Assisting and mediating interaction during synchronous online language lessons

Benjamin Luke Moorhouse, Lillian L. C. Wong

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

This paper reports on a five-stage research-cum-professional development project designed to explore how teachers use interaction mediated through technology in university level synchronous online language lessons (SOLLs) in Hong Kong to assist language learning while also supporting the professional development of the participants. The synchronous online teaching environment is distinctly different from the in-person classroom and teachers require different and additional competencies to effectively utilize interaction online in real time. The three competencies of e-CIC, or classroom interactional competence in synchronous online contexts, are used as an analytical framework for the study. Participants included five university level English language teachers from three universities in Hong Kong. The study expands our understanding of teacher digital literacies in the context of SOLLs. In particular, our data characterise and exemplify those competencies needed to assist and mediate interaction in the synchronous online classroom, and, by default, maximise language learning and learning opportunity. We propose that by improving their online interactional competency, teachers will be well-placed to not only help language learners achieve their learning goals, but facilitate their acquisition of specific competencies needed for communicating and meaning-making in synchronous online settings.

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