PhD defence Linda Gijsen: Task engagement in virtual pedagogical lingua franca communication

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© iStockphoto.com/Phynart Studio

On 10 December, Linda Gijsen defends her thesis titled Task engagement in virtual pedagogical lingua franca communication. In her research, she argues that online intercultural exchanges between learners do not only provide teachers a promising playground for putting the key principles of communicative language teaching into practice, they also promote the kind of naturalistic interaction that is beneficial for L2 development.

Authentic educational settings

Engagement has become a key issue in educational research and practice. Over the last decades, several attempts have been made to develop theoretical models that help researchers and teachers to better understand task engagement and what it means for learning. However, to improve everyday research and teaching, we need more information on how students engage with their tasks in authentic educational settings. Against this background, Gijsen’s dissertation offers theoretical and empirical insights in secondary school students’ task engagement in virtual pedagogical lingua franca (PLF) communication. This is a form of online interaction that occurs when students use the target language to communicate with foreign students in a pedagogically mentored language learning context.

Two-layered approach

The six case studies that were carried out in cooperation with the Erasmus+ TeCoLa project offer a window on how foreign language learning students carry out online intercultural tasks when communicating and collaborating with peers from other countries while using English as a PLF. In particular, Gijsen’s research introduces a two-layered approach that researchers can use to study students’ task engagement in a more differentiated way. In addition, Gijsen provides foreign language teachers with insights on how to design and implement pedagogical interventions that potentially strengthen their students’ task engagement in virtual PLF communication.

Results

The results of the study show that this type of online intercultural communication offers a promising playground for putting the key principles of communicative language teaching into practice and promotes the kind of naturalistic interaction that is beneficial for L2 development and intercultural learning.

Start date and time
End date and time
Location
Academiegebouw
PhD candidate
Linda Gijsen
Dissertation
Task engagement in virtual pedagogical lingua franca communication
PhD supervisor(s)
Prof. H.C.J. De Graaff
Prof. K. Kohn
Co-supervisor(s)
Dr M.K. Jauregi Ondarra
Registration

You can only attend the live event if you have received an invitation. There is a livestream of the event.

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