Making a Case for Learner Training in Technology Enhanced Language Learning Environments
Keywords:learner training, autonomy, technical training, pedagogical training
In recent years, the range and complexity of both language learning technology and the environments in which learners utilize it have become more central factors in language education. Given the already stunning—and growing—number of technological options for language learning, teachers working with both established and emerging applications for learning tasks and activities face the problem of how their students can use them most effectively. While acknowledging that appropriately designed technology and tasks are important, this paper examines five strands of evidence to support the contention that learner training offers a complementary direction for addressing this problem. These strands include research on the gap between language learner needs and their technological proficiencies, development and implementation of a learner training framework, insights from language teachers in the role of language learners using technology, a review of research studies acknowledging the potential value of learner training in their discussion sections, and examples of research and practice that involve learner training, including recent technology standards. Collectively, these strands converge on the conclusion that learner training for efficient and effective technology use should become a more central theme in research, development, practice, and teacher education.
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