CALICO Journal, Vol 23, No 2 (2006)

Monitoring Bilingualism: Pedagogical Implications of the Bilingual Tandem Analyser

Klaus Schwienhorst, Alexandre Borgia
Issued Date: 7 Aug 2014

Abstract


Tandem learning is the collaborative learning partnership of two language learners with complementary language combinations, for example an Irish student learning German and a German student learning English. One of the major principles in tandem learning, apart from reciprocity and learner autonomy, is balanced bilingualism. While learners may find it relatively easy to control their bilingualism in email exchanges, it is not so easy to do so in synchronous text-based exchanges in object-oriented multi-user domains (MOOs), where measurements of bilingualism are often crude and inaccurate. The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, we wanted to develop and test a computerized tool, the Bilingual Tandem Analyser, that automatically analyzes and provides feedback on the languages that are used during a "live" exchange. Second, we wanted to implement the tool in a bilingual exchange between German and Irish students to see whether the balance in bilingualism improved. Our results show that the Bilingual Tandem Analyser is quick, reliable, and highly accurate for the four languages tested. When implementing the tool, we noticed that there is a noticeable improvement towards more balanced exchanges but that more work is needed on the pedagogical implementation.

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DOI: 10.1558/cj.v23i2.349-362

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