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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A ‘Big-picture’ Snapshot of Teaching Grammar in TESL/TEFL

Reading Time: 4 minutesGrammar is tough, for most of us. It’s tough to teach. It’s tough to learn about for our professional development. So, some of us gravitate towards approaches that we think eschew the teaching of grammar. Celce-Murcia (2015), however, shows how grammar instruction has a noticeable presence even in communicative approaches to language teaching. She provides the reader with an accessible introduction to grammar instruction in ELT and to its roll in communicative language teaching.

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Implicit Learning and Input Enhancement – Long (2017) Part 2

Reading Time: 5 minutesGeopolitical factors such as migration and the spread of CLIL make language learning an important concern for many, and increase the need for effective teaching based on SLA, specifically, a cognitivist-interactionist view of language learning which prioritises implicit learning. Long concedes that explicit learning should also be encouraged to speed things up, but argues for focus on form or unintrusive input enhancement rather than explicit grammar instruction to help learners spot relevant L2 features and improve their uptake of new vocabulary.

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