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The development of metacognition through the use of online oral presentations: the case of ELT adult learners in Chile

When facing the target language, ELT adult learners struggle with the development of the speaking skill, which they consider the most difficult to achieve at a high proficiency level. The lack of error awareness is the major factor affecting this poor performance. Since metacognition plays a central role in explaining and describing the learning process, which in turn contributes to awareness, this study examines the use of online oral presentations to develop ELT adult learner’s metacognitive processes, specifically error awareness in oral production.
Metacognition is considered as "a prerequisite for the self-regulation of language learning: it informs planning decisions taken at the outset of learning and the monitoring processes that regulate the completion of a learning task" (Wenden, 1998: 528). It shapes the learner's beliefs about and attitudes toward learning thus affecting his/her behavior, and it directly relates to language learning and teaching as well. In this view, error awareness implies the individual’s realization of making mistakes, which will eventually lead to a more effective linguistic performance.
In this research-oriented presentation, we report on the findings of the influence that the preparation of online oral presentations have in the development of error awareness for oral production. We examine how effective the use of Brainshark® is in offering learners the possibilities to realize, reflect and account for metacognitive processes involved in their preparation of oral presentations as they can proof-listen, re-record and make changes as needed. As part of the class assessment, adult learners of English enrolled in an ELT program in Chile were required to plan and deliver three oral academic presentations individually by using this technological tool. Upon task completion, online observation protocols, semi-structured interviews together with the finished recordings were used to stimulate reflections on if and how the software helped in their error awareness process.
We start our presentation situating the study in the realms of Metacognition, error awareness and CALL, then moving to the full description of the participants, the tasks and data collection and analysis procedures. We then share with the audience the findings along with integrated data, materials related to data collection and analysis to raise discussion, implications and potential avenues for further research.


Marianna Oyanedel    
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso

Marianna Oyanedel is an ESL Teacher with a Master’s degree on Applied Linguistics, and a PhD candidate of the Linguistics program at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile. She is currently investigating metacognition in online oral presentations. She has worked for the ESL Teaching Program for 7 years in charge of language and linguistics courses. She is also the Teaching Practices Coordinator of that program.


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