Complexities of learning and teaching languages in a real-time audiographic environment

Hampel, Regine; Felix, Uschi; Hauck, Mirjam and Coleman, James A. (2005). Complexities of learning and teaching languages in a real-time audiographic environment. German as a foreign language(3) pp. 1–30.



During 2004, advanced students of German in Australia and in the UK worked synchronously online with native speaker informants in Germany and German-speaking tutors in the UK and Australia to complete a collaborative task. Meetings took place over several weeks in the UK Open University’s online audiographic tuition environment Lyceum, which provides multiple synchronous audio channels as well as synchronous textchat and several shared graphic interfaces. In addition to the output produced in this medium (oral, written and graphic), the project output, a shared reflection on identity and the notion of Heimat, took the form of a collaborative blog. This article draws on data from pre- and post-questionnaires, from recordings of the online interactions, and from discussions among learner and tutor participants, to explore some aspects of online language learning, including task design, tutor perceptions, student use of tools, anxiety, learning communities and multimodality. The study investigates factors which influence the success of synchronous online language learning, while also inducing reflection on the nature of participant observer research in this domain.

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