Multimedia lab language learning thesis

Physically, the multimedia lab is larger than the traditional classroom. The physical distance enlarged the psychological distance. It has the tendency that the two-way communication between the teacher and the students turned to be the one-way teacher to student communication. The role of the teachers and the learners are influenced by interpersonal factors and task-related factors:.

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Teachers and learners are accorded a social status depending on what we value in their performances. The relative positions are usually fixed, although types of teaching and learning situations differ a great deal. A power relationship exists between teachers and learners in which power is not shared equally. This fact, combined with perceptions of status, gives rise to social distance. While teachers have a set of professional attitudes, personal attitudes and beliefs are likely to differ considerably between teachers and learners.

All individuals bring their personalities into social encounters. Indeed, social life is a major factor in shaping personality. An additional complication arises in the situation where learners are trying to cope with a foreign language. The internalization of the new language may bring about changes in the personality of the learner. So far, we have pointed out the various factors which influence the way teachers interpret their roles in the classroom.

Our aim in this section is to find out what teachers and learners actually do in the classroom; our focus is on the teacher and learner role behavior. They complement each other ; the latter would be more or less impossible without the former. In practice, it is very difficult to separate the two and often one act in the classroom can perform both functions simultaneously.

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In relation to the instructional role of the teacher, it can be scrutinized from three broad perspectives:. It is rare for a classroom language teacher to stick to only one mode during the course of a lesson. Based on this, some possible instructional modes can be found, like :. The teacher expounds at length on a topic. Learners listen and may take notes.

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The lecture can be interrupted by questions from the learners, but these normally occur at the end of the lecture. Teachers probe learners through close questioning in order to bring previously acquired knowledge to the surface. In this way teachers either clarify that knowledge or get learners to say or do something with the knowledge as a prelude to embarking on new knowledge. The means by which teachers assess what the learners already know or have learnt as a result of the new language having been presented through question and answer routines.

It is the most relevant to this study. The means by which teachers introduce the fundamentals of a multimedia software program. The teacher expounds at length on a navigation system. The demonstration can be interrupted by questions from the learners, but these normally occur at the end of the demonstration. The teacher leads the class through a tightly controlled sequence of activities centered on a new language point. All the learners work at the same pace under the direction of the teacher.

It is how, the role of the learner in the context of a group activity will be dynamic or receptive depending on role teacher takes whereas the roles these learners -looking at them as individual subjects- will be determined by their personalities. Four main types of learners are distinguished in this analysis. Individuals could can differ according to the degree of the tendency towards being of any one type, the types are as follows:. Wright, The above mentioned kinds of learners are taken into account when analyzing the roles of the learners during the laboratory classroom interaction.

There are multiple orientations for doing research. There is not simply a finite number of these orientations, nor is there a simple dichotomy between qualitative and quantitative approaches. Indeed, there is an off-cited division in the SLA field between those researchers who favor qualitative methodologies and those who prefer quantitative ones.

The prototypical qualitative methodology is an ethnographical study in which the researchers do not set out to test hypotheses, but rather to observe what is present concerning their focus, and consequently, the data are free to vary during the course of observation.

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The ethnographic methods which characterize qualitative research were initially developed by social anthropologists to study the cultures of different social groups, they have been used since the late 19th century, and have become increasingly popular amongst educational researchers during the last quarter of the 20th century. Qualitative research methods have been describe by a number of authors such as Patton This research thesis is presented as a qualitative case study.

A qualitative research is a study that serves as a foundation for the understanding of the participants worlds and the meaning of shared experiences between the participants in a given social context. Because the subjects will be observed behaving in a natural manner at their computer laboratory setting, then this study has a qualitative orientation.

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The qualitative research gives an important role to participants, it allows researchers to listen to their ideas, and to incorporate them into the research, it has a strong commitment towards the values of the fieldwork. Merriam states that a qualitative case study is "an intensive, holistic description and analysis of a single instance, phenomenon, or social unit" p Following Merriam statement, the objective of this research is to qualitatively examine the nature of the oral interaction within the laboratory setting in relation to the teaching-learning processes.

