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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: Electronic Discussion and Foreign Language Learning

Hanna, Barbara E. & de Nooy, Juliana (2003) A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: Electronic Discussion and Foreign Language Learning. Language Learning and Technology, 7(1), pp. 71-85.

Abstract

Amongst the opportunities for cross-cultural contact created by the burgeoning use of the internet are those provided by electronic discussion lists. This study looks at what happens when language students venture out of the classroom (virtual or otherwise) to participate in on-line discussion groups with native speakers. Responses to messages and commentary by moderators and other participants on the (in)appropriateness of contributions allow us to determine what constitutes successful participation and to make suggestions regarding effective teaching strategies for this medium.

A case study examines the threads started by four anglophone students of French when they post messages to a forum on the website of French newspaper Le Monde. Investigation of these examples points to the ways in which electronic discussion inflects and is inflected by cultural and generic expectations. We suggest that successful participation on internet fora depends on awareness of such cultural and generic mores and an ability to work within and/or with them. Teachers therefore need to find ways in which students can be sensitized to such issues so that their participation in such electronic discussion is no longer seen as linguistic training, but as engagement with a cultural practice.

Impact and interest:

30 citations in Scopus
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21 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 6708
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: The contents of this journal can be freely accessed online via the journal's web page (see hypertext link).
Additional URLs:
Keywords: internet fora, intercultural communication, language education, French
ISSN: 1094-3501
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LANGUAGE STUDIES (200300) > French Language (200306)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LINGUISTICS (200400) > Language in Culture and Society (Sociolinguistics) (200405)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200) > Multicultural Intercultural and Cross-cultural Studies (200209)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LINGUISTICS (200400) > Language in Time and Space (incl. Historical Linguistics Dialectology) (200406)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > TECHNOLOGY (100000) > COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES (100500) > Communications Technologies not elsewhere classified (100599)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Humanities and Social Sciences Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. Economics Business and Management) (130205)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 (please consult authors)
Deposited On: 28 Mar 2007
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:03

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