Giới thiệu trung tâm học liệu ảo thuộc chương trình học ngoại ngữ kết hợp theo nhiệm vụ dành cho chương trình tiếng Anh thương mại tại một trường đại học thuộc cộng hoà Pháp

Tham luận này mong muốn giới thiệu trung tâm học liệu ảo được thiết kế như một phần của chương trình dạy và học kết hợp theo nhiệm vụ (Taskbased, blended language learning) dành cho khóa học Tiếng Anh thương mại tại Đại học Nantes, Cộng hòa Pháp. Trung tâm học liệu là một không gian tự học nhằm cung cấp các hình thức bài tập tập trung vào hình thức (focus on form) liên quan tới các chủ đề trong chương trình giảng dạy Tiếng Anh thương mại. Những bài tập này tạo điều kiện cho sinh viên tiếp xúc với những phản ánh siêu ngôn ngữ và bài tập thực hành dựa trên ngữ cảnh, cũng như đáp ứng những nhu cầu khác nhau của sinh viên. Những thay đổi sẽ được thực hiện đối với trung tâm học liệu dựa trên phương pháp học hướng dữ liệu (data-driven learning approach) nhằm điều chỉnh phần hướng dẫn ngữ pháp cũng như cung cấp thêm các tiểu nhiệm vụ liên quan giúp sinh viên cải thiện thực sự chính xác khi sử dụng ngôn ngữ.

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Ti u ban 5: #ng d$ng công ngh và thit b trong ging dy và nghiên c%u v ngoi ng 702 GIỚI THIỆU TRUNG TÂM HỌC LIỆU ẢO THUỘC CHƯƠNG TRÌNH HỌC NGOẠI NGỮ KẾT HỢP THEO NHIỆM VỤ DÀNH CHO CHƯƠNG TRÌNH TIẾNG ANH THƯƠNG MẠI TẠI MỘT TRƯỜNG ĐẠI HỌC THUỘC CỘNG HOÀ PHÁP Ngô Th Phng Lê, Rebecca Starkey-Perret Trường Đại học Ngoại ngữ, Đại học Quốc gia Hà Nội Tóm t t: Tham luận này mong muốn giới thiệu trung tâm học liệu ảo được thiết kế như một phần của chương trình dạy và học kết hợp theo nhiệm vụ (Task- based, blended language learning) dành cho khóa học Tiếng Anh thương mại tại Đại học Nantes, Cộng hòa Pháp. Trung tâm học liệu là một không gian tự học nhằm cung cấp các hình thức bài tập tập trung vào hình thức (focus on form) liên quan tới các chủ đề trong chương trình giảng dạy Tiếng Anh thương mại. Những bài tập này tạo điều kiện cho sinh viên tiếp xúc với những phản ánh siêu ngôn ngữ và bài tập thực hành dựa trên ngữ cảnh, cũng như đáp ứng những nhu cầu khác nhau của sinh viên. Những thay đổi sẽ được thực hiện đối với trung tâm học liệu dựa trên phương pháp học hướng dữ liệu (data-driven learning approach) nhằm điều chỉnh phần hướng dẫn ngữ pháp cũng như cung cấp thêm các tiểu nhiệm vụ liên quan giúp sinh viên cải thiện thực sự chính xác khi sử dụng ngôn ngữ. Abstract: This contribution focuses on an introduction to a virtual resource center which was developed as part of a task-based, blended language learning and teaching program for Business English courses at the University of Nantes, France. The resource center is a self-access training space providing students with various types of focus on form exercises relating to the themes studied in the Business language curriculum. These micro-tasks offer students necessary opportunities for meta-linguistic reflection and contextualized language practice, as well as cater for individual differences. Further developments will be made to the resource center by modify the grammar explanations part based on the data-driven learning approach as well as uploading more related micro-tasks with the hope to help students improve their language accuracy. AN INTRODUCTION TO A VIRTUAL RESOURCE CENTER IN A BLENDED LANGUAGE LEARNING PROGRAM FOR BUSINESS ENGLISH COURSES AT A FRENCH UNIVERSITY Introduction The virtual resource center (VRC) was developed as part of a task-based, blended language learning and teaching program (Ellis, 2008; Willis & Willis, 2007) for Business English courses at the University of Nantes which was implemented in 2008 to deal with overcrowded and mixed-ability classes as well as to reduce student drop-out rates. The VRC is a self-access training space that currently provides nearly 200 micro-tasks supporting individual meta-linguistic reflection and contextualized language practice (Bertin & Narcy-Combes, J.-P, 2012; Bertin, Gravé & Narcy-Combes, J.-P., 2010). Teachers gave students individual feedback on their productions and sent them to the virtual resource center in order to facilitate noticing (Schmidt, 2001) and practice. The Context Languages and International Trade at the University of Nantes is a three-year undergraduate program that combines the learning of up to 2 or 3 languages, of which Business English is compulsory. Although the number of students’ Chin lc ngoi ng trong xu th hi nhp Tháng 11/2014 703 enrollment increased by 29% between 2008 and 2010, the drop-out rate is at the end of the first year is relatively high, at more than 40%. Another problem of the Business English courses is that teachers have to deal with large size classes of from 45 to 60 students per class. Moreover, the students’ language levels are heterogeneous, with only 25% students acquire B2 level as required on entering university, (McAllister, Narcy-Combes M.F, Starkey-Perret, 2012). The large size, heterogeneous class is believed to be a contributing factor that leads to increasing drop-out rate, because individual feedback, student interaction and practice are not adequate in these conditions. With the hope to tackle the problems, a task- based blended language learning and teaching program including a virtual resource center was developed. The program is aimed at increasing students’ engagements in class and helping them to improve their language proficiency based on their individual needs. In this paper, we only focus on the advantages and limits of the virtual resource center, which is an integral part of the task-based blended language learning program. The design of the virtual resource center In general, the task-based blended language learning program is developed based on the socio- constructivist and cognitivist approaches, according to which learners are active constructers of their learning through social interaction and