Son, Jeong-Bae (2006) Using online discussion groups in a CALL teacher training course. RELC Journal: a journal of language teaching and research in Southeast Asia, 37 (1). pp. 123-135. ISSN 0033-6882
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Official URL: http://rel.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/37/1/123
Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1177/0033688206063478
This paper reports the results of a study that examined an online discussion group established for a computer-assisted language learning (CALL) course and investigated patterns of interactions generated through the online discussion and participants’ attitudes toward the computer-mediated communication (CMC) activity. The participants in the study were 24 English as a second/foreign language (ESL/EFL), 1 French and 1 Japanese in-service teachers. The findings indicate that individual postings consisted of a large number of fully task-focused messages with a small number of partially task-focused contributions and very few off-task contributions. From the content of the postings, six message types were identified. Among these types, interactive messages were exchanged between the teachers, mainly for the purposes of giving opinions/ideas and expressing support. The teachers’ overall reactions to the online discussion group activities were positive. Most teachers considered the activities to be constructive, enjoyable and valuable. They agreed that online discussions were a good way of learning CALL and CMC could facilitate collaborative learning. This study confirms that CMC can provide teachers with communication channels for sharing ideas and resources and collaborating with their fellow teachers.
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