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E. Ozgur Kufi, J. Eldridge

Eastern Mediterranean University (CYPRUS)
Although educational literature is rich in discussion regarding the integration of technology into the learning process, to date, few studies have elaborated on the effectiveness of the most recent crop of interactive Web 2.0 tools. Such tools can be put to many uses, and it is therefore of considerable interest to discover how they are integrated into the teaching-learning process and with what outcomes. With this aim, this study first examines freshman students’ perceptions regarding the use of interactive web environments in a variety of English communication skills courses offered at the Eastern Mediterranean University. In order to make further sense of the resulting data, the study then explores the ways in which the Web 2.0 tools were integrated into the course frameworks, and the type and nature of activities that students mostly engaged in. The analysis of data shows that while the majority of students are positive about the use of such tools, there is also significant resistance. Furthermore, although discussions regarding the use of Web 2.0 in education very often emphasize its social constructivist potential, a considerable amount of activity in the medium - teacher activity as well as student activity - seems to be of a rather surprisingly orthodox and traditional nature.

After briefly overviewing the results of the study, the presentation will focus on the need to raise language teachers’ and learners’ awareness regarding the introduction and implementation of constructivist principles in the use of Web 2.0, and look at some simple ways in which this can be done. The presentation concludes with the following assertion: only after a serious questioning process and change of mindset, will it be possible to talk about the successful integration of Web 2.0 in language teaching and learning processes.