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Conference Technology

Conference News

How Blended Learning Model Assists Language Learning

Presenter(s)
Shou-Bang Jian (SUNY Albany, US)
Additional Authors
Chi-Hua Tseng (SUNY Empire State College, US)
Session Information
April 23, 2012 - 5:30pm
Track: 
Research
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Institutional Level: 
Universities and Four Year Institutions
Audience Level: 
All
Session Type: 
Poster Session
Location: 
Executive A-D
Session Duration: 
60 Minutes
Abstract

We study a college-level blended Chinese language course. The findings include: collaborative instructional design; online tools; feedback from students and instructor; effectiveness; challenges and limitations.

Files
Final Presentation: 
Extended Abstract

As Chinese language learning gaining popularity in the US, it is still taught in traditional face-to-face classroom settings. This study wants to find out how the Blended Learning model can assist Chinese learning.

This study investigates a Chinese language course in a state university that incorporates the Blended Learning model into traditional face-to-face classroom environment. The course, Advanced Chinese, is for advanced learners who have had completed the basic and intermediate Chinese courses. One of the researchers, an instructional designer, worked closely with the instructor to transform the language course into the blended learning model. Despite being an experienced language teacher, the instructor had limited experience in online learning and teaching. The researchers helped create an online portion to complement the face-to-face portion. The online portion was part of the course requirements, even though the seat time was not reduced due to the introduction of the online portion. The online portion was implemented in Blackboard.

The online portion includes the following learning activities and technology tools: (1) Forum Discussions: the instructor assigned a discussion topic for each module and students were required to participate in online discussion, in Chinese. (2) Homework and audio clips were provided for student practices of listening, reading, and writing. (3) Preparation for standardized language proficiency test: mockup tests were provided. (3) Online Chat Room: One of the researchers, as teaching assistant, held weekly office hours through synchronous online chat room. (4) Course management: course materials, assignment submissions, announcement, and grade book.

This presentation will discuss survey findings from students and interview findings from the instructor, focusing on the following aspects: the advantages and disadvantages of using the blended learning model in language learning, the teaching and learning effectiveness, their evaluation of online learning activities and tools utilized in this course, and challenges and limitations. We will also discuss how each of the online learning activities helped expand opportunities for language learners to improve reading, writing and listening skills. This presentation will also provide an instructional designer's reflections on the collaboration process with the instructor, effectiveness of technology tools, and practical suggestions.