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LINGUIST List 17.163

Wed Jan 18 2006

Diss: Applied Ling: Fuchs: 'Computer-Mediated Negoti...'

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        1.    Carolin Fuchs, Computer-Mediated Negotiation Across Borders: German-American collaboration in language teacher education


Message 1: Computer-Mediated Negotiation Across Borders: German-American collaboration in language teacher education
Date: 17-Jan-2006
From: Carolin Fuchs <cfuchscalmail.berkeley.edu>
Subject: Computer-Mediated Negotiation Across Borders: German-American collaboration in language teacher education


Institution: Justus Liebig University Giessen
Program: Department of English Studies
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2005

Author: Carolin Fuchs

Dissertation Title: Computer-Mediated Negotiation Across Borders: German-American collaboration in language teacher education

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics

Dissertation Director:
Michael Legutke
Dietmar Rösler

Dissertation Abstract:

The overall goal of this study was to gain insight into the complex nature
of computer-mediated communication (CMC)-based negotiation and learning by
analyzing a collaborative project among teacher educators and preservice
teachers in the US and in Germany.

The collaboration aimed at providing preservice teachers with the
opportunity to explore the potential of integrating computer technology
into their own English or Foreign Language Teaching by collaborating with
their counterparts as well as to develop professional literacy. Six groups
of pre-service teachers collaborated via the email and chat functions of
the FirstClass® computer conferencing software with their transatlantic
partner groups in designing a joint website for CMC-based language
teaching. The following research questions were addressed:
1.Which key principles of negotiation can be identified in a CMC-based
learning environment?
2.What kind of challenges do preservice teachers encounter when
collaborating over a distance? What impact do these challenges have on the
key principles of negotiation?
3.What kind of pedagogical value do CMC-based projects have in teacher
education?
4.What are the implications with regard to teacher and learner training
strategies?

The theoretical framework of this dissertation draws on the following three
major concepts:
1.The principles of cooperative learning (based on socio-cultural theory,
pedagogical theories from educational research, and social psychological
and sociological research);
2.Computer technologies in language learning (based on technology and
communications theory);
3.The notion of model learning (based on pedagogical theories from
educational research).

Data collection instruments were triangulated and included email and chat
transcripts, logs, pre-course/post-course questionnaires, learning process
statements, voices from the classroom, post-course self-assessments and
small-group interviews. A Grounded Theory approach was used to identify
categories such as linguistic issues and missed negotiation opportunities.
Based on the characteristics displayed by one group which successfully
negotiated and cooperated with their transatlantic partner group,
suggestions are made with regard to enhancing CMC-based learning
environments. Lastly, recommendations for further research are outlined.





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