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Copy of Dissertation Proposal

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Jose Alvarez

on 16 December 2012

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Transcript of Copy of Dissertation Proposal

The study of Educational Social Networking Sites for Language Learning (EdSNS): Examining Busuu from a Multimodal Social Semiotic Perspective Research questions 1. How does Busuu through its semiotic design represent and define the process of learning a second/foreign language? Contributions and Pedagogical Implications of the Study Learning happens through processes of meaning making: How are learners making meanings in instructed and non-structured environments (ecologies)? What is the role of semiotic designs for learning to happen?
Map out the semiotic resources and their affordances and how they make meaning and are used to make meaning.
Need to focus on non-instructed earning and teaching environments.
Point of departure to examine EdSNS for language learning websites through novel theoretical frameworks and research methodologies.
Establish the potentialities and challenges EdSNS for language learning.
Can they be integrated into formal language learning environments? How? Dissertation work Why doing this? To understand language learning practices users engage with, it is necessary to understand the various meaning-making resources that computer applications provide (Jewitt, 2003). Research Design Corpus:

Methodology:

Type of Study:

Method (Data analysis): Some Background Three types of language learning websites:
1. First generation, Web 1.0:
http://www.pumarosa.com/
2. In between Web 1.0 and 2.0:
http://www.learn-english-online.org/
3. Latest generation, Web 2.0:
http://www.busuu.com/enc/home Background, continued... Studies of Language Learning Websites (LLWs)
Began in the late 1990s with the WWW
Most studies emphasize usability:
“systems [that] are generally regarded as being efficient, easy to learn, effective to use, and enjoyable or engaging from the user’s perspective” (Shield & Kukulska-Hulme, 2006) p. 349).
Some examples:
Smith & Salam (2000)examined 35 LLWs on criteria that included: course length, equipment required, type of syllabus, access to a teacher, and cost, etc.
Kelly (2000): set of guidelines for designing websites for ESL students
Susser and Robb (2004): framework for the evaluation of ESL/EFL instructional websites.
Kartal & Uzun (2010) 28 online foreign LLWs of different languages. Boyd & Ellison (2007):
Network: emphasizes communication between people who are already members of an offline social network (e.g., Facebook)
Networking: focuses on relationship initiation with members of an online community (Livemocha, Busuu).

I propose to distinguish between:
Entertainment Social Network (ing) Sites (ESNSs)
Educational Social networking Sites (EdSNS)

LLWs such as Busuu will be conceptualized as educational social networking sites (EdSNSs) for language learning. Social Network Sites vs. Social Networking Sites (SNS) Studies of ESNS or EdNSTS SNSs have been studied from several theoretical perspectives: network theory , media studies , communication studies, human geography theory, the sociology of groups, and cultural studies among others (Lankshear & Knobel, 2008).

