Huw Jarvis

Huw Jarvis takes English language teachers on the journey from the origins of computer assisted language learning in English Language Teaching to the modern world of English usage and mobile phones, and discusses what implications this has on English language learning and teaching today.

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    About this training session / session notes

    Session summary and objectives

    In this talk Huw Jarvis shares his research and insight into the use of technology for language learning purposes. He explains that we have moved beyond the CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) context to a world in which language use is now a means to an end, where international people are using English alongside their own language in order to achieve real life purpose online. He wants language teachers to consider how this new reality affects the ways in which we use technology for language learning purposes.

    Recent language education-based studies question whether the traditional CALL paradigm is still the most appropriate. Huw argues that conscious learning using one computer is no longer suitable for looking at how today’s web generation students use technology. Our students multi-task and in doing so many things unconscious acquisition is as important as conscious learning, particularly when students are accessing and transmitting information in both their first language and in the English language.
    Recent studies suggest a shift from Computer Assisted (language) Learning (CALL)  to Mobile Assisted (language) Use (MALU). The presentation discusses all of these issues in relation to implications for classroom practice.

    Who is this seminar for?

    • All pre-service teachers attending a course on English language teaching or technology assisted language learning.
    • English language teachers at all levels (new to experienced) with an interest in the evolution of the use of technology in English language learning.
    • Teacher trainers who need a summary of the move from CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) to MALU (Mobile Assisted Language Use).
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    About this training session / session notes

    About the speaker

    As this seminar was published, Huw Jarvis was Senior Lecturer in TESOL at the University of Salford, Manchester. He has worked in training and on projects in many places including Thailand, Kuwait and Sudan. Huw's main research area covers computers in language pedagogy and his work in this area has been supported by the British Council’s English Language Teaching Research Awards. Huw is also the editor of TESOLacademic which disseminates TESOL-based research via free video webcasts.

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    About the speaker

    Before you watch

    1. Computers and digital devices have changed the world in which we live. How has technology changed people’s everyday lives in the past 5 years?
    2. Computer assisted language learning (CALL) has now been around for more than 30 years. How do you think the use of technology for language learning has changed over that period of time? Huw Jarvis will provide some insight into this. Make notes while watching and compare what you predicted against what you learn in the seminar.
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    Real life practice

    As Huw Jarvis has done, carry out a survey with the students in your educational establishment to find out how they use technology in the modern world.

    Ask your students questions such as:

    • How often do you use computers or digital tools in your daily lives?
    • When using computers outside of your studies, which language(s) do you usually use?
    • When do you use English online?
    • Do you use different English on social media from what you are taught in the classroom?
    • What suggestion would you offer to ensure that English taught in the classroom is useful for your life?

    Share your findings with a wider professional network of teachers.

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    Real life practice

    Top tips

    1. Technology in education is continually developing. Set aside 20 minutes every week to read about what is happening with technology in education in the wider world. A good source is the IATEFL Learning Technologies Special Interest Group (LTSIG). Follow them on Twittter @iatefl_ltsig.
    2. Allow your students to bring their digital technology into class with them. Set ‘house rules’ for usage from the start.
    3. Establish within your school the best way for students to engage with technology for learning purposes to ensure it is approved, safe and legitimate.
    4. Stay connected to your students and their digital world. Ask them, weekly, what is new on the Internet or what the latest popular apps are. Consider how this new information might be applied to the learning of English.
    5. Strive to incorporate the 3 Cs – communication, creativity and collaboration into teaching and learning on a regular basis.
    6. Provide opportunities for your students to network online with the international community to learn and practice English. Encourage students to join the British Council’s vibrant social networks for learners:
      LearnEnglish Teens
      LearnEnglish Kids.
    7. One way to do this would be to partner with another school outside of your country. Search for a school to partner via the British Council Schools Online website. You can also find classroom resources, professional development materials and information about funding to help build your international school partnership at Schools Online.
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    Join the discussion

    Join the discussion!

    1. Nowadays, communication, creativity and collaboration are high priorities in the world of education and work. With your peers, discuss to what extent these themes have become central to the English language curriculum in your school or college.
    2. How are you using technology for language learning? Are you using technology to promote communication, creativity and collaboration through the English language? How much success have you seen? What are the challenges?
    3. English is still the dominant language on the Internet. To what extent are you helping your students to use both English and their native language for real world and digital effectiveness?
    4. Huw Jarvis emphasises the importance of connectivism in education nowadays – the need to go beyond ‘knowing information’ to developing a whole range of interconnected skills (such as digital literacy) in order to help young people succeed in the world. To what extent is your curriculum addressing connectivism?

    Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Log in to comment.

