Metaphors from Quantum Physics: Enhancing Ecological L2 Social Networking in an Intermediate Italian Course

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/347242
Title:
Metaphors from Quantum Physics: Enhancing Ecological L2 Social Networking in an Intermediate Italian Course
Author:
Renigar, Paul Gordon
Issue Date:
2015
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Embargo:
Available after May 15, 2016
Abstract:
This dissertation discusses a case study of the pedagogical uses of social media as part of a larger ecological framework for language learning and critical discourse studies that was conducted during the spring 2014 semester of intermediate Italian. It was organized to balance postmodern theories with metaphors drawn from quantum physics. Every aspect of the course, and each interaction outside of class (including multimodal online resources), avoided the cause-and-effect approach often found in task-based and computer assisted language learning. Second language learners adapted to the paradoxical engagement of language and identity as simultaneous process and product, while reducing neither to fiction. The study broadly adapted a socio-cognitive-ecological approach (Larsen-Freeman, 2012) to shift the focus from differences in technology or method to the participants' perception of human possibilities through the affordances of technology. Participants were trained to navigate dynamic levels of ambiguity and possibilities of meaning while facing the static requirement by the academic institution to pass quizzes and exams, and complete homework assignments on the basis of a 'correct' answer. Recent studies in quantum physics and consciousness provided an elegant model that allows for the coexistence of seeming opposites. Agency, which was central to the participants' experience of discovery and play with variants within the elusive 'standard', allowed for conformity to, or deviation from, the collective. Data collection and analysis adapted 'system analysis' so that interpretation was within a more contextualized understanding of the emergence of complex systems resulting from self-organization, self-selection and co-evolutionary symbiosis. Adaptive teaching was used to meet the needs of the participants by beginning with outcomes and then working backward to explore why certain approaches, tools and tasks were, or were not, effective. The insights gleaned from the study demonstrate that higher levels of critical L2 discursive analysis enhanced by human-machine interactions do not require relegation to upper level division SLA courses. The participants' self-selected samples of their work reveal a story that is complex, dynamic and very human, told through the voices of those most often ignored in the processes of language planning, assessment and curriculum development.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Dynamic Systems Theory; Language Ecology; Metaphors; Performativity; Quantum Physics; Second Language Acquisition & Teaching; Second Language Acquisition & Teaching
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Second Language Acquisition & Teaching
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Waugh, Linda R.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleMetaphors from Quantum Physics: Enhancing Ecological L2 Social Networking in an Intermediate Italian Courseen_US
dc.creatorRenigar, Paul Gordonen_US
dc.contributor.authorRenigar, Paul Gordonen_US
dc.date.issued2015en
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.releaseAvailable after May 15, 2016en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation discusses a case study of the pedagogical uses of social media as part of a larger ecological framework for language learning and critical discourse studies that was conducted during the spring 2014 semester of intermediate Italian. It was organized to balance postmodern theories with metaphors drawn from quantum physics. Every aspect of the course, and each interaction outside of class (including multimodal online resources), avoided the cause-and-effect approach often found in task-based and computer assisted language learning. Second language learners adapted to the paradoxical engagement of language and identity as simultaneous process and product, while reducing neither to fiction. The study broadly adapted a socio-cognitive-ecological approach (Larsen-Freeman, 2012) to shift the focus from differences in technology or method to the participants' perception of human possibilities through the affordances of technology. Participants were trained to navigate dynamic levels of ambiguity and possibilities of meaning while facing the static requirement by the academic institution to pass quizzes and exams, and complete homework assignments on the basis of a 'correct' answer. Recent studies in quantum physics and consciousness provided an elegant model that allows for the coexistence of seeming opposites. Agency, which was central to the participants' experience of discovery and play with variants within the elusive 'standard', allowed for conformity to, or deviation from, the collective. Data collection and analysis adapted 'system analysis' so that interpretation was within a more contextualized understanding of the emergence of complex systems resulting from self-organization, self-selection and co-evolutionary symbiosis. Adaptive teaching was used to meet the needs of the participants by beginning with outcomes and then working backward to explore why certain approaches, tools and tasks were, or were not, effective. The insights gleaned from the study demonstrate that higher levels of critical L2 discursive analysis enhanced by human-machine interactions do not require relegation to upper level division SLA courses. The participants' self-selected samples of their work reveal a story that is complex, dynamic and very human, told through the voices of those most often ignored in the processes of language planning, assessment and curriculum development.en_US
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen
dc.subjectDynamic Systems Theoryen_US
dc.subjectLanguage Ecologyen_US
dc.subjectMetaphorsen_US
dc.subjectPerformativityen_US
dc.subjectQuantum Physicsen_US
dc.subjectSecond Language Acquisition & Teachingen_US
dc.subjectSecond Language Acquisition & Teachingen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineSecond Language Acquisition & Teachingen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorWaugh, Linda R.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWildner-Bassett, Mary E.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberAriew, Robert A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWaugh, Linda R.en_US
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