Lindsey Alongi's Portfolio
This course is being designed to demonstrate how synchronous and asynchronous means of online communication(i.e. blogs, instant messaging/video services, e-mail, and networking sites) increase and enhance communication opportunities and fluency in foreign language (FL) classroom.
Offering authentic communication activities in the foreign language classroom has always been a challenge. Students feel the need to connect to what they are learning and to see practical uses for their knowledge and skills. This drives them to learn, and in the foreign language classroom that means being able to communicate in another language as they do in their native one. Much of any language and daily communication is effectively socializing with others and being able to use the rules of language to communicate our thoughts and ideas. Traditional classroom curricula follow thematic vocabulary units that don't always offer opportunities for casual, day-to-day conversation practice.
This course is aimed at instructors of any foreign language level. As educators, learners can guide themselves through this unit, intrinsically motivated by and expecting to learn and understand how communication now available on the Internet can increase authentic communication opportunities and students' fluency. Learners (FL instructors) should have a general understanding of what social networking sites are and how they are typically used. Learners should also be able to access and follow links within this unit in order to explore these different sites and tools available on the Internet.
This course will be broken down into units, each focusing on different learning objectives and providing activities that will allow learners to gain an understanding of the material. Each unit will focus on techniques of creating and implementing online communication into the foreign language classroom, as well as addressing potential problems and/or questions about this new method of communication.
In creating this professional development course, my goals include:
- Increasing the opportunities and positive attitudes for foreign language learners, through instructing their teachers.
- Showing foreign language teachers that there is a need for more authentic communication activities, in and our of the classroom.
- Showing FL instructors that students will enjoy and increase their language abilities through online means of communication.
- Enabling foreign language teachers to create online-based communication activities, both synchronous and asynchronous.
This course is meant to educate foreign language instructors of new opportunities available for them and their students through online communication. Trying to incorporate authentic communication activities in the foreign language classroom has always been a challenge. Much of any language and communication is effectively socializing with others and being able to use the rules of language to communicate our thoughts and ideas. Learning vocabulary lists and preparing conversations and classrooms skits confines students’ practice of their new language. Using social networking sites enhances communication activities and skills by providing:
- Increased communication opportunities and the option to communicate with native speakers
- Real world casual, social interaction outside of the classroom
- Opportunities to expand language skills and for reflection on the language and culture (Pinkman, 2005)
By increasing and adapting the communication opportunities for foreign language students, students’ fluency will increase, as will their motivation to learn. This course will demonstrate the need for new communication opportunities, how to implement them, and the outcomes instructors and students should expect because of the new, online opportunities for communication.
By completing this course, foreign language teachers will be able to:
- Recognize the need to incorporate authentic communication using online tools by comparing new online methods with traditional classroom practices.
- State the benefits and opportunities of online communication for foreign language learners:
- increased authentic practice
- interaction with native speakers/peers/instructors
- increasing foreign language fluency
- increasing student motivation and positive attitudes toward foreign language learning
- Design and implement communication activities using social networking tools in the foreign language classroom.
Users of this course should have:
- Motivation to better teaching practices
- Understanding of traditional FL classroom practices
- Comfortable level using the Internet, including e-mail, blogs, & social networking sites
Content Organization/Sequencing Map
Resources & Suggestions
Foreign Language 2.0 Resources for a list of resources used in this course and for further exploration suggestions.
To see or take the mini course, visit Foreign Language 2.0: Benefits and Implementing Online Communication
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