Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Computer Mediated Communication (CMC)


... message boards) and synchronous (e.g. chat, MOOs, instant messengers) forms of CMC ... Slows down the communication process and provides more time for reflection ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Computer Mediated Communication (CMC)

Computer Mediated Communication (CMC)
SLAT 583 Materials Design
  • Tina Badstübner

What is CMC ?
  • The use of computers and computer local area
    networks (LANs) for communication purposes
    (spontaneous and written)
  • We differentiate between asynchronous (e.g.
    e-mail, message boards) and synchronous (e.g.
    chat, MOOs, instant messengers) forms of CMC
  • Useful tool for FL instruction
  • Programs available at UA COH Chat Client, IRC
    Français public programs AOL, MSN, Yahoo

Instructional Origins
  • The use of LANs in native-speaker English
    instruction began in the mid-1980s at Gallaudet
  • Batson developed the idea of electronic networks
    for interaction (ENFIs) to provide deaf students
    with a means to communicate in English with the
    ultimate goal of developing their writing skills
  • Since the late 1980s, there has been an increased
    interest in implementing synchronous CMC in ESL
    and FL learning

Advantages of CMC
  • Bridges the gap between written and oral
    expression in the TL
  • Slows down the communication process and provides
    more time for reflection
  • Allows students to express themselves more
    openly, and at their own pace
  • Lowers the affective filter, creates an
    anxiety-free environment (students are not put on
    the spot)
  • Encourages students use of the TL
    (code-switching is rare in CMC situations)

More Advantages of CMC
  • Changes the role of the instructor to that of a
    facilitator, interaction is more student-driven
  • Students become guides for each other in a
    decentralized lab-classroom
  • Promotes an inclusive environment all students
    participate equally
  • Aids in the formation of a special linguistic
    community which is beneficial for FL learning
  • Written records of the discussions (transcripts)
    can be saved and used for follow-up activities in
    the traditional classroom

Pen and Paper Writing Synchronous Conferencing
Formal accuracy Global coherence Reinforcement of canonical written discourse conventions Uninterrupted exploration of ones own personal voice Fluency of self-expression Interactive responsiveness Blend of orate and literate forms of communication Juxtaposition of multiple voices and perspectives
Pen and Paper Writing Electronic Mail
Normally limited audience (teacher) Often limited communicative purpose (display of competence) Tends to be perceived as relatively permanent and on record Intensive, recursive process that fosters elaboration and development of ideas Adherence to formal norms (language, genre, style) Contact with real people outside the classroom Wide range of communicative purposes (informing, persuading) Tends to be perceived as relatively ephemeral and disposable Emphasis on speed an succinctness of expression Adherence to formal norms tends to be relaxed (e.g., mixing of genres, mistakes)
Implications Materials Design
  • Technology-Led Approach the technological
    capabilities of tools provide the foundation for
    the design of pedagogical tasks
  • Problems
  • Learning objectives are determined by the
    technical features of the tool.
  • Neglect of important factors related to the
    effective implementation of the pedagogical
  • The role of the learner or the learning process
    may be neglected

Implications Materials Design
  • The rejection of a technology-driven approach to
    pedagogical design does not necessarily imply a
    Theory-Driven Approach
  • Requiring CALL instruction to be theory-driven is
    unnecessarily restrictive
  • Levy (1997) argued for a fit between the
    capabilities of technology and the demands of the
    learning objective
  • Early consideration of the technology to be used
    is important

Principles for Materials Design
  1. Identify the features that distinguish CMC from
    other communication media in general (increased
    access to interaction and the emergence of a new
    communication medium)
  2. Identify the constraints brought about by the
    specific environment in which CMC takes place
  3. Analyze the potential pedagogical benefits of the
    instructional activities implemented in CMC

Keep in mind
  • Given that L2 interaction in CMC environment
    does not contain any built-in pedagogical
    objective, the instructional goals and the
    implementation of the procedures to achieve those
    goals will be the responsibility of L2 pedagogues
    (Salaberry, 2000).

Sample Activity
(created by Senta Goertler Zizi Otus)
Go to the websites and find out your Chinese
sign. Gather information about your sign such as
personality traits, compatibility with other
signs, and famous people with your sign. Then go
to the chat and introduce yourself without
revealing your sign. Your partner will do the
same. Try to guess each others sign based on the
information posted on the websites. http//mrl.nyu
.edu/liaos/horoscope_old.html http//
  • Beauvois, M. Computer-Mediated Communication
    (CMC) Technology for Improving Speaking and
    Writing. In Bush. Technology-Enhanced Language
    Learning. NYC, 1997, 165-184.
  • Salaberry, M. Pedagogical Design of Computer
    Mediated Communication Tasks Learning Objectives
    and Technological Capabilities. MLA, Vol. 84(1),
    Spring 2000, 28-37.
  • Omaggio-Hadley, A. Teaching Language in Context.
    (3rd Edition) Boston Heinle Heinle, 2001.
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