Date of Award

6-2015

Culminating Project Type

Thesis

Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.

Department

English

College

College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

James Robinson

Second Advisor

Shawn Jarvis

Third Advisor

Eric Reynolds

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Abstract

During a South Korean university’s annual spring festival, the principal researcher created and deployed a location-based, English-as-a-Foreign-Language (EFL) QR Code Quest for students, faculty, and community members. The goal was to offer players a relevant and authentic way to engage with foreign language acquisition. Players used their smartphones in order to access QR Quest course clues. These clues featured videos of EFL professors and Korean students giving spoken directions to the location of the next QR code station. Videos also requested speaking output of QR Quest players. These speaking tasks were intended to reinforce prior language acquisition, in conjunction with the university's General Education EFL Curriculum. Finally, the videos contained Korean pop music from the festival musicians, followed by video commercials. These commercials were designed to provide beneficial visual exposure for QR Quest’s local sponsors. Student participation was incentivized via attractive sponsor-donated prizes. The QR code tasks emphasized three of the four core areas of language skills: listening, reading, and most importantly, speaking. QR Quest was location-based, but the event employed methods and techniques from Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT) as well as Cooperative Language Learning (CLL).

QR Quest occurred over a two day period; it was a large-scale mobile Collaborative Learning project, manifesting as a campus-wide English-as-a-Foreign-Language outdoor scavenger hunt. In addition to documenting student experiential language learning (i.e., the final product), this discussion will focus upon the problematic nature of the research project’s process itself. Although the principal researcher was able to navigate his way through a multitude of barriers, there was palpable tension lurking below the surface from the university’s administrative elite as well as Korean and foreign faculty members. The trials and tribulations of this discussion are caveats directed at empirical researchers who wish to carry out large-scale language learning projects of their own at South Korean institutions.

Available for download on Tuesday, June 05, 2018

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