What type of interaction happens when students construct understanding using multimedia learning software in an English as foreign language setting? What are the most common interaction arrangements between students, teacher and computers while using multimedia software? The instruments to observe the classes and see to what extent the communication within the computer laboratory fosters oral interaction are an observation scheme, transcripts done by means of video taping the classes and questionnaires during ten classes.

Also, a semi-structured interview was carried out with the same group of students. A technique such as transcribing classes by means of videotaping them was used in order to gather data in relation to laboratory class interaction since these transcripts are the closest or the truest probes of every single situation that actually will occur during the class sessions. The present study was conducted in the first semester and second semester of The study took place in the setting of the students "Mutimedia Practice" laboratory. All the subjects that participated in the research are students from Gran Colombia University Languages Center which offers fifteen different English courses.

The aim of the courses during first and second semester was to further expand students' English oral skills to a more communicative competence. The teacher and students met for one 1 hour session every week.

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Most of the students graduated from secondary school. Eighth subjects for the study were randomly chosen for the research aim. Students were familiar with the basic operation of computers such as saving and retrieving files because most of them took a required computer introductory course at secondary school and meanwhile were taking an optional basic computer science course.

The instructor did not instruct and guide the English conversation practice in a classroom merely equipped with only desks, chairs, and a large blackboard. Instead, the course was carried out in a multimedia computer language laboratory.

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There are sixty Pentium class personal computers in the lab. They are all networked. Two computers are set for instructor use only.

The multimedia lab shares some features with the traditional audio-lingual language lab. The teacher can broadcast the teaching materials by playing audio tapes, video-tapes, or CDs. Students practice with each other in pairs by themselves. The multimedia lab has some features that traditional language lab cannot compete.

First, a traditional language lab does not have the function of video on demand. Students can choose an English teaching program they are interested in and learn on their pace of learning. The English learning program will just serve the student's desired goal of learning. In one sense, students easily get the individual attention from the computer. Second, the function of a multimedia lab is multiple.

It can not only assume the role of a traditional language lab, but also offer teachers more powerful teaching tools with the aid of modern computer technology. For instance, the Internet projects and electronic hyperstories can be created y designed. The participants for this project were a group of 8 English students of the extension program of English with Emphasis on Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

They ranged in age from about 14 to 40 years old. Six students were female and 2 were male.

Multimedia Lab Language Learning Thesis

Students received 10 hours of English per week. From these 10 hours, students met for 1 hour in the multimedia laboratory, which had installed the Discoveries network version. This group of students was selected at random from a group of 20 students. These criteria were pertinent in order to be coherent with the characteristics of the project. The abovementioned criteria, as well as the requirements are shown in the following section: the instructional design. Since I was the 1 hour multimedia English instructor for this group of students, I had the possibility to implement the research project at the laboratory.

All of the points mentioned above were logically connected with the dynamics and the intended results of the multimedia interaction project. Procedures and Instruments for Data Collection. Patton as cited in Merriam states that "qualitative data consist of detail descriptions of situations, events, people, interactions and observed behaviors, experiences, attitudes, beliefs, and thoughts; and excerpts or entire passages from documents, correspondence, records, and case histories" p During 10 months, in agreement with the proposed methodology, data was collected and presented in a qualitative form.

Annex No. The ultimate purpose of the questionnaire was to understand how students feel and communicate their experiences at the level of language behavior in the computer lab. Transcripts excerpts illustrate the interpretations and have been chosen as representative episodes.


During the two semesters 40 weeks , we had 40 sessions in the laboratory. The students had their first multimedia session on February, and the project was formally completed on the last week of November. During that period I wrote down the teacher journal entries, videotaped the classes and conducted both the questionnaire and the interview. During all the laboratory sessions, students had the opportunity to interact and comment with their teacher about the activity at hand.