Rethinking Language Learning Dynamically
SLS680P: Tasks, Activities and Learning Environments
Dongping Zheng, Ph.D. firstname.lastname@example.org, Department of Second Language Studies
Class meets at Moore Hall 153B |
Section 3, Thursday 1:15-2:45
Section 4, Thursdays 3:00-4:30
Office Hours: Tuesday or Wednesday afternoons. Please email to make an appointment | Moore Hall 555
This course addresses new understandings of learning as they apply to second language instruction and instruction in general, namely "embodied learning", "joint coordinated action" and "dialogical approaches to instruction". The course content will have two main parts: one strand being current literature in New (Media) Literacies, Computer-Supported Learning Environments, Ecological Linguistics, Activity Theory, Distributed Cognition; the other being literature and class projects related to designing second language learning or general learning tasks, activities and learning environments. At the end of the course students will be equipped with cutting-edge understandings of theory and practice and able to put them into practice by way of designing and implementing practical class activities and learning tasks suitable for in-person as well as on-line learning environments, such as course management systems (e.g., Lualima), web conferencing (e.g., Elluminate, WizIQ, etc.), online role-playing games (e.g., World of Warcraft), Sandbox game, e.g., Minecraft) virtual worlds (e.g., Second Life, Quest Atlantis), social networks (Facebook, Google+), etc..
Note: Some topics from SLS618 (Language and Learning Technologies) may be accommodated in this course
1. Course goals
This course will be organized in seminar format and will allow for social participation and individual development. We will read altogether 10-15 critical articles that I believe can shape our new understandings of the distributed, dialogical and ecological approaches to language. Course participants are encouraged to bring in their own readings and experiences to make meanings of these new approaches and create new concepts and designs for 2nd language learning and learning in general.
Special guests will be joining the course in an undefined format. I hope we can truly take advantage of the online social networking environment, http://dl-sls.ning.com/ and learn from each other.
To tailor students’ learning goals from Second Language Students, College of Education, and other learning sciences related departments, such as computer sciences, I will specify different required readings for all groups in certain weeks. I hope this method can help both groups bring their experience and expertise, and the same time build an interdisciplinary community.
2. Course Format
We will work on the course goals in both face-to-face and online environments.
We will meet on Skype once a week to discuss readings, report and share design progress as a class. Design progress will be reported as a group. Group members will need to coordinate among themselves to report
and share your progress.
Successful group projects are usually from members who are attentive, responsible and caring for others’ contributions. Groups can use “Ning Group” to work on their project. It maybe necessary to meet face-to-face or on Skype to make collaborative learning approachable. It is up to the group
members to coordinate your group meetings though.
Asynchronous Discussions and Reflections
We will use Ning Forums for asynchronous postings/responses, discussions and questions. In the spirit of distributed cognition, each week’s topic(s) will be led by a student. See Course Schedule to sign up for your leadership. We will deal with such logistics during the first week of instruction.
Questions are posted on Ning Forum on Sunday 5pm by the discussion leader. (Discussion leaders should send posting questions to the instructor no later than 5pm, Saturday)
Initial postings on the posted questions are due on Tuesday 5pm.
Responses to your peer's postings are due on Wednesday 5pm.
3. Individual or Group Defined Project
The goal of the project is to contextualize our understanding of the new approaches to cognition and language, which will provide an opportunity to critically evaluate what is important for learning, teaching, design and humanity in addition to traditional constructs. The final project will be in flexible forms of 2 tracks:
1) a curricular unit for classroom and/or computer-assisted learning settings,
2) a concept paper
Assignment 1: Design a prototypical Ideal learning environment for your area of interest (15)
Assignments 2: Proposal (15)
Assignment 3-5: Design of Learning Environments with activities and tasks (30)
Online postings and responses (30)
5. Readings and Activities
John S. Brown. (2006). New Learning Environments for the 21st Century. Retrieved August 26, 2012, from, www.johnseelybrown.com/newlearning.pdf
Barab, S.A., Gresalfi, M. & Arici, A. (2009). Why educators should care about Games. Educational Leadership, pp. 76-90.
How do we design the learning environments of the future?
Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Learner in the 21st Century (John Seely Brown's talk starts at 0:14:28).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoRV0BEwvEU (A complete transcript is available on the youtube site)
Assignment 1: Design a prototypical Ideal learning environment for your area of interest
Required for the whole class:
*van Lier, L. (2004). The ecology and semiotics of language learning: A sociocultural
perspective. Norwell, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Chapter 4: Emergence and Affordance
Required for SLS students (hereafter SLS)
Van Lier (2004), Chapter 6: Language Learning Pathways
Required for COE students(hereafter COE)
*Young, M. F., Barab, S., & Garrett, S. (2000). Agent as detector: An ecological psychology perspective on learning by perceiving-acting systems. In D. H. Jonassen & S. M. Land
(Eds.), Theoretical foundations of learning environments (pp. 147-169). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Assignment 2: A proposal for the course project. The proposal should be an outline of what
you intend to do and detailed work plans. One to two pages are sufficient. See Laulima Resrouces for detailed requirements.
Required for the whole class:
*Jewitt, C. (2006). Technology, Literacy and Learning: A Multimodal Approach,
London: Routledge. Chapter 1
*Knobel & C. Lankshear (Eds.), A new literacies sampler (pp. 1-24). New York: Peter Lang.
Coiro, J., Knobel, M., Lankshear, C., & Leu, D. J. (Eds.). (2010). Handbook of research
in new literacies. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2007). Sampling “the new” in new literacies. In M.
Jenkins, H., Clinton, K., Purushotma, R., Robison, A. J. & Weigel, M. (2006).
Confronting the challenges of participatory culture; Media education for the 21st century. Building the field of digital media. MacArthur Foundation. Downloaded Retrieved Sept. 26th, 2011 from: http://digitallearning.macfound.org/atf/cf/%7B7E45C7E0-A3E0-4B89-AC...
Assignment 2 Due
Required for the whole class:
*Järvilehto, T. (2009), The theory of the Organism-Environment System as a basis of experimental work in psychology. Ecological Psychology, 21, 112-120.
*Järvilehto, Nurkkala, & Koskela (2009). The role of anticipation in reading. Pragmatics & Cognition. 17(3), 510-526.
*Arnone, M.P., Small, R. V., Chauncey, S. A. & McKenna, H. P. (2011). Curiosity,interest and engagement in technology-pervasive learning environments: A new research agenda. Eucation Tech Research Dev, 59:181–198.
o Track 1: prototype of first two activities
o Track 2: Writing of introduction section
Required for the whole class:
*Lantolf, J., & Thorne, S. L. (2006). Sociocultural Theory and the Genesis of Second
Language Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapters 8
*Barab, S. A. & Plucker, J. A. (2002) Smart people or smart contexts? cognition, ability, and
talent development in an age of situated approaches to knowing and learning. Educational Psychologist, 37(3), 165–182
Lantolf, J., & Thorne, S. L. (2006). Sociocultural Theory and the Genesis of Second
Language Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapters 9
Thorne, S. (2008) Transcultural communication in open Internet environments and massively multiplayer online games. In: Magnan, S. (ed.), Mediating Discourse Online. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 305–327.
Foster, P. (2009). Tasks-based language learning research: expecting too much or too little? International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 19(3), 247-263.
Swain, M & Lapkin, S. (2000). Task-based second language learning: the uses of the first language. Language Teaching Research 4(3), 251-274.
van Lier, L. (2007). Action-based teaching, autonomy and identity. Innovation in Language and Teaching. 1(1). 46-65.
Hay, K. E. & Barab, S. A. (2001). Constructivism in practice: A comparison and contrast of Apprenticeship and Constructionist. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 10(3), 281-322.
Squire, K (2008). Open-ended video games: A model for developing learning for the interactive age. In K. Salen (Ed.) The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation series on digital media and learning (167-198). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
o Track 1: design of activities 3-5
o Track 2: Writing of literature review
*Hutchins, E. (1995). Cognition in the wild. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Chapter 9, Cultural Cognition.
*Thibault, P. J. (2011) First-Order languaging dynamics and second-order language: The Distributed Language view. Ecological Psychology, 23: 210 - 245.
Reed, E. S. (1996). Encountering the world: Toward an ecological psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Chapter 7, the Effort After Value and Meaning
Assignment 4 due
Working on Assignment 5
o Track 1: Design of activities 6-10
o Track 2: Writing of body of new concepts or methods
o Track 1: Design of activates 11-15 and revision of your prospectus to align with your emergent activity design and overall purpose of the mini unit.
o Track 2: Writing of conclusions and discussion