individual involvement and reflection (Kintsch, 2009; Lantolf, 2000; Little, 2007 as cited in McAllister et.al., 2012); and human learning happens through mental processes such as attention and perception, learning and memory, thinking and reasoning, decision making and problem solving, (Eysenck, 2001). The processing of information that occurs in human mind is similar to that in computers –information gets into the brain, going through a sequential series of processing stages; and through practice, the information can be maintained in the short-term memory or transferred to the long-term memory to be retrieved in the future, (Eysenck, 2001; Ellis, 2008; Bertin et.al, 2010). With that respect, throughout the Business English course, students are provided with macro social tasks, which are designed in the form of real-life business scenarios and allows students to interact and collaborate to solve problems without any direct inference from the teacher. After producing the language through the macro-tasks, students receive individual feedback from teachers and they can log on to the VRC to work on their own problems (which might be pointed out by their teacher). The VRC, which contains interactive grammar, vocabulary, and listening exercises to help students work on the morpho-syntactic, phonetic, and lexical areas they have most difficulty with. These are contextualized exercises (micro-tasks) relating to the themes studied in the Business language curriculum. In total, there are approximately 200 micro-tasks in different categories uploaded on the center. Students can use search function to find exercises that they need. Besides, there is a section for grammar explanations in alphabetical order from which students can find clear explanations (which is a focus on form approach) for their grammatical problems. These grammar points are linked with grammar exercises so as students can practice right after they are exposed with the declarative metalinguistic knowledge. Ti u ban 5: #ng d$ng công ngh và thit b trong ging dy và nghiên c%u v ngoi ng 704 Coherent with cognitive accounts of second language acquisition, the VRC provides necessary opportunities for meta-reflection and individual practice (Bertin and Narcy-Combes, J.-P., 2012; Bertin, Gravé, & Narcy-Combes, 2010) by offering students various types of focus on form exercises after having had their attention drawn to their problem areas (by their teacher) through the production of a socially and communicatively meaningful task. The benefits and limits of the VRC The VRC offers students with various opportunities to practice; with a connected computer, they can log on to the center at any time to work on their language problems. Micro-tasks are linked together so that students can practice the language input they learn again and again. Let’s take a look at a listening task below: This particular example of an exercise was made using hot-potatoes. There's an easy html code to use to integrate a listening document. This exercise is aimed at bringing students' attention to specific collocations such as 'to pay attention' ' to learn a lesson', 'to lay blame', to lay down guidelines' so that they will learn them as fixed chunks. The noticing is done when students fill in those gaps while listening to the auditory input. Then they have another exercise to practice using those expressions again. In short, by completing micro-tasks, students can enhance their attention to salient features of Chin lc ngoi ng trong xu th hi nhp Tháng 11/2014 705 L2 input and memorize them. Gradually, learners’ declarative knowledge will become more automatic and begin to be incorporated into procedural knowledge, which can be retrieved in the future, (Ellis, 2008; Bertin et.al, 2010). The noticing process is important as “attention is necessary for all aspects of L2 learning”, Schmidt (2001:3), and it is believed that “little learning of new linguistics material from input is possible without attended processing.” (Ellis, 2008:266). The VRC allows teachers to draw students’ attention to particular language problems that they have. During the course, students have to upload their written work on Moodle, the computer- mediated platform for correction and individual feedback, through which students’ specific problems are pointed out. By doing so, students’ attention is focused on specific language structures when they log on to the center for practice. This process of learning enables the effective language acquisition as Schmidt (2001:13) claims that “only those features of target structure that are noticed will be learnt” and that “attention must be specifically focused”. The VRC also caters for individual differences in language learning. Students can log on to the center for individual training based on individual needs. Students differ in language aptitude, cognitive and learning style, language learning strategies, and motivation, which are predictors to second language learning success, (Dornyei and Skehan, 2008). The center allows students to adapt the language practice to their cognition process, which will facilitate the acquisition of L2. However, despite its advantages, the VRC remains underdeveloped compared to the recommendations provided by cognitive accounts of language acquisition. The most important thing is that the center has not yet comprised a very large number of exercises for each exemplar in order to make language associations become automatic. This is due to limitations found in less well-resourced universities: lack of funding to hire full-time developers, lack of time due to high teaching loads and increased administrative tasks for associate professors and full-time teachers. Besides, as the center is built based on the platform Moodle, providing sufficient, appropriate feedback and interactions is the biggest challenge for the teachers. Future