Video Technology in Pedagogy and Research

Shao-Ting Alan Hung


Moving from the periphery to the center of language pedagogy, video technology has now taken on the role of aprimary source of contentin the foreign/second language classroomas well as an  accessible medium that makes possible meaningful second language (L2) learning tasks. Drawing on this increased significance of video technology, this talk will thus begin by elaborating onthe four key rolesof videos in the language classroom proposed by Willis: language focus, skills practice, stimulus, and resource. Then, it willdiscuss the theoretical frameworksthat lend support to the pedagogical applications of videos, such asdual coding theory, sociocultural theory, communities of practice,social cognitive theory,and multimedia learning theory. Next, the talk will share two empirical studies to shed light on the integration of video technology into the English as a  Foreign Language (EFL) speaking pedagogy and research. The first studyinvestigated the pedagogic potential of videos in enhancing students‘ engagement in the oral feedback provision process. A total of 60 EFLlearners participated in a semester-long video feedback project where they produced oral feedback video clips that contained multiple semiotic modes such as visual, verbal, and gestural  modes.Data analyses led  to  three  major  findings. First,learners in  general valued the role that video technology played in feedback production and provision, delineating that feedback in the video mode cannot only promote more interaction but also foster more personalized learning and attentive engagement. Second, the study uncovered a number of cognitive and social strategies learners used to ensure fluency and accuracy of their oral feedback, to achieve cognitive goals by efficiently producing the feedback, to observe positively-reinforced behaviors from peers, and to cooperate with others to generate ideas for future improvement. Nevertheless, the project revealed some potential challenges associated with feedback development and technical problems.Next,situated  in  the  EFL  speaking  context,  the  second  empirical  study explored how the participation in multimodal videoconferencing sessions affected one of  the  communication variables—Willingnessto Communication (WTC).Participants from the experimental group participated in three 30-minute communication tasks via multimodal videoconferencing while participants from the control group completed the same tasks face-to-face in class. Two major findings were uncovered. First, learners in the experimental group have significantly higher WTC than those in the control group, suggesting that  multimodal  videoconferencing could  increase  EFL  learners‘ WTC. Second, qualitative findings indicated that learners‘ WTC in multimodal videoconferencing sessions was influenced by task topic, support from multimodal texts, the patterns of multimodal interaction and the interlocutors. Finally,  the  talk  will  end  with  pedagogical  implications  to  inform  L2  speaking instruction and research implications to nominate directions for future L2 speaking research in the digital era.

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