EIL 587: Computer-Mediated Communication
for Language Teachers
Overview of the Course:
The purpose of this course is to explore how computer networks (e.g. the Internet) can be used in the language learning process to engage in authentic communication to enhance that learning. The technologies utilized in this course will range from the most basic (email), to Discussion Boards, MOOs, Virtual Worlds, Internet Telephony, and video conferencing. As we become familiar with these tools, we’ll use them to create practical activities/lessons.
Over the course of the semester you will read a number of articles pertaining to the use of these technologies in language classrooms. These articles will range from mostly theoretical (not too many of these) to purely practical in nature. However, it is important to note that this course is not mean to serve as a foundation in the theoretical foundations of CALL, CMC, or any other acronym related to technology in the classroom. The class discussions and assignments will reflect this practical philosophy.
I make one assumption about the students attending this class—that some of you have experience (perhaps even extensive experience) with some aspects of CMC that I may be barely familiar with, while others will have no experience whatsoever. Both of these groups are absolutely welcome in this course and will serve vital roles. Because of this, this course will largely be held in a workshop format. Rather than taking the traditional role of the “all-knowing leader” (Ha!), I expect to be a member of these workshops who will guide their direction. Given this format, the assignments for this class are designed accordingly.