In the field of education:
teachers’ and students’ use and perceptions (e.g., Selwyn, 2009; Roblyer et al., 2010),
identity formation (Greenhow & Robelia, 2009),
their role as an educational resource (Brady, Holcomb, & Smith, 2010),
their role in reading practices (Haverback, 2009), inter alia. Studies of ESNSs in the field of second/foreing language Drawing on the interactional or the sociocultural views to CMC :
Facebook:
how language is used to enhance communicational exchanges (Thelwall, 2009; Mills, 2009; Blattner and Fiori, 2011),
development of transcultural and plurilingual identities (Reinhardt and Zander, 2011)
writing processes (DePew and Miller-Cochran, 2010; DePew, 2011), among others. Research on EdSNSs for language learning Research on EdSNSs for language learning It is still incipient (Clark & Gruba, 2010; Liaw, 2011). Harrison & Thomas (2009): identity formation of six users of Livemocha
Stevenson & Liu (2010): usability of Livemocha, Palabea and Babbel
Brick (2011a: study with seven college students in the UK
Clark & Gruba (2010): auto-ethnographic study on Livemocha
Lin & Warschauer (2011): motivation, international survey applied to more than 1000 learners of four languages in Livemocha
Gonzalez (forthcoming): conversation closing strategies in longitudinal study with one user of Livemocha. Research on EdSNSs for language learning It is still incipient (Clark & Gruba, 2010; Liaw, 2011). Harrison & Thomas (2009): identity formation of six users of Livemocha
Stevenson & Liu (2010): usability of Livemocha, Palabea and Babbel
Brick (2011a: study with seven college students in the UK
Clark & Gruba (2010): auto-ethnographic study on Livemocha
Lin & Warschauer (2011): motivation, international survey applied to more than 1000 learners of four languages in Livemocha
Gonzalez (forthcoming): conversation closing strategies in longitudinal study with one user of Livemocha. Theoretical Framework The Sociocultural Approach to CMC and the Ecological Model The continuum between the Sociocultural Approach to CMC and the Ecological Approach General principle of sociocultural approaches: the prominence of the social, cultural, institutional, and historical dimensions as shaping forces of language production (meaning making), learning and development. Main tenets and concepts from the Multimodal Social Semiotic Perspective The continuum between the Sociocultural Approach to CMC and the Ecological Approach General principle of sociocultural approaches: the prominence of the social, cultural, institutional, and historical dimensions as shaping forces of language production (meaning making), learning and development.
With a holistic view of language, the ecological perspective focuses on the dialogic relationship and interdependency between learners, symbolic artifacts, and situated practices in real-world contexts (van Lier, 2004, 2008).
Context is complex, nested, and adaptive.
Draws on an emic perspective to phenomena.
Adopts a semiotic view of communication and language.
"Language learning occurs through socialization—
that is, through the negotiation of power and
identity through language" (Lafford, 2009, p. 675). Tenets:
“Multimodal social-semiotic theory deals with meaning and meaning-making; with signmaking and signs. ‘Making’ implies a ‘maker’; hence agency is central” (Kress, 2010, p. 109). Concepts:
Discourse: “socially constructed knowledges of (some aspect of) reality” (Kress & van Leeuwen, 2001, p. 4). The continuum between the Sociocultural Approach to CMC and the Ecological Approach General principle of sociocultural approaches: the prominence of the social, cultural, institutional, and historical dimensions as shaping forces of language production (meaning making), learning and development.
With a holistic view of language, the ecological perspective focuses on the dialogic relationship and interdependency between learners, symbolic artifacts, and situated practices in real-world contexts (van Lier, 2004, 2008).
Context is complex, nested, and adaptive.
Draws on an emic perspective to phenomena.
Adopts a semiotic view of communication and language.
"Language learning occurs through socialization—
that is, through the negotiation of power and
identity through language" (Lafford, 2009, p. 675). EdSNS Busuu and Documentary information: Busuu blog, news, statistics, evaluations and descriptions of the website.
About Busuu:
Created in 2008
12 languages
Over a million of users worldwide
Self-paced language program enhanced by interactive multimedia content and a social networking environment.
Based on the concept of community
Tools for on-line communication such as audio and video chat, and voice recording.
Offers tutors and certification based on the CEFR. Methodology: away of thinking about and studying social reality (Strauss & Corbin, 1998, p. 3) Methodology: "a way of thinking about and studying social reality" (Strauss & Corbin, 1998, p. 3).
Informed by:
Constructivist paradigm and critical theory paradigms:
ontological level: reality is shaped by the conjunction of historical and local events that respond to social, cultural, political, economic and ethnic values.
epistemological level: knowledge construction arises from the transactional, hermeneutic, subjectivist, dialogic, and dialectical relationships between the investigator and the respondents or phenomenon under inquiry (Guba & Lincoln, 1994). dialogic: various approaches coexist and are comparatively existential and relativistic in their interaction. Here, each ideology can hold more salience in particular circumstances.

dialectical: process describing the interaction and resolution between multiple paradigms or ideologies, one putative solution establishes primacy over the others. The goal of a dialectic process is to merge point and counterpoint (thesis and antithesis) into a compromise or other state of agreement via conflict and tension (synthesis). Genre of virtual or internet studies (Hine 2005), particularly CMC.
Descriptive and explanatory (interpretative) case study (Yin, 1994; Tellis, 1997; Merriam, 1998).

