Head of Language and Learning Support
Middlesex University, UK
Do computer games really contribute to language learning?
In recent years there has been a lot of interest in the potential role of computer games in education. Playing games is said to be motivating to students and to benefit the development of social skills such as collaboration and metacognitive skills such as planning and organisation. Also in the language classroom computer games are becoming increasingly popular. In Japan, for example, portable gaming devices such as the Nintendo DS have been used for the delivery of word games and in the UK and in Thailand several projects have developed language games for use on mobile phones. However, the pedagogical approach underlying such games is often not clear. In the case of the Japanese classes, the games were intended to develop fluency but in fact offer only simple spelling exercises with right-wrong answers. In addition to pedagogic issues, there is very little research to support the claims made for using computer games in language education. In this presentation I will first present these claims before reviewing a number of current language games. Next, I will report on an empirical research project designed to investigate the effects of a an online multiplayer gaming environment on L2 use and acquisition. I will show that computer games can indeed affect L2 interaction patterns and contribute to L2 acquisition, but that this depends, like in all other teaching and learning environments, on careful pedagogic planning of the activity.
Dr Hayo Reinders is Editor of Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching and Head of Language and Learning Support at Middlesex University, UK. A frequent keynote speaker at international events, he was previously founding Director of the English Language Self-Access Centre at the University of Auckland and Visiting Professor at Meiji University in Japan. A prolific author, Hayo is the author or editor of over ten books. His most recent projects include books on teaching methodologies, Transform your Teaching: Strategies for Multicultural Education, published by Pearson Education, and an edited book on Learner and Teacher Autonomy, published by Benjamins. His interests are in Teacher Education, CALL, and Learner Autonomy. Hayo has designed virtual learning environments for language learners and teachers and has developed institutional language support systems at several universities around the world.
You can find out more about Hayo Reinders on his personal website at: http://innovationinteaching.org/
Dr Insung Jung
Professor of Education, Media and Society
International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan
E-learning, mobile learning development and research in Asia
E-learning and m-learning are being adopted in universities, schools, workplace training and non-formal adult and community education in Asia. In South Korea almost 60% of large corporations and 20% of SMEs were using e-learning by 2004, 17 private non-profit cyber universities and colleges have been established, and 85% of the public and private universities provide courses online. In Cambodia, the Internet Village Motorman project delivers educational, medical and other Internet-based services into solar-powered schools, telemedicine clinics and other centres in remote rural areas by means of motorcycles equipped with mobile access points and satellite uplinks. The Open Academy for Philippine Agriculture provides Web-based services to farming communities. The Health Sciences University of Mongolia uses the Internet, mobile phones and other technologies to train rural physicians, undertake medical diagnosis and consultancy at a distance, and build a research and practitioner network in frontline healthcare. China’s Shanghai Jiaotong University’s E-Learning Lab has trialled an m-learning system that enables on- and off-campus students to receive textual, audio and video broadcasts of lectures, take these live or download them for later use, and interact with their teachers and peers by SMS. National SchoolNets which establish links between schools, teacher training institutions and other agencies and facilitate inter-school collaboration and access to resources include SchoolNet-Sri Lanka, SchoolNet India, Indonesia’s Sekolah2000, WAN Kota and E-dukasi.net networks, SchoolNet Thailand, SchoolNet Japan, Malaysia SchoolNet, South Korea’s EDUNET, Edu.MALL in Singapore, Pilipinas SchoolNet, Iran’s SchoolNet and SchoolNet Lebanon. Early exposure to SchoolNets and other e-learning/m-learning environments seem to contribute to the development of digital natives in Asia.
In this presentation, I will examine e-learning/m-learning development and research in various sectors and levels of education across Asia and discuss the strengths, weaknesses and challenges in e-learning/m-learning
practice and policy-making, based on a new co-authored book published by Routledge entitled, Distance and Blended Learning in Asia (2009). I will also address some critical issues as e-learning readiness, the development
of digital natives, learner/staff training and development, quality assurance, culture and technology, research and translating research into practice.
Professor Insung Jung is currently serving on the faculty of the International Christian University (ICU) in Tokyo. Before joining ICU as a full professor of the Division of Education in 2003, she served as the Director of the Multimedia Education Center at the Ewha Women's University in Seoul. The Center was established to develop, deliver and manage e-learning programs for the University, and Dr Jung established numerous collaborative relationships with national, regional and international institutions to deliver courses and degree programs to professional women in the region and throughout the world.
From 1992 through 2000, Dr Jung was on the faculty of the Korea National Open University and has served as a consultant and technical advisor in distance learning to numerous national and international institutions, including: UNESCO, the APEC ICT Human Capacity Building and Facilitation of Human Resources Exchange, and the Advisory Committee of World Bank's GDLN project in Korea. Moreover, she has been involved in Korea's national policy development in distance education, and has evaluated a number of initiatives in which information and communications technologies (ICT) have been used in the K-12 tertiary, teacher training, and corporate education sub-sectors.
You can find out more about Insung Jung on her personal webpage at: http://epiaget.com/