Richard Kern

University of California in Berkeley, USA

Plenary title: Technology and media in language education: Aiming beyond communicative competence


Technologies and media influence the design of communication. They also help us reflect on  rhetorical, aesthetic, symbolic and ideological dimensions of language use. In the context of today's global communication networks, language learners need more than communication skills. They need to understand how language interacts with different mediums and modes of expression, how literacy practices, genres, and norms are affected by technology, and how language use has been commodified in many online contexts. This talk will argue that technology can help educators foster learners' critical awareness of how meanings are made, framed, and transformed in various media. Such awareness is crucial to today’s learners because they face a singularly pervasive mediascape that is potentially as exploitative as it is emancipatory.

About Professor Kern:

Rick Kern is Professor of French and Director of the Berkeley Language Center at the University of California at Berkeley.  He teaches courses in French linguistics, language, and foreign language pedagogy, and supervises graduate teaching assistants.  His research interests include language acquisition, literacy, and relationships between language and technology. He is Associate Editor for Language Learning & Technology and Editor of the Teacher’s Forum section of L2 Journal. Professor Kern has most recently published Screens and Scenes: Multimodal Communication in Online Intercultural Encounters (Routledge, 2018), co-edited with Christine Develotte, and in 2015 he published Language, Literacy, and Technology (Cambridge UP). Earlier books include Literacy and Language Teaching (Oxford UP) and Network-Based Language Teaching (Cambridge UP) with Mark Warschauer.

Published June 21, 2019 10:49 AM - Last modified July 18, 2019 9:23 AM