ERIC Number: ED436965
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Electronic Texts and Learners of English as a Second Language.
Meskill, Carla; Mossop, Jonathan; Bates, Richard
This paper details a 2-year study of exemplary uses of electronic texts (information displayed electronically on a computer screen) in two English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) learning contexts. Topics include the following: the need and desire to communicate; opportunities for topic control; and opportunities for planned and unplanned discourses. Language and literacy are socially mediated and socially constructed phenomena. Where technology is commonly viewed as a venue for independent, non-social activity, quite the opposite has been observed by researchers. Indeed, the presence of technology in conjunction with the goals, purposes, and epistemologies of these teachers is resulting in a unique and powerful classroom dynamic where children are taking control of their own meaning-making with teachers scaffolding and guiding the process. The manner in which these activities can be orchestrated and supported by technology is instructive for teachers, teacher educators, administrators, and curriculum developers as they consider roles for the technology in various language and literacy-oriented school contexts. Electronic texts and the machines that carry them can be springboards and supports for reading, writing, listening, speaking, and thinking. Such uses demonstrate the real and potential language and literacy implications of computers and electronic texts when these tools are thoughtfully integrated into instructional contexts. When properly used, electronic texts can offer novel and empowering roles for learners and their teachers. (Contains 18 references.) (KFT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Practitioners; Teachers
Authoring Institution: National Research Center on English Learning and Achievement, Albany, NY.
Note: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Diego, CA, April 13-17, 1998).