Journal Article

Online collaborative learning on an ESL teacher education programme

Richard Cullen, John Kullman and Carol Wild

in ELT Journal

Volume 67, issue 4, pages 425-434
Published in print October 2013 | ISSN: 0951-0893
Published online June 2013 | e-ISSN: 1477-4526 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/elt/cct032
Online collaborative learning on an ESL teacher education programme

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  • Language Acquisition
  • Teaching English as a Foreign or Second Language
  • Language Learning (Specific Skills)
  • Language Teaching Theory and Methods

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This article examines the processes and potential benefits of online collaborative learning through a qualitative analysis of the postings made by a group of Malaysian student teachers on an assessed wiki-based collaborative writing project, completed over a period of nine weeks as part of a Bachelor of Education in Teaching English as a Second Language programme in the UK. Three categories of ‘talk’ are identified and exemplified through the analysis: social talk, planning talk, and language talk, with the findings showing high levels of collaborative behaviour during completion of the task, marked by interactivity, mutual respect, and interdependence; this helped develop a strong sense of a ‘community of practice’ within the group and a supportive, goal-oriented learning environment. There was also some, but less conclusive, evidence of processes of co-construction of learning and collective scaffolding. The article ends with a discussion of the implications for online collaborative task design and implementation in ESL teacher education contexts.

Journal Article.  4366 words. 

Subjects: Language Acquisition ; Teaching English as a Foreign or Second Language ; Language Learning (Specific Skills) ; Language Teaching Theory and Methods

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