Why study Digital Technologies for Language Teaching?
Educational technology is an ever growing academic field which recognises the centrality of technology in education and in modern life in general. Digital technologies have revolutionised the ways in which we teach and learn languages by opening a wealth of opportunities to interact with people and resources in the target language.
The MA in Digital Technologies for Language Learning brings together theories and practice of language acquisition, educational technology and foreign language teaching.
What will you learn?
Following an Introduction to Digital Technologies for Language Teaching (core module, code LK4IDT), which will provide you with the necessary background to gain sound insights into the topics of the programme, you will be able to choose four specialist modules from:
Advanced Language Teaching: technology-enhanced creative writing in a foreign language
This module aims to offer a space for learning, experimenting and discussing how learners can develop and improve their language skills in the foreign language through the medium of technology enhanced creative writing. We will be working with blogs, wikis, audio and video materials, forums and ‘open mic’ sessions to support the learners’ works of poetry, fiction (short story and flash fiction), autobiography and script writing.
The module is divided in three parts. The first one consists of an exploration of the theory behind the role of both Creative Writing and Technology Enhanced Creative Writing in language learning. The second part includes a series of workshops where students will learn to use Creative Writing techniques through a range of exercises and also to devise technology supported creative writing activities for the (physical or digital) language classroom. The third part incorporates reflective practice to the above and offers a space to discuss the particularities of different learning environments and the applicability of Technology Enhanced Creative Writing to those specific settings.
All students are encouraged to share their experiences as learners, teachers and writers.
Integrating Technology in Course Design and Assessment
This module will enable students to develop knowledge and acquire key skills for integrating technology into course design. The module in divided in two parts. The first part (weeks 1-6) explores a number of approaches to course design and the role technology in designing effective language courses. Technical and media solutions are only secondary to this part of the module, which instead focuses on critically discussing these approaches within the context of language teaching.
The second part of this module (weeks 7-12) is dedicated to reflecting on the role of assessment and feedback in course design and their impact on the learning process. Students will be exposed to different theoretical and practical approaches and will develop the skills to critically evaluate forms assessment, to reflect on their own practice and design and implement assessment procedures.
Game based learning
Digital games have been of interest to teachers and researchers since the first commercial releases of edutainment products. In the last ten years, not only the market of gaming has flourished, but also the theoretical framework surrounding the use of video games in education has expanded hugely. Experimentations and case studies, then, have produced good practices and practical guidelines to follow.
This module will introduce students to game-based learning, and specifically to its affordances and limitations for teaching foreign languages. Topics of particular interest will be:
- The educational potential of digital games
- An overview on theories of game-based learning
- The placement of digital games within the LTM framework
- The ludic methodology for language teaching and learning
- The role of the teacher vs. the role of the game
- Setting issues: video games and the social context of language learning
This module offers an introduction to research methodologies through the study of key concepts and theories, as well as examples of representative research in language teaching and learning. It will take a step-by-step approach through the process, starting from getting to know the key concepts involved in Applied Linguistics research. It covers the following topics:
Introduction to Applied
- Linguistics research
- Organise the literary review
- Different research approaches
- Design research questions
- Principles of qualitative research
- Principles of quantitative research
- Collecting and analysing the data
Second language acquisition and teaching
The module provides an introduction to currently prevailing theories of Second Language Acquisition with an interdisciplinary approach encouraging students to consider SLA from linguistic, psychological and social perspectives in order to assist them in developing a use of digital technologies for language teaching that is informed by current theoretical underpinnings. It covers the following topics:
- The linguistics of second language acquisition
- The psychology of second language acquisition
- Social contexts of second language acquisition
- Acquiring knowledge for L2 use
- L2 learning and teaching
The module will begin with 1 induction week and will continue with 11 weeks of engagement with module materials and 6 weeks of preparation for assignment submission.
All activities will be delivered online by:
- Interactive web-based materials
- Online discussion
- Reflective tasks
- Self-directed learning and research
- Online tutoring including email and Skype
All teaching and learning will be supported by Moodle, the virtual learning environment of the University of Nottingham.
Telecollaboration for Language Learning
This module considers language learning within the context of the emergence of the global digital culture and covers themes including “learning 2.0”, “multiple literacies”, “intercultural learning”, “language educator 2.0”, and “telecollaboration as an educational culture”.
Students will consider the trajectory and implications of Web 2.0 technologies for language learning. They will collaborate to improve a Wikipedia page that is related to the area of telecollaboration and they will assess and evaluate their own and the group work. Each student in the course will have the opportunity to design and run a small-scale telecollaborative activity and, thus, get hands-on experience that will enhance his/her understanding on these issues.
Students will be supported in applying the concepts of Telecollaboration 2.0 in their own settings and practical guidance on the effective use of Web 2.0 technologies for telecollaboration will be offered.
The module will enable students to:
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of what it means to be a “language learner” and a “language teacher” in a digital and networked society.
- Engage with the possibilities and limitations of Web 2.0 for telecollaborative language learning.
- Support their students and colleagues in the context of a telecollaborative project.
- Design and develop a telecollaborative project appropriate to their institutional and educational context.
Teaching Translation with Technology
This module will firstly enable students to acquire key skills and knowledge of translation. Translation had moved from purely linguistic based discipline to a systematic and diverged combination of studies and practice that is greatly associated with cross-culture communication and new media. Teaching language to learners of different backgrounds inevitably requires language teachers to raise their awareness of cross-cultural and inter-lingual scenarios, which could benefit from results of translation studies. In this context, this module will include key translation theories and studies which are highly relevant to language teaching.
Drawing on the first stage, this module will then introduce translation technologies and modern industrial standards which are vital to students interested in being a translator or being involved with translation related jobs. It includes free-lance translation software training, translation project management and the industry of translation and localisation.