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Academic Paper

Title: From action research to the implementation of ICT pedagogical tools: taking into account students’ needs to propose adjusted online tutorial practice
Author: Cédric Brudermann
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Pierre & Marie Curie
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Computational Linguistics; Language Acquisition
Abstract: 'This paper deals with the implementation of an “online pedagogical assistant” in a blended learning device for English for Special Purposes (ESP) students in a French university (UPMC, Paris VI). As it is now, it comprises a customized website designed to serve as a guide through the development of the students’ work.

The architecture of this website and the way it is meant to be used are parameters derived from the conclusions of action research carried out in 2007–2008 in another French university (Perpignan) amongst B1/B2 ESP students. The perspective of that study was to examine their needs when performing off site aural and written tasks. The data collected showed that the problems encountered were always the same – outlining a typology – and that most obstacles derived from A2/B1 elements they had already been through during their secondary education.

This application has been named an “online pedagogical assistant” because, by targeting the problems from the typology, it aims at leading students take care of their needs by themselves before emailing their productions to their tutor(s), particularly by pushing them into reflecting on a certain number of aspects they are already acquainted with but which they nonetheless tend to forget when working on their own.

From the typology of problems, a system of semi-automatic correction meant to help students proceed to self-corrections – notably through online references to relevant online help and exercises – has also been developed. In the correction phase of the students’ tasks, the purpose is therefore no longer for the tutor to correct their productions but to help them do it themselves.
Action research is in progress to evaluate the potential of those adjusted online tutorial practices in terms of second language (L2) acquisition.


This article appears IN ReCALL Vol. 22, Issue 2.

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