The role of cultural diversity in e-based language learning. A comparative study of Bulgarian and Lithuanian learners of German as a foreign language using an online learning platform

Roche, Jörg and Todorova, Dessislava (2010) The role of cultural diversity in e-based language learning. A comparative study of Bulgarian and Lithuanian learners of German as a foreign language using an online learning platform. In: Cultural Attitudes towards Technology and Communication 2010 Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Cultural Attitudes towards Technology and Communication Vancouver, Canada, 15-18 June 2010. School of Information Technology Murdoch University, Murdoch, pp. 436-445.

[img]
Preview
PDF
roche.pdf

Download (174kB) | Preview

Abstract

The study reported on in this paper focusses on the impact of cultural factors in media-based language acquisition. The study sets out to investigate the role of learners‟ cultural dispositions during the use of media-based programs in language learning. More specifically, the study aimed at finding out to what extent the cultural disposition of learners outweighs the learners‟ individual preferences in a media-based (online) language course. The analysis of input data produced strong differences between the two learning cultures at the outset of the study. Lithuanian learners were found to be more passive, more rule oriented, more reliant on their mother tongue as a means of instruction and less tolerant vis-à-vis ambiguity when they entered the experiment. They also turned out to reject open (less teacher-guided) forms of communicative learning requiring active participation and, instead, preferred language teaching to be (passively) entertaining. Bulgarian learners by contrast were more tolerant vis-à-vis ambiguity and more goal-oriented with respect to learning the foreign language for academic success abroad. They also turned out to be more focussed on and appreciative of the technical aspects of the program and thus were eager to explore new approaches to media-based learning. However, over the course of the study both groups of participants developed an unexpected ability to adapt to the electronic media even though the program seemed to counteract their cultural-specific preferences. The study shows that both groups of learners improved significantly over the course of the experiment with respect to language skills and that acceptance of the program was high in both groups despite the initial resistance and despite the fact that the program requires a well developed level of independence. Despite the fact that a tendency to act according to cultural dispositions can be shown those influences were not found to be statistically significant.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Cultural Attitudes Towards Communication and Technology, Proceedings > CATaC Conference 2010
Depositing User: Sissi Kemp
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2013 18:37
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2013 14:08
URI: http://sammelpunkt.philo.at/id/eprint/2304

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year