31 SES 14 B, (ROOM CHANGE) English as Additional and Foreign Language
This study explored Year 9 (13 and 14 years old) student voices reporting and experiencing how bilingual language use influences motivation, learning strategies and knowledge acquisition within a content and language integrated learning (CLIL) biology classroom setting. Additionally, these students were equipped with new laptops and learning management system (LMS) to allow individual support of their learning journey in and outside of school. The negotiation of this specific learning environment to acquire biology knowledge and learn a second language (German) by Year 9 students sparked this investigation. Moreover, the ways student experiences might inform the design of future blended learning environments supporting the learning of and through additional languages learning and consequently the ability to tap into student motivation and student preferred learning strategies was of particular interest.
Student perspectives and experiences have been mainly overlooked in the current research literature regarding student motivation, self-regulated learning and self-efficacy beliefs initiated by the LMS design in combination with their application in bilingual educational settings in Australian high schools. So far, empirical research about what works best for students has mainly focused on the delivery of information and less on the pedagogy involved in using electronic learning technologies and little attention has been awarded to how children handle this learning (Schraw & Robinson, 2008). Likewise, in the bilingual context research has mainly focused on teacher-centered issues, disregarding communication processes for meaning making from a student viewpoint (Bonnet, 2012). In the field of bilingual learning environments in combination with a LMS, student voice has been largely overlooked. Focus has been given to the design of online learning spaces for CLIL environments (Marenzi & Zerr, 2012; Pellegrino, De Santo, & Vitale, 2013) rather than student-centered research and the examination of language competencies in and through additional languages (Cenoz, Genesee, & Gorter, 2014).
This qualitative study is attempting to fill this gap by contributing valuable insight into student perceptions negotiating a CLIL environment, the mastery of different speech genres or repertoires (Blommaert & Backus, 2013) in and through two languages relating to social classroom situations and arising from personal interrelations of participants, influenced also by laptop tool use and a LMS.
A multiple case study design (Stake, 2005) was chosen to capture experiences in a dynamic CLIL LMS setting from the students’ viewpoint. Two cases were established (two cohorts in 2014 and 2015) to ascertain the validity of the research questions and the feasibility of the research method used. Thus, fine-tuning the method and establishing support and explanations of new discoveries took place. The two case studies and their implementation classify this study as a multi-case study design, paralleling Yin’s (2014) exploratory and explanatory case study design allowing a contemporary focus in opposition to studying a historical phenomenon (Yin, 2014) and discussing unique examples of real peoples’ lives (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2011). Data was collected from 22 Year 9 students covering 18 biology lessons during six weeks, over two consecutive years. The students’ interactions were audio and video recorded to gain a deeper understanding on students’ opinions and experiences working in a CLIL LMS. A student-designed questionnaire was managed and administered before and after each research phase to clarify student themes and perceptions in regard to learning in a CLIL setting. Additionally, a focus group interview was conducted to clarify student understanding on self-regulation and scientific open inquiry strategies (Bell, Smetana & Binns, 2005) learning in a bilingual context, as well as using digital tools in a LMS. The following research questions guided the design and analysis of this study: 1. How do Year 9 students in a bilingual environment use and perceive the chosen LMS design for language and knowledge acquisition? 2. How do Year 9 students use their student voice as language and content learners to reflect on becoming self-regulated and effective learners within a LMS? 3. How do Year 9 students’ self-efficacy beliefs influence their learning in a CLIL LMS? Findings: The discourse analysis based on theories of student voice (Mockler, 2015), dialogism and heterology (Bahktin, 1986), CLIL communication (Coyle, Hood, & Marsh, 2010), self-efficacy (Bandura, 1997), self-theory (Dweck, 2009) and self-regulation (Zimmerman, Bembenutty & Schunk, 2013) revealed firstly that students’ awareness of different speech genres provided entry to more learning opportunities for them. Secondly, the self-reported evidence from student voices unearthed a deep interest in learning strategies to gain access to knowledge in two languages, and lastly it was evident that Year 9 student aptitude, self-efficacy beliefs and self-regulatory practices developed predominantly through the exposure to a bilingual classroom setting.
