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Processes of teacher and student development: Collaboration and autonomy in the digital class-room.

The introduction of technology in the language learning classroom has changed the number of options for both students and teachers in the planning and the execution of the activities taking place in the classroom. The new reality of language learning has been welcomed by most because it has increased possibilities for individualised teaching and learning approaches and supported individual learning styles. The rapid progression of advances in technology and its equally rapid proliferation have given rise to a sound basis of research into the effectiveness of technology tools in language learning as well as attitudinal and motivational research.
To date, however, very little research has been published on the processes of development in the new teacher and student roles, their dynamics, and the consequences for classroom practices which follow from the application of the new tools in language learning.
This chapter will pursue the theoretical and pedagogical principles involved in the development of new teacher and student roles deriving from the integration of technology in language learning on a permanent basis and the incremental formation of new routines in a learning environment in which it becomes a natural state of affairs.
The affective and motivational attitudes towards new technology in language learning methods have been the subject of several studies. Studies and results have illuminated the use of particular applications and platforms, often in conjunction with the learning or training of particular features of language learning, such as for instance vocabulary acquisition, dictionary use or grammar items. In contrast, there is less evidence towards the mechanism of the shifting role of teachers and students and the dynamic interplay between the various factors of locus of control, differentiation, construction of identities for teachers as well as students.
The project during which the present study has been conducted comprises highly qualified teachers from the upper secondary schools involved in the teaching of four different languages (English, Spanish, German and French) ranging from beginners to advanced. All students took English at an advanced level (8 to 10 years of English instruction) plus either, French, German or Spanish as a second foreign language. The teachers were all experienced language teachers. Students were between 16 and 19 years of age. The results of the study will be based on outcomes of questionnaires from both teachers and students.


Jane Vinther    
Department of English
University of Southern Denmark

Dr. Vinther holds an MA in English and Pedagogy and a PhD in computer-assisted language learning and second language acquisition. She has extensive teaching and research experience in CALL, second-language acquisition, and cognitive processes of learning.


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