Late adulthood, from 60 years old onwards, is marked with the onset of senescence. Older adults generally experience some decline of cognitive capacities. Some may even be clinicallylabeled as suffering from mild cognitive impairments (MCI), e.g., naming difficulties, shortening of short-term memories, wording circumscription, etc. This paper, for practical reasons, holds a sharp line between what is known as typical, benign, and developmental changes in cognition with nonspecific histopathological brain changes -- the normal aging, and malignant changes in cognition and behavior, the latter of which reflects specific underlying brain histopathologies. Studies, though limited, do show some benefits for older adults with normal aging effects to start learning foreign languages. The purpose of this paper is twofold. One is to present a critical review of the literature, and the other is to outline a FL learning programme for Chinese older adults.
This study investigates the technology enhanced constructivist learning environment (CLE) for developing undergraduate English-majors’ research abilities at a Chinese university. The faculty team attempted at transforming an English Writing course into BA Thesis Writing, supported by a free online learning management system (Moodle) with multi-faceted scenario, resources, tools and management. Situated in the broader context of the 10-year curriculum reform, two BA Thesis Writing classes from two semesters were examined using observation notes, interviews and student products. Findings show the CLE has enhanced the students’ problem-based learning (PBL) processes and research ability development in terms of problem awareness, information literacy, reasoning and research designing. The CLE contributed to the whole learning experience by continuous instructional support, forum discussions, and information resources and tools. The paper concludes by assessing the reform efforts’ overall gains and challenges, and its implications for future technology integration in foreign language learning and teaching in China.
博士，教授，现任台湾师范大学英语系系主任，兼任台湾师范大学国语教学中心主任。发表计算机辅助语言学习及语料库语言学领域相关文章多篇。他还在多个编委会任职，包括Computer Assisted Language Learning（《计算机辅助语言学习》），English Teaching and Learning（《英语教学》），以及International Journal of Digital Learning Technology（《国际数字学习技术杂志》）。他同时负责管理Cool English网站，这是一个由台湾教育部支持的英语学习网站，该网站目前已拥有超过180,000名注册用户。【研究领域】
It’s critical for EFL students to develop good English ability in this globalized world. To enhance EFL students’ motivation and English ability, an innovative English online learning website (Cool English: http: www.coolenglish.edu.tw) was developed by English department of National Taiwan Normal University. The research and development funding for this website was provided by Ministry of Education. The site has three major sections to serve elementary school, junior high school, and senior high school students. This website has adopted a wide variety of new technologies. For listening, a wide selection of interactive videos were created for students, and there were tools for students to adjust speech rate and to consult an online dictionary. For speaking, advanced automated speech recognition technology and AI chat bots were developed to facilitate speaking skills. For reading, interesting multimedia books and quizzes were developed. In addition, to make English learning more engaging, several types of digital games were also developed. These games include a 3D role-playing games, various HTML5 games, unity-based English games. So far, this site has more than 180,000 registered users. To better understand our users, Matomo, a web analytics application, was installed on our website. The tool helps to track online visits and display reports on these visits for analysis.
Despite the efforts made by linguists and researchers, a corpus-based linguistic approach remains largely unknown to the majority of professional teaching community, particularly pre- and in-service teachers who largely rely on an intuition-based approach to solving language issues as well as developing pedagogical materials. In order to fill this gap and help teachers develop a corpus-based pedagogy, this study investigated how a group of pre-service language teachers develop their corpus literacy and corpus-based pedagogy via mobile-enhanced interactive and flipped learning. The training consists of four sessions: (1) a workshop that introduced basic concepts and search skills for corpus literacy, (2) online sessions that expose students to flipped videos and accompanying tutorial tasks, (3) online group task design, and (4) physical classroom-based presentation of the task design. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected and analysed, covering both the learning process and outcome of the student teachers. Regarding the learning process, a Likert-scale survey was used to collect student perceived effectiveness on their learning of corpus literacy and corpus-based pedagogy; focus-group interviews were conducted to probe into more in-depth qualitative perspectives. As for the learning outcome, a set of self-developed rubrics were developed to rate the quality of each group task design. The results show that this mobile-enhanced interactive and flipped learning approach is effective in providing an adequate corpus literacy for our pre-service teachers, and allows them to further develop corpus-based knowledge and skills to design appropriate learning and teaching materials.