Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

New Online learning Spaces: Task Design for Language Learning

Dr Regine Hampel.

In 2002, the Department of Languages at the Open University implemented online tuition using an Internet-based synchronous audio-graphic conferencing application (Hampel 2003, Hampel & Hauck 2004). Although this new learning space offers modes that are similar to a face-to-face classroom (through e.g. audio, a ‘whiteboard’, or a writing tool for longer texts), it provides teachers and learners with a very different medium, and requires tasks that are appropriate to the medium used.

This paper seeks to explore a framework which can inform the design of online tasks for audio-graphic environments and help us understand better the demands made by such environments. It is based on the assumed relationship between learning goals, communication mode and appropriate task design (Levy 2003) and uses a three-level model of approach, design and procedure (Richards & Rodgers 2001, Levy 1999). It combines theories from second language acquisition (Long 1990, Ellis 2000), socio-cultural principles of learning (Rüschoff & Ritter 2001, Block 2003) and new models of knowledge, information and literacy (Lankshear et al. 2000, Kress & van Leeuwen 2001, Kress 2003). I will show how these theories have influenced task development for distance language tutorials which use audio-graphic conferencing in order to foster student’s interaction, communication and language acquisition. In order to do this, I will discuss different aspects of the design and examine implementation of the tasks in the ‘classroom’. This implementation will be evaluated using a number of measures (classroom observation and recordings, tutor logbooks, questionnaires and interviews).


Dr Regine Hampel  (United Kingdom)
Lecturer in German
Department of Languages Faculty of Education and Language Studies
The Open University

Dr Regine Hampel is a lecturer in German at the Open University in the UK. Her current research focuses on theoretical and practical issues around online tuition and the use of technologies such as audio-graphic conferencing or Instant Messaging in language courses. She has disseminated her research at a number of international conferences and published several articles on online learning and teaching.

  • Technology and language learning
  • New online tools for learning
  • Multimodality and the new learning spaces
  • Task design for online learning

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)