Second Language Development through Technology Mediated Strategic Interaction

| December 19, 2011
Second Language Development through Technology Mediated Strategic Interaction

Keywords: Mediation; Strategic interaction; Technology; Sociocultural; Wiki

Neil H. Johnson
University of Aizu, Japan

Jonathan deHaan
University of Shizuoka, Japan

Bio Data
Neil H. Johnson (Ph. D. University of Arizona) is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Language Research at the University of Aizu, Japan. He teaches a variety of English for Specific Purposes courses to undergraduate students who are specializing in computer science. His main research interests are in sociocultural theory and discourse analysis

Jonathan deHaan (Ph. D. New York University) is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of International Relations at the University of Shizuoka, Japan. His main teaching and research interests are in the areas of educational games, game literacy, and English for Specific Purposes simulations.
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Teaching language proficiency can be particularly problematic in a Japanese university context because of issues with low motivation (Yashima, 2002; Oda, 1993), anxiety and shyness (Kitano, 2001), and practical difficulties associated with monitoring performance and providing effective feedback to large numbers of students. Strategic interaction (SI), as proposed by Di Pietro (1987), uses the scenario as an organizing principle for classroom practice. This involves learners being given different parts or roles in a situation to be resolved through language in unfolding interaction. In this paper, we explore and detail the design of an approach to SI that is mediated by use of an online wiki space and digital video technologies. Participants at a Japanese university engaged in an SI routine within the context of learning politeness strategies for a Business English course. Analysis of performance transcripts using a functional language framework, data from a post-performance discourse completion task, and learner reflections, confirm the potential that technology mediated SI holds for increasing language proficiency in this context. We argue that the data shows evidence of a shift from object-regulation towards increased self-regulation, in the genesis of language development.

See pages  69-101

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Category: Main Editions, Volume 13 Issue 4