Past Projects & Research
The Technology project was conducted over three years (1997-2000) in two phases.
Phase One - 1997- 1999 - Integrating Technology into the Second Language Classroom Project
Directed by Gary Young of Newfoundland, the project began with a series of meetings with technology leaders from across the country. The focus was to make use of the World Wide Web for production and display of materials and for communication purposes among second language educators. Three principal components made up the focus:
- The development of a Web site for CASLT:
- The selection of a national design team charged with developing well defined technology enhanced language learning tasks for students at various levels of language proficiency.
- A product launching, hosted by CASLT, at a national symposium (Symposium on Technology for Second Language Teachers and Other Educators, held in Ottawa, November 5, 1998). Its purpose was to demystify technology, to simplify jargon, and to help educators discover a wealth of authentic resources. A manual and accompanying CD-Rom was created and provided to participants in order to support users to gain access to the tasks designed. Partners included Canadian Heritage, Apple Canada, Cable in the Classroom, Microsoft Canada, and Industry Canada. A follow-up phase included the delivery of workshops aimed at the expansion of awareness of these resources with school-based technology leaders employing a train the trainer model.
Phase Two - 1999-2000 - Making Connections - Sustaining an Initiative in Technology Enhanced Language Learning
1. Research Component
Dr. Miles Turnbull conducted a national survey entitled Professional Development for teachers of Core French and ESL (in French-language schools), which assessed the state and professional needs of Core French teachers. A principal focus of all components was the use of multimedia technology in Core French and ESL teaching and professional development.
Miles Turnbull and Geoff Lawrence conducted a follow-up study entitled Core French Teachers and Technology: Classroom Application and Belief Systems, which examined core French teachers' beliefs and classroom practices related to multimedia technology. In particular, the study illustrated how Core French teachers use the CASLT technology activities, determined the benefits to teachers and students and made suggestions for increasing the effectiveness of the use of technology by teachers and students.
2. Technology Enhanced Activities
John Erskine from Manitoba was hired as temporary Web master for the CASLT Web site. He was given the mandate to develop more technology enhanced language learning activities. An evaluation of the existing activities was undertaken to determine what activities and what parts of the activities are most useful and the most used by teachers. New activities were developed for ESL educators, which helped broaden the scope of the new technologies to also include the use of multimedia, scanners, digital cameras, etc.
3. Web Site and Communication Forum
It was seen as crucial that the CASLT Web site be revitalized on an on-going basis in order to provide a means for teachers across Canada to access up to the minute information about second language learning and teaching and to share ideas, problems and solutions with each other. In 2000, Gilles Côté was hired as Webmaster of the CASLT Web site. A new homepage was developed, the site map was reorganized, the content and resources was greatly increased, and promotion of the site was undertaken.
The CASLT Web site won numerous awards since and traffic increased tremendously over the years.