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Tablets in English class: students’ activities surrounding online dictionary work

Conference paper
Authors Leona Bunting
Published in Critical CALL-Proceedings of the 2015 EUROCALL Conference, Padova, Italy, 26-29 August 2015. Eds: Francesca Helm, Linda Bradley, Marta Guarda, Sylvie Thouësny.
Pages 97-101
ISBN 978-1-908416-29-2
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Pages 97-101
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2015.0003...
Keywords mobile assisted language learning, MALL, second language learning,
Subject categories Educational Sciences

Abstract

Tablets have become increasingly popular among young people in Sweden and this rapid increase also resonates in school, especially in classrooms for younger children. The aim of the present study is to analyze and describe how the students deal with the open instructions for a task of using online dictionaries on tablets. Specific focus is on how they act upon the teacher’s instruction and how they collaborate with each other and the tablets and whether the teacher contributes to the solving of the task and if so, how. A video-recorded observation of ten minutes in which three students and the teacher interact was chosen for analysis. The recordings were transcribed verbatim and actions described in writing. The students in the sequence went beyond the teacher’s instructions of becoming acquainted with online dictionaries and compared variations in search results. Also, the teacher could only see the activities she was directly involved in. Her interaction with the students interrupted and disturbed their focus. To conclude, open instructions demand more of the students and rely heavily on their ability to interpret and understand what is expected in school at the same time as the tablets supported the students’ inquisitiveness and power of initiative.

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