Computer Assisted Language Learning Any Research-Oriented Presentation

Cancelled Can asynchronous formats be used to develop discussion skills?

Sat, Jul 9, 10:35-11:00 Asia/Tokyo

Location: ONLINE

With the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, there was a need in many educational contexts to adapt materials and courses originally intended for face-to-face delivery to online platforms in a limited timeframe. This less-than-ideal scenario led to many educators implementing alternative methods for teaching core spoken-language competencies, such as presentation and discussion skills. However, such rapidly implemented adaptations raised numerous questions as to the efficacy of online, asynchronous formats to facilitate the development of spoken-language skills. Thus, this presentation examines the effectiveness of two asynchronous platforms: (1) written discussion-forums, and (2) an audio-visual platform, VoiceThread. These were adopted to assist in the development of discussion skills among intermediate learners at a Japanese university. Examples of the discussion skills that are the focus of this study include agreeing, disagreeing, and negotiating meaning. Based on a qualitative analysis of the transcripts of both formats, the presentation discusses the relative merits of each platform by comparing the discussion skills used. Overall, the findings indicate that VoiceThread is the more effective platform for developing spoken-language skills, but that the discussion forums allow an easy-to-implement, if limited, alternative. Implications for the use of these platforms as part of a discussion skills course will be discussed.