Papers & Workshops



In Search of Cybercarrots and other Pre-Service Teachers' Experiences of Self-Paced Language Learning Software


Lesley Anne Harbon

School of ECE/Primary Education, University of Tasmania, Australia

The participants in this study (pre-service primary teachers) wanted to begin or refresh their learning of either French, German, Japanese or Indonesian. Commercially produced CD-ROM language learning software is available as a 'quick fix'. This paper reports on pre-service primary teachers' experiences in using such software to meet their personal needs or to enhance their job prospects upon graduation. These highly motivated pre-service teachers elected to take part in the trial. The language learning task was undertaken in addition to the regular assessment requirements in a LOTE Curriculum unit. Data were collected from a total of 14 participants through a survey and informal interview. An e-mail journal was also completed by two of the participants. The perceptions and experiences of these pre-service teachers whilst using the software (on themes of user-friendliness, self-pacing, CD-ROM as teaching tool, learning strategies and motivation) are discussed in this paper. Also included are perceptions of their achievements and reasons given on decisions to complete the program or discontinue. But why 'cybercarrots'? A 'carrot' within the language learning program is a component mentioned by one participant as being highly necessary to maintain motivation whilst using the software.
  Presentation Format: 45 min. paper

RMIT, Melbourne, Australia

5-9 July 2000