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Even if we don’t use computers, technology lies at the heart of so much of what we do as language educators. Technology has been intertwined with language ever since the origins of writing, over 5,000 years ago. And what writing gave us was the ability to TEXTUALIZE language use, to make it last, to allow us to come back to it, to allow us to scrutinize and analyze it, to pass it along to others not present at the moment of utterance, to LEARN from it when and where we want, and at our own pace. Textualizationis what I consider the most important thing that technology has to offer us as language users and language teachers. Cuneiformlexical lists were the first textbooks—thematically organized groupings of Sumerian words for professions, places, trees, wooden objects, leather objects, stones, fish, and so on—which scribes used to teach the conventions of the cuneiform writing system to their apprentices.
Papyrus for thousands of years was a preferred writing surface (although paper was invented in China 2000 years ago, it has been the world’s preferred surface only for the last 500 years or so).Forms of writing and cultures of reading and writing change with time, changes in culture, materials, and technology
Wax tablet: first word processor and inspiration for the codex.Quintilian:correlation between size of writing space and the verbosity or conciseness of a writer.The form of technology that has without question had the greatest impact on language learning is the printed book. Books could be used in nonlinear fashion, and were therefore well suited for reference use and autonomous study. —Once they become affordable through mass production, they altered the relationship between learner and teacher. —With knowledge and standards transmitted by print, teachers were no longer necessarily the ultimate source of all knowledge and came increasingly to be viewed as interpreters of books.
In last 150 years, phonograph, radio, film, tape recorders, television, and the computer have all played their role in language learning. Each has meant changes for teaching, and perhaps none so much as the computer, which re-mediates all earlier communication technologies.ONE THING ALL OF THESE TECHNOLOGIES HAVE IN COMMON IS THAT THEY INVOLVE TEXTUALIZATION.Outline of presentation:‘mediation’ issues in language learning: specifically textualization of experience, which subsequently allows recontextualization or reframing.Implications: how to use technology to serve new goals (CC SC, or what I will call critical semiotic awareness)
Kramsch & Anderson (1999) five fundamental traits of textualization1) realigns reality along new, arbitrary axes of space and time. Can juxtapose scenes that occurred at different times and in different places, thus creating a new reality different from the original lived reality. 2) makes an event or propositional content identifiable as "the same" at every reading or replay. The content has been carved out of the flow of time via arbitrarily selected boundaries (e.g., beginning and end). 3) dissociates the meaning of an event not only from the mental intentions of the participants, but also from the intention of the author.The meaning of the event is now authorized by those who have the societally sanctioned expertise to "read" and interpret the text as text. 4) extends the importance of the event beyond its relevance to its initial situation. The text is held together internally by its own expository or narrative logic. 5) makes the event or experience accessible to multiple, unpredictable, and changing audiences. The text acquires with each rereading, replaying additional layers of meaning for each viewer.
Hanna/de Nooy show that the ease with which learners enter into discussion with native speakers can be deceptive, precisely because what constitutes the genre called ‘discussion’ is not universal but varies across cultures and mediums. In the context of online forums, politeness and linguistic accuracy prove to be much less important than a willingness to be socialized into the discourse rules of a particular online community. This means we must understand communicative competence as a relative construct, shaped by the conditions and constraints of particular communicative contexts.
James Gee. massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs)have become massively popular. Players need to collaborate with other players in order to achieve certain goals, so communication plays a central role. According to Thorne, MMOG players, who come from around the world and can number in the thousands at any given time, have to ‘learn to negotiate complex scenarios, be socialized into culturally specific discourse formations, and be capable of negotiating in real-time with other gamers’. Thorne shows how players appropriate elements of a new language. The question I have about this is tied to culture: is not this a consumer-oriented ‘global game player’ culture? Does this not reduce language use to merely the use of a CODE?
Second Life, Open Life, Active Worlds, or There. ‘Speaking’ to other avatars or to bots is usually done in writing (with cartoon-style speech bubbles appearing above avatars’ heads), although voice chat has recently become the default mode in some environments. Rick de Graaf and his colleagues have done research on Second Life.
Unlike games, the ‘content’ of virtual worlds is mostly created by users themselves, but with the tools and infrastructure provided by the company that has designed the product. Players “construct actual cultures without the constraints imposed by history, biology and biography. The construction of these virtual worlds is heavily dependent on symbolic systems and the impact of symbolic form on the emotions and beliefs of computer users.” (Claire in Simpson 2010)
I’ll be talking about a different kind of textual community: Berkeley students together with Lyon tutors.Part of a longstanding project Le français en première ligne.Juxtaposing 2 spatial, temporal, cultural contexts.
Etymologically, the words ‘medium’ and ‘mediate’ have to do with being in the middle. What is ‘in the middle’ in online communicative interaction? Language, of course—writing in text-based CMC and speech/gesture/facial expressions/postures in audiovisual CMC. But that language and body language is in turn mediated materially by some kind of interface. Hardware and software can introduce time lags and distortions (sometimes without users’ awareness) as well as noise and connection problems—all of which can affect communication.Spatial/temporal/cultural contexts, and the activity frames in which people communicate are also mediators. These are often out of sight and out of mind in CMC environments. An email riddled with typographical errors might lead me to attribute carelessness or ignorance to the author if I envision him or her writing at home on a desktop computer. But if I know he or she is on a crowded bus, typing into an iPhone while being jostled by other passengers I will read with a great deal more tolerance. The problem is that one usually doesn’t know. The more the channel allows users to manage what Goffman called the ‘mutual monitoring possibilities’ of interaction the more agency they have to shape what counts as context. But even in videoconferencing environments participants’ understanding of the other’s context is often more illusory than real.Mediation TEXTUALIZESlived realities – it represents them not as they ARE in some absolute objective sense. It represents realities as they are perceived, valued, felt, thought about, imagined, embellished, fabricated… And the flip side is that texts can be interpreted in multiple ways (e.g., Rodney King video early 1990s)
In videoconferencingwe have movingvisual images of ourinterlocutor in real time.HOWEVER,whatyousee onlineisinevitably PARTIAL
Texts are always partial, and change their value withcontext.
