CALICO Journal, Vol 27, No 2 (2010)

"Leveling the Playing Field:" The Effects of Online Second Language Instruction on Student Willingness to Communicate in French

Scott Kissau, Heather McCullough, J. Garvey Pyke
Issued Date: 7 Aug 2014

Abstract


Second language (L2) instruction in the United States has in recent history experienced significant change. Instead of emphasizing grammatical accuracy, L2 teachers are now asked to focus on developing student communication skills. Furthermore, L2 classrooms are being transformed via the growth of computer-mediated instruction. Traditional, face-to-face L2 classrooms are frequently being supplemented (or even replaced) by online instruction. Despite these two relatively recent phenomena, little research conducted in North America has investigated the effect of one change on the other. In this study the researchers investigated the effects of online L2 instruction on student willingness to communicate in the L2. Six postsecondary students taking an online French course completed a questionnaire at the beginning and the end of the semester and had their communication in the L2 monitored over the course of the semester. The results were then further explored during student interviews. Results indicated that not only did the online environment help to reduce L2 anxiety and increase perceived competence in the language but also was able to meet the varying needs of the diverse students.

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DOI: 10.11139/cj.27.2.277-297

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