Facilitating language learning through social network sites: integrating advising into online teaching

  • Date: 8 May 2012
  • Location/venue: University of Hull, Hull., HU6 7RX

This seminar introduces and explores the use of social networking sites for language learning, considering the skills required to facilitate informal online learning and how the shift from language teacher to the role of language adviser might be accomplished.

This workshop aims to introduce the use and exploitation of online tools, in particular social networking tools for language learning. This comes at a time when enhancing the student experience is pivotal, therefore offering new and current modes of learning and practice to both learners and educators can be seen as very beneficial. Delegates will be introduced to social networking sites for language learning, and will be offered some insights into how such sites can create a rich learning environment. They will then gain hands-on experience using and exploring these tools.

The workshop will then move into the realm of advising, and facilitating informal online learning, as these are key skills teachers now require. The workshop aims to not only offer delegates an insight into what tools and resources are available for language learning in informal online contexts, but also how to shift in their roles from classroom teachers to online or distance advisors and facilitators of learning. Advising is distinct from teaching in that the language advisor manages new learning environments, provides learning support and training, and guides the student towards autonomy, thereby assuming the following identities: consultant, helper, learner support, facilitator or counsellor. The emphasis thus is more on supporting the learning process rather than on ‘imparting’ the language-specific content per se.

This workshop stems from a research project aiming to promote language learning through social networking. The JOYN 2.0 project is an EU Lifelong Learning Programme funded project with a number of other partners from Finland, Greece, Ireland, Latvia and Lithuania http://www.joynlanguages.eu. This workshop will draw on results from training sessions provided during this project, and the teachers’ reactions towards the experience.

Provisional Timetable (Exact venue TBC)

09.30: Registration with tea and coffee

09.45 – 10.00: Welcome and opening by Fil Nereo (HEA Languages Discipline Lead)

10.00 – 12.00: Social Networking Sites and Language Learning (hands-on session)

12.00 – 13.15: Lunch

13.15 – 14.00: Second Life (Guest Speaker: Luisa Panichi, Università di Pisa)

14.00 – 15.00: Integrating advising into online learning: the basics of language advising

15.00 – 15.30: Monitoring online learning

15.30 – 16.00: Tea/Coffee

16.00 – 16.30: Evaluating online learning

16.30: Close

Fee / Reserving a place

The workshop is offered free of charge. For more information, or to reserve a place, contact Elaine Riordan (e.riordan@hull.ac.uk). Please note that workshop places are limited to 30, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Contact email

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