An Enquiry into English as a Foreign Language and Online Community Projects in Secondary School Education

Fearn, Lesley June (2021). An Enquiry into English as a Foreign Language and Online Community Projects in Secondary School Education. EdD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.00012e5c

Abstract

This study addresses the question of how Online Community Projects (OCPs), using specialised social-media platforms such as eTwinning, can support the learning and teaching of English as a Foreign Language in secondary school environments in Italy and in other countries. This was done by exploring students’ language learning experiences as well as teachers’ perceptions and decisions around integrating OCPs into their teaching.

With an overarching sociocultural perspective to language learning, this study draws largely upon concepts surrounding mediation and the Zone of Proximal Development (Vygotsky, (1997 [1978]) Legitimate Peripheral Participation and Communities of Practice (Lave and Wenger, 1991) as well as theories in second language acquisition (Krashen, 2003; Krashen and Terrell, 1988). It employs a qualitative methodology blending Action Research (Burns, 1999) and a multi-case study consisting of five contrasting cases (Stake, 2006). Data were collected from an overall total of sixteen face-to-face interviews, twenty-one
emails and sixty-six online open-question questionnaires. A thematic approach to analysis was adopted across all data sources.

Findings have revealed apprehensions and presumptions from teachers who do not utilise OCPs, while those who do use them not only explain the advantages and benefits, but also the challenges involved. Additionally, secondary-school students explain the strengths and weakness of the projects regarding their learning. This thesis provides a deeper insight into the understanding of young people’s perspective on learning foreign languages through OCPs than has previously been available and will be of interest to teachers and researcher-practitioners who hope to improve their practice.

Viewing alternatives

Download history

Metrics

Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions

Export

About

  • Item ORO ID
  • 77404
  • Item Type
  • EdD Thesis
  • Keywords
  • educational technology; web-based instruction; internet in education; online social networks; English language; TEFL; language and languages; language acquisition; group work in education; team learning approach in education
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2020 Lesley June Fearn
  • Depositing User
  • Lesley Fearn

Recommendations