The aim of this paper is to report the investigation of an online communication group as a supplementary media for student learning English; and to report how communication online facilitated student learning and student-teacher relationship. Drawing literature on reflection and Communities of Practice (CoPs), a case study was undertaken involving 30 students in an online communication group (a QQ group with technology supported by qq.com). Data were collected from Questionnaires with students before and after the study and archives of online communication activities. It was found that after participated in the study, students were willing to communicate with their teacher and fellow students online; they discussed on a variety of topics in this CoP, such as learning English, future career, future study, and topics relating to their daily life. It was also found that Internet connection, the students’ need of obtaining prompt solutions of their learning problems are the main factors that hindered their participation in the online CoP. Teacher roles in the CoP are also discussed in this paper. Consideration of building an online CoP in this study built on knowledge of how online learning communities might work to address the needs of Chinese EFL learners at the tertiary level.
Ping Wang, HCT Sharjah Women's College, United Arabian Emirates
Stream: Learning Environments
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