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.
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.