A case study “is a problem to be studied, which will reveal an in-depth understanding of a “case” or bounded system, which involves understanding an event, activity, process, or one or more individuals” (Creswell, 2002, p. 61). Top-down and a bottom-up approach to data analysis (Gibson & Brown, 2009).
Wolcott’s (1994) stages of qualitative data analysis: description, analysis and interpretation.
1. Description:
Map out website (ethnographic work)
Unit of analysis: macro level, the entire website.
Micro level: "‘mode’ is privileged as an organizing principle of representation and communication, and therefore treated as a central unit of analysis” (Bezemer & Jewitt, 2010, p. 183).
2. Analysis:
Transcription
Scales of analysis: from semiotic resources and individual modes to semiotic and social principles.
3. Interpretation:
generating conceptual categories and raising theoretical issues. References Studies of EdSNSs, continued... Work is still incipient (Clark & Gruba, 2010; Liaw, 2011). Social Network Sites vs. Social Networking Sites Arnold, N., & Ducate, L. (2006) (Eds.). CALL: Where are we and where do we go from here? In Calling on CALL: From theory and research to new direction in foreign language (pp.1-20). San Marcos, TX: CALICO. Monograph Series 5.
Bezemer, J. and Jewitt, C. (2010). Multimodal Analysis: Key issues. In: L. Litosseliti (ed), Research Methods in Linguistics (pp. 180-197). London: Continuum. Blake, R. J. (2008). New trends in using technology in the language curriculum. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 27. doi:10.1017/S0267190508070049.
Blyth, C. (2008). Research perspectives on online discourse and foreign language learning. In S.
Magnan (Ed.), Mediating discourse online (pp. 47–70). Philadelphia: Benjamins.
Boyd, D. M., & Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), 210-230.
Brick, B. (2011b). Social Networking Sites and Language Learning. International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments, 2(3), 18-31.
Brick, B. (2011a). How effective are web 2.0 language learning sites in facilitating language learning? Compass: The Journal of Learning and Teaching at the University of Greenwich, 3, 57-63.
Busuu. Visited on May 10, 2011. http://www.busuu.com/.
Busuu Blog. Visited on May 13, 2011. http://blog.busuu.com/time-to-celebrate-busuu-com-reaches-1000000-users/).
Clark, C. & Gruba, P. (2010). The use of social networking sites for foreign language learning: An autoethnographic study of Livemocha. Proceedings ascilite Sydney, 163-173
Creswell, J. (2002) Research design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed method approaches. London: Sage
Dooly, M., & Hauck, M. (2012). Researching multimodal communicative competence in video and audio telecollaborative encounters. In M. Dooly & R. O’Dowd (Eds.) Researching online foreign language interaction and exchange: Theories, methods and challenges, pp. 135-161. Bern: Peter Lang.Evans, M. (Ed) (2009). Foreign-language learning and digital technology. UK: Continuum.
Gonzalez, A. Proof submitted to: N. Taguchi & J. M. Sykes (Eds.) Technology in Interlanguage Pragmatics Research and Teaching. Philadelphia: John Benjamins Harrison, R. & Thomas, M. (2009). Identity in Online Communities: Social Networking Sites and Language Learning. International Journal of Emerging Technologies & Society 7 (2) 109 – 124.
Gibson, W. J., & Brown, A. (2009). Working with Qualitative Data. London: Sage.
Guba, E. G., & Lincoln, Y. S. (1994). Competing paradigms in qualitative research. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (pp. 105-117). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Hine, C. (2005).Virtual methods and the sociology of cyber-social-scientific knowledge. In C. Hine (Ed.), Virtual methods (pp. 17-21). USA: Berg.
Jewitt, C. (2003). Computer mediated learning: the multimodal construction of mathematical entities on screen. In C. Jewitt & G. Kress, Multimodal Literacy (pp. 1-18). New York: Peter Lang Publishing.
Kalantzis, M. and Cope, B. (2004). Designs for Learning. e-Learning, 1(1), 8-92.
Kalantzis, M. and Cope, B. (2008). Introduction: initial development of the ‘multiliteracies’ concept. In S. May and N. H. Hornberger (eds), Encyclopedia of Language and Education, Vol.1:Language Policy and Political Issues in Education (pp.195–211). New York: Springer Science+Business Media
Kartal, E. & Uzun, L. (2010). The internet, language learning, and international dialogue: constructing online foreign language learning websites. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 11 (2), 90-107.
Kelly, C. (2000). Guidelines for designing a good website for ESL students. Internet TESL Journal, 6(3). Retrieved March l 0, 2006 from http://iteslj .org/ Articles/Kelly-Guidelines.html
