This important and accessible book identifies the key elements in the quest for best practice in online language teaching. The authors, all of them international experts who have made significant contributions to the debate about how to exploit the new technologies, consider online language teaching from three crucial perspectives: design, tools and pedagogy. Their recommendations are such that they can actually be realised in spite of the limitations of today's educational environments.
The book demonstrates that the new technologies offer far greater potential for authentic encounters and constructivist learning than even the best classroom simulations; that automated exercise and feedback structures can be individualised and meaningful; and that if we have to teach fully by distance, these ventures no longer need to represent impoverished versions of live classes but can engender a strong sense of community. To achieve this we need to understand what elements constitute good design both in technical and pedagogical terms, to think seriously about providing the best feedback possible, and to have the courage to take the risks associated with letting go of traditional learner/teacher relationships.
Table of Contents
1 An orchestrated vision of language learning online
2 Language learning online: designing towards user acceptability
3 Optimising web course design for language learners
4 Servers, clients, testing and teaching
Stewart Arneil and Martin Holmes
5 Engaging the learner – how to author for best feedback
6 MOO as a language learning tool
7 Virtual worlds as arenas for language learning
8 Pedagogy on the line: identifying and closing the missing links
9 Using internet-based audio-graphic and video conferencing for
language teaching and learning
Regine Hampel and Eric Baber
10 Perspectives on offline and online training initiatives