Communicative Language Learning and Curriculum Development in the Digital Environment

  •  Sahoon Kim    


Many schools in non-native English speaking countries are making efforts to implement English ImmersedEducation (EIE) in order to teach students English in context. Concurrently, the field of education is changingwith the rapid evolution of technology, and with teachers and students becoming more technologically adept,ways of teaching and learning are advancing. Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) is readilybeing applied to second language learning, as technologically rooted activities can provide many benefits toEnglish Language Learners (ELLs). The aim of this study was to explore how the design of collaborative taskswithin a virtual environment can enhance ELLs interactive communication, in terms of quality and quantity.First, literature on pedagogical applications of virtual worlds, in a general context and in a language learningcontext, is explored, as is the notion of cultural relevance and its impact on learning. Design-based methodologywas employed, as five different virtual tasks were designed and implemented at Chungwhang Middle School andIndam High School in Seoul, South Korea. Results showed that the amount of interactivity among students andthe nature of that interactivity were positively affected through the use of task-based virtual activities. Higherlevels of conversation, in terms of quality and quantity, were developed when tasks focused on culture. Thus,further research is suggested on designing culturally relevant quests based on academic content.

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