0:50Let’s watch how the screen mediates gestures, expressions, body movement.JeanAnn 26 Feb from 5:09 on – notice how frame freezes when J looks up at Caroline in room. Look at voice image desynchronizationAdjusts webcam at 7:29
1:18Now we’ll see Jean from the view of a videocamera placed to the side.Jean Sess IV 1ere partie Jean w/ 3rd person in room (51:30 on) J glances up in room 52:44 –show what this looks like to Ss.Also his erasing on paper etc
Clip 1:36Let’s see what happens when tutor and students are operating in two different subjective time frames (Jake/Michael/Sabrina)
Textualizationrecontextualization (and computers are the ultimate recontextualization devices (Harris)).For example, the ‘textualized’ interaction we just saw has now beenrecontextualized as an example of a communication problem due to non-shared contexts seeming like shared contexts.Example 2: conversational analysis transcriptions that try to capture intonation contours, pauses, etc. and are laid out differently on the page. This lends itself to analysis in ways that “normal” transcription doesn’t (Claire’s language and power lecture on Fairclough—handout on Oprah, James Fry). New meanings come to the fore, literally become visible: exercise of power by Oprah, overlapping speech with JF, pauses, etc.An important form of recontextualization for pedagogy is viewing past interactions.
R: What was that experience like for you to view the recording?Jake: Um, it was a lot less pressure. Because when you’re actually having the conversation with her, there’s, it’s like... It’s kind of like rereading a book that you’ve already read in terms of familiarity. You kind of know what’s coming up next, so the next time you catch more stuff. So I felt like I had a better clarity of what exactly happened in the conversation. I have more self-awareness in terms of what I said, I’ll be like, “oh, ok” I know what I was trying to say at that point in time, I can hear now what I did say, but I think now that I could have said it better this way. So it’s sort of similar to going back and editing an essay or anything like that, you’re re-appraising your own work. And plus it’s nice to kind of pick up maybe on a few things you missed out on in that conversation because there’s so much to be learned in the course of those conversations, and you hate that the fact that there’s only so much you can learn.
Timeline: markers, record of chat messages, motsclé, documents loaded, questions asked.
Other kinds of text: student drawings
…to improve language and culture learning?Wrong question. It’s not the tech, but the PEDAGOGICAL DESIGN and GOALS that matter.Question is not whether or not to use tech – that is increasingly inevitable (and it has ALWAYS been since cuneiform). The question is being critically aware of how computers and other interfaces mediate meanings. This is what I call critical semiotic awareness.
We need to consider competence in relation to the medium of interaction. The medium is here understood very broadly to include physical, social, cultural, historical dimensions of the means of communication AND the physical and virtual dimensions of the setting. The medium (or the interface?) seems to operate as a ‘third’ social actor which influences how language and communication strategies are used. TEXTUALIZATION may hold the real benefit of CMC for both student learning and teacher education. Textualization of language use; textualization of contexts. Allowing interaction to become an object of analysis.By virtue of transforming invisible mediation processes into analyzable ‘text’ to serve both communication and metacommunication, TEXTUALIZATION provides a means of moving from communicative competence to symbolic competence or critical semiotic awarenessNo technology (whether writing, photography, film, video or sound recording) will give us “pure” captured reality. All technologies offer at best partial, selected representations, subject to selective editing, reframing, recontextualization. So, the mediated reality we encounter is always an interpreted reality. Our task is to lead learners to see how MEDIUMS—whether it’s a book, or a film, a YouTube video, an online chat, a videoconference—and of course let’s not forget face-to-face situations—to see how all these mediums shape the particular ways that meanings are made. I think that it is this kind of conscious awareness of how meanings are made, framed, and transformed in particular contexts of language use that is absolutely essential to 21st century learners – and therefore to teachers and teachers-in-training as well.
EUROCALL Teacher Education SIG Workshop_2010 Presentation Rick Kern
Textualization and Recontextualization: How CMC can contribute to Critical Semiotic Awareness<br />Rick Kern<br />UC Berkeley<br />EduCALL Lyon 28 mai, 2010<br />
Textualization<br />realigns reality in terms of space and time<br />makes an event identifiable as “the same” at each viewing<br />dissociates the meaning of an event from both the participants’ and the author’s intentions<br />extends the importance of the event beyond its original context<br />makes the meaning of the event accessible to multiple audiences<br />Kramsch & Anderson (1999)<br />
Textualized Community Participation<br />Forums<br />Games<br />Virtual Worlds<br />
Implications<br />The medium matters. <br />TEXTUALIZATION may hold the real benefit of CMC for both student learning and teacher education.<br />Textualized interactions can serve a move from communicative competence to critical semiotic awareness.<br />