Scaffolding Learner Agency in Technology-Enhanced Language Learning Environments

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksArticle in conference proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Despite the surge of digital technologies in professional and leisure fields, digital divides persist among learner populations in high-income countries. While issues of basic physical access to the internet appear to have been resolved in these contexts, unequal access to different types of devices, differential usage patterns, motivations for use, digital skills, and, consequently, outcomes in terms of opportunities for social, educational, political, and economic participation, continue to persist and reinforce categorical differences that, in turn, augment digital divides. Bridging these participation gaps in education is imperative, given the role of schools as institutions of both social reproduction and transformation as well as the specific goal of developing foreign language discourse competence (Hallet, 2012) in English as a foreign language (EFL) pedagogy. The latter includes the goal of facilitating sociocultural participation and learner agency from local to increasingly international community levels using English as a lingua franca. This challenge calls for adequate pedagogic responses that can enable discourse participation and mitigate digital divides.
This article proposes and exemplifies a balance of structuration and openness in educational task design and classroom implementation as a key factor to achieve these goals. The underlying understanding of diversity-sensitive tasks will be discussed in the context of the project “Going Green – Education for Sustainability.” Through an analysis of a sample task from the project curriculum, it demonstrates how open-ended tasks can be implemented in a technology-enhanced language learning (TELL) environment, and how structuration can be provided through various means of scaffolding and learner support that is implemented in the environment by way of technological design of the learning management system (LMS) and the pedagogic design of the task.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTagungsdokumentation 2018 - Perspektiven inklusiven Englischunterrichts: Gemeinsam  lehren und lernen : Dokumentation zur Tagung vom 20. und 21. September 2018 an der Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
EditorsCarolyn Blume, David Gerlach, Nora Benitt, Susanne Eßer, Bianca Roters, Jan Springob, Torben Schmidt
Place of PublicationMarburg
PublisherNetzwerk Inklusiver Englischunterricht
Publication date08.2019
Publication statusPublished - 08.2019
EventTagung und Lehrkräftefortbildung: Inklusiver Englischunterricht - Gemeinsam Lehren und Lernen (IEGLL) - Leuphana Universität, Lüneburg
Duration: 20.09.201821.09.2018