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    Join the discussion


     Well, I usually use computers just to find activities and make up my lesson plan, and for my students are just use it for listening activities.Most of my pakistani students use Roman Urdu which is there L1 outside the classroom on the social media, they dont like to use English online. It is very difficult to make them write on computers using English as they feel more comfortable using L2 on computers outside the classroom. And even when they are asked to use English in the classroom, they use the short forms or abbreviations like 'u' for 'you'; and even make up there own spellings and grammar. I believe the teachers should use more computer based activities in the classroom so that the students feel comfortable using English on social media outside the classroom. It should also be ensured that these computer short cuts are discouraged in the class and even on academic or English learning websites. 

    In an ideal teaching context using technology would probably be the thing that I wish to do with my students. However, due to the lack of many resources, such as the availability of the internet and smartphones besides other handheld devices, if I depended on technology I would probably be excluding many of my students and depriving them of or even making them feel more stressed about their learning. Nevertheless, if my learners had equal opportunities in using technology, I would absolutely welcome and encourage using it in my classes. 

    We have come a long way in our journey into the  digital world.   formerly The classroom activities and language learning processes were based on traditional method (gabage-in-gabage-out).  Today our methods have shifted from there to task-based, communicative, collaborative and creativity with aid of technology. I'm beginning  to think how we can help  our students not only to be digital literate but how to use it appropriately. My conccer is that with the rate of changes in the digital usage, if the teachers do not properly guide the students on how to know what is and is not good for their language learning; time will come when the need for teachers in the clas will be questioned. I think the best way is for every teacher to be digital literate so that we would be able to direct the students right. 

    It is true that the impact of using technology has become huge in learning and teaching English.
    However my conginition of using technology in learning and teaching english is gradually changing when I come to Salford University for my master degree. what I was told to use technology in teaching Engish was to make presentation and lesson plans by computers for my bachelor's degree in Vietnam while I realized that there are a lot of things to do with technology since I've come to study in Uk. It's not just making lesson plans or just making pp for presentation. We can participate in social networks such as facebook, twitter, you-tube, online workshop, connect to the learning and teaching network in over the world. It is really working for me by active participation. 
    Accordingly. it could be considered that Language learning and Technology should be taught in teacher training program in Vietnam, rather than just teaching methodology traditionally. Some language teachers dont even know how to use computer, especially in rural areas in Vietnam. If the teachers can not use technology for teaching, how can they motivate their students to learn English ? 

    A very interesting lecture about the journey of CALL from a tradition start to a completely new era related to moblie use. Interestingly,our students today deal with technology and especially mobiles as an important part of their lives. Therefore, as teachers its our role to seize the chance and teach them lnguage through the thing they like most(their mobiles). l think it'll be the spark of new way to deal with the new generation. 

    1- The impact the technology has upon people's life can be seen as having both bright and dark side. There is no doubt that with technology life becomes easier. People now can do many things online such as searching for a job, booking a hotel, making a payment, order some products, ask for delivery, navigating or using mapping services as well as communicating with friends and sharing their views with the world. In addition, it opens up many opportuinities for accessing information and expanding our knowledge. It can be said that illetracy is no longer refers to inability to read or write, it refers to lacking the skills to use or benefit from technology. However, the negative influence can be found on peoples' social life. It is noticed that many people ow are highly attached to their (cell phones, ipads...etc) in a way that isolates them from others and sometimes spoils good moments in their life such as the family meeting. Another point is that , in some cases, people tends to talk about their private life which as a consequence may threaten their security since by technology it is easy to trace their track online.
    2- The use of technology for language learning has changed over the previous 30 years as a result of the technological advancement as well as the new theories in learning. Today, the use technology is a pressing necessity in the educational feild that can not be overlooked since it is an integral part of the students' interests. I guess that such advancement necessitates the importance of autonomous learning and the construction of knowledge rather than teacher spoon feeding the students.           

    Some of my students use computer as a digital tool 2-3 times a day and when they asked about which language did they  use, they answered that they use both L1 (Arabic) and L2 (English) outside their study. The majority of the students mentioned that they use English for academic purposes as one of my students said: 'If I do not understand some points of the lecture, I try to type the key words on you tube and watch a tutorial video. It always helps'. Another students said: 'I write my question on any forums and wait for the members replies. I can ask further questions and they are ready to help'. However, they also use English for social purposes but not the same way they taught in school. They prefer to use some abbreviations or acronyms which considered as netspeak such as: BRB (I will Be Right Back) and his friend answer might be TYT (Take Your Time), CTRN (Can not Talk Right now), LOOL (Laughing Outlandishly Out Loud' .....etc. The students suggest that having a friend whose mother tongue is not Arabic offers them a great opportunity to practice the English language since they have to make themselves clear and understood as much as they can.

    Many students in my teaching context use English which is their L2 outside the classroom for non academic reasons
    ( playing games and in social media)and they seem very comfortable with using English .Grammar and spelling are not
    their concern as long as their message is understood.I think that teachers should use technology in classrooms the same
    way that the students using it ouside the class but the tasks should promote accuracy and fluency .