Designing and Implementing Synchronous Language Tasks

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Information about Designing and Implementing Synchronous Language Tasks

Published on March 11, 2009

Author: edunile



Designing and Implementing Synchronous Language Tasks

Designing and Implementing  Synchronous Language Tasks Ismail Fayed TESOL Arabia 16th Annual Conference March 12‐14, 2009

Outline 1. Definition of tasks 2. Synchronous vs. Asynchronous.. 3. Synchronous task design A. Benefits B. Negotiation of Meaning C. Types of Negotiation D. Triggers for Negotiation E. Types of Communication F. Task Design Guidelines G. Types of Tasks H. Issues to Consider 4. Brainstorming and demo activities 

1. Definition of Language Tasks meaning‐based activities  • actual communicative needs • relationship • genuine outcome • effective • Klapper (2003: 35), cited in Hampel (2006) Collaborative.. • Hampel (2006)

Types of Language Instruction • F‐2‐F Activities • Online Activities – Synchronous – Asynchronous • Blended Learning Activities – F2F – Synchronous – Asynchronous

Gilly Salmon's 5‐stage model  (e‐tivities framework)

2. Synchronous vs. Asynchronous  Tasks Synchronous Tasks Asynchronous Tasks Text, audio, video, virtual worlds Text, audio & video messaging Individual/ Group based Individual/ Group based Highly interactive & collaborative Highly interactive & collaborative Instant (quick Turn‐taking) Different times Ongoing, long‐term, with extended  Quick with  shortened forms forms Delivery/ negotiation/ spontaneous Narrative/ discussion mode mode Generates lots of incorrect forms More formal and less mistakes (lexical, structural, and in knowledge)

Virtual Learning Environments  (VLEs/ PLEs) Tools Tool Synch. Asynch. Asynch. e-learning e-learning (i.e. Lectures, Materials, News system S S Discussions) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) board S S Chat room S P Discussion groups/forums S, P P User on-line questionnaire S P Groupware i.e. (Breeze) e-mail messaging S P, S Listservers S S Schedulers and calendar systems S S Video conferencing P Audio conferencing P Virtual class environment1 P P Multimedia lecture content2 P P Notes: P – primary tool Instant feedback P S – support tool Shared applications P *E-Tutor Project (2006)

3. Synchronous Task Design • oriented towards goals.. Goal – Activity – Feedback Pica et al, (1993) cited in Smith, (2003) • model of lexical negotiation.. Trigger  Indicator  Response  Reaction Varonis and Gass (1985)

A. Synchronous Activities Facilitate SLA by.. s efit en .B A • Supporting social interaction where students help each other.  • Learners demonstrate different types of support to each  other: social; cognitive; and affective (Lee, 2002) • Constructing knowledge collaboratively (e.g. Berge and Collins, 1994; Crook, 1994; Lee 2001;  Warschauer, 1997) • Providing more equal opportunities to participate  (Lee, 2002; Smith, 2003) • Providing less stressful environment than F2F interaction  (e.g. Chun, 1998; Kern, 1995; Warschauer, 1997)

B. Negotiation of Meaning on ati ti go e . N of g Noticing Becoming aware modify output B in an Me quot;In producing L2, a learner will on occasions become aware (i.e. notice) a linguistic problem (brought to his/her attention either by external feedback like clarification requests, or internal feedback)”. (Swain & Lapkin, 1995, quoted in Tudini, 2003, p. 144)

Negotiation of Meaning ‐ 2 on ati ti go e . N of g B in an Me “... is the process in which, in an effort to communicate, learners and competent speakers provide and interpret signals of their own and their interlocutor's perceived comprehension, thus provoking adjustments to linguistic form, conversational structure, message content, or all three, until an acceptable level of understanding is achieved.” (Long, 1996, quoted in Tudini, 2003, p. 141) “... the conversational flow is interrupted by the need to question particular utterances and request conversational help... both implicit and explicit feedback... promote the incorporation of target language forms by learners... promote the modification of learner discourse.” (Varonis & Gass, 1985, cited in Tudini, 2003, p. 149)

