Panel: Benefits and Challenges of the Blended Learning Approach in Second and Foreign Language Learning

Posted on Posted in Publications

Agnieszka (Aga) Palalas
Athabasca University
Athabasca, AB, Canada

Yasemin Bayyurt
Boğaziçi University
Istanbul, Turkey

Elżbieta Gajek
University of Warsaw
Warsaw Poland

Angeliki (Angela) Metallinou
Arsakeia-Tositseia Schools Psychico
Athens, Greece

Maria (Melina) Laina
University of Athens
Athens, Greece
Kavala, Greece

Abstract: The many benefits and challenges of applying blended learning methods and technologies have been widely discussed in
the computer-assisted language learning (CALL) and mobile-assisted language learning (MALL) literature, even if not directly referred to as blended learning. Blended approaches in second and foreign language learning leverage new, previously unexperienced, digital technologies, novel pedagogical strategies, and new language-rich contexts to offer an innovative approach to untethered language learning that meets the preferences of the 21st century learner. Blended learning practice has to be founded on the body of systematic theory, research, and practice that provides evidence and reflects a multitude of potential educational circumstances. This panel discussion is a forum for language learning practitioners and researchers to report on and discuss how they have implemented blended learning, what strategies and designs worked and what approaches did not provide desirable outcomes. Case studies presented in this panel reflect a variety of problems and solutions as experienced and explored in a real world language learning milieu.

The panel members will thus share their observations supported by case studies from their unique language learning and teaching contexts. These short presentations will address a variety of issues related to successful implementation of blended learning in a language classroom. The panelists will represent four different countries and diverse perspectives,
including the good, the bad, and the ugly of mobile-assisted language learning, the potential consequences of the BYOD (bring your own device) policy, blended learning in a state and a private secondary level school in Greece, and benefits and challenges of applying blended learning in a Turkish university context. The panelist will identify the key challenges
and ways of addressing them. Questions and comments from the audience will be addressed as well. By sharing their expert perceptions, practices, findings and conclusions, and addressing the comments from the audience, the panelists aim to contribute to the progress of blended language learning. The panel is intended for second and foreign language teachers, academics, researchers, instructional designers, and students, and all other who are interested in the topic.

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