Teachers as awakeners: a collaborative approach in language learning and social media

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© 2017 Alessia Plutino.


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Abstract

This paper provides an overview of the successful pedagogical project TwitTIAMO, now in its third year, where micro blogging (Twitter) has been used in Italian language teaching and learning to improve students’ communicative language skills, accuracy, fluency and pronunciation outside timetabled lessons. It also explores the background and outcomes of two recent implementations to the project: (1) the implementation of a Twitter Champ, acting as a Knowledgeable Other (Vygotsky, 1978) and the development of her transferable employability skills; and (2) the use of a free speech-to-text tool to develop accuracy in pronunciation and writing. More broadly, the paper offers an overview of social media as a powerful tool to transpose classroom communities into online learning communities and enhance spontaneous and collaborative learning outside conventional classroom settings, based on Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) principles and current Personal Learning Environments (PLE) and Communities of Practice (CoP) theories.

Keywords: Twitter, collaborative learning, personal learning environment, communities of practice, CoP, PLE, employability.

References

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Plutino, Alessia. (2017). Teachers as awakeners: a collaborative approach in language learning and social media. In Carmen Álvarez-Mayo, Angela Gallagher-Brett, Franck Michel (Eds), Innovative language teaching and learning at university: enhancing employability (pp. 115-125). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2017.innoconf2016.661

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