Exploring the use of tutorial recordings for beginner distance learners of Chinese

Pleines, Christine and Kan, Qian (2023). Exploring the use of tutorial recordings for beginner distance learners of Chinese. Journal of China Computer-Assisted Language Learning, 3(1) pp. 70–100.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jccall-2022-0025


Previous research into listening to recorded tutorial interaction highlights the potential of tutorial recordings as a scalable resource in online contexts. Dialogue between tutor and learner or between peers may mediate the understanding not just of direct participants, but also of listeners, and listening to interactive recordings may facilitate deep learning. In language learning, both direct and indirect interaction have been shown to contribute to language development. This is relevant for online learning design, and especially so in contexts where no tutorials are provided, and students are confronted with a challenging language such as Chinese.

This paper reports on a small-scale project which explored potential learning benefits of watching tutorial recordings in a non-accredited, self-directed course for beginner learners of Chinese through surveys and stimulated recall interviews. Our analysis of the data shows that viewers focused on different visual and auditory elements of the recordings; they participated vicariously in interactions between teacher and students, and they reported benefits for language learning and motivation. Findings suggest that these perceived benefits and preferences are linked to linguistic competence in comparison with direct attenders. The study aims to feed into a larger research project including more languages and including accredited courses at the next stage.

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