Kern, R. (2006). Perspectives on technology in learning and teaching languages. TESOL QUARTERLY, 40, (1), 183-210.
Kern, R., Ware, P., & Warschauer, M. (2004). Crossing frontiers: new directions in online pedagogy and research. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 24, 243-260. DOI: 10.1017/S0267190504000091
Kress, G. (2010). Multimodality a social semiotic approach to communication. London: Routledge Falmer.
Kress, G. & Van Leeuwen, T. (2001). Multimodal discourse. London: Arnold.
Lafford, B. (2009). Toward an Ecological CALL: Update to Garrett (1991). The Modern Language Journal, 93, Focus Issue, 673–696.
Liaw, M. (2011). Review of livemocha. Language Learning & Technology, 15, (1) 36–40.
Lin, C. & Warschauer, M. (2011). Integrative versus Instrumental Orientation among Online Language Learners. Linguagens e Diálogos, 2(1) 58-86. References, continued.. Thanks a lot!! Need to find other ways to think about and carry out research on computers and language learning (Kern, 2006; Arnold & Ducate, 2006; Blyth, 2008; Evans, 2009; Warschauer, 2010; Dooly & Hauck, 2012,and others). Three new approaches: systemic functional linguistics, ethnographic research methodology, and semiotic theories (Kern, 2006). The limited or non-existing literature that has attempted to bring together the areas of CALL/CMC and multimodal social semiotics. 2. What does the semiotic design of Busuu tell us about the nature of language as understood through the new educational social networking sites for language learning? 3. How does the semiotic design of Busuu represent and position users of the website? Harrison & Thomas (2009): identity formation of six users of Livemocha. Stevenson & Liu (2010): usability of Livemocha, Palabea and Babbel. Brick (2011a): study with seven college students in the UK. Clark & Gruba (2010): auto-ethnographic study on Livemocha. Lin & Warschauer (2011): motivation, international survey applied to more than 1000 learners of four languages in Livemocha. Gonzalez (forthcoming): conversation closing strategies in longitudinal study with one user of Livemocha.
No studies combining CMC and multimodality on EdSNS for language learning. Multimodal Social Semiotic Perspective General principle of sociocultural approaches: the prominence of the social, cultural, institutional, and historical dimensions as shaping forces of language production (meaning making), learning and development.
With a holistic view of language, the ecological perspective focuses on the dialogic relationship and interdependency between learners, symbolic artifacts, and situated practices in real-world contexts (van Lier, 2004, 2008).
Context is complex, nested, and adaptive.
Draws on an emic perspective to phenomena.
Adopts a semiotic view of communication and language.
"Language learning occurs through socialization—
that is, through the negotiation of power and
identity through language" (Lafford, 2009, p. 675). With a holistic view of language, the ecological perspective focuses on the dialogic relationship and interdependency between learners, symbolic artifacts, and situated practices in real-world contexts (van Lier, 2004, 2008). Context is complex, nested, and adaptive.
Draws on an emic perspective to phenomena. "Language learning occurs through socialization— that is, through the negotiation of power and identity through language" (Lafford, 2009, p. 675).
Adopts a semiotic view of communication and language. Semiotic production, distribution and interpretation draw on various communication modes which together contribute to the creation of meaning. Each mode in multimodal communication performs a different task in the process of sign-making and meaning making. All semiotic acts and products have been constituted and shaped by and through historical, cultural and social uses. Meaning is orchestrated by people who choose and assemble modes based on their particular histories, motivations and interests. Meaning-makers use the semiotic resources available to them in interrelation with the rules and norms governing their social environment. Mode: semiotic resources for meaning making (Written language, oral language, visual representation, audio representation, tactile representation, gestural representation and spatial representation). Design: describes both the active process of meaning making through semiotic resources, and the organization structure that stems from the act of designing (available design, designing, the redesigned -New London group, 1996, 2000). Dimensions of meaning: Representational Meaning, Social Meaning, Organizational Meaning, Contextual Meaning, Ideological Meaning (Kalantzis & Cope, 2004, 2008) . Intersemiotic relationships: meaning across different modes of communication.
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