About the training kit

The website and publication are targeted at teachers and teacher-trainers in VOLL (Vocationally Oriented Language Learning). They explain the background to the different aspects of ICT in VOLL, describe the steps involved in carrying out various ICT-based activities and provide practical examples and links to case studies on the VOLL website.

What is its added value?

  • The website provides examples of how ICT can be integrated into training courses for VOLL and assists teachers in creating ICT VOLL materials;
  • The publication furnishes theoretical frameworks combined with practical examples to guide readers in the further use of ICT in VOLL.

Chapters of the publication

  • E-VOLLution: Introduction
    Anthony Fitzpatrick and Robert O’Dowd
  • Chapter 1 – What’s VOLL got to do with it? Sociocultural perspectives on ICT in language learning
    Chapter 1 looks at sociocultural perspectives on ICT in language learning, and Andreas Lund explores some underlying principles in activity theory. He shows how recent trends in working life have radically changed our ways of communicating and how there has been a shift from mass production and mass communication towards mass collaboration. In addition, he surveys the relationship between the human mind and cultural context and emphasises the need to base all ICT activities related to language learning on a principled approach which is
    firmly anchored in a theoretical framework.
  • Chapter 2 – Digital media, Web 2.0 and process-oriented language production
    In Chapter 2 Bernd Rüschoff observes that knowledge construction rather than simple instructivist learning is now widely accepted as an appropriate paradigm for language learning. He maintains that the output hypothesis, which argues that learners should actively engage in the negotiation and creation of ‘comprehensible output’ in order to develop linguistically and cognitively, best explains the success learners experience when engaged in project-based and task-oriented scenarios. He discusses the principles of output orientation in language learning with
    particular focus on writing activities and considers the new level of dynamics and interoperability afforded by some of the tools available in the “new” Internet.
  • Chapter 3 – How Web 2.0 technology has changed the parameters for (web) publishing
    Bernard Moro’s contribution in Chapter 3 on e-publishing is devoted to reflections on how Web 2.0 technology has changed the parameters for (web) publishing. He argues that the new media allow anyone to create a web presence, upload any content and make it available for all interested parties. This, he believes, has led to a tremendous empowerment, creating a new community of amateur “webbers”. However, he warns that this “deprofessionalisation” is a double-edged sword. He shows how easy access to and use of the new media can be
    profitably exploited for VOLL, mirroring future use by learners in their chosen vocation/professional contexts. Drawing on his dual background as a graphic artist and language educator, he warns of some the pitfalls to be avoided in the creation of web publishing materials, using examples taken from the professional press and the work of VOLL teachers in training. 
  • Chapter 4 – Telecollaboration: online interaction and collaboration in VOLL contexts
    Chapter 4, by Robert O’Dowd, is concerned with telecollaboration – online interaction and collaboration in VOLL contexts. Preparing learners to use networked technologies to communicate and collaborate with others in geographically distant locations is, he points out, one of the chief tasks of vocationally oriented education and training today. He underlines the fact that being able to work and collaborate in such contexts inevitably involves not only being linguistically proficient in more than one language, but also being sensitive towards cultural differences and having an ability to mediate between different cultural perspectives. He proposes that engaging VOLL learners in telecollaborative intercultural exchange with learning partners in other countries provides such learners with a valuable basis for later professional proficiency in this area of vocational activities. 
  • Chapter 5 – VOLL, the social web and teacher training
    Chapter 5 looks at VOLL, the social web and implications for teacher training. Kerstin Namuth reminds us that the World Wide Web has changed from a huge information bank to a vast social space where we meet and communicate in our leisure time and at work. Web 2.0, she says, is increasingly becoming a place to be in because the “real world” and the “virtual world” are increasingly merging into each other. She insists that VOLL trainers must understand their learners’ work situation and the linguistic needs that arise from it, and that it is essential that they are familiar with Web 2.0, that is, their learners’ virtual working environment, and appreciate its impact. She identifies the new key questions for VOLL trainers and teacher trainers as how Web 2.0 affects language, communication and working life and highlights the consequences for VOLL learning and teaching. She lists the new literacies VOLL trainers require and indicates how professional development can be designed
    for this particular target group.
  • Chapter 6 – Data-driven learning (online research)
    Chapter 6, contributed by Irina Smoliannikova, presents the possibilities which data-driven learning offers for focused, online research in chosen vocational and professional fields. She argues that traditional methods and skills of retrieving, storing and processing information are no longer adequate to promote the level of professional performance demanded in today’s networked world. She proposes an approach to engage learners in specific, discovery-based activities online or off-line and to provide them with tools that will facilitate language awareness and culture acquisition. She believes that data-driven learning may help to establish a sound methodology for language learning that focuses on authenticity in contents, context and task.

    Case studies
  • Case Study 1 – Intercultural collaborative learning: creating and marketing an EFL online application
    Kosmas Vlachos, Hellenic Open University, Greece, Aušra Netikšienė, Vilnius College of Higher Education, Lithuania, and Pilar Concheiro, Reykjavik University, Iceland
  • Case Study 2 – Learning through blogging: a case study with business Spanish students at Reykjavik University
    Pilar Concheiro, Reykjavik University, Iceland
  • Case Study 3 – Riga-Durham webinar on using Smartboard technology in VOLL
    Steve Mulgrew, University of Nottingham, and Natalja Cigankova, University of Latvia
  • Case Study 4 – Evaluation, testing and assessment
    Anthony Fitzpatrick with Inge-Anna Koleff, Verband Wiener Volkshochschulen,
    Manfred Thönicke, Hamburger Institut für Berufliche Bildung – HIBB, Germany

 Download the book here


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