WEB 2.0 ENHANCED LANGUAGE LEARNING: FACT OR FAD?
1 Polytechnic Institute of Viseu (PORTUGAL)
2 University of Aveiro (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN14 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:This paper reports on the potential of Web 2.0 tools in the development of communicative competence in English language amongst undergraduate students. The theoretical framework that underpins this study is rooted in national and European policies emerging from the Bologna Process, namely the methodological and pedagogical challenges derived from the objectives and guidelines established. Besides this, the Bologna Process is also understood within a changing economic and social landscape, where ongoing innovation in Information and Communication Technologies have generated a rapid production and dissemination of information on a global scale. This new framework has originated new challenges as far as English language teaching and learning in higher education is concerned. These include the creation of a dynamic environment leading to both dialogical and dialectical learning, thus enhancing opportunities to communicate and act through and in English. The methodological approach adopted in this study consisted of an action research project over two semesters in the course units: English II and English III, from a degree course in Tourism.The analysis of the information retrieved points to a markedly positive impact of Web 2.0 tools on the implementation of interactional tasks in English language learning in higher education. The students’ active involvement in solving authentic tasks, the encouragement of cultural awareness, and the development of individual and collaborative (meta) competences all attest to the importance of social networks, wikis and podcasts in English language learning.
Keywords: Authenticity, dialogical and dialectical approach, English language learning, higher education, Web 2.0.