2. Personal Language Learning Environment

Objective: to help you reflect deeper and wider on your learning.


Key Terms

Let’s start with a few key terms:

PLN – Personal Learning Network

PLE – Personal Learning Environment

PLLE – Personal Language Learning Environment

Pause for thought: Have you ever come across these terms? What concepts do they represent?

PLN is a network of people you learn with and from: your colleagues at work, family, friends, and neighbours. You may be learning with your PLN online and/or offline in daily life.

PLE is the environment in which you learn. It’s “personal to each individual, created by them, owned by them, used by them within their lifelong learning” (Wheeler 2010). PLE represents all the learning opportunities in your life: radio, TV, mobile apps, newspapers, school, libraries, and your PLN.

Take a look at this blog post, where  Matthias explains the difference between PLN and PLE. He says that a PLN is a network of contacts, whereas a PLE is an access point to a PLN. For example, you may be using Facebook to connect with your family and friends. I use Twitter to learn from professionals around the world. Natalia reads blogs to learn what her PLN has shared.

personal learning environment is an access point to a personal learning network

PLE by Matthias Melcher. CC-BY-SA

PLLE represents all the language learning opportunities in our lives. It’s is the environment in which you learn. It includes:

  • your workplace
  • your home and family
  • your social environment and friends
  • your local community
  • the face-to-face and online courses in which you participate
  • online and mobile self-study materials
  • media (TV, radio, newspapers)

You are in the centre of your PLLE and its driving force. Having a PLLE will help you engage more in your learning.

Take a look at this image:

Personal Language Learning Environment: media, ICT, community, school, family

Pause for thought: Where, in what places and situations, can/do you learn English?


Your Turn

Start creating your own map. Think about all the situations in which YOU practise English on your own. How actively do you engage in practising English outside your classes? Email your map to your eFacilitator. You can also share it via social media, e.g. Pinterest, Flickr, or Instagram, and if you do, share a link to your map on the forum below.

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