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Summer Scholar 2018

Each year the Department invites a nationally recognized scholar to teach an intensive course in his or her area of expertise.

Course Title: "Designing and analyzing technology-enhanced materials and activities to develop language, writing and intercultural skills"

Dr. Elisabet Arnó-Macià

English 790: Graduate Seminar - Teaching and learning with technology (3 credits)*
*Class can be found under "Theile" on Campus Connection.

June 25 - 29, 2018, daily from 9am-4pm

Elisabet Arnó-Macià is associate professor of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, where she teaches technical communication courses to engineering students. For a number of years she has been involved in the use of technology for teaching and learning English in higher education, carrying out research, teaching and designing online courses and instructional material. Among other activities, she coordinated the Quantum LEAP (Learning English for Academic Purposes) project (2003-2012), which involved the creation of an online environment for the development of students’ academic English and critical thinking skills. She co-authored the textbook English for Academic Purposes: Learning English through the Web (Edicions UPC, 2001), and co-edited the book Information Technology in Languages for Specific Purposes: Issues and Prospects (Springer, 2006). Since 2012 she has been a member of the TAPP (Trans-Atlantic and Pacific Project), an international network connecting students and instructors who collaborate on projects for the development of communication and intercultural skills.

Course outline

As an integral part of our daily lives, technology has become an essential tool in education at all levels, transforming the ways in we teach language and writing. Faced with the evolution of technological tools and with the challenge of teaching generations of digital natives, teachers and researchers must make the most of technology to design effective courses and materials and especially, to help technology-savvy students use appropriate skills and strategies to support their learning. After examining some theoretical perspectives on the use of technology for the learning of language and writing, this course will examine some real projects the instructor has been involved in, the design and teaching of online courses, the development of a versatile online platform for course and self-access work, and participation in a telecollaboration network of cross-cultural virtual teams (CCVTs), to help participants reflect on and develop their own perspectives on the use of technology in education so that they can critically approach their own technology-based projects.  Key topics that will be examined in this course will include: (a) designing specialized language and writing courses for different disciplines, (b) designing and assessing materials for developing language and critical thinking skills, (c) fostering learner autonomy. The list of readings prior to the start of the course will provide a general theoretical overview which will help participants explore those topics from an informed perspective. Through different practical examples of projects and research studies, participants will reflect on a variety of questions, such as the following:

·         How has the evolution of technology affected teaching and learning practices? How can we harness technology to maximize learning opportunities? What are teachers’ and students’ roles and attitudes?

·         What can we use technology to help students develop different language, cultural and critical thinking skills? How can technology be related to learner autonomy and motivation?

·         How can we design specialized writing courses/materials using technology-based resources? What is involved in the delivery of online and blended courses? How can we balance disciplinary and language-related contents?

·         What is the rationale behind certain instructional designs based on the use of technology? How effective are they?

·         What challenges do we face when teaching “digital native” students to develop appropriate strategies for using technology in academic settings?

·         How can we use technology to bridge different types of “digital divides”?

·         What is involved in the setup of telecollaboration networks? How can we get students to collaborate internationally in cross-cultural virtual teams?

·         What are current interests in research on technology-enhanced language learning? What make appropriate topics and methods? What research (or action-research if we are practitioners) can we develop in our contexts?

This course has been designed with a dual focus on teaching practice and research, to suit different participants’ interests. Accordingly, the course assignment that participants will develop can involve either the design (or critical evaluation) of technology-based instructional activities or the planning of a small-scale research study focusing on an aspect of the use of technology to enhance learning.

List of pre-course readings (tentative):

Arnó, E. (2012). The Role of Technology in Teaching Languages for Specific Purposes Courses. The Modern Language Journal, 96, 89–104.

Arnó, E., Isohella, S., Maylath, B., Schell, T., Verzella, M., Minacori, P., Mousten, B., Musacchio, M. T., Palumbo, G., Vandepitte, S. (2014). Enhancing students’ skills in technical writing and LSP translation through tele-collaboration projects: Teaching students in seven nations to manage complexity in multilateral international collaboration. 
In G. Budin & V. Lušicky Languages for Special Purposes in a Multilingual, Transcultural World. Proceedings of the 19th European Symposium on Languages for Special Purposes. University of Vienna.

Arnó, E., Soler, A., & Rueda, C. (2006). Information technology in LSP: Prospects on a brave new world. In E Arnó, A. Soler, & C. Rueda (Eds.), Information technology in languages for specific purposes: Issues and prospects (pp. 247-261). New York: Springer.

Bax, S. (2003). CALL—past, present, and future. System, 31, 13-28.

Manca, S. & Ranieri, M. (2016). Is Facebook still a suitable technology-enhanced learning environment? An updated critical review of the literature from 2012 to 2015. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 32 (6),503-528.



Past Summer Scholars


2017 Summer Scholar, Dr. Asao Inoue, University of Washington, Tacoma

2016 Summer Scholar, Dr. Tatiani Rapatzikou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

2015 Summer Scholar, Dr. Blake Scott, University of Central Florida

2014 Summer Scholar, Dr. Ryan Cordell, Northeastern University
2013 Summer Scholar, Dr. Paul Prior, University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign

2012 Summer Scholar, Dr. Heather Dubrow, Fordham University

2011 Summer Scholar, Dr. Rebecca Weaver-Hightower, University of North Dakota.  

2010 Summer Scholar, Dr. Malea Powell, Michigan State University. 

2009 Summer Scholar, Dr. Anne Ruggles Gere, University of Michigan. 

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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