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INTERc. COM Semi-autonomous blended learning for Intercultural Communication in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine Interreg IV 2009 – 2012 with support of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Anouk Gelan Researcher CTL - Center Applied Linguistics Hasselt University Belgium EUNOM Conference, Barcelona, 14 -15 May 2012
Semi-autonomous blended learning for Intercultural Communication in the Meuse-Rhine Euregio Structure • • Euregio Meuse-Rhine Need EMR Project aims Research questions and methodology • Development e-learning modules (semi-autonomous blended learning)
Euregio Meuse-Rhine • One of the many E. U. border regions collaborating internationally • About 3, 9 million inhabitants • About 11. 000 km 2 • Subregions situated around the river Meuse and west of river Rhine • Sort of mini-Europe: provinces / administrative entities from 3 countries, representing 3 different languages and 5 different cultures
Need EMR 3 languages – 5 cultures TR PL First generation drop-out TR 3 d generation
Project aims General aims • Optimize studying and working in EMR • Prevent braindrain and drop-out by • Improving language and culture skills different EMR regions: learn to communicate with your neighbour in his/her language respecting his/her culture and to prevent miscommunication Operational aims • Research on cultural differences within the EMR • Development of e-modules for semi-autonomous blended learning • Publication results scientific journals
Consortium Centrum Provinciale Hogeschool Toegepaste Linguïstiek Limburg UHasselt contractant (adm. + fin. coördinator) promotor (wet. coördinator) Rheinisch-Westphälische Hogeschool Technische Hochschule Aachen Comm. Art Zuyd + Université de Liège Institut supérieur des langues vivantes * Gymnasium St. Leonhard Aachen 5
Research questions Language • Which interference errors and other language errors do native youngsters make in the languages of the other EMR border regions? • Which interference errors and other language errors do Polish and Turkish youngsters make in the EMR languages? Are those errors similar to native youngsters’ errors?
Frequent language errors • Inventorising frequent language errors per language couple (NL, FR, DE, TR, PL as mother tongue to NL, FR, DE as target language) - by teaching professionals target language • general language errors (e. g. overgeneralisation, interlanguage) • interference errors: contrastive didactics • Labeling errors - by native speaker partners: • very disturbing - stigmatising - hindering communication and causing misunderstandings - non disturbing for native speakers • Basis for development remedial courses for EMR students - by teaching professionals target language • Validation - by native speaker partners
Research questions Culture (values and practises) • Which are the cultural attributes of each of the subregions and of their migrant youngsters in particular? • To what extent do subregions differ in the field of cultural attributes? • Which are the cultural attributes of the 1 st generation of Turkish and Polish youngsters? • In what way are cultural attributes of Polish and Turkish youngsters different from the cultural profiles of each subregion?
Why exercises on culture? Are good language skills not sufficient for functioning/feeling well in a new region? • Culture influences verbal (as well as non-verbal) behaviour and perception • Common language ≠ common culture (“Dutch – Flemish”) • Insufficient knowledge of the other person's culture > miscommunication, misunderstandings because: perception through the glasses of one's own culture things that are different are bad • “Germans are stiff- Belgians are stupid–Dutchmen are loud”
What is culture?
What is culture? “not all Belgians are stupid J” Hofstede- Trompenaars • Each individual: specific for each individual specific for group or category universal personality culture Human nature innate + learned innate
What is culture? • all individuals belonging to the same group share the same layers of culture Hofstede - Trompenaars symbols jargon, hair style, flags… heroes practices model of behaviour visible+ change quite fast rituals greeting, discours, ceremonials… values invisible + change (very) slowly
Survey cultural dimensions Well known studies measure and compare national, larger regional (Flemish. Walloon) cultures Hofstede – Trompenaars – Schwartz… But so far no research on EMR subregions – no comparative research Survey – 11 cultural attributes X 4 questions X 3 cat. Respondents o. Monochrone Polychrone o. Individualism Collectivism o. Externalism Internalism o. Universalism Particularism o. Small power distance Big power distance o. Masculinity Femininity o. Low uncertainty avoidance High uncertainty avoidance o. Ascription Achievement o. Long-term orientation Short-term orientation o. High context Low context o. Formal Informal
Development: language & culture learning modules >>> 30 modules >>> combination of each subregion (source language/culture) with each of the other subregions (target language/culture) source source language/culture language/culture subregion Turks Pools 1 2 3 4 language/culture subregion 5 >>> 5 target languages: BENL, NLNL, DEDE, BEDE, FR Beginning 2013: 20 400 e-learning modules to be distributed for free in EMR!!!
