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This study investigates the potential affordances of new technologies and the opportunities offered by wikis in facilitating L2 collaborative writing in university settings for the teaching of culture. Participants were 92 undergraduate students of Italian as foreign language in the department of Italian Language and Literature of the university of Athens. They attended and participated in a laboratory course of alternative culture environments and online activities in foreign language. A task-based wiki environment managed to involve the students in a variety of online activities culturally meaningful and authentic educational activities. An initial and a final questionnaire were selected and analysed by ANOVA and POST HOC TEST (Tukey) confirming that online collaborative wikis tools are able to promote teamwork, can increase knowledge of culture and foreign language and can create positive conditions for cultivating creativity and collaborative, written expression.
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European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching
ISSN: 2537 - 1754
ISSN-L: 2537 - 1754
Available on-line at: www.oapub.org/edu
Copyright © The Author(s). All Rights Reserved. 34
doi: 10.46827/ejfl.v5i4.3744
Volume 5 Issue 4 2021
ONLINE COLLABORATIVE WRITTEN ACTIVITIES
IN L2 FOR THE TEACHING OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
Ioanna Tyrou
i
Department of Italian Language and Literature,
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens,
Greece
Abstract:
This study investigates the potential affordances of new technologies and the
opportunities offered by wikis in facilitating L2 collaborative writing in university
settings for the teaching of culture. Participants were 92 undergraduate students of Italian
as foreign language in the department of Italian Language and Literature of the
university of Athens. They attended and participated in a laboratory course of alternative
culture environments and online activities in foreign language. A task-based wiki
environment managed to involve the students in a variety of online activities culturally
meaningful and authentic educational activities. An initial and a final questionnaire were
selected and analysed by ANOVA and POST HOC TEST (Tukey) confirming that online
collaborative wikis tools are able to promote teamwork, can increase knowledge of
culture and foreign language and can create positive conditions for cultivating creativity
and collaborative, written expression.
Keywords: collaborative writing, wiki, second language writing, computer- mediated
learning in L2
1. Introduction: Wiki-mediated L2 collaborative writing
Collaboration in second language (L2) writing has been emphasized by many
researchers, presenting positive effects during the last decades. A sense of co-authorship
and encouragement, a contribution on writing (e.g. language, organization, content) and
an enrichment on writing experience is underlined (Reinhardt, 2019, 2017; Yanguas, 2019;
Hsu & Lo, 2018; Li, 2018; Zheng and Warschauer, 2017; Aydin & Yildiz, 2014; Storch,
2013; Tyrou & Mikros, 2012; DeHaan et al., 2012; Pellet, 2012; Kost, 2011; Elola & Oskoz,
2010; Oskoz & Elola, 2010; Kessler & Bikowski, 2010; Lee, 2010; Bradley, Lindström and
Rystedt, 2010; Parker & Chao, 2007; Schaffert, Bischof, et al., 2006). The opportunities to
write collaboratively and to benefit from collaborative autonomous language learning
are enhanced using technology and multimodality (Castañeda, 2013). While the learners
i
Correspondence: email ioannatyrou@gmail.com
Ioanna Tyrou
ONLINE COLLABORATIVE WRITTEN ACTIVITIES
IN L2 FOR THE TEACHING OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching - Volume 5 Issue 4 2021 35
combine different elements, materials and technologies, they can increase not only their
creativity and 21st century literacies, linguistic and non-linguistic, (Castañeda, 2013), but
also the attention to language forms and discourse, such as lexis and grammatical
accuracy and discourse (DiCamilla & Anton, 1997). Learners in L2 written environment
are willing to take more risks and they can develop their L2 interlanguage further
according to interactive views of acquisition (Williams, 2012). In particular, William
(2012) insists that writing can facilitate knowledge creation by presenting studies which
demonstrate that the new knowledge creation is prompted by collaborative tasks that
involve writing.
In Tyrou and Mikros (2012) research was found that the collaborative learning in
L2 offered more interactive motives in the target language, whilst it converted the
linguistic and cultural education to social multidimensional experience. Moreover,
research on second language acquisition (Murray, 2005) shows that collaboration,
through online activities (such as project-based and learning task-based activities)
between students facilitates language acquisition. Interaction also develops and evolves
the intercultural competence approach. Storch (2013) has clarified as true collaborative
writing activities not only when participants work together and interact throughout the
writing process, but also when the product is a co-owned and jointly produced text that
cannot be simply reduced to the separate input of individuals.
