Expanding the Community and Enhancing the Experience: The Dual University Model and Web 2.0 Technologies in a Spanish Community Service-Learning Course

Knouse, Stephanie M.; Salgado-Robles, Francisco

JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE TEACHING AND LEARNING

Volume Issue Pages DOI / ISBN / ISSN
5 2 54-73

 

Language Country
English Other

Abstract: 

While the pedagogy of community service-learning (CSL) in Spanish has been successfully implemented in the United States for several decades, it is still common for instructors and students to encounter significant obstacles that decrease its effectiveness, such as insufficient opportunities to produce the second language (L2) and a lack of affective support. In the present study, a collaborative CSL course was designed to examine the degree to which a cross-institutional endeavor could offset these commonly observed challenges. Under this model, 28 students from two identical CSL in Spanish classes at two different institutions formed a community of practice (CoP) and interacted via Web 2.0 technologies. Quantitative and qualitative analysis reveal that students reacted favorably toward the inter-institutional endeavor and its accompanying online tasks. Specifically, students benefitted from the guaranteed outlets to practice the L2 with their peers (i.e., blogging and Skype videoconferencing) and by receiving constant encouragement from their classmates.

Keywords: 

blogging; CALL; communities of practice; language use; service-learning; Skype; Spanish; social networking; Web 2.0 technologies

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