A week in the Digital Language Learning Lab

This week at the French department of the Uvic we worked on several projects, such as making some statistics studios to see if there was a correlation between the preferences and performances of students and their desire to keep using Twitter and keep tweeting in French. To me, as a student of industrial engineering it’s quite interesting because I’m used to analyzing quality defaults, parts per million that had defaults in a process, cycle time, and as well as other statistics mostly used in industrial engineering.

In this case, to analyze something related to the humanities and social networks is quite interesting and also challenging because I hadn’t had an opportunity to do it before. Immersing myself in this field is a challenging but satisfying experience.

Also, a group of students from Parkland Secondary School visited us this week. We had a treasure hunt so the students were able to practice their French and also to discover some places on campus such as the Cinecenta, the library, the bookstore, the French department, etc. Then, the Chair of the French Department, Marc Lapprand, spoke about the importance of learning French and the different programs that Uvic offers.

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International conference on second language learning and teaching (SLPC5-Universidade de Sao Paulo)

After collecting data on language learners in Brazil and Canada interacting to peer-edit their written productions, Eliane Lousada (professor at USP), Arthur de Oliveira (MA student at USP and former intern at the DL2LLab) and I presented a panel that was well attended.  Here is the PDF of our presentation. Please request permission before using it, by contacting the authors.

SLPC5_Brésil2016_Caws Lousada de Oliveira-3

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Using Twitter for language learning

I had the opportunity to visit Dr Hamel‘s 400 level class on technologies for language learning, at the University of Ottawa.  Class was in English for students who are in the program of didactics.  The class focused on teaching grammar with technologies and a group of 5 students presented two scholarly articles before engaging us into an activity using mind-mapping as a tool to create an interactive storyline (we used Popplet).  The presentation skills and analytical level exhibited by these students were quite impressive.  The students were actively participating in all activities, commenting and asking a lot of questions.

In the last 30 minutes, I talked about the use of Twitter as an instrument for languaging, sharing and active participation (from receiving input to producing output) within an authentic context. We also discussed the limits of such a tool.  One student reminded us of the poll feature, one aspect of Twitter that can be of value to informally evaluate and prob students’ knowledge and/or opinion on a specific subject.

Presentation in notes format (PDF) can be found below

microblogs UOttawa_notes

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Workshop on using iPads and apps

On February 8th, 2016, I gave a three hour workshop on the use of mobile devices for language learning.  The presentation was in French and can be seen below:

atelier U Guelph 2016

Catherine Caws

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Exporting our expertise to U of Guelph

I left UVic with 6 iPads from our lab. On my way to U of Guelph to give a workshop on using portable technologies for teaching and learning. In keeping with the context of our research, the workshop will be organized to allow participants to interact with various digital artefacts.  Six of the participants are MA students in French studies and the other participants are experienced instructors who are curious to know what digital learning is all about.

Catherine Caws
Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 9.29.18 PM

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