• Tutorial CALL: computer as tutor, a program with a recognisable “teaching presence” • Suited for autonomous learning (self-study) + for semi-autonomous blended learning: self-study based on the individual use of e-modules is combined with a physical face-to-face or on-line coach • Remedial course with • interactive language exercise material based on error analysis (anticipated errors): importance of immediate and tailor-made feedback • interactive culture exercise material based on regional culture research • Suited for teachers + HE students, and different types of learners (learning preferences, linguistic and cultural backgrounds, …) • Development with dedicated authoring software for web environment • Communicative language learning • Include all language competences: listening, reading, speaking, interacting, writing
Instruction/teaching presence • Tutorial modes: • Presentation: provide info (i. c. in target language) using text, tables, schemes, pictures, video (interaction limited to clicking, pausing, repeating) • Exploration: learners do the asking clicking on links, pictures, audio, looking for info with the option of skipping info already known • Interrogation: computer does the asking, prompting the student for a response, providing feedback (correct and incorrect answers, score, comment) on accuracy of that response • Didactic progression: from receptive to productive, to synthesis exercises • Contrastive approach: • comparison mother tongue-foreign language & 2 cultures • use of facilitating language elements (positieve transfer) and of language differences causing errors (negative transfer) Hubbard, 2001
Content e-modules (e. g. module 1) Communicative themes 1. Relaxation after college/work 2. Accomodation 3. Food 4. Transport 5. Extra earnings 6. Studies and ceremony 7. Communication 8. Clothing and dress code 9. Shopping 10. Hierarchy study/work 11. Religion and rituals 12. Associations 13. Study facilities 14. Heroes/personalities 15. Miscellaneous AF_FR Module 1. Module NL-FR BE Limburg Liège Language exercises IF_NL-FR Culture exercises Practices BELimburg + Liège Dimensions BELimburg. Liège
Structure e-modules Module FR-NL Luik BE Limburg Exercises Language ex. (AF and IF) 1. Pronunciation and phonology 1. 1 Separate sounds 1. 2 Stress (1. 3 Liaison) 1. 4 Intonation 2. Spelling 2. 1 Spelling mistakes 2. 2 Interpunction 3. Morphology 4. Syntax 4. 1 Word order 4. 2 Congruence 4. 3 Missing sentence elements 4. 4 Superfluous sentence elements 4. 5 Auxiliary verbs 5. Lexicology and semantics 5. 1 Words 5. 2 Word combinations 5. 3 Expressions 6. Pragmatics L I N E A R P R O G R E S S I O N Theory hyperlinks Culture ex. Cultural practices 1. Relaxation after college/work 2. Accomodation 3. Food 4. Transport 5. Extra earnings 6. Studies and ceremony 7. Communication 8. Clothing and dress code 9. Shopping 10. Hierarchy study/work 11. Religion and rituals 12. Associations 13. Study facilities 14. Heroes/personalities 15. Miscellaneous Language Cultural attributes 1. Background culture and communication 2. Discovery own culture + how do others see my culture 3. Discovery target culture + comparison 4. Interpretation behaviour 4. 1 each cult. attribute 4. 2 all cult. attributes 5. Cultural strategies 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. PR SP MO SY LE PG - Source culture - Target culture
Language exercise: example pronunciation FR
Culture exercise: example masculinity-feminity Couple Liège – Dutch Limburg Fase 4: interpretation c 2 behaviour A Liège student hires a room in the house of a Dutch family. The man works halftime to take care of the kids and the housekeeping, the woman works full-time. How can you interpret this? (multiple choice exercise) • The man is dominated by the woman. • The woman is a feminist. • This is normal in Dutch Limburg.
More information? www. uhasselt. be/ctl Research & development Projects and partners INTERc. COM www. commart. be (spin-off CTL) Marketable e-modules Authoring software for creation of learning modules (web service)