The next generation of language education: technology and pedagogy side-by-side

Takako Aikawa (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Marcella Mariotti (Ca' Foscari University of Venice)
Alessandro Mantelli (Ca' Foscari University of Venice)
Japanese Language Education
Torre B, Piso 3, T14
Start time:
31 August, 2017 at 16:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

This panel aims to urge teachers to re-think the design of our language pedagogy. The first two panelists demonstrate the rapid advancement of language technology for language learning. The third panelist discusses how teachers can survive technology and make a difference for language education.

Long abstract:

The goal of this panel is to urge language teachers to re-think the design of our language curriculum and pedagogy while exploring innovative learning activities for the next generation.  To this end, we first introduce two types of learning applications that are under development.  The first application, presented by the first panelist, is designed to enhance the receptive skills of reading and listening.  This application can expose learners to various types of content about the target language and its culture. Further, it can deliver such content through different interconnected media (e.g., photos; videos; audio; etc.).  Here, three fundamental areas of inquiry for continuous improvement of web-based application will be addressed: 1) user data gathering, 2) multi device usability, and 3) maintainability and sustainability. The second application, presented by the second panelist, is designed to enhance the productive skill of writing.  This application can not only identify the mistake(s) that a learner makes when writing a sentence, but it can also provide meaningful feedback to the learner.  This application utilizes the grammar knowledge crowdsourced from Japanese language teachers and natural language processing (NLP) technology.  We will demonstrate what types of grammar rules have been acquired through this crowdsourcing and explain how these rules are being fed into the application's system, using NLP. Our presentation of these two types of applications will demonstrate that technology has advanced enough to enhance not only learners' receptive skills but also productive skills, which are considered to be much more challenging to learn. The third panelist will discuss how language teachers can 'survive' technology and 'make a difference' for language teaching. She will analyze a European case study to show how rapid advancement of new technologies might drive toward the de-standardization of teaching, the professionalization of teachers, and critical education. She will address a big shift coming in the teacher's' role in the classroom and the fundamental role of language teachers as "citizenship educators."