Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 17

Accepted Abstracts

Reinvigorating Language and Literacy Development through Blogging and Vlogging

Tadhg Joseph Ó Ceallaigh, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick (Ireland)

Neasa Ní Chuaig, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick (Ireland)


While research on language immersion education has heralded benefits such as cognitive skills, academic achievement and language and literacy development, many studies have also identified challenges to its successful implementation, particularly as they relate to students’ productive skills. Technology-enhanced language learning (TELL) encourages students to seek linguistic information in input, assess it in relation to their own emerging linguistic knowledge base, share it collaboratively through production-based tasks and, ultimately, transform it into their own rule-based and formulaic linguistic knowledge [2]. This paper reports on how students in six post-primary schools used TELL to further develop and enhance their productive skills in a minority language. Five of the schools were in English speaking communities which provide immersion education in the minority language, Irish (Gaelic). The sixth school was in an Irish speaking community where the language of instruction is Irish and caters for both native speakers and learners alike. The students, who were in their transition year (approximately 15 years of age), created blogs based on a two-week work experience placement in their preferred profession. This information was subsequently used to create innovative vlogs to capture their experience and to inform their peers of their experience. Data were collected from a variety of sources, e.g. questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, student blogs and vlogs. Findings suggest that all students improved their language production skills in a very creative and innovative way. In addition, the process of creating blogs and vlogs provided students with a sense of audience and ownership which positively improved their self-efficacy [1]. This process also enabled students to work collaboratively and learn from and with their peers through peer-modelling [3]. This paper will conclude with a discussion on the implications for teacher and classroom practice in a minority language context. Further research avenues will also be considered.

Keywords: blog, vlog, language development, literacy skills, minority language, immersion education.

[1] Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: the exercise of control. New York: W.H. Freeman.
[2] Tanveer, M. (2011) Integrating e-learning in classroom-based language teaching: Perceptions, challenges and strategies. Conference Proceedings, 4th International Conference ICT for Language Learning,Florence, Italy.
[3] Schunk, D. H. (2003). Self-efficacy for reading and writing: Influence of modelling, goal setting, and self-evaluation. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 19(2), 159-172.

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