Virtual Communities in Teaching of English language

abstract | author | presentation | paper

The past decade has brought significant changes in the way foreign languages are taught. One of the ways to fully and interactively include the students and pupils into the language learning process is by creating, developing and maintaining of virtual communities. Guided by their teachers, students decide on the type of the community they intend to build, apply for Web space, choose the tools, incorporate chat-rooms and message-boards, streaming audio or an Internet radio-station etc. In this way students are immersed into the whole procedure of designing of a virtual community with the practical use of English and the ability to establish mutual collaboration being the primary objectives of this phase of teaching process.

Once the community is established the students maintain and expand their community, accept new members into their community, communicate with their peers and solve problems occasionally posed by their teachers. The task of the teacher in this phase is to include the students in finding appropriate solutions and stimulate them to invent their own which are then presented to their peers. The communication between teachers and their students is no longer restricted to the classroom but is partially transferred to the Internet, either through E-mail, or the community's message-board or chat-room.

This kind of teaching process activates all the potentials of students and pupils who have to employ all their basic skills (speaking, reading, writing and listening) and combine them with their ability to cooperate and exchange ideas and suggestions in order to make their virtual community work.

back to program