Lecture by Robert Blake, March 18, 2011

What Makes an Ideal Hybrid Language Learner?

by Professor Robert Blake, Spanish and Classics, University of California, Davis.

What factors make for a successful online L2 learning experience? What is the ideal profile of a hybrid language learner with access to both online and classroom meetings? While previous studies have examined online learning in comparative terms (i.e., Which format is better?), this study provides an in-depth look at the factors that might describe the ideal hybrid language learner. All informants studied introductory Spanish with a suite of multimedia materials supported by a synchronous chat tool with voice, video, and text. Personality traits, cognitive factors, learning styles, and learner preferences were probed using the Big Five Inventory scale (BFI), the Shipley Institute of Living scale (SILS), and a personalized survey, respectively. Follow-up interviews were also conducted with an eye to offering a richer understanding for how hybrid students learn languages. The quantitative data revealed that the BFI factor of conscientiousness had a significant, positive correlation with final grades. Both low-verbal learners and audio learners preferred working with interactive online materials, as opposed to learning language through traditional class time or chat. The results suggest that students who take control of their own learning experience do well within the hybrid-learning environment, which appears relevant as well to the construct of autonomous learning.

3:00 – 5:00 pm
Friday, March 18, 2011
B-4 Dwinelle Hall, Berkeley Language Center

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