Language Learning through Social Networks: Perceptions and Reality

Reading Time: 6 minutesLanguage Learning Social Network Sites (LLSNS) combine tutorial software and opportunities to interact with others in order to improve one’s foreign language competence. However, details on how learners use these platforms and what they learn from them are rarely found in the research literature. This survey study by Chin-Hsi, Warschauer and Blake (2016) investigated learners’ attitudes towards, usage of, and progress made on Livemocha, a popular LLSNS. The results show the potential of these sites for language learning, but also some key questions that need to be answered before LLSNS-use can bring about real success.

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Listening for needles in haystacks: how lecturers introduce key terms

Reading Time: 4 minutesThis article reports on a corpus-based study of the discourse of university lectures, which aimed to identify linguistic patterns that could help EAP / L2 students with note-taking. It finds some ‘standard’ formulaic expressions, as well as other discourse markers used by lecturers to highlight key terms or concepts.

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Introducing a New General Service List

Reading Time: 5 minutesThis study proposes a New General Service List, compiled on the basis of four language corpora including a total of over 12 billion running words. ‘The New GSL is conceived of as a list of the most frequent English vocabulary [in British English] suitable for both receptive and productive use, primarily intended for beginner learners.’

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Affordances and learning opportunities in lesson plan templates

Reading Time: 4 minutesThis article argues that the lesson plan templates most commonly promoted on teacher training programmes are inappropriately premised on an outcomes-based approach to teaching, and instead proposes an affordance-based approach to planning, giving practical suggestions for modifying the template and its role in lesson observations.

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