Blended Learning Experiences: The Potentials and Limits of New e-Learning Software for Teaching German as a Foreign Language.
The talk discusses practical experiences with various new E-Learning software components currently employed at various universities and other educational institutions in teaching German as a Foreign Language. Specific potentials as well as limits of a beneficial use of these programs are addressed, also in terms of established pedagogical criteria and of more general experiences made with CALL. Blended Learning—combining an array of on- and offline teaching resources, also including face-to-face communication— is recommended as the framework most likely to bring about learning success, where such software components are utilized. This follows from the conclusion that the discussed state-of-the art components as yet lack the comprehensive scope to stand alone and assume the important functions performed by other currently available (non/)technological means of instruction. The specific E-Learning software programs and modules described in the talk are: Acadia University's (Canada) course management environment and German Course Template, the University of Victoria's (Canada) "Hotpotatoes" exercise software, Simon Fraser University's (Canada) "German Tutor", and the Goethe Institute's (Germany and world-wide) didacticized on-line cultural materials "jetzt.de", as well as their culture-based beginners course "Redaktion Deutsch."
Keywords: E-Learning, Blended Learning
Dr. Christian Thomas
Assistant Professor, Department of Languages and Literatures, Acadia University