Web 2.0: The Influence of the Cloud in the 21st Century Classroom

Web 2.0: The Influence of the Cloud in the 21st Century Classroom

Silvia Giovanardi Byer (Park University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4482-3.ch007
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Web 2.0 technologies are changing the way we do things at home, in business, and of course, in teaching a world language. In addition to enhancing your understanding of how cloud-based technologies will strengthen your classroom activities, this article will also provide an example of how you can integrate two popular platforms to support communicative world language teaching activities.
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Case Description: Ideal Integration: The Communicative Approach And Web 2.0

The Communicative Approach to the teaching of second languages (L2) emphasizes the interaction among learners and instructor when the main goal is learning a second language. As such, the Communicative Approach (CA) is ideal for Web 2.0., because it supports the five essential teaching characteristics of the Communicative Approach:

  • 1.

    Create or use opportunities for learners to focus, not only on language but also on the Learning Management process.

  • 2.

    Teach learners to communicate through interaction in the target language.

  • 3.

    Use authentic situations and texts as way to teach the target language.

  • 4.

    Use learner's own experiences as elements of learning in the teaching environment.

  • 5.

    Use links between the teaching environment and the outside world as a link and or tool to provide language learning and activities. (David Nunam 2005, p.79)


Challenges: Supporting The Communicative Approach: The Partnership For 21St Century Skills And American Council On The Teaching Of Foreign Languages (Actfl)

The acceptance of the communicative approach signals a movement away from language teaching as the transmission of a rule-based code in which attention is focused almost exclusively on language as a ‘virtual system’ toward a more communication-based approach that regards the use of language – its realization as an ‘actual system’ having priority took place in the ‘70s (Johnsons, 1982, p. 68).

CA can include any teaching practice that helps students develop their communicative competence using an authentic context as long as it is an acceptable and beneficial form of instruction. Thus, in the CA teaching environment the use of pair and group work requiring language functions such as “ordering”, “negotiating”, “interrupting”, can often be found. CA promotes cooperative situations for learners participate within fluency-based activities.

Language is a communicative behavior and language learning must escape from the confines of the library and language lab to an environment offering the communicative approach of encouraging and supporting the many ways in which humans acquire new skills.

Educators generally agree that the following pre-requisites are necessary for a communicative environment:

  • Two or more communicators

  • A motivation to communicate

  • A message to be communicated

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