Teachers' Attitudes and Perceptions on Implementing Mobile AR for the Teaching of Italian as a Foreign Language
Augmented Reality (AR) is an emergent technology that is revamping the educational environment (Lee, 2020). Despite the plethora of advantages that AR has demonstrated in a number of disciplines, its implementation for second and foreign language teaching is still limited and it requires further investigation (Pegrum, 2021). Although AR offers the opportunity for the creation of linguistically and culturally authentic domains, the majority of educators are unfamiliar with this emergent technology. Therefore, the role of teachers as designers and facilitators it is still a critical factor (Parmaxi, Demetriou, 2020). On the other hand, the most explored target languages are English and Chinese and although less commonly taught languages are being investigated, the study of AR for the Teaching of Italian as a Foreign Language (TIFL) is limited to one empirical research (Cervi-Wilson, Brick, 2018). Against these backdrops, the researcher implemented an Action Research study, focussing on the perceptions of IFL teachers in Argentina. The investigation aimed to highlight the perspective of educators when engaged in the process of designing and implementing AR activities for adolescent students through a mobile AR tool, in a context where economic and technological resources can be limited. Data collected are presented and initial findings of the pilot study are discussed. In line with other researches (Chen et al., 2020; Taskiran, 2019), the analysis showed that according to the perceptions of teachers, AR has the potential to enhance student motivation, since it enables the delivery of language and cultural contents with an engaging and meaningful approach for adolescent students. However, although teachers’ positive attitudes towards AR implementation, the research highlighted the need of long-term, ongoing technical training for teachers, since it is crucial to support an effective integration of the technology in classroom. Moreover, the initial findings highlight the need for an open-source, code free, mobile AR platform specifically designed for language teachers. Becoming equipped with skills and tools to integrate AR in language teaching and learning, educators can indeed customise this emergent technology and avoid the situation where AR learning design is mainly managed by information technology specialists, that ignore students’ needs and have a limited understanding of effective pedagogies.
Martina has been teaching Italian as a Foreign Language in different countries and she is now in a joint PhD programme between Italy and Spain./ Users/martinamanna/Desktop/JALTCALL Martina Manna.pptx