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Collaborative enquiry through the tabletop for second/foreign language learners

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Mei Lin, Dr Anne Preston, Dr Ahmed KharrufaORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


This paper evaluates the use of digital tabletops as tools for language learning drawing on a mixed method approach from both SLA and Human Computer Interaction fields. It focuses more specifically on evaluating the extent to which collaborative learning platforms on multitouch tabletops can promote and support the application of both thinking and linguistic skills for English as a second/foreign language learners (ESL). The focus of the evaluation is on a preliminary study of an application of the use of Digital Mysteries task with ESL learners in a Higher Education institution. The study sought to identify what specific affordances in the design of such existing applications might benefit ESL learners in terms of thinking skills, interaction and language use, and by the same token, what might not.The evaluation involves an interdisciplinary approach which considers moment-to-moment multimodal interaction with three groups of Chinese English Language learners. The interactions are considered through the lens of three perspectives: First, from the point of view of reasoning skills in the light of a reasoning skill framework (Mosley et al. 2005); second, from the point of view of language-learning specific skills such as interactional competence where Conversation Analysis is used as a methodological tool to investigate relevant processes and behaviours within a CA for SLA approach (Markee, 2000); and in the third stage, the interaction design embedded in the pedagogical-technological design of the user interface is explored. This paper presents the findings from a comprehensive analysis of the groups’ interactions with and around the completion of the Digital Mysteries task leading to a number of suggestions about how technologies designed for collaborative enquiry might be repurposed for thinking skills and language learning.(278 words)ReferencesMarkee, N 2000, Conversation Analysis. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Mosley, D., Baumfield, V., Elliot, J., Gregson, M., Higgins, S., Miller, J., & Newton, D. (2005). Frameworks for Thinking. Cambridge: CUP.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lin M, Preston A, Kharrufa A, Kong Z

Editor(s): Jager, S; Bradley, L; Meima, EJ; Thouësny, S

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: EUROCALL 2014: CALL Design: Principles and Practice

Year of Conference: 2014

Pages: 202-208

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

Date deposited: 19/01/2016

ISSN: 9781908416216



DOI: 10.14705/rpnet.2014.000218

Notes: Book DOI: 10.14705/rpnet.2014.9781908416209

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

Series Title: CALL Design: Principles and Practice - Proceedings of the 2014 EUROCALL Conference, Groningen, The Netherlands

ISBN: 9781908416209