Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 12

Accepted Abstracts

Student and Teacher Perceptions on Learning Languages through Web Conferencing: Focus on Adobe Connect Breakout Rooms

Anne Siltala, Oulu University of Applied Sciences (Finland)


After having been teaching online using Adobe Connect web conferencing system since 2008, it was time to stop and reflect upon its advantages and disadvantages. The purpose of this research paper is to study the possibilities and challenges of online language teaching by focusing on the breakout room feature of the Adobe Connect system. The aim is to investigate how the function supports or challenges language learning from the students’ and the teacher’s viewpoint. In addition, the purpose is to compare to what extent their experiences coincide. Little earlier research was found specifically on the breakout room feature, which enables synchronous communication. In this study the data consists of my own observations as a language teacher using Adobe Connect breakout rooms. The data on students’ experiences was collected by conducting a survey in the virtual learning environment Optima. The e-questionnaire was replied by 29 students of business and business information systems using the blended learning method at Oulu University of Applied Sciences. The students were inquired about how well the breakout function serves language learning purposes in general and on the specific lesson when the survey was carried out.  Moreover, some technical background information was collected on the hardware and software used. The survey and the teacher’s observations indicated that the breakout function succeeds in supporting the interactive nature of language learning. Most of the challenges discovered were related to technology.




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