Meeting Martin 12.3.13


Does online reflection enhance performance/learning outcomes when completing a task for an L2 NCEA writing standard?

Martin and I brainstormed to refine my interest in Computer Assisted Language Learning, Metacognition and Second Language Acquisition.  We established that strategic competence (effective student reflection and autonomous learning) is what I am most curious about.  Technology is the understated but assumed tool to support both learning and reflection.

Background: in my senior second language courses, one lesson in four takes place in the computer laboratory.  A regular activity involves students choosing from about three online grammar activities, which support their past or pending communicative learning activities.  After selecting and completing one or two grammar activities, students complete a Reflection Journal entry and answer three key questions:

  • What did I choose to do?
  • Why did I choose to do it?
  • What am I going to do next?

In my research, I particularly want to discover whether reflection interventions of this type have any significant effect on learning outcomes.

Martin and I then discussed how this question might be answered and identified the following possibilities to explore further:

1. Possible data fields

  • Compare two Year 11 classes with the same teacher and course where one acts as a control group and the other a research group.  The latter is given the Reflection Journal intervention (Can the composition of each class be balanced to ensure validity?)
  • Compare learning strategies used by Year 11 and Year 13 students (What are they doing and do they make a difference?)
  • Compare the use of two grammatical structures practised by Year 11 and Year 13 in open-ended writing tasks
  • Use a writing task for an NCEA assessment or another writing task that is not for an NCEA assessment.  (What are the pros and cons of each option?)

2.  Possible research tasks:

  • A grammatical structures test
  • An open-ended piece of writing
  • Student reflections
  • Rebecca Oxford’s Language Learning Strategies Inventory used in a pre-test and post-test comparison

The conclusion of the research: “From our data the following appear to be effective metacognitive strategies…”

Given my provisional status to date, Martin recalled the book: Teaching and Researching Language Learning Strategies by Rebecca Oxford so I could start reading for my literature review.  Chamot and O’Malley are other experts in the field to read.


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