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Friday, August 14 • 3:00pm - 3:25pm
How do I measure up? A Case Study of Beginning Online Language Teachers

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Online language learning is becoming increasingly popular with advances in technology that facilitate the acquisition of language in virtual environments (Duensing et al., 2006). Much of the recent literature on online foreign language instruction has focused on the possibilities presented by online technologies but has failed to examine the practical side of how and by whom online language courses are delivered. Several authors have published articles on the skills needed to be a successful online language teacher using empirical approaches (see Comas-Quinn, 2011) and some focus more on theoretical discussions (see Hampel & Stickler, 2005). The current study drew on the existing frameworks in the previous literature to operationalize and measure the participants’ online language teaching skills before and after teaching a class online. These participants were graduate student instructors of Spanish at a large public university (n = 3). This study used a case study approach to data analysis (Duff, 2008) and gathered data through a variety of qualitative instruments (e.g. questionnaires, surveys, assessments, observations, journals, interviews). The findings indicate that participants struggled to reach proficiency in all skill areas except the basic technology skills due mainly to lack of proper training and ongoing support. The implications of this research point to the importance of a robust and well developed training program and ongoing follow-up training and development support from supervisors in order for online language teachers to reach and maintain proficiency of skills. This study serves as one of the few empirical studies conducted in the United States that concretely operationalizes and measures through carefully designed instruments the prescribed online language teaching skills in an effort to gain insights into what contributes to their development and how to sustain their continued growth.

Speakers
RB

Rebecca Berber-McNeill

Arizona State University


Friday August 14, 2015 3:00pm - 3:25pm
Holden Chapel Holden Chapel, Harvard Bus Tunnel, Cambridge, MA