C. Types of Negotiation es yp T C. of Learners employ a variety of modification devices,  n atio ti through the negotiation of both meaning and form go Ne (Pelleteri, 2000, cited in Lamy, 2004, p. 522) • Examples seek confirmation  – check comprehension  – request clarification  – reformulate  – paraphrase –

D. Triggers for Negotiation.. rs ge ig . Tr or recognition of new word  • D n f tio misuse of word  • tia go pronunciation error  • Ne grammatical error  • inappropriate segmentation  • abbreviated sentence  • sudden topic change  • slow response  • intercultural communication gap • (Toyoda & Harrison, 2002, cited in Tudini, 2003, p. 144)

E. Three Types of Communication Type of Exchange Examples s • Ask or answer a content‐related question  pe Content‐related Ty E. of • Share information  on at i • Express an idea or thought ic un m om C • Plan work, allocate tasks, coordinate joint efforts, or  Planning of tasks review drafts • Negotiate and resolve conflicts • Express companionship, emotional support, or advice • Use emoticons (such as J, L)  Social support • Provide support when problems arise (such as when having technical difficulties)  • Talk about things other than class work * Adapted from Haythornthwaite

F. Task Design Guidelines • According to Willis (1996) a task is a goal‐oriented activity with a clear  purpose.  • a communication task involves achieving an outcome, creating a final  as k product that can be appreciated by others. F. T ign s • Tasks should be authentic to the environment that they would be  De elines used. id Gu • Tasks should give the learners the opportunity to create contents,  which motivates them. • Synchronous communication tasks give students the opportunity to develop an audience for authentic communication. • Tasks should be focused on thinking skills. • It provides collaborative learning experience. • Tasks should give students proof of getting their ideas across • Creates a learning environment that goes beyond the classroom. • Vocabulary improvement

F. Task Design Focus Descriptor Rules Incidents Strategies Roles The learning task The learning Learning is The learning is requires learners to activity is focused around achieved through apply standard focused around strategies participation as a learners’ procedures and employed to player and as k rules in the solution. exposure and achieve the task participant in a T G. sign s participation in goals. setting that models De iptor Learners authentic and a real world issue. r meaningfully and realistic The strategy esc D reflectively apply incidents. options are Learners procedures and generated as part negotiate, apply processes. The activities of the solution. judgements and require learners experience. to reflect and take decisions based on to the responses to events. *Table based on Hedberg’s et al (2002) Learning tasks as the basis for high quality designs.

H. Issues to consider! Lessons follow certain stages: • a) pre‐task b) Task c) Plan d) Report (post‐task) e) Analysis f) practice Students ability to learn something new depends on what they  • already know.  (Mayes & De Freitas, 2007) es Tasks should be challenging for learners. • su Is H. to Tasks should involve negotiation: Learners can challenge their  • r ide thoughts, beliefs, perceptions and existing knowledge. s on C Tasks should promote and increase a collaborative community and  • therefore more effective learning would occur. Students can become frustrated with the sound quality.  • (Broadband vs. Dial‐up connection) Problem with the settings of their computer. • Consider the equipment that learners may have at hand (mic.,  • camera, headset, etc) In cases, provide training sessions. • Teachers need the ability to manage a large amount of visual and • textual material. Creativity requires practice and effort. • Wang & Chen (2007)

4. Brainstorming Tasks.. Tasks may vary to include.. Peer discussion – Team work task – Role play – Group discussions – Jigsaw task – Whiteboard tasks – Problem based task – Simulation tasks –

Demo Activity 1 Pre (Time: 15 min.) Think about a family vacation you went on when you were a child. Use  some of the ideas below and share some ideas about your experience  there. When you are ready click on reply to post your answers. * Where did you go? * Who chose the destination? * Was it the first time you'd been there, or had you been there before? * Was it a good place for a vacation? * How did you spend your time there? During • Small separate groups.  • Produce a quick comic :) bout  “A holiday with family and friendsquot;. ‐ Write a dialogue in the text/ audio chat window Post • Poll: Did you like that activity? • One group: reflection on the discussion

Demo Activity 2 Pre: (Time: 15 min.) Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of healthy food vs. junk food. During: Together plan for your comic story. Use this comics website to design your story. Post: Once done, send it to the teacher and share a screenshot with everyone in the discussion forum. You may like to add some ideas in the forum too. Practice: when you finish, send it to the next group and decide whose comic is the best. *An example made by two G11 students

Demo Activity 3 Pre: (Time: 15 min.) Talk about a place where you would like to go on holiday. During: Together plan a group trip. You are going away for 7 days. You can consider the following questions to begin with: Where would you like to go? What would you like to do? Who is going with you? Post: Students will the come up with a decision and go to a web site to create a movie. See a sample here: Practice: When you finish go to this web site and create your movie with your decision. when you finish creating the movie, send it to the next group and decide whose movie is the best.

