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Microblogging for Language Learning
by Carsten Ullrich


Microblogging for Language Learning: Using Twitter to Train Communicative and Cultural Competence Kerstin Borau1, Carsten Ullrich2, Jinjin Feng1, Ruimin Shen2 1Distance Education College of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 3/F No. 500 Jiangsu Road, Shanghai 20050, China 2Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 1954 Hua Shan Road, 200030 Shanghai, China

Abstract

Our work analyzes the usefulness of microblogging in second language learning using the example of the social network Twitter. Most learners of English do not require even more passive input in form of texts, lectures or videos, etc. This input is readily available in numerous forms on the Internet. What learners of English need is the chance to actively produce language and the chance to use English as tool of communication. This calls for instructional methods and tools promoting 'active' learning that present opportunities for students to express themselves and interact in the target language. In this paper we describe how we used Twitter with students of English at the Distant College of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. We analyze the students' messages and show how the usage of Twitter trained communicative and cultural competence.

International Conference

Proceedings of International Conference on Web-based Learning (ICWL) 2009, in press.

Article available here

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