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Wednesday, August 12 • 12:00pm - 12:25pm
Agency and Control in Virtual Exchanges and Computer-assisted Language Learning

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This presentation will reflect on theoretical issues related to student agency in virtual exchanges and computer-assisted language learning. The data from a virtual exchange between American and Spanish students will be examined through the lens of key SLA notions: “interaction” (Long, 1983, 1985; Pica, 1992; Gass, 2003), “authenticity” (Kramsch, 1993; van Lier, 1996; Magnan, 2008), “control” (Benson, 2010; Lewis & Vialleton, 2011; Huang & Benson, 2013), “investment” (Norton, 2013), and “agency” (Lantolf & Thorne, 2006; van Lier, 2008). The role that these concepts may play in defining good pedagogical practices for virtual exchanges and computer-assisted language learning will be discussed. Drawing on Foucault’s (1995) insights on power and surveillance, I will suggest that practitioners of virtual exchange and computer-assisted language teaching should be aware of the tensions that arise between the important role that autonomy and agency seem to play in language learning (Lantolf & Thorne, 2006; van Lier, 2008; Huang & Benson, 2013) and the prevalence of educational models and instruments promoting control and accountability.

avatar for Alberto Bruzos Moro

Alberto Bruzos Moro

Director, Spanish Language Program, Princeton University

Wednesday August 12, 2015 12:00pm - 12:25pm EDT
Barker 110 (Thompson) 12 Quincy St, Cambridge, MA