Can an online synchronous language course provide the psycholinguistic
environments considered necessary for language learning? “Virtual Language Learning-
Japanese” was the product of a content base developed at the turn of the millennium in
the pursuit of developing language learning courses among California State University
(CSU) campuses that would use synchronous and asynchronous delivery modes via
internet technologies. That project sought to enhance and strengthen existing programs in
order to maximize cost effectiveness and enrollments for strategic and less commonly
taught languages. However the psycholinguistic support for learning from the materials
and approach to instruction for the course developed in that project have not been
reviewed. This study reviews the course, “Japan: Land and People” that has persisted
from that project and is currently offered in synchronous online mode from California
State University, Monterey Bay to students from around the CSU system, through the
lens of Doughty and Long’s (2003) framework of Methodological Principles for
Computer Assisted Language Learning. The framework’s 10 principles are identified,
and are related to Second Language Acquisition theory and research findings. After
exploring the principles and their basis, the paper explains the organization and
motivation of the course, and a detailed description of a single lesson from the course is
provided. The lesson is then reviewed from the perspective of the methodological
principles. This study concludes that incorporating synchronous technology based learning with robust backend data driven tools to assist the instructor in classroom
decisions successfully meets the psycholinguistic requirements for language learning.
1 online resource (PDF, 94 pages). Submitted July, 2010 as a Plan B paper in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a master's degree in English as a Second Language from the University of Minnesota.
Leonard, William Gunerius Sanders.
Applying a framework for psycholinguistic environment design to an online synchronous language learning course: Virtual language learning - Japanese in the Cal State University.
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