The first week of the new semester is now halfway over and me and my foreigner co-workers have already started collecting data for our research paper, which actually feels great.
With help from one co-worker, we set up all of our classes with websites through band.us. I've been meaning to integrate more technology into my classes for a while now, and band really makes it easy. Within a literal few minutes, each student in each of my classes so far was able to join our class site and then take a F.L.A. survey (Foreign Language Anxiety) through Google docs. For their first assignment of the year they'll make a roughly one minute voice recording or video answering questions regarding their feelings about English (Do you enjoy speaking it? Is it important for your future?) which they'll upload back to the class website. This will establish a base line for us to measure any potential success (or failure!) we make through our pedagogical intervention.
So by the end of the week I should have two distinct sets of date from roughly 150 students. Multiply that by three, since my two foreigner co-workers are doing the same thing. Serious E.S.L. (technically, E.F.L.) business!
Analyzing all that data? Well, I'm going to be a very busy foreigner this semester but it's nice that we've finally made it from the amorphous "What the hell are we doing here?" stages to the actual implementation of a plan.
I'll write more later about what our actual research questions are, but they have to do with separating classes into regular control groups and experimental groups where we'll teach for one of two class hours using the Socratic Method.
Kind of ambitious with beginner level Korean college students, no?