REVIEW OF RESEARCHING ONLINE FOREIGN LANGUAGE INTERACTION AND EXCHANGE: THEORIES, METHODS, AND CHALLENGES

Melinda Dooly, Robert O'dowd
2014 unpublished
, is the third book in a series by Peter Lang on telecollaboration in education. This third edited volume maps out topical aspects of computer-mediated communication (CMC) in online exchange research in three sections: theoretical approaches, key areas of research, and research methods. The three sections consist of chapters authored by specialists in each field. The book provides overviews of topical areas of interest for telecollaboration research, and it serves as valuable input for anyone
more » ... terested in research in online foreign language interaction and exchange environments. In this time, when online interaction and exchange in foreign language (FL) education has increased, researchers are faced with a range of decisions to make regarding research frameworks, methods, task designs, and ethical issues, as well as with conceptual questions related to defining constructs such as intercultural competence and multimodality. This volume provides insights into prevailing theoretical approaches, together with key areas of research and many of the methods used to investigate FL interaction and exchange in online environments. This area is relatively new within the field of CALL due to what Dooly and O'Dowd describe as a combination of various developments. These developments are related to technical aspects, such as the increase in user-friendly technologies in educational contexts, cheaper computer hardware, and widespread access to internet connections, but other reasons also factor into recent growth. They outline the first reason as the importance of acknowledging culture in FL learning, particularly in cases in which online intercultural interaction plays an important role. A second reason is the growth of the sociocultural processes whereby learning is understood as the meaningful use of language in interaction. The third reason they attribute to both the growing importance of online technologies in shaping the ways we work and learn in global networks, and to how FL competence and e-literacies have emerged as components within the new set of skills required of individuals in response to changing labor markets.
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