact this has on motivation and sense of connectedness were gathered for interpretive analysis. Among findings are a clarification of the core mission of language teaching as promoting the communicative power of learners, the role of FL teachers as negotiators of the curriculum, and development of the emerging paradigm of Experiential, Intercultural Foreign Language Learning. The interpretation also treats the significance of the personal and interpersonal in Foreign Language Learning.


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Copyright 2002 the author Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 2002. Includes bibliographical references

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