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ERIC Number: EJ881584
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 29
ISSN: ISSN-1492-3831
"Can You Hear Me, Hanoi?" Compensatory Mechanisms Employed in Synchronous Net-Based English Language Learning
Cunningham, Una; Fagersten, Kristy Beers; Holmsten, Elin
International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, v11 n1 p161-177 Mar 2010
At Dalarna University, Sweden, modes of communication are offered at many points of Kenning's continuum with a web-based learning platform, including asynchronous document exchange and collaborative writing tools, e-mail, recorded lectures in various formats, live streamed lectures with the possibility of text questions to the lecturer in real time, textchat, and audiovisual seminars in Marratech[TM] or Adobe Connect[TM]. Their online students live in many countries around the world and come to their online learning spaces from profoundly different physical realities, so the synchronous seminar is a shared experience that is quite separate from the physical environment in which the students find themselves. Many of the net-based English for Academic Purposes (EAP) students experience that their limited English language proficiency, compounded by technical difficulties and the constraints of the online spaces available, will sometimes cause problems in synchronous seminars. On the other hand, the rich environment of Marratech[TM], the desktop videoconferencing system used, offers multiple modes of communication. This study examines the use of the multiple modes available in the seminar tool Marratech to support communication by students and teachers in a synchronous online learning environment. The authors describe the communication problems experienced in this kind of education and the compensatory strategies employed by students and teachers. They consider situations where communication is disturbed because of: (1) technical problems, such as the system expelling a student, or the purchased Internet time in a public Internet cafe having expired, or poor connectivity; (2) students not understanding the teacher because of poor sound conditions, poor perception skills in English, the teacher speaking an unfamiliar variety of English, or a combination of these; (3) students not understanding fellow students usually because of limited proficiency on one or both parts, possibly in combination with the technical issues mentioned; and (4) the teacher not understanding the student often because of the student's unintelligible pronunciation, in combination with less than optimal sound conditions. (Contains 10 figures and 1 footnote.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden