The extensive literature available on the prospects, methods and outcomes of the use of the Internet for language teaching and learning witnesses to how teachers and students alike quickly acknowledged the potential of the Web and its impact on classroom activities in a globalized world. The use of the Internet has undoubtedly amplified the exposure to English not just of students, but also of anyone who regularly surfs the web. In the case of EFL students, this increased exposure inevitably becomes a key factor in the acquisition of the language, not so much in terms of self-study materials available online, but rather as a chance to use the Internet to effectively engage in authentic communication, both within and outside virtual classrooms. The Internet can thus become a precious ally for teachers, who can use it to mobilize affective dynamics that help students handle the emotional load inevitably associated to the process of language learning. This paper reports preliminary observations on three Internet-based activities that involved third-year students of English in the BA course in Comparative Literature at the Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale” (academic year 2012-2013). The first one is a blog set up by language instructors to upload course materials, help students who are temporarily abroad, and update students who don’t attend classes regularly. The second one is a Facebook group started by the students themselves, who invited their teachers to join it and take part in their online conversations in English. The third one is a project involving a selected group of students from this course and a group of students of Italian at Boston College (MA). The project consisted of a series of scheduled sessions of one-to-one bilingual conversations carried out using Skype videoconferences. The data on the quantity and quality of student’s participation in the three activities show an increasing level of personal involvement from the blog to Facebook, and reaches a predictable peak in the Skype-based project. Though this can be seen as quite unsurprising, one element of interest lies in the way students tended to transfer content from the blog to the Facebook group, appropriating it and changing their emotional relationship to it. Another significant shift could be observed in the Skype-based project, where the students’ higher awareness of cross-cultural dynamics contributed to their motivation and allowed them to better appreciate the role of language learning in the course of studies they are pursuing.

“Emotions and Cultural Awareness in EFL Learning via Blogs, Facebook and Skype”

FUSCO, Maria Giovanna
2014

Abstract

The extensive literature available on the prospects, methods and outcomes of the use of the Internet for language teaching and learning witnesses to how teachers and students alike quickly acknowledged the potential of the Web and its impact on classroom activities in a globalized world. The use of the Internet has undoubtedly amplified the exposure to English not just of students, but also of anyone who regularly surfs the web. In the case of EFL students, this increased exposure inevitably becomes a key factor in the acquisition of the language, not so much in terms of self-study materials available online, but rather as a chance to use the Internet to effectively engage in authentic communication, both within and outside virtual classrooms. The Internet can thus become a precious ally for teachers, who can use it to mobilize affective dynamics that help students handle the emotional load inevitably associated to the process of language learning. This paper reports preliminary observations on three Internet-based activities that involved third-year students of English in the BA course in Comparative Literature at the Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale” (academic year 2012-2013). The first one is a blog set up by language instructors to upload course materials, help students who are temporarily abroad, and update students who don’t attend classes regularly. The second one is a Facebook group started by the students themselves, who invited their teachers to join it and take part in their online conversations in English. The third one is a project involving a selected group of students from this course and a group of students of Italian at Boston College (MA). The project consisted of a series of scheduled sessions of one-to-one bilingual conversations carried out using Skype videoconferences. The data on the quantity and quality of student’s participation in the three activities show an increasing level of personal involvement from the blog to Facebook, and reaches a predictable peak in the Skype-based project. Though this can be seen as quite unsurprising, one element of interest lies in the way students tended to transfer content from the blog to the Facebook group, appropriating it and changing their emotional relationship to it. Another significant shift could be observed in the Skype-based project, where the students’ higher awareness of cross-cultural dynamics contributed to their motivation and allowed them to better appreciate the role of language learning in the course of studies they are pursuing.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/114613
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