CALICO Journal, Vol 25, No 1 (2008)

Form-focused Communicative Practice via CMC: What Language Learners Say

Carla Meskill, Natasha Anthony
Issued Date: 7 Aug 2014

Abstract


Computer-mediated communication (CMC) is being used widely to support and extend foreign language instruction. Language learners are practicing the target language by communicating with their instructors, peers, and native speakers at a distance. This study examines high-beginning and low-intermediate learners of Russian and their uses of, and reactions to, a required CMC component of their Russian language classes whereby instructor-initiated tasks and orchestration constituted the central structure. CMC transcript, interview, and questionnaire data indicate that students were generally enthusiastic about the CMC tasks and activities and report having learned the target language through their engagement in communicative practice with instructor-guided focus on form. The study illustrates specific types of CMC instructional uses and strategies that guide motivated, form-focused communicative practice, an activity to which these learners responded positively in terms of both reported progress and demonstrated progress in learning the Russian language.

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DOI: 10.1558/cj.v25i1.69-90

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