The opportunities of Web 2.0 tools for collaborative writing in order to increase
the interest in the teaching of L2 is mentioned in many researches (e.g. Hsu & Lo, 2018;
Li & Zhu, 2017; Sevilla-Pavón, 2015; Kessler, Bikowski & Boggs, 2012; Elola & Oskoz,
2010a;). As Sevilla-Pavón (2015) states, the advent of Web 2.0, the social web, has fostered
the emergence of a new collaborative culture shared by internet users worldwide in
which the notions of intertextuality and hypertext have evolved, resulting in the
reconsideration of authors and their role in text production. Li (2018) underlines that the
Web 2.0 tools such as wikis and Google docs afford the entire writing process, from task
negotiation, languaging, to text co-construction, revising and editing until producing the
final writing product. Other researches (Tyrou & Mikros, 2012; Elola & Oskoz, 2010a)
have shown the important role that collaborative writing occupies today among speakers
of a foreign language, and specifically in creatively designed wiki environments.
2. Literature review
Collaborative writing is determined as an activity in which students interact, negotiate
meaning, and make joint decisions throughout the writing process and produce a single
text with shared responsibility and co-ownership (Storch, 2013). Collaborative activity is
a more effective way to create new knowledge. Wiliam (2012) underlines that the first
step in knowledge co-construction is reflection, while writers have the chance to consult
their explicit knowledge in making composing decisions. The second step is the
production during collaboration, a procedure which can push learners toward a
Ioanna Tyrou
ONLINE COLLABORATIVE WRITTEN ACTIVITIES
IN L2 FOR THE TEACHING OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching - Volume 5 Issue 4 2021 36
reprocessing and repackaging of implicit knowledge”. This is stated as “languaging”. The
implicit knowledge that exists can be made available to use and it becomes explicit.
With the advent of Web 2.0 tools (e.g. Wikis, Google docs) that combine
participation and collaboration at an unprecedented level, not only there has been an
enhancement of the learning process with others in computer-mediated collaborative
environment (Parker & Chao, 2007), but also a computer-mediated collaborative writing
has gained increasing attention in second/foreign language learning contexts (Li, 2018).
As Zheng and Warschauer (2017) stated “it is important to explore the potential
affordances of new technologies for facilitating L2 writing in an age where being literate means
knowing how to communicate using digital technologies”. Wikis offer new opportunities to
combine all the vital parts of teaching, allowing learners to focus on structure or
organization and grammatical accuracy. Wikis are at the centre of educational interest as
they have dynamic characteristics that promote collaborative creation and collaborative
learning. They form dynamic learning environments, where learners are activated,
participate, interact, collaborate and ultimately develop and build knowledge (Reinhardt,
2019; Zheng & Warschauer, 2017). Schaffert, Bischof, et al. (2006) underlined that
collaborative learning can be more powerful and effective when it takes place in the
context of a community of practice. In that sense, wikis could serve as a knowledge
platform where the community share their knowledge with the group, presenting useful
pieces of information, working together, or discussing issues, etc.
Reinhardt (2019) reviewed 87 surveys between 2009 and mid-2018, on the formal
and informal use of social media, blogs, wikis, and social networking for second and
foreign language teaching and learning. He categorized them according to their focus on
affordances for meaning over form, for collective activity and collaboration, for virtual
learning environments, for the support development of awareness of genuine and
imagined audiences, and finally for task design parameters and learner variables. He
concluded that these studies have provided evidence that social media can afford the
development of intercultural, sociopragmatic, and audience awareness, language learner
and user identities, and particular literacies.
