Published: Student Technology Use in a Self-Access Center

21 10 2011

ELI Lecturers Joachim Castellano and Troy Rubesch and ELI Assistant Director Jo Mynard have published an article in the October 2011 issue of Language Learning & Technology Journal. Publication details are as follows:

Castellano, J., Mynard, J., & Rubesch, T. (2011). Student technology use in a self-access center. Language Learning & Technology Journal, 15(3), 12-27.

Technology has played an increasingly vital role in self-access learning over the past twenty years or so, yet little research has been conducted into learners’ actual use of the technology both for self-directed learning and as part of everyday life. This paper describes an ongoing action research project at a self-access learning center (SALC) at a university in Japan. Previous research has mainly looked at resource availability in a self- access setting (see for example Lázaro & Reinders, 2007) or has evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of various technology tools (for example Ruiz-Madrid, 2006; Mynard, 2009). This paper presents an expansive view of technology-based language learning tools that includes materials design, support, and purchasing decisions. The paper shares findings of a qualitative research study involving a questionnaire and interviews with self- access center users. Concrete, corrective actions to remedy issues and improve language- learning opportunities for SALC users are reported. These include: raising awareness of the materials, improving formal and informal support, developing materials based on students’ patterns of use, and making more strategic purchasing decisions. Broader implications of the research are that technology deployment and support can be improved by focusing careful attention on the students served by a particular self-access center.

http://llt.msu.edu/issues/october2011/index.html

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