TEACHER AGENCY WITH MOBILE ENHANCED RESPONSE SYSTEMS IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHING
Sor-Trondelag University College (NORWAY)
This study explores teacher agency as it is deployed in the context of post-test activities facilitated by a mobile enhanced response system in foreign language learning classes. It is grounded on the - ecologically rooted - conceptual and methodological framework of teacher agency developed by Priestley, Biesta and Robinson (2012) and aims to understand achievement of agency in distinctive mobile assisted language teaching contexts.
Teachers of English as a foreign language in Norway (three classes) and in Russia (two classes) participated in a joint research project from November 2013 to May 2014. All teachers used the mobile based response system PeLe (Peer Learning Assessment System) developed by the HiST team at Sor-Trondelag University College, Norway (Arnesen et al., 2013; Nielsen et al., 2013). PeLe is a browser based mobile artefact that enables delivery of test items through any mobile device and automatically collects replies to a test. Replies in the form of graphs or charts can be viewed by teachers who then decide on the nature and type of post-test activity as an immediate remediation option (Lydon, 2012).
Data comprise observations of teachers handling post-test activities and an open-ended survey with the teachers. The teacher agentive framework is informed by data collected and highlights two factors affecting teacher agency particularly in a MALL context, namely the immediacy factor (possibility of displaying results or test items immediately after a test) and group size (as response systems are equally used in small and big classes). The study revisits the teacher agency framework by situating it in a mobile learning context and calls for more in-depth investigation on beliefs, values and practices of teachers as agents of educational change.
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