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Dilemmas of Blended Language Learning: Learner and Teacher Experiences

Issue: Vol 30 No. 3 (2013)

Journal: CALICO Journal

Subject Areas:

DOI: 10.11139/cj.30.3.323-341


Rapidly advancing technology continues to change the landscape of blended foreign language education. Pinpointing the differences between blended language (BL) learning environments and understanding how stakeholders experience such spaces is complex. However, learner experiences can provide a roadmap for the design and development of BL courses. Using a multiple case study approach, this paper reports on stakeholders’ experiences and comparisons of two different types of blended Spanish courses, one that harnesses ample technology and another that uses it much less. Using ethnographic data triangulation and systemic functional discourse analysis, four conflicting themes were constructed with respect to two types of BL courses and online versus face-to-face (f2f) classes. The first type of dilemma pertained to (a) the time commitments and (b) relationships developed in each course. The second type of dilemma surrounded the capacity of online and f2f classes for fostering (c) speaking skills development and (d) student understanding. Implications of these four conflict of opinion for BL course developers, teachers, and researchers are discussed.

Author: Jesse Gleason

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