Some studies have looked at wiki-mediated co-writing L2 and concluded that
wikis engage learners in the writing process by helping each other reorganize content
and correct mistakes (e.g., Aydin & Yildiz, 2014; DeHaan et al., 2012; Kost, 2011; Elola &
Oskoz, 2010; Kessler & Bikowski, 2010; Lee, 2010; Oskoz & Elola, 2010; Parker & Chao,
2007). Forte and Bruckman (2006) presented the writing-to-learn paradigm and the
students’ engagement in collaborative writing activities; in their research, they suggested
that collaborative publishing on a wiki provide a fascinating model for creating authentic
classroom writing activities. Hafner and Ho’s research (2020) into digital multimodal
composing also underlines the importance of motivating and authentic activities for L2
writers in the digital era.
Because of their very low technological barriers yet very rich and flexible
functionality, wikis afford the opportunity to offer collaborative, constructive learning
more extensively in our educational environments (McMullin, 2005). Wikis enhance
Ioanna Tyrou
ONLINE COLLABORATIVE WRITTEN ACTIVITIES
IN L2 FOR THE TEACHING OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching - Volume 5 Issue 4 2021 37
asynchronous communication and cooperative learning among learners, favoring
cooperation rather than competition (De Pedro et al., 2006). Lee (2010) reported that
during the wiki collaboration, students linguistically made scaffolds with each other to
identify and correct phrase and word errors.
Other studies on collaborative wiki writing have also reported that learners have
made changes to the format and content of common texts (e.g., Aydin & Yildiz, 2014;
Kost, 2011; Kessler & Bikowski, 2010) and not just edited their own writing, but they also
edited the posts of their other groups, and self-and peer-to-peer corrections led to a high
level of accuracy (Aydin & Yildiz, 2014; Kost, 2011). Bradley, Lindström and Rystedt
(2010) encouraged students to construct text with their peers. They wanted to observe
and explore how wikis can enhance group interaction. They noted an interesting
collaboration in terms of language learning. In Pellet’s research (2012) 30 advanced
French sociolinguistics undergraduate students responded very positively to the project,
in which they had to use wikis to build, manage, and share course content knowledge.
They realized wiki’s role as a collaborative knowledge building. In Abe’s research (2020)
online collaborative writing provided opportunities of organizational aspects of writing
and multimodal interactional skills to manage computer mediated L2 writing.
Vurdien (2011) investigated how a blog as a computer mediation tool attracted a
group of English as foreign language learners to a language school in Spain in a
contemplative and collaborative learning. The study showed that appropriate
pedagogical intervention leads to meaningful learning and, based on the feedback of their
classmates, learners improve their written work and produce texts without errors. The
use of the internet appears to motivate learners and reduce their anxiety over language
production (Young, 2003). Rott & Weber (2013) also supported the need for guidelines
and focused instruction for effective in the development of literacies in other social
media. They submitted works on the use of wikis in L2 German and French teaching.
From the other hand, there are projects that can fail if the proper pedagogical focus
is not given to the learners, like the study of Kennedy & Miceli (2013). They used a wiki
for their university level beginning Italian learners at three Australian campuses. Then, a
post-instructional survey showed that only a minority of the 79 students was fond of the
wiki and understood it was advantageous and useful to their learning. Some qualitative
responses presented appreciation for interaction, but showed frustration at technical
problems, lack of training, division of labour or lack of teacher presence.
Li (2018) also states that it has been for the features of writing interactivity, the
composing reflection and time independence that the collaborative writing in the online
mode has become a promising research direction. Li (2018) has reviewed many computer-
mediated collaborative L2 writing research which has focused on asynchronous ways of
communicating and collaborating, mainly through wikis, for example Li & Zhu, 2017; Li
& Kim, 2016; Bikowski & Vithanage, 2016; Wang, 2015; Kost, 2011; Ducate et al., 2011;
Kuteeva, 2011; Elola & Oskoz, 2010a; Lee, 2010. Yanguas (2019) explored L1 and L2
synchronous interactions and explored fluency, accuracy, and complexity in a task-based
writing assignment. Elola & Oskoz (2010a) examined learners’ collaborative synchronous
Ioanna Tyrou
ONLINE COLLABORATIVE WRITTEN ACTIVITIES
IN L2 FOR THE TEACHING OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching - Volume 5 Issue 4 2021 38
interactions related to the elaboration of the writing task in the wikis and highlighted
how learners’ interactions with the text differ when working individually or
collaboratively. Collaboration and content and language development were emphasized
by another study of Elola and Oskoz (2010b) on the use of discussion boards, wikis, and
chats in two Spanish courses as L2.
