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WEB 2.

0 STRATEGIES FOR THE WORLD LANGUAGE CLASSROOM

John Walsdorf American College of Education

BACKGROUND
Web 2.0 strategies improve classroom environments by making them more;
Comfortable

Relaxed
Collaboration-oriented Community based
Wang & Vasquez 2012

BACKGROUND
Wang and Vasquez (2012) note a number of benefits to students including;
Increased interest and motivation in the discipline

Increased production in the target language


Increased cultural knowledge and competence Increase in student interaction and collaboration

BACKGROUND
Wang and Vasquez (2012) caution those implementing Web 2.0 tools of the following downsides;
Students struggle at times in use of the proper register

Students tend to focus on meaning at the expense of quality in the


target language Students did not always utilize the interactive component of the Web 2.0 tools

INTRODUCTION
What follows are popular Web 2.0 tools which can be implemented into ones curriculum. These tools integrate well with class units currently in place. These activities have wide appeal with students due to their contemporary nature. They are also popular with teachers since they have students working in the target language. Before launching these tools in the

classroom teachers must be aware of any restrictions from their


school district with respect to their acceptable use policy.

ON-LINE PORTFOLIOS
An on-line portfolio provides a platform for individuals or groups of students to display their work. These are often available at no cost for educators. Popular platforms include;
Google sites
http://www.google.com/sites/help/intl/en/overview.html

Wikispaces
http://www.wikispaces.com/

FolioSpaces
https://www.foliospaces.org/

BLOGS & WIKIS


The three platforms just listed each permit the user to maintain a blog or wiki. Blogs and wikis are interactive places on the web where authorized visitors can modify or comment on previous posts to the wiki or blog. Blogs and wikis engage

the students in the following ways;


They create in the target language They collaborate and exchange thoughts and ideas They correct their work and the work of others One can see student progress in the target language as the blog develops

ANIMATION AND AVATARS


Avatars are a good place for students to begin their Web 2.0 experience. An avatar is an on -line alter ego. The students create these using internet based software and can create ones with dif ferent appearances and have the ability to speak.
Voki (http://www.voki.com)
Free for students and educators Permits the use of a variety of target languages

ANIMATION AND AVATARS


On- line animation is an engaging way to get ones students to create in the target language. The two sources below permit the user two create visual dialogues using two characters. The user is also able to type in the text which is read in the target language by the computer or record the spoken text themselves.
GoAnimate (http://goanimate.com)

Xtranormal (http:www.xtranormal.com)

PODCASTS
A podcast is a type of radio broadcast which is created using software available on-line. When the podcast is complete it can be heard by being accessed from the podcast host or by clicking on a URL linked to the podcast from an email or other website. There are a variety of services available to facilitate the creation of podcasts including;
Podomatic (http://www.podomatic.com/login)

Podcast Generator
(http://podcastgen.sourceforge.net/features.php?lang= en)

SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media provides rich opportunities for language learners to express themselves in the target language in formats with which they are comfortable. Teachers need to be acutely aware of district acceptable use policies before implementing these tools. These platforms have the added benefit of being easily accessed and used from mobile devices. Additionally, their use easily extends student learning outside of class in a

discrete fashion.

SOCIAL MEDIA
Facebook Pages are easily created for groups or classes. Comments to discussions and images are easily added to the groups page. The page format can be adjusted for the target language to provide students an authentic experience . Teachers can place links to appropriate articles or videos for students to access. Twitter Users are limited to tweets of 140 characters and the format does not lend itself to conversations. Twitter however remains popular and permits students to use the target language outside of the classroom.

RESOURCES
Wang, S., & Vasquez, C. (2012). Web 2.0 and Second Language Learning: What Does the Research Tell Us?. CALICO Journal, 29(3), 412-430.