Instant-messaging for improving literacy and communication skills in FLT: students’ evaluation

Marta Garrote


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.


Computer Mediated Communication (CMC); Foreign Language Teaching (FLT); blended learning; cooperative learning; motivation

Full Text:



Baepler, P., Walker, J. D. and Driessen, M. (2014). It's not about seat time: Blending, flipping, and efficiency in active learning classrooms. Computers & Education, 78, 227-236.

Baron, N. (2008). Always on: Language in an Online and Mobile World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Barton, D. and Lee, C. (2013). Language Online: Investigating Digital Texts and Practices. London: Routledge.

Bekleyen, N. and Yilmaz, A. (2012). The impact of Computer-Assisted Language Learning on vocabulary teaching: JingTM and instant messaging. Education Sciences, 7(1), 419-425.

Benson, P. (2011). Language learning and teaching beyond the classroom: An introduction to the field. In P. Benson and H. Reinders (Eds.), Beyond the language classroom (pp. 7-16). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bieswanger, M. (2013). Micro-linguistic structural features of computer-mediated communication. In S. Herring, D. Stein, and T. Virtanen (Eds.), Pragmatics of computer-mediated communication, 9 (pp. 463-488). Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter.

Council of Europe (2001). Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: learning, teaching, assessment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Crystal, D. (2001). Language and the Internet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Crystal, D. (2006). Language and the Internet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Csizér, K., & Dörnyei, Z. (2005). The internal structure of language learning motivation and its relationship with language choice and learning effort. The modern language journal, 89(1), 19-36.

Georgakopoulou, A. (2011). Computer-mediated communication. In J. Östman and J. Verschueren (Eds.), Pragmatics in Practice. John Benjamins, pp. 93-110.

Goker, S. D. (2006). Impact of peer coaching on self-efficacy and instructional skills in TEFL teacher education. System, 34(2), 239-254.

Gómez, D. S. and Shafirova, L. (2016). Conversación en WhatsApp: aprendizaje y colaboración en lingua franca. Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature, 9(4), 23-40.

Graham, C. R. (2006). Blended learning systems. In C. J. Bonk and C. R. Graham (Eds.), The handbook of blended learning: Global perspectives, local designs (pp. 3-21). San Francisco: Pfeiffer Publishing.

Guilloteaux, M. J. and Dörnyei, Z. (2008). Motivating language learners: A classroom‐oriented investigation of the effects of motivational strategies on student motivation. TESOL Quarterly, 42(1), 55-77.

Herring, S.C. (2008). Language and the Internet. The International Encyclopedia of Communication.

Herring, S. C. (2010). Computer-mediated conversation, Part I: Introduction and overview. Language@Internet, 7(2), 12-31.

Herring, S. C. (2011). Computer-mediated conversation, Part II: Introduction and overview. Language@Internet, 8(2), 12-24.

Herring, S. C. (2012). Grammar and electronic communication. In C. A. Chapelle (Ed.), The encyclopedia of applied linguistics. Retrieved from:

Hrastinski, S. (2008). Asynchronous and synchronous e-learning. Educause quarterly, 31(4), 51-55.

Koh, J. H. L., Herring, S. C. and Hew, K. F. (2010). Project-based learning and student knowledge construction during asynchronous online discussion. Internet and Higher Education, 13(4), 284-291

Newmaster, S., Lacroix, C. A. and Roosenboom, C. R. (2006). Authentic learning as a mechanism for learner centredness. International Journal of Learning, 13(6), 103-112.

Piaget, Jean. (1973). To Understand is to Invent. New York: Grossman.

Powell, K. C. and Kalina, C. J. (2009). Cognitive and social constructivism: Developing tools for an effective classroom. Education, 130(2), 241-250.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon, 9(5), 1-4.

Rosen, D., Woelfel, J., Krikorian, D. and Barnett, G. A. (2003). Procedures for analyses of online communities. Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication, 8(4), 0-0.

Slomanson, W. R. (2014). Blended learning: A flipped classroom experiment. Journal of Legal Education, 64(1), 93-102.

Sotillo, S. M. (2006). Using instant messaging for collaborative learning: A case study. Innovate: Journal of Online Education, 2(3), Article 2.

Thomas, J. W. (2000). A review of research on project-based learning. San Rafael, CA: Autodesk Foundation.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1962). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Wang, L. (2005). The advantages of using technology in Second Language Education. T.H.E. Journal, 32(10), 38-42.

Waninge, F., Dörnyei, Z. and De Bot, K. (2014). Motivational Dynamics in Language Learning: Change, Stability, and Context. The Modern Language Journal, 98(3), 704-723.

Warner, C. N. (2004). It's just a game, right? Types of play in foreign language CMC. Language Learning & Technology, 8(2), 69-87.

Abstract Views

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Licencia Creative Commons

This journal is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.

Universitat Politècnica de València

e-ISSN: 1695-2618