Perceptions of the IWB for Second Language Teaching and Learning: the iTILT Project

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Abstract

Recent emphasis on target language interaction in task-based, technology-mediated language classrooms makes the interactive whiteboard (IWB) an attractive tool: it constitutes a "digital hub" particularly suited to younger learners who require greater visual support and active learning. However, recent research in UK and French primary classes suggests that teachers do not always use the IWB to promote interactivity and may provide only limited opportunities for synergistic interactivity (Beauchamp & Kennewell, 2010) or unplanned interaction (Whyte, 2011), and this lack of room for participation can lower learners' motivation (Hall & Higgins, 2005). Ineffective exploitation of IWB affordances may be related to teachers' beliefs about language acquisition and pedagogy (Borg, 2006) as well as their views of technology (Orlando, 2009). This research suggests a need for greater investigation of teachers' views on language learning with technology and more longitudinal research and training. This study focuses on an EU-funded project iTILT (interactive Technologies In Language Teaching) on IWBs for communicative language teaching, involving 42 teachers of different languages and proficiency levels from primary school to higher education contexts in seven countries. The paper examines eight teachers in five French and Welsh primary schools in the context of this wider data set: data include pre-training questionnaires on teachers' perceived confidence and competence with the IWB and information and communication technology (ICT) in general; 27 video clips of classroom interaction selected by the teachers for the project website; and teacher and learner interview data. Results provide an overview of the teachers' use of IWB features and tools for particular language learning objectives with specific teaching methods, as well as insights into the perceptions of both primary teachers and learners of how the features of the IWB both facilitate and support effective communicative language teaching and learning in primary foreign language (FL) classes.

Keywords: IWB, interactivity, young learners, teacher education, classroom instruction, EFL, Welsh.

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Whyte, Shona; Beauchamp, Gary; Hillier, Emily. (2012). Perceptions of the IWB for Second Language Teaching and Learning: the iTILT Project. In Linda Bradley, Sylvie Thouësny (Eds), CALL: Using, Learning, Knowing, EUROCALL Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden, 22-25 August 2012, Proceedings (pp. 320-326). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2012.000074

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