Dr. Carolin Fuchs with Gina Chen & M.A. Student Emmajoy Shulman-Kumin to Present at AILA 2011

| February 24, 2011

Presentation Title: Analyzing the potential of Google, Wave, Ning and other Web 2.0 tools for language teaching, intercultural learning and online communication

Abstract

This paper presents findings from an empirical case study which involved the use of new hybrid Web 2.0 tools in language teacher education.

Following the call for implementing technology through model learning (Hubbard & Levy, 2006; Willis, 2001), two cross-institutional classes of student teachers in the U.S. and Taiwan engaged in virtual communities of practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991) to explore novel Web 2.0 tools. Over a six-week period, student teachers read about and discussed different tools for language teaching in the context of using technology to foster intercultural communicative competence (ICC, Byram, 1997) and/or linguistic and pragmatic skills.

This paper examines how effective the participants viewed Google Wave, Ning, Wikis, Blogs, and Social Bookmarking, with regard to these tools’ editing functions and asynchronous and synchronous communication channels. Data triangulation involved CMC transcripts, needs analyses, and post-project questionnaires.

Findings focus on how students gradually develop their understanding and critical view of the new generation of Internet-based communication tools. Participants evaluated the technology tools and virtual discussions based on their experiential explorations. For instance, students were discussing the potential of Google Wave for language instruction on Google Wave, i.e., as they were exploring the new functions of this new hybrid tool. The interactive nature of this tool allows users to revisit and edit their previous posts in the absence of a revision history. These new hybrid tools have the potential to redefine the conventional sense of authorship and ownership.