In the context of a university course in English as a foreign language Lai, Hu and
Lyu (2018) studied student collaboration patterns for their performance on wiki writing
collaborative projects. Their analysis highlighted three approaches to collaborative wiki
content development: a) individual synthesis and interactive content review, b) parallel
synthesis with simultaneous interactive review, and c) parallel synthesis with limited
interactive revision.
Tyrou and Mikros (2012) observed Greek students learning Italian as L2 and
online collaborative activities and they pointed out that computer-assisted language
learning has favoured comprehension and the creative written expression, familiarizing
them with elements of Italian culture. Moreover, the "open" philosophy of the wikis
facilitated the content development, evolved additional computer skills, and encouraged
their partner's progress. An overall improvement in grammar, pragmatics, vocabulary,
and learner confidence was reported too (DeHaan et al., 2012). A study from 13 university
level English learners in Japan was conducted for the use of a wiki to prepare, transcribe,
discuss, and practice spoken role plays, focusing on interactional competence and
fluency.
Stickler and Hampel (2010) showed with their study that an online language
course can combine different approaches to learning and teaching, for example by using
language communicatively and focusing on form and language practice. A project by
Arnold, Ducate, & Kost (2009) of the wiki revising activity of three classes of 54 L2
German learners presented positive results of collaboration in an undergraduate course
in German as a foreign language in a wiki environment. Their results revealed that wikis
can encourage writing skills and revision performance in linguistic accuracy. Then,
Arnold, Ducate, & Kost (2012) examined their aforementioned data for examples of true
collaboration as opposed to cooperation. In the new analysis, they found four assumed
roles: free rider, social loafer, team player, and leader. They concluded that these assumed
roles may lead to uneven distribution of work and lack of collaboration. Reinhardt (2019)
cited a study of 90 university EFL learners in China conducted by Lai, Hu and Lyu (2018)
noticing that true collaboration might depend on willingness to share tasks and shift roles
between tasks.
Zorko (2009) conducted a qualitative exploration of students' perceptions of
collaboration in the wiki. The students observed were sociology ones at university level
who used this environment in blended, problem-based learning. The results presented
that, despite some data which indicated that the wiki was less successful in facilitating
some types of collaboration, such as communicating with peers and co-constructing
products, there were a confirmation that the wiki can be used to enhance effective
collaboration in a constructivist approach to language learning. Another study (Mak &
Ioanna Tyrou
ONLINE COLLABORATIVE WRITTEN ACTIVITIES
IN L2 FOR THE TEACHING OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching - Volume 5 Issue 4 2021 39
Coniam, 2008) for the use of a wiki as an online collaborative writing tool in an English
as a second language programme resulted in improved coherence and in a peer
reviewing. Thus, the idea of collaboration was not fully made use of by the students.
Schwartz et al. (2004) surveyed twenty-four universities and reported how wikis are
being used. They reported that most dealt with activities, events, or clubs rather than
with curricular issues. Schaffert, Gruber and Westenthaler (2006) also suggested ways in
which wikis can be useful in project knowledge management, such as exchange of ideas
and coordination of activities.
Lund (2008) searching on 30 English learners in Norway who planned and created
a class wiki, gave a socio-cultural collective activity passing from individual ownership
to collective and reflecting values of reciprocity and multi-voicedness. Schaffert, Bischof,
et al. (2006) suggest the use of wikis in project-based learning, collaborative story writing,
and interdisciplinary and intercultural learning.
Digital literacies, in turn, are social literacy practices in digital, technology-
enhanced contexts. As Reinhardt (2018) states: “They can be multimodal, transcultural, and
polylingual in nature, and may include multiplicities of literacies in a variety of languages,
cultures, identities, and affiliations”. In the same way, Solmaz (2015) supports that activities
should mirror genuine uses of social media, promoting multimodal, transcultural, and
polylingual expression of identities.
This study contributes to the existing literature by examining not only how wiki
writing activities help learners to participate, interact and collaborate, but also how Web
2.0 tools can create alternative learning environments for teaching Italian Culture and
Italian as a foreign language.
