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Academic Paper

Title: Strategies for Overcoming Challenges in Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) Courses: A German-American teacher education project using FirstClass®.
Author: Carolin Fuchs
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Teachers College, Columbia University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics
Abstract: The pedagogical value of project-oriented and cooperative language learning environments has been known for quite some time now (e.g. Schwerdtfeger 1977; Long/Porter 1985; Slavin 1990; Legutke/Thomas 1999). Recently, computer technologies have been used to enhance these kind of learning environments (e.g., Egbert/Hanson-Smith 1999; Rüschoff/Wolff 1999). For example, email and chat have been used for cross-cultural exchanges with other speakers of the target language (Kramsch/Thorne 2003; Belz 2002; Belz/Müller-Hartmann 2001; Wegerif 1998) as well as for teaching online (e.g. Nunan 1999). Findings indicate difficulties at the socio-cultural and institutional levels of CMC-based projects. /L//L/One way of gaining insight into the complex nature of such CMC-based learning processes is to look at the challenges that participants may encounter when negotiating over a distance, i.e. in the absence of face-to-face (FTF) communication. Within the framework of communicative language teaching (CLT), negotiation is defined as the “discussion between all members of the classroom to decide how learning and teaching are to be organized” (Breen/Littlejohn 2000: 1). In other words, negotiation is regarded as an essential component of communication, a dynamic and flexible process. Negotiation about the syllabus and/or established conventions helps develop “learner’s communicative knowledge in the context of personal and social development” (Breen/ Candlin 1980: 91). /L//L/This paper focuses on the difficulties that preservice teachers at a German and at an American university were faced with when negotiating their contributions for a joint website with their respective transatlantic partner group.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: Neusprachliche Mitteilungen aus Wissenschaft und Praxis.
Publication Info: 58, 47-56.

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