Title

Exploring Alternative Models for Computer Mediated Communication: A Case Study

Subject Area

Language & Technology

Abstract

Research on Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) in foreign language learning has usually taken place under two alternative models: a) a setting of exclusively non-native speakers (NNS-NNS), normally students of a foreign language establishing on-line communications among themselves (e.g. Kern, 1995; Darhower, 2002; Oskoz, 2009); or b) a transcultural setting that incorporates native speakers interacting with non-native speakers (NS-NNS), in which students communicate on-line with other students in a foreign institution (e.g. O’Dowd, 2003; Darhower, 2008). In both models, the communication is established among individuals that have implicitly agreed to collaborate in the tasks that their instructor assigned; consequently, the communication itself has been taken for granted from the first moment, which may have had an effect in the positive conclusions of these studies. What would have been the results if students had contacted in cyberspace with native speakers whose collaboration in the assigned activities was not agreed on beforehand, as often happens in real life?

The present study investigates this scenario and establishes an alternative NS-NNS model. Five groups of learners of Spanish completed ten communicative activities in open public chat rooms by contacting a wider native speaker population that was not “controlled” by the instructor and whose collaboration was therefore not guaranteed. The study determines if this CMC setting can be successfully applied to foreign language pedagogy, and also its advantages and limitations.

Brief Bio Note

José Luis Boigues teaches at the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Emory University. He completed his Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition at UNED in Madrid, Spain. His main field of specialization is the application of new technologies to foreign language pedagogy. Currently he is working on critical discourse analysis of digital media, an area in which he has developed an advanced seminar for the Spanish undergraduate program at Emory.

Keywords

Computer mediated communication, Foreign language learning, New technologies

Location

Room 218

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-27-2015 1:30 PM

End Date

3-27-2015 2:45 PM

Embargo

5-23-2017

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Mar 27th, 1:30 PM Mar 27th, 2:45 PM

Exploring Alternative Models for Computer Mediated Communication: A Case Study

Room 218

Research on Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) in foreign language learning has usually taken place under two alternative models: a) a setting of exclusively non-native speakers (NNS-NNS), normally students of a foreign language establishing on-line communications among themselves (e.g. Kern, 1995; Darhower, 2002; Oskoz, 2009); or b) a transcultural setting that incorporates native speakers interacting with non-native speakers (NS-NNS), in which students communicate on-line with other students in a foreign institution (e.g. O’Dowd, 2003; Darhower, 2008). In both models, the communication is established among individuals that have implicitly agreed to collaborate in the tasks that their instructor assigned; consequently, the communication itself has been taken for granted from the first moment, which may have had an effect in the positive conclusions of these studies. What would have been the results if students had contacted in cyberspace with native speakers whose collaboration in the assigned activities was not agreed on beforehand, as often happens in real life?

The present study investigates this scenario and establishes an alternative NS-NNS model. Five groups of learners of Spanish completed ten communicative activities in open public chat rooms by contacting a wider native speaker population that was not “controlled” by the instructor and whose collaboration was therefore not guaranteed. The study determines if this CMC setting can be successfully applied to foreign language pedagogy, and also its advantages and limitations.