Online Scientific Language Teaching and Web 2.0

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Abstract

This presentation examines the application of Web 2.0 to an online scientific language course. The online Computer Science English Course (CSEC), funded by a national PRIN project and targeted to students enrolled in the undergraduate course in Applied Computer Science (ACS) at the University of Urbino – Italy, aims to promote the acquisition of applied computer science micro-language. The CSEC aspired to a CEFR B1/B1+ level of competency in reading, writing, grammar and vocabulary skills. The innovative element was its foundation on a blog, posted regularly by a senior bilingual student attending the university ACS course while in the US for an internship. Tested during the experimental phase of the project (2007-08), the course has been recently augmented in order to develop the oral skills which were not sufficiently practised and to create more personal teacher-student and peer relationships. Web 2.0 tools have been used to enhance learners' English professional oral language skills in an engaging learning environment. The decision to implement Web 2.0 was also influenced by the targeted students' interests in information and communication technology (ICT). Student motivation therefore played an important role in the design and implementation of the new activities aimed to encourage an autonomous active learning of the foreign language (FL). The implemented version of the course will be offered to the first year students of the 2012/13 academic year enrolled in the distance-learning degree programme in ACS. New interaction modes will be fostered to cater for collaborative learning and knowledge building by means of web 2.0 social spaces (Bates, 2011) and through constant tandem learning organized with other ACS English speaking students.

Keywords: distance and collaborative learning, EFL teaching, scientific English.

References

Bates, T. (2011). Understanding Web 2.0 and its Implications for E-learning. In M. J. W. Lee & C. McLoughlin (Eds.), Web 2.0-Based E-Learning: Applying Social Informatics for Tertiary Teaching (pp. 21-42). New York: Information Science Reference.

Harasim, L. (2011). Learning Theory and Online Technologies. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Sisti, F. (Ed.). (2009). CLIL Methodology in University Instruction: Online and in the Classroom. An Emerging framework (Part I). Perugia: Guerra Edizioni.

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Sisti, Flora. (2012). Online Scientific Language Teaching and Web 2.0. In Linda Bradley, Sylvie Thouësny (Eds), CALL: Using, Learning, Knowing, EUROCALL Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden, 22-25 August 2012, Proceedings (pp. 269-273). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2012.000065

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