Dr. Carolin Fuchs with M.A. Student Farah Akbar to Present at Calico 2011

| February 24, 2011

Conference: Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO), Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, May 17-21, 2011

Presentation Title: Use of Technology in an ESL course at Teachers College: Issues and Challenges

Abstract

Use of Technology in an ESL course at Teachers College: Issues and Challenges
This paper reports the results of a survey study administered to 41 teachers and student
teachers in the Community English Program (CEP), an adult intensive English program, at Teachers College, Columbia University (TC).

The study aims to answer three main questions: 1) what technology tools have been used by teachers/student teachers in the CEP? 2) How has training in using technology in language ¬teaching/learning impacted the use of technological tools by the CEP teachers/student-teachers? Do these teachers/student-teachers feel well-prepared in using technology in language teaching? 3) What are the areas for future professional development with regard to technology-enhanced language teaching for CEP teachers/student-teachers?

With regards to technology training, the results suggest that 76% of the teacher/student teachers have received some kind of training in using technology in language teaching and learning, and the most common tech tools to be used by these teachers are YouTube, the Internet in general, Google Sites, and creating Powerpoint presentations. Although more than 70 % of the teachers/student-teachers report above-average to advanced
proficiency in tech tools such as group discussion forums, Wikis, online document management, Blogs, Skype, IMs; however, less than 30% of them report using these tools in their classes. Data also present the impact of using technology in language classes on students’ overall learning and its effects on teaching in general.

Results are expected to feed back into the teacher education program and thus create dialogue between student teachers, teachers, and teacher educators on the most effective ways of integrating technology into the CEP. The authors make recommendations for creating mediated learning communities among the stakeholders (e.g., Lave & Wenger, 1991). Encouraging the technology-savvy teachers to actively mentor new student teachers as part of their professional development can advance pre-service language teachers’ professional literacy by modeling “innovative uses of technology” (Willis, 2001, p. 309).

References

Lave, J. & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Willis, J. (2001). Foundational assumptions for information technology and teacher education. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 1(3), 305-320.