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Title: What is the value of international e-mail groups for ESL learners?
Authors: Mak, Linda Yeung-Oi
Keywords: E-mails
English language learning
Discussion groups
Computer-medicated communication
Issue Date: Jun-1999
Citation: Penetrating Discourse: Integrating theory with Practice in Second Language Teaching, 9th International Conference, Language centre, HKUST, Hong Kong (22-23 June, 1999), Language Centre, 2001. p. 105-118
Abstract: To investigate the value of electronic conferences for English learners, I will first review some major studies related to the use of computers in language classrooms, then present a qualitative analysis of an e-mail corpus collected from a large-scale international writing project that involved 20 ESL discussion groups at the college level. The study attempts to investigate the democratic influence of computer-mediated communication (CMC), and examine the subsequent benefits for language learners. It was found that electronic conferencing encourages a movement from teacher-centred to learner-centred pedagogy, resulting in students constructing their knowledge together, heightening their language awareness, developing spontaneity in communicating in English and sharpening the precision of their word choice.
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