Volume 17, Issue 1 April 2021, pp. 1–22 Download PDF

Regular Articles

Enrolled or engaged? Students’ perceptions of engagement and oral interaction in a blended learning language course

Kirsi Korkealehto https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8596-384X1, Minna Lakkala https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8289-42922, & Auli Toom https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3261-33763

1 Häme University of Applied Sciences & University of Helsinki, FINLAND kirsi.korkealehto@hamk.fi
2 University of Helsinki, FINLAND minna.lakkala@helsinki.fi
3 University of Helsinki, FINLAND auli.toom@helsinki.fi

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29140/jaltcall.v17n1.268


Abstract

Student engagement is essential in online language courses where the risk to suspend the studies is higher than in face-to-face teaching.  Furthermore, oral language rehearsal is challenging in such a course, therefore providing sufficiently assignments to rehearse oral interaction is central. This study investigates how student engagement and oral language skills rehearsal are perceived in a blended learning language course. The course design was based on multimodality and the applied theoretical frameworks were ecological language learning and the notion of engagement. The study was conducted, and the data were collected in a 5-credit course for 1-year business administration students (n=22). The qualitative data include students’ learning diaries and open-ended questions of a post-course online questionnaire; the data were analysed according to the qualitative content analysis method. The findings suggest that meaningful course design with authentic assignments and course material enhanced students’ academic engagement; students’ own activity was perceived to foster academic engagement equally. Social engagement was reinforced mainly by successful collaboration, but students’ own actions had a great impact as well. In terms of oral interaction, collaborative, meaningful assignments and student’s own investment in practicing had a positive impact on students’ oral interaction. This study contributes to earlier research since it provides an insight into student academic and social engagement in a blended language learning context and the findings can guide educators to design more engaging language learning courses in higher education.



Copyright

© Kirsi Korkealehto, Minna Lakkala, Auli Toom

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Suggested citation

Korkealehto, K., Lakkala, M., & Toom, A. (2021). Enrolled or engaged? Students’ perceptions of engagement and oral interaction in a blended learning language course. The JALT CALL Journal, 17(1), 1–22. https://doi.org/10.29140/jaltcall.v17n1.268


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