Foreign Language 2.0: Benefits and Implementing Online Communication


Course Introduction

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.

Course Objectives

By completing this course, foreign language teachers will be able to:

  1. Recognize and understand the need to incorporate authentic communication using online tools by comparing online methods with traditional classroom practices
  2. Design and implement communication activities using social networking tools in the classroom
  3. State the benefits and opportunities of online communication for foreign language learners:
  • Increased quantity of authentic practice
  • Interaction with native speakers
  • Increasing peer/instructor rapport
  • Increasing foreign language fluency
  • Increasing student motivation and positive attitudes towards foreign language(s)

Prerequisite Skills

Users of this course should have:

  • Motivation to better their teaching practices
  • Understanding of traditional FL classrooms
  • Comfortable level using the Internet, including: navigation, e-mail, blogs, social networking sites.

Course Units

Unit 1: Current Classroom Practices

Compare and contrast traditional teaching methods with the needs of the 21st century learner.

Unit 2: Exploring & Implementing Online Tools

Explore online communication tools/sites and their uses in the foreign language classroom.

Unit 3: Possibilities & Benefits

Identify and reflect on the new opportunities online communication brings and how it changes student performance.


Visit Foreign Language 2.0 Resources for a list of resources used in this course and for further exploration suggestions.

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