Computer Mediated Collaborative Learning within a Communicative Language Teaching Approach:A Sociocultural Perspective

| March 25, 2010
Title
Computer Mediated Collaborative Learning within a Communicative Language Teaching Approach:A Sociocultural Perspective

Keywords: Sociocultural theory, communicative language teaching, computer mediated collaborative learning (CMCL), EFL

Authors
Long Van Nguyen
Massey University, New Zealand

Bio Data
Long V Nguyen has been a lecturer in English at the University of Danang, Vietnam since 1996. He received his MA in TESOL Studies from the University of Queensland, Australia in 2005. Long is now a doctoral candidate in the Applied Linguistics program at the School of Language Studies, Massey University, New Zealand. His research interests are in the areas of educational communication and technology use in foreign language learning and language teacher education.

Abstract
The article aims to discuss the roles of computer mediated collaborative learning (CMCL) in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom equipped with a communicative language teaching (CLT) approach. The discussion moves from an overview of the principal domains of sociocultural theory (SCT) applicable to collaborative second/foreign language learning to the review of the current CLT approach, the main focus of which is the context of Vietnamese language education. CMCL is then analysed in terms of how it is able to support and enhance language improvement in the given CLT context. The conclusion drawn from the discussion is that CMCL with its potential benefits is capable of helping resolve certain issues raised by the introduction of a CLT approach into the Vietnamese language classroom, including Confucian educational values, examination-oriented educational system, class management, and authentic communication. It is thereby argued that CMCL may possibly flow smoothly on a CLT foundation when the whole context is viewed through a SCT lens, and that though the focus is on the particular Vietnamese social setting, there is no reason that the concerns considered in this paper cannot be shared in other relevant settings.

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 12 Issue 1