Switching perspectives : from a language teacher to a designer of language learning with new technologies
Kuure, Leena; Molin-Juustila, Tonja; Keisanen, Tiina; Riekki, Maritta; Iivari, Netta; Kinnula, Marianne (2015-07-29)
Leena Kuure, Tonja Molin-Juustila, Tiina Keisanen, Maritta Riekki, Netta Iivari & Marianne Kinnula (2016) Switching perspectives: from a language teacher to a designer of language learning with new technologies, Computer Assisted Language Learning, 29:5, 925-941, DOI: 10.1080/09588221.2015.1068815
© 2015 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
Despite abundant research on educational technology and strategic input in the field, various surveys have shown that (language) teachers do not seem to embrace in their teaching the full potential of information and communication technology available in our everyday life. Language students soon entering the professional field could accelerate the process, which highlights the role of teacher education in contributing to the change. The students should see how technology development may change the affordances for language learning, at the same time transforming the teachers’ professional roles and practices. However, taking an active role in designing a new kind of language pedagogy seems to be challenging for students. This study explores an attempt to facilitate the students’ perspective switch from the teacher role to the designer position through participatory design. This effort was to lead the students to envision new practices for language learning and teaching with new technologies. However, initial analyses of the research materials indicated that, despite the support, the students were not fully able to see their role as designers for the future. Cultural--historical activity theory was used to examine the problem more closely. The analysis suggests that in order to position themselves as designers of the future language learning activity, language students need to understand their role as designers, conduct real-life experiments on the evolving visions with their learners, and involve learners as participants in the design activity by sharing visions and collaborative reflection on the experiments. The findings of the study provide tools for language teacher educators to make these activity systems visible and, thus, target for change.
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