Students in this study were exposed to multiple challenges in this CLIL classroom, such as the negotiation of the billingual setting involving mastery of different speech genres in and through two languages (technology speech, German private and classroom speech, biology language and personal conversations), additionally to new laptop tool use combined with a LMS. Students’ comments revealed that access to CLIL discourses and the use of appropriate language genres is important to engage successfully in the bilingual learning process and achievement of learning tasks. This is reinforced by research into translanguaging practices, which also showed a fostering of deeper thinking and enhanced development of language and literacy skills (Creese & Blackledge, 2010; Garcia & Wei, 2014, Bührig & Duarte, 2013). Through the exposure to the German language Year 9 students repeatedly recognised that their own knowledge and understanding even in their native language was not sufficient and extra learning strategies had to be sourced. Further to this, engagement in different speech genres (e.g. the technology speech genre) allowed access to more learning opportunities and vice versa excluded students from certain group activities, therefore curtailing their learning process. In summary, two practical considerations emerged from this study. Firstly the bilingual nature and translanguaging practices alert CLIL students to the use of different discourses to support self-regulated learning strategies. Secondly, the bilingual setting also unearthed self-efficacy beliefs through student comments, to play a significant role in the uptake of technology tool-use, language learning and production. Based on these findings it is important to acknowledge and incorporate translanguaging processes and consciously recognize that access to specific social speech genres will allow students to engage more efficiently in different learning opportunities.
Bakhtin, M. M. (1986). Speech genres & other late essays (V. W. McGee, Trans.). United States of America: University of Texas Press. Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control New York : W.H. Freeman. Bell, R. L., Smetana, L., & Binns, I. (2005). Simplifying inquiry instruction. The Science Teacher, 72(7), 30-33. Blommaert, J., & Backus, A. (2013). Superdiverse repertoires and the individual Language and Globalisation (pp. 11-32): NARCIS Bonnet, A. (2012). In depth: Towards an evidence base for CLIL: How to integrate qualitative and quantitative as well as process, product and participant perspectives in CLIL research. International CLIL Research Journal, 1(4), 66-78. Cenoz, J., Genesee, F., & Gorter, D. (2014). Critical analysis of CLIL: Taking stock and looking forward. Applied Linguistics, 35(3), 243-ST (11-2014). doi:10.1093/applin/amt011 Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2011). Research methods in education (7th ed.): Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. Coyle, D., Hood, P., & Marsh, D. (2010). Content and language integrated learning. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press. Creese, A., & Blackledge, A. (2010). Translanguaging in the bilingual classroom: A pedagogy for learning and teaching? The Modern Language Journal, 94(1), 103-115. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4781.2009.00986.x Dweck, C. (2009). Who will the 21st-century learners be? Knowledge Quest, 38(2), 8. Garcia, O., & Wei, L. (2014). Translanguaging: Language, bilingualism and education. Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. Marenzi, I., & Zerr, S. (2012). Multiliteracies and active learning in CLIL: The development of LearnWeb2.0. Transactions on Learning Technologies, 5(4), 336-348. doi:Doi 10.1109/Tlt.2012.14 Pellegrino, E., De Santo, M., & Vitale, G. (2013). Integrating learning technologies and autonomy: A CLIL course in linguistics. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 106, 1514-1522. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.12.171 Schraw, G. J., & Robinson, D. H. (2008). Recent innovations in educational technology that facilitate student learning. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Pub. Stake, R. E. (2005). Qualitative case studies. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of Qualitative Research (2nd ed., pp. 435-454). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Wellington, J., & Osborne, J. (2001). Language and literacy in science education. Philadelphia, USA: Open University Press. Yin, R. K. (2014). Case study research: Design and methods (Vol. Fifth). Los Angeles: SAGE. Zimmerman, B. J., Bembenutty, H., & Schunk, D. H. (2013). Applications of self-regulated learning across diverse disciplines: A tribute to Barry J. Zimmerman. Charlotte, North Carolina: Information Age Publishing.
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