The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Students’ Perspectives on Acquiring Content and Developing Oral Communicative Skills in Synchronous Oral Computer-Mediated Communication (Scmc) - Some Implications for Future Course Designs

Britt Svenhard, Østfold University College (Norway)

Berit Grønn, Østfold University College (Norway)


An important aspect of modern second language learning (SLA) is developing oral communicative skills. Creating a learning environment that both enhances such skills and provides course content may pose some challenges in web-based language teaching, but it also allows for both creative and competent use of language and technology. As web-based language courses proliferate and the technology advances, it becomes increasingly important to evaluate good practice. This paper addresses these concerns and discusses oral computer mediated communication (OCMC) from the students’ perspective and their learning experiences trying to co-create meaning using semiotic and technological artifacts. Here, we rely on sociocultural theories and dialogical principles [1]; [2] in combination with an SLA approach based on Swain’s concept of collaborative dialogue [3]; [4], where students construct knowledge through ‘saying’ and reflecting on ‘what was said’. 

Our research draws upon experiences and data from two web-based courses offered at a university college in Norway, one  Spanish grammar and communication course at intermediate level and one in-service course offering formal qualifications for teachers of English at primary and lower secondary level. Both groups participate in synchronous computer mediated communication (SCMC), in dialogue-based web lessons involving voice, video and chat tools. The lessons contain both peer interaction in groups, teacher-student interaction, and plenary sessions.  Our concern is the connection between students’ expectations, perceived needs and their perspectives on their individual learning processes in the aforementioned synchronous web meetings. The paper discusses didactic aspects such as the importance of supporting listening and speaking environments, developing purposeful communication skills (listening and utterances), and how the use of artifacts contributes to the co-construction of meaning. We ask what the students own reflections are on the effectiveness of the semiotic and technological tools available. For this purpose, we make use of electronic questionnaires, student logs and in-depth online interviews, taking Bakhtin’s response theory as a point of departure, but also Wolwin & Coakley’s categories of listening skills [5], as well as Brownell’s framework for listening and response styles [6]. With this research, we aim to document which factors the students find contribute to their learning outcome in synchronous oral computer-mediated communication (SCMC) and what the implications might be for future course designs. 

Back to the list

Reserved area

Media Partners:

Click BrownWalker Press logo for the International Academic and Industry Conference Event Calendar announcing scientific, academic and industry gatherings, online events, call for papers and journal articles
Pixel - Via Luigi Lanzi 12 - 50134 Firenze (FI) - VAT IT 05118710481
    Copyright © 2024 - All rights reserved

Privacy Policy