Demo Activity 4: Role Play Pre: (Time: 15 min.) Talk about marriage and sincere relations. Listen to the first part of this dialogue. BBC Learning English - The Flat mates Situation During: Listen to this dialogue & play the role of Helen and Tim. If you are Tim, think of the best advice to give to Helen. Post: Students will the come up with a decision and share their conclusion with everyone. *Adapted from: Scot, P. and Chapman, C. (2007)

Demo Activity 4 Pre: (Time: 15 min.) Talk about marriage and sincere relations. Listen to the first part of this dialogue.

Demo Activity 5: Twitter

Demo Activity 6: Avatar Worlds

Bibliography Carman, J. M. (2005). Blended Learning Design: Five Key Ingredients. Agilant Learning, • [Accessed: March, 2008]. Felix, U. (2003). Teaching languages online: Deconstructing the myths. Australian Journal of Educational Technology, 19(1),  • 118‐138. [Accessed: March, 2008]. Guidelines for E‐tutors in Multi‐Cultural Collaborative and Synchronous (MCCS) teaching situations: [Website] Available from:  • <http://www.if.insa‐> [Accessed: March 28, 2008]. Hampel, R. (2006). Rethinking task design for the digital age: A framework for  language teaching and learning in a synchronous  • online environment. ReCALL Vol. 18, Issue 1, 105‐121. Hedberg, JG (2003). Ensuring quality E‐Learning: creating engaging tasks. Educational Media International, 40:3 p. 175‐186. • Hedberg, JG, Oliver, R, Harper,B, Willis,S and Agostinho, S (2002). Developing Evaluation Frameworks for Assesing Quality ICT‐ • based Learning in Higher Education. In P. Barker & S. Rebelsky (eds) Proceedings of ED‐MEDIA 2002: World Conference on  Education Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications. Denver, U.S.A, June 24‐29, 2002. Norfolk, VA: Association for the  Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). p. 736‐741 E‐Tutor (2006). Innovative e‐learning methodology for tutors in multi‐cultural, collaborative and synchronous context.  • Guidelines for E‐tutors in Multi‐Cultural Collaborative and Synchronous (MCCS) teaching situations [Website] Available from: <  http://www.if.insa‐ > [Accessed: April 1, 2008] Lamy, M. (2004). “Oral conversations online: Redefining oral competence in synchronous environments”. ReCALL, (16) 2, 520‐ • 538. Lee, L. (2002) Synchronous Online Exchanges: A study of modification devices on nonnative discourse interaction. System,  • 30(3), 275‐288. Mayes & De Freitas (2007) Learning and e‐learning: The Role of Theory. In Beetham & Sharpe (Eds.) Rethinking Pedagogy for a  • Digital Age. Routledge. P, 13‐25. Salmon, G. (2003). The Key to Teaching and Learning Online. London, RoutledgeFalmer. • Scot, P. and Chapman, C. (2007) Interactivity and BBC Learning English, WiA 2007 Online Convention: [Website] Available from:  • <> [Accessed: April 15, 2008] Smith, B. (2003). Computer‐mediated negotiated interaction: An expanded model. The Modern Language Journal, 87, 38‐54. • Tudini, V. (2003). Using native speakers in chat. Language Learning and Technology, (7) 3, 141‐159. • Willis, J. (1996). A frame work for task‐based learning. Harlow, UK: Longman, Addison‐Wesley. • Wang, Y, & Chen, N. (2007). Online Synchronous Language Learning: SLMS over the Internet. Innovative 3(3) [Website]  • Available from: <http://> [Accessed: April 7, 2008]. Fayed, I. Rosa, L. Conaway, L. Implementing Synchronous Language Tasks Online •

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