Virtual Slovak : insight into learning Slovak in an e-learning environment
Kyppö, A. (2015). Virtual Slovak : insight into learning Slovak in an e-learning environment. In J. Jalkanen, E. Jokinen, & P. Taalas (Eds.), Voices of pedagogical development : expanding, enhancing and exploring higher education language learning (pp. 57-84). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2015.000287
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This paper offers insight into learning Slovak in an e-learning environment. The need to reach distance-learners of Slovak led to the implementation of a web-based course on Slovak language and culture in 2008–2010. The pedagogical basis of the course, called Virtual Slovak, is the socioconstructivist approach to teaching and learning, in which the focus is on the development of learners’ communicative competence. This teaching experiment led to a study in which the focus was on learners’ beliefs and experiences regarding learning Slovak in an e-learning environment. The results showed that this particular learning environment had a positive impact on the development of learners’ agency. This impact was demonstrated by an evident increase in motivation and language learning awareness as well as in a conscious approach to learning. At the centre of this investigation is the evaluation of the e-learning environment, especially its appropriateness at the beginners’ level for the acquisition of a less commonly taught language, as well as of the teacher’s role in the learning process. Furthermore, the results revealed that learners’ attitudes towards learning in technologyenhanced learning environments pose challenges to the instruction of less commonly taught languages. Even though current digital technology offers multiple opportunities for the integration of new media modes into learning activities, the choice of relevant media for the learning context and learners’ competences seems to remain one of the teacher’s main responsibilities. ...
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