developments In the future, the researchers will take further actions to develop the VRC by following the corpus-based learning approach. Corpus-based learning is an approach in which learners can use corpus data to further their language learning, (Boulton, 2010). The key pedagogical approach in corpus-based learning is data-driven learning (DDL), a term coined by Tim Johns, who describes DDL as “the attempt to cut out the middleman as far as possible and to give direct access to the data”, (1991:30). In this approach, learners are exposed to large quantities of authentic data, through which they play an active role in acquiring the language by observing, classifying and generalizing the language patterns. This approach is chosen to develop the center for three main reasons: The DDL approach helps learners to acquire a language by discovering the patterns of the language use. Learners are provided with a concordance of language items from which they are presented with multiple samples of the same items. This helps learners to identify the patterns, analyze them so as to generalize the language use. In this approach, learners are confronted with authentic resources of language input, which allows learners to observe what is written in a given circumstance. Moreover, it is believed that as learners learn to observe and make generalizations, they develop more autonomy; and this process promotes noticing and grammar-consciousness raising. The overall goal is to provide learners with concordance lines of language items in which key words appear in contexts; they will need to observe, classify, then identify and finally make generalizations to account for the patterns. Ti u ban 5: #ng d$ng công ngh và thit b trong ging dy và nghiên c%u v ngoi ng 706 Below is an example of concordances lines retrieved from the British National Corpus. These lines present the whole set of formulaic sequences in which the word “increase” appears. The repetition of those chunks in the language input not only helps students to easily figure out the formulaic patterns of language but also remember them better. Boulton (2010) suggests a variety of activities based on authentic data in the form of individual or multiple concordances, including: • identifying and underlining target items • cloze and other forms of completion exercises • choosing the right form in context; putting bare items in the appropriate form (e.g. tense, aspect, countability) • correcting inappropriate forms • matching split sentences • re-arranging items • word-formation • question/answer (e.g. what’s the difference between X and Y? or what do X and Y have in common?) • grouping lines according to meaning, usage, etc. • writing sentences or inventing new examples In the future, we will exploit the available corpora data such as BYU-BNC [] from University of Birmingham, BNC Web [] from Lancaster University, or COCA, the Corpus of Contemporary American English. The corpora of these resources contain written texts such as newspaper and magazine articles, works of fiction and nonfiction, as well as writing from scholarly journals. They also have a small portion of spoken transcripts from informal conversations, government proceedings, and business meetings. Conclusions The VRC has been in use as an integral part of the task-based, blended learning program for Business English courses for nearly 6 years and it has received positive feedback from students, (Starkey-Perret and Ngo, 2014). Following cognitivist approach to second language learning, the VRC offers students with various opportunities for meta-reflection and practice as well as cater for individual differences. By engaging in the virtual resource center for practicing, students will be able to focus their attention to specific problems and better memorize salient features of L2. The center is now Chin lc ngoi ng trong xu th hi nhp Tháng 11/2014 707 undergoing further developments with the application of corpus linguistics approach so as to help students improve their language accuracy. REFERENCES 1. Bertin, J-C, Grave P. & Narcy-Combes, J-P (2010). Second Language Distance Learning and Teaching. New York: Information Science Reference. 2. Bertin, J-C & Narcy-Combes, J-P (2012). Tutoring at a distance: modelling as a tool. Computer Assisted Language Learning, Vol. 25, No. 2, April 2012, 111- 127. 3. Boulton, A. (2010). Data-driven learning: taking the computer out of the equation. Language Learning, 60/3, p. 534-572. 4. Dornyei, Z. and Skehan, P., (2008). Individual differences in Second Language Learning. In:C. H. Doughty and M. H Long, (eds). The Handbook of Second Language Acquisition (pp. 589-630). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. 5. Ellis, R. (2008). The Study of Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 6. Eysenck, M. W. (2001). Principles of cognitive psychology. Hove: Psychology Press. 7. Johns, T. (1991b), ‘From printout to handout: grammar and vocabulary teaching in the context of data-driven learning.’ In: T. Johns & P. King (Eds.), Classroom Concordancing. English Language Research Journal, 4: 27-45. 8. McAllister, J., Narcy-Combes, M-F, and Starkey- Perret, R. (2012). Language teachers’ perceptions of a task-based learning programme in a French University. In: Shehadeh, Ali and Christine A. Coombe (eds.), Task-Based Language Teaching in Foreign Language Contexts: Research and implementation. 2012. xix, 364 pp. (pp. 313–342). 9. Schmidt, R. (2001). Attention. In Robinson, P. (ed). Cognition and Second Language Instruction, (pp.3- 32). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10. Starkey-Perret, R. and Ngo, T. P. L, (2014). An analysis of a virtual resource center for Business English at the University of Nantes: student engagement and further development. Nantes: APLIUT 36th conference. 11. 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