Dates and Location
University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom
Please note that the university is in Coventry, not in Warwick.
Postgraduate Conference (Wednesday, 26th June 2013), keynote speakers:
"Motivation and the vision of knowing a second language"
Everybody who has ever taught or learnt a foreign/second language (L2) knows that motivation plays a vital role in language learning. But what exactly is ‘motivation’? And how can we use motivation theory for practical purposes? In this talk I will first briefly describe a new approach to the understanding of L2 motivation, the ‘L2 Motivational Self System’, whose key component is the ‘Ideal L2 Self’, which is the language facet of the vision-like representation of all the attributes that a person would like to possess. Then I will discuss the practical implications that this new conceptualization of motivation offers: it opens up a novel avenue for promoting student motivation by means of increasing the elaborateness and vividness of self-relevant imagery in the students. In the final part of the talk I will offer several practical techniques that language teachers can use to motivate learners by creating in them an attractive vision of second language mastery.
“Task design and learner engagement in a virtual learning environment”
Online tools such as forums, wikis and blogs lend themselves to learners negotiating meaning and co-constructing knowledge across space and time. However, not enough is known about how activities need to be designed to make best use of the possibilities of complex virtual learning environments (VLEs) to motivate and support learners, foster interaction, and contribute to knowledge construction. In my presentation I will introduce a model for task development based on Richards and Rodgers (2001), which takes into account the theoretical framing of the tasks, the pedagogical context, and the implementation in the classroom (Hampel 2006). I will then apply this model to the development of online activities in a distance language course using a Moodle-based VLE. I will focus in particular on the pedagogic design of the activities and the use that learners made of them. In the context of a two-year study, quantitative and qualitative data were collected, consisting of Moodle user logs, learner surveys and learner interviews. The findings in year 1 – which related to task type, tool preference, rates of active and passive participation, individual engagement and levels of e-literacy – informed the re-designing of activities in year 2. Further data were collected and I will conclude by showing the impact that these changes had on learner engagement.
Click here for more information on the programme.
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