3. Material and Methods
3.1 Research cases
The present study set out to investigate the impact of emerging Web 2.0 technologies on
the teaching of the Italian language and its culture. Specifically, this research aims to
create alternative learning environments using Web 2.0 tools for teaching Italian culture
and Italian as a foreign language in the context of university language education. The
purpose of this study was the language and cultural education of future Italian language
teachers through alternative cultural environments, such as those of virtual museums,
but also the dynamics of online activities in foreign language and culture courses.
According to these objectives, the main assumptions of the research are as follows:
Can the Italian language and its culture be taught effectively with the use of
New Technologies and especially in wikis environments, enhancing students'
familiarity with cultural material and at the same time link language learning
to it?
As students become familiar with New Technologies for educational purposes
and with virtual museums, can they increase their knowledge of the Italian
Ioanna Tyrou
ONLINE COLLABORATIVE WRITTEN ACTIVITIES
IN L2 FOR THE TEACHING OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching - Volume 5 Issue 4 2021 40
language and its culture and is there a positive relationship between teamwork
and the achievement of the educational objectives of the course?
3.2 Empirical design structure
Our survey was conducted to students of the Department of Italian Language and
Literature of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. The aim of the research
was to investigate the impact of emerging Web 2.0 technologies on the teaching of Italian
language and culture. The written activities developed were based on theories of
constructivism, multiple types of intelligence and creative writing, to create alternative
learning environments through the collaboration and the active participation of students.
The choice of the topic was based on the assumption that the Italian language and its
culture can be taught effectively with the use of New Technologies, which can enhance
students' familiarity with cultural material and at the same time can connect language
learning to it. During our research, there was a rich interaction, an exchange of ideas
between students, alternative ideas, and the formation of a flexible view of things.
Undergraduate students are producers of information and learning is based on their own
experiences. They can choose what they will learn, are interested in, and encourage the
performance of the other. The occasion of our research was to contribute to the
incomplete empirical research on the creative and didactic use of the Internet and social
networking environments with emphasis on wikis environments to undergraduate
students of foreign language at university departments.
With the term wiki we referred to an asynchronous and online collaborative
learning of Web 2.0 that can enhance not only a fruitful social interactions and open
teaching models, but also a collaborative and positive psychosocial framework within the
foreign language classroom. Eight laboratory courses were designed, consisting of a
variety of activities and from which each group would choose only one to develop.
Modern approaches to learning consider that knowledge cannot be disconnected from
the general social and cultural context and emphasize the need to design activities that
involve students in culturally meaningful and authentic educational activities
(Bosniadou, 2006).
3.3 Selection of the sample
The sample of our research included 92 of our students - 15 men and 77 women - and
after a theoretical training on the use of the Internet, Web 2.0 and wikis, they participated
in laboratory classes. Their ages ranged from 18 to 40 years old and they worked in
groups. We must keep in mind that this is not a random sample, but for those of our
undergraduate students who chose this course. The first step in our research was to
define our sample, for example that these are Italian language students studying in the
first year of the Department of Italian Language and Literature of the University of
Athens, who were attending for the first time teaching a foreign language through new
technologies, and more specifically, they made use of advanced Web2.0 technologies and
wikis collaborative learning environments.
Ioanna Tyrou
ONLINE COLLABORATIVE WRITTEN ACTIVITIES
IN L2 FOR THE TEACHING OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching - Volume 5 Issue 4 2021 41
3.4 Planning online written activities
Having these characteristics as a model, and through the selection of activities that favor
the criteria for creative thinking (originality of thought, sensitivity to problems, mental
agility, mental flexibility, ability to compose, ability to transform, and ability to process),
we tried to provoke and define positive conditions for cultivating the creativity of our
students, which could be manifested through creative, collaborative, written expression,
taking into account the special features of their personality and trying to create
appropriate conditions (Tyrou & Mikros, 2012). Our aim was to develop a pleasant
climate of trust, to maintain communication and tolerate failure, using external sources
of information, independence, initiative, participatory decision-making and
experimentation with new ideas.
