YOUTUBE FOR LEARNING ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE: CRITICAL THINKING, COMMUNICATIVE SKILLS
1 Universidade do Minho / Escola Secundária Carlos Amarante (PORTUGAL)
2 Universidade do Minho (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN09 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain
Abstract:The current trend towards the use of technologies for learning focuses on the web 2.0 associated applications, which encourage young students to social interaction, as well as to creating and sharing information. Actually, the profusion and easy access to tools and channels for video production and sharing, such as youtube, emerge as an example of such applications.
However, bearing in mind that these resources meet no safety standards, their use in the classroom seems inappropriate. It is also known that the general trend among students is to consume online contents passively. Taking this into account, teachers may turn to video technology to develop students’ reflective and critical thinking (Jonassen, 1996), helping them develop criteria for selecting the information sources available on the web. Furthermore, the use of authentic learning materials that engages second language learners to communicate in real contexts and fosters the development of comprehension and communication (oral and writing skills) and intercultural communication competences, plays a crucial role in foreign language learning (Felix, 2002; O’Dowd, 2000).
In this context, the selection of available videos on Youtube comes up as a meaningful way to foreign language learning. This approach has been adopted in a high school, involving10th and 11th grade students (15/16 years old), integrating formal and non-formal educational processes as well as the curriculum broad themes: a world of many languages; the technological world; a world of communication; the teens’ world; our world; teen consumers; the world of work; the multicultural world.
Both general competences (know, know-how, know how to learn, know how to be) and specific ones ( linguistic, pragmatic and sociolinguistic competences), interacting in the acquisition of communication skills, can be dynamically augmented, engaging students to do subsequent activities, either discussing the theme on online forums or contributing with their own reviews posted on the teacher and classroom’s space on the Moodle platform.
The first author, an English teacher, is doing her master’s dissertation based on a case study (Cohen &Manion, 1990, Yin, 2003), which focuses on the impact of youtube, promoting essential competences to the English language learning process. A formal research dimension is now added to this framework based on the teacher’s own practices until the moment.
In this paper we present; a) the theories that support the integration of youtube for learning English as a foreign language; b) approaches and specific materials centred on the students and used in the classroom context, illustrating some examples; c) the study design and the techniques to collect and analyse data; d) the value added by the component of investigation to school teaching practice.
Cohen, L. & Manion, L. (1990). Métodos de Investigation Educativa. Madrid: La Muralla
Felix, U. (2002). The Web as a vehicle for constructuvist approaches in language teaching. ReCALL 14 (2), 2-15.
Jonassen, D. H. (1996). Computers in the classroom - mind tools for critical thinking. Hillsdale, NJ: Prentice Hall.
O’Dowd, R. (2000). Intercultural learning via videoconferencing: a pilot exchange project. ReCALL, 12(1), 49-61.
Yin, R. K. (2003). Case study research, design and methods. Newbury Park: Sage Publications
Keywords: language learning, high school, youtube, cognitive skills.