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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton October 17, 2013

Can blended learning aid foreign language learning?

Marta Genís Pedra

Marta Genis Pedra is Director of the Department of Applied Languages at Nebrija University (Madrid, Spain). Specialized in bilingual education, sociolinguistics and pragmatics, she also directs the Master's degree in Bilingual Education, a blended-learning course in which she teaches Sociolinguistics and Pragmatics and English Literature and Culture.

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and Mª Teresa Martín de Lama

Mª Teresa Martin de Lama is an Associate Professor at Nebrija University (Madrid, Spain) who has specialized in the application of ICT to second language learning, sociolinguistics, pragmatics and bilingual education. She has been coordinator of the Master's degree in Bilingual Education, wholly run through b-leaning, and currently teaches several subjects related to foreign language learning through on-line and blended-learning methodologies at the Department of Applied Linguistics.

Abstract

There has always been a debate around the issue of what it is that improves learning: the instruction itself or the media used for it (Clark 1983; Kozma 1994). It has also been said (Kulik and Kulik 1991; Andrewartha & Wilmot 2001) that computer mediated learning, as opposed to traditional instruction, positively influences the students' achievement. However, some researchers (Clark 1983; Schramm 1977; Wiley 2002) point out that it is not the use of media that improves learning but the strategies and the material developed for this particular kind of instruction.

Online tuition is a trend which is being introduced by many educational institutions both as a core instructional mode, as in the case of pure on-line or blendedlearning courses, or a as a complement to traditional face-to-face learning (Ko and Rossen 2010). Online asynchronous learning is implemented in order to attract students who desire to receive a quality education regardless of time zones, location and distance. Synchronous online learning is being used to increase interaction between students and teachers.

In blended learning these two modalities, asynchronous and synchronous learning, are frequently combined to design full courses that promote meaningful learning. This paper will examine the benefits and difficulties of the combination of asynchronous and synchronous learning modes in blended learning and the theoretical and practical implications in the design of effective blended-learning materials for foreign language learning.

About the authors

Marta Genís Pedra

Marta Genis Pedra is Director of the Department of Applied Languages at Nebrija University (Madrid, Spain). Specialized in bilingual education, sociolinguistics and pragmatics, she also directs the Master's degree in Bilingual Education, a blended-learning course in which she teaches Sociolinguistics and Pragmatics and English Literature and Culture.

Mª Teresa Martín de Lama

Mª Teresa Martin de Lama is an Associate Professor at Nebrija University (Madrid, Spain) who has specialized in the application of ICT to second language learning, sociolinguistics, pragmatics and bilingual education. She has been coordinator of the Master's degree in Bilingual Education, wholly run through b-leaning, and currently teaches several subjects related to foreign language learning through on-line and blended-learning methodologies at the Department of Applied Linguistics.

Published Online: 2013-10-17
Published in Print: 2013-10-25

©[2013] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston

Downloaded on 30.1.2023 from https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/cercles-2013-0007/html
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