SAMR Model and Second Language Learning
Similar to the TPACK framework, the SAMR model has changed the way I think about my teaching and the way I plan my lessons. The acronym SAMR stands for: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition.
This model was created with the idea to help teachers integrate technology into their teaching. According to the SAMR model, mindful design and integration of technology can result in higher levels of learning.
The idea behind the SAMR model makes sense: technology can improve teaching and learning.
However, when it comes to second language acquisition I have some reservations about the last step of the SAMR ladder: Redefinition.
Dr. Gianfranco Conty, author of "The Language Teacher Toolkit", explains that at the Redefinition level most of the activities "put a lot of emphasis on the production of a digital artifact (a video, recording, game, etc.). None of such activities is conducive to the enhancement of oral fluency (not even speech recording)".
I couldn't agree with him more. Every time we work on a PBL project, students spend much more time on the technical and visual aspects of the project than in the actual research and activities that enhance second language learning and acquisition.
Another great point that he makes is that also at the Redefinition level there is a lot of time lost in dealing with technology. This loss of time is not justified by the learning gains measured in terms of language proficiency.
Finally, I cannot help but agree with Dr. Gianfrancro when he says that "lifelong learning skills in the realm of language learning relate more to human-to-human communication, negotiation of meaning and the acquisition of life-long language learning strategies".
We should strive for a meaningful integration of digital technologies in our classroom, but these cannot replace the priceless face-to-face communication.
THIS IS A GREAT SAMR INTRODUCTORY VIDEO
THE FOUR PROGRESSIVE STEPS OF THE SAMR MODEL