Issues and Concerns in VW Learning

royal-opera-house-sl_001Several issues regarding VW participation and learning are concerning. The first set can be called technical concerns for both facilitators and users. A standard issue is platform difficulty and a steep learning curve if this is a new teaching environment. In addition, there are platform performance and technical disrupters such lag. Other issues center around digital native vs. digital immigrant, non-commercial vs. commercial areas. Skepticism for professional ESL teachers center around possible gung-ho adoptions of lessons, an undefined SL learning curve due to a lack of clear objectives since most of the learning arises from self-determined experiences. Other issues center around confidentiality (recording chat), certified vs. non-certified teachers who have various linguistic backgrounds, reliability, and other collaboration difficulties, plus no apparent dominant standard such as American, British or ‘Globlish.’

Error corrections in VW’s are another minefield. Esl facilitators must think about active vs. passive correction, dealing with typos and missing punctuation, text manipulation, the absence of dynamic text, net and SL lingo which features abbreviated vs. non-abbreviated language.VW students favor pro-text, be anti-voice vs. pro-voice, anti-text, or adopters of both. Also, multiple language levels, needs, learning styles must be factored into the VW activities against the background of sometimes problematic concurrent communication with natives and non-natives. Determining teaching format and ideal group size (1-to-1, small, 5-10, large, 10 +) and set-up of groupings can be a challenge as the VW landscape is a fluid one. Also, when designing VW activities in-world content such as grammar exercises copyright vs. creative commons need to be vetted.

Author: drcowinj

As an Assistant Professor for TESOL and Bilingual Programs at Touro College, Graduate School of Education Dr. Cowin’s focus is on the Responsibility to Touro Students (Teaching), Responsibility to the Discipline (Scholarship), Responsibility to Touro College and Community (Service). Dr. Cowin strives to inspire students to be creative and to model the love of lifelong learning by inculcating the habits and attitudes that create agile mindsets. 21st-century learning extends well beyond the classroom, and Dr. Cowin incorporates takes full advantage of online learning technologies for L2 language acquisition and current global trends in teaching English as a Second Language She represents high levels of scholarship and participates fully in the larger world of TESOL academic discipline. Ongoing research, expressed in scholarly contributions to the advancement of knowledge is demonstrated through publication, presentation and participation in academic conferences, articles in Education Update, blogging and other scholarly activities, including public performances or exhibitions at conferences and workshops such as the Plekhanov University of Economics keynote address in 2018. Of special interest to her are The Blockchain of Things and its implications for Higher Education, Current Global Trends in Teaching English; Developing Materials and Resources in Teaching English – Methodology; E-learning & Micro-Methodology in Teaching English; and E-Resources Discovery and Analysis.

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