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Monday, September 27, 2010

Research project design (Capstone project)

My capstone project is on using Wiki in an undergraduate class of English Language Training.
The teaching and learning of English as a second language (ESL) in Bangladesh has been facing severe problems, so much so that language learning follows behaviorism principals, i.e. even essays are memorized and reproduced in exams. Given this backdrop, students who join the university after 12 years of schooling find it difficult to write correct English sentences. This project work reports on the efforts to support undergraduate students, participating in a regular face-to-face class English Language Teaching (ELT) class, with wiki based assignments, with the purpose of getting them to reflect on solving the language teaching problems that they face. Unfortunately, the students attending the ELT classes are themselves weak in English. It was found that getting students to participate in wiki work is difficult for a variety of reasons. Some students participated fully and others simply read the assignments of others in the wiki but did not participate by writing. From the case studies evaluated, it was found that students who had a positive attitude towards the newly introduced pedagogy in class, demonstrated more reflection compared to their peers who only very reluctantly participated in the Wiki. Overall, support of the wiki helped students demonstrate a degree of reflection not normally demonstrated in class. This helped in better thinking about English Language syllabus design to a degree.

Before engaging students in Wiki,students were to prepare an ESL syllabus (a video of student presentation has been uploaded here)using their own learning experiences and presented then in class.

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