MOTIVATING LANGUAGE LEARNERS FROM BEFORE ADMISSION
TO AFTER GRADUATION THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

Presentation at CLaSIC 2008, National University of Singapore, 4 December 2008
by Steve McCarty, Professor, Osaka Jogakuin College (OJC), Japan


Outline of the Presentation:

・ East Asian predicament in higher education > kiasu in Japan? > fewer young people > competition among colleges > outreach efforts turn to the Web > where kids are at
・ Osaka Jogakuin College (OJC) content-based EFL curriculum > media integration > iPods
・ Meaning of media > social media
・ Instrumental motivation (bilingualism) and integrative motivation (biculturalism)
・ Examples utilizing the Web and social media to reach L2 learners before admission, outside of classes, and after graduation
 * Mixi social networking site (SNS) - from before admission to after graduation
 * Summer English Seminar for junior high school students (article in Japanese)
 * Web article in English aimed at high school seniors
 * Child Research Net Young Researchers' Papers project
 * Campus English contest presentations and Computer Communication class activities turned into online performances
・ Questions any time, or comments, e.g., comparing trends in your region



Click on the podcast player above to hear the oral presentation given in Singapore for about 15 minutes.



Passages from the proceedings article for this presentation
:

social media: A category of sites that is based on user participation and user-generated content. They include social networking sites like LinkedIn or Facebook, social bookmarking sites like Del.icio.us, social news sites like Digg or Reddit, and other sites that are centered on user interaction. (Search Engine Watch, 2008).

Wikipedia gives examples of the wide variety of sites that can be considered social media:

Social media can take many different forms, including Internet forums, weblogs, wikis, podcasts, pictures and video. Technologies include: blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, crowdsourcing, and voice over IP, to name a few. Examples of social media applications are Google Groups (reference, social networking), Wikipedia (reference), MySpace (social networking), Facebook (social networking), Youmeo (social network aggregation), Last.fm (personal music), YouTube (social networking and video sharing), Avatars United (social networking), Second Life (virtual reality), Flickr (photo sharing), Twitter (social networking and microblogging) and other microblogs such as Jaiku and Pownce. Many of these social media services can be integrated via social network aggregation platforms like Mybloglog and Plaxo. (Wikipedia, 2008)

Among social networking sites (SNS), Facebook, MySpace, Cyworld (South Korea), QQ (China), and Mixi (Japan) each has tens of millions of users. Other Internet sites among the world’s most often visited, such as YouTube, include social media functions such as posting comments, tagging keywords, embedding code in blogs, and other forms of sharing. The user-generated recommendations constitute a form of meritocracy that in turn influences what kinds of functions, sites and media will be developed next. The artificial online environment thus serves users better by coming into closer accord with human nature. There are also cultural preferences, where for example the functions of Mixi are found to reinforce pre-existing Japanese patterns of social relations (McCarty, in press).


Two types of motivation in L2 learning:

Instrumental motivation refers to learning for utilitarian purposes such as proficiency test goals or job qualifications. Regarding the culture behind the foreign language, learners may aspire to be bilingual but not necessarily bicultural. For communication, English serves as an international lingua franca between speakers of languages other than English as well as a way of doing business with native speakers of English who do not know the local language. East Asian educators report that instrumental motivation is prevalent in their societies.

Integrative motivation is a quite different type of motivation where the learner would welcome becoming bicultural as well as bilingual. The learner likes the users and culture behind the foreign language and wishes to be more like them or to communicate with them not just as a function but as a person. The learner imagines a community of target language speakers and wants to be part of that world.
(McCarty, November 2008)


Examples of the presentation theme:

Reached students before admission (Feb. '08 for Apr. '08 & Sept. '08 for Apr. '09) and collaborated after graduation through the Mixi social networking site (SNS)

Osaka area Summer English Seminar for junior high school students > OJC Intranet article in Japanese

Article in English aimed at high school seniors considering higher education in Osaka

Child Research Net (Tokyo) Young Researchers' Papers project
Blog post of the invitation to publish OJC students' essays (2009-2010)

Campus English contest presentations and Computer Communication class activities are turned into online performances, such as by podcasting and YouTube


CURRENT RELATED WORKS:

"Social Networking Behind Student Lines in Japan"
In M. Thomas (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Web 2.0 and Second Language Learning, pp. 181-201. Hershey, PA: IGI Global (November 2008).

"Curtain CALL: Online Performances for Integrative Motivation"
JALT CALL 2008 Nagoya Conference Selections (anticipated in early 2009)

"Research on English Performances and Motivation at Osaka Jogakuin College"
Tokyo: Child Research Net: Research Papers (November 2008)


Read the full proceedings article for this presentation

Links to the author's publications (frequently updated)