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Researching Online Foreign Language Interaction and Exchange

Theories, Methods and Challenges


Melinda Dooly and Robert O'Dowd

This book provides an accessible introduction to some of the methods and theoretical approaches for investigating foreign language (FL) interaction and exchange in online environments. Research approaches which can be applied to Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) are outlined, followed by a discussion of the way in which tools and techniques for data-collection in diverse online contexts can contribute to our understanding of online foreign language interaction. The compilation of chapters presents a comprehensive overview of key issues in virtual, intercultural and multimodal research contexts and gives insight into the particular challenges and situations which this area of language learning implies.
Researching Online Foreign Language Interaction and Exchange addresses the needs of researchers and newcomers to the area who are hoping to learn about the current state of the field by providing overviews of varying approaches and extensive literature review as well as extracts of real data to illustrate the theories, methods or issues in question.


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Series Editors’ Preface 7


Series Editors’ Preface This volume is the third in this series dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the activity of telecollaboration to educational settings. For the purposes of this series, we understand telecollaboration to refer essentially to the application of global com- puter networks to student collaboration and interaction in both in- formal and institutionalized educational contexts (for more details see introduction). The general focus of the series is on the pedagogical processes and outcomes of engaging learners in different geographical locations in virtual contact together, mediated through the application of online communication tools such as e-mail, synchronous chat and threaded discussion as well as the tools of Web 2.0 such as wikis, blogs, social networking and 3D virtual worlds. The application of such activity may include different subject areas (e.g. Foreign Lan- guage Education, History, Science) as well as different educational contexts, including but not limited to primary, secondary, university and adult education. This volume aims to provide an accessible introduction to many of the methods and theoretical approaches currently being used to investigate online foreign language interaction and exchange in online environments as well as to present an overview of the key research issues which are emerging in the context of both Web 2.0 learning environments and the Web 2.0 educational mindset with its emphasis on the co-construction of knowledge, multimodality, intercultural relationship building and the constant blending of online and offline communicative activity. While it is impossible to be comprehensive of all research approaches emerging in...

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