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ERIC Number: EJ937352
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1466-4208
Language-in-Education Planning: The Use of Emergent Web 2.0 Genres in the South of Italy
Sindoni, Maria Grazia
Current Issues in Language Planning, v10 n4 p422-441 2009
This paper analyses the rationale for the creation of multimedia texts, in the context of learning English in an economically and socially depressed context. Issues of implementation of macro-level language policies in a local context are particularly stringent when the macro-level approach is rendered impracticable for some reason (e.g. cost, time and so on) and where the local context, though responsive to macro-level policies, does not have sufficient resources to implement the required services. In keeping with its educational goals, the University of Messina's Language Centre (CLAM) has promoted foreign language learning by investing in young local researchers (aged 25-35) and greater quality assurance vis-a-vis levels of educational and linguistic achievement. CLAM has also encouraged the locally based production of innovative multimedia texts designed to engage students in personal and creative uses, fostering learning built on a web-based environment. Language-in-education planning needs to be addressed to wider audiences, encompassing students, teachers, tutors, testers and other stakeholders, such as academics, deans, rectors and society at large. The use of new genres makes it possible to pinpoint several areas of intervention and satisfy more general issues, such as the cost-effectiveness of the planned intervention/s, the engagement of students and teachers in a virtuous circle and the enrichment of the entire learning/teaching experience. In particular, the website delivers audio-texts in the form of podcasts which are a part of CLAM's blog, http://www.Englishblog.it. Our podcasts encourage peer learning and promote a learning experience based on mobile technologies: they are used "on the move" by students to learn English. As well as podcasts, the website includes other related activities, such as transcriptions of the audio texts which provide feedback on listening activities, lexicogrammatical exercises, reading passages, as well as tools that publish written/spoken comments--all part of the process of helping students to negotiate meanings, define learning styles and strategies and establish objectives. In our experience, multimedia services are a cost-effective and valid resource. They are flexible, can be used in a wide range of teaching and learning contexts and are provided gratis following the principle of sharing free, downloadable resources in an open-learning web community. A constant interplay between macro-level language policies and micro-level responses is viable where achievement is not measured in simplistic and quantitative terms (i.e. students passing a final test), but where instead the horizons of assessment are broadened to encompass the significance of engaging a more comprehensive cohort of participants (e.g. teachers and researchers). Assessing the outcomes implies taking into account other domains, such as students' and teachers' growing literacy in the use of new media. (Contains 7 figures, 2 tables, and 2 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Italy