Instant-messaging for improving literacy and communication skills in FLT: students’ evaluation
Keywords:Computer Mediated Communication (CMC), Foreign Language Teaching (FLT), blended learning, cooperative learning, motivation
The present work presents an example of using Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) in Foreign Language Teaching (FLT) with the aim to increase students’ hours of exposure to English as a Foreign Language (EFL). Since class time is sometimes limited, it is necessary to look for reinforcement tasks for students to properly develop literacy and communication skills. In addition, CMC is considered by scholars a new variety of language, with its own features and rules, one that students must master as well as other traditional language varieties. As secondary goals, this project intended to develop students’ motivation, autonomy, linguistic awareness and cooperative learning. By using a Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM) application, Remind, students were encouraged to communicate in groups and, thereby, supplement hours of practicing the foreign language outside the classroom, without limitation of time and space. Students evaluated the task by means of an online questionnaire and results proved to be positive, showing that they enjoyed the activity and considered it useful and effective. Moreover, they realised the importance of cooperative learning, of responsibility and of being aware of their own learning process. Likewise, the real and authentic purpose of communication enhanced motivation among students.
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