4. Results and Discussion
4.1 Initial questionnaire- Interpreting the results
The students who participated in our study were mainly women (N = 77) who represent
84.6% of our sample. Their mean age was 22 years with 5.93 SD, with a minimum age of
18 years and a maximum age of 40 years. 16 students (17.4%) were native speakers of
Italian and the rest (N = 76) have an average duration of study of Italian as a foreign
language of 3.8 years with an SD of 2.45. Many students have a computer (95.7%) and
most of them (60.9%) have taken courses related to computer use. Most of them stated
that they often or very often use email (61.9%) and the Internet to search for information
(89.1%) and judged their relationship with computers and the Internet as good or
excellent (83.7%).
In the questionnaire given before the start of the laboratory courses, we tried to
assess the students' beliefs about the usefulness of New Technologies in the process of
learning a foreign language and their impact on the familiarity with the foreign culture.
Variance Analysis (ANOVA) was used to test the statistical significance of the different
answers given in the question of what can be achieved through computer-based teaching.
As we can see in Figure 1, the evaluation of the answers given showed that the students
answered in a statistically significant way (F = 12.272, df = 6, 624, p <0.000).
Our students believed that computers are powerful learning tools that have the
ability to provide up-to-date information (M = 3.78, SD = 0.4) and promote teamwork (M
= 3.51, SD = 0.67), making the course a pleasant learning experience (95.5%). In addition,
they considered that with the integration of computers in teaching they could acquire
additional technical skills (M = 3.45, SD = 0.5) and get to know better not only the Italian
culture (M = 3.31, SD = 0.5), but also to acquire more knowledge on the vocabulary and
grammar of the language in question (M = 3.17, SD = 0.7). Finally, a small percentage
believed that they could improve their grade by using computers in the course (M = 3.06,
SD = 0.7).
Ioanna Tyrou
ONLINE COLLABORATIVE WRITTEN ACTIVITIES
IN L2 FOR THE TEACHING OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching - Volume 5 Issue 4 2021 42
Figure 1: The students' answers to the question
"Do you think that teaching through the computer…”
Table 1 shows data that were further tested using a post hoc test (Tukey) to detect
differences within the answers given to the question.
Table 1: Post hoc test analysis (Tukey) for the question
"Do you think that teaching through the computer…".
Subtotal with error level a = 0.05
1
2
3
4
(1) It can improve your grade in the course
3,06
(2) It can increase your knowledge of the
vocabulary and grammar of the Italian
language
3,17
3,17
(3) It may increase your knowledge of
Italian culture
3,31
3,31
3,31
(4) It can help you gain additional
technical skills
3,45
3,45
(5) It can make the lesson interesting
3,48
(6) It can promote teamwork
3,51
3,51
(7) It can provide up-to-date information
3,78
Sig.
,118
,068
,370
,082
From the table above we found that the 7 sub-questions of the question "Do you think
that teaching through the computer…" can be grouped into 4 sub-groups based on the
answers given by our sample. The questions (1), (2) and (3) are grouped together and the
answers given do not differ statistically significantly from each other. Respectively the
questions (2), (3) and (4) are statistically significantly different from those of the first
subgroup but do not differ from each other. In addition, the third subgroup with the
questions (3), (4), (5) and (6) do not differ statistically significantly from each other. The
students rated the specific questions as equally important to them. The last subgroup that
emerged from the post hoc analysis is the one with the questions (6) and (7) which have
3.78 3.51 3.48 3.45 3.31 3.17 3.06
It can provide
more up-to-date
information
It can promote
teamwork
It can make the
lesson more
interesting
It can help you
gain additional
technical
It may increase
your knowledge
of Italian culture
It can increase
your knowledge
of the
vocabulary and
grammar of the
Italian language
It can improve
your grade in
the course
Do you think that teaching via computer…
Ioanna Tyrou
ONLINE COLLABORATIVE WRITTEN ACTIVITIES
IN L2 FOR THE TEACHING OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching - Volume 5 Issue 4 2021 43
a higher mean acceptance = 3.51 and μ = 3.78 respectively) and differ statistically
significantly from all other responses.
The authentic written activities in university departments that teach foreign
language and culture, from the one hand, can support our undergraduate students with
the current issues, the society, and the culture they are studying. From the other hand,
the team spirit helps them to adapt a more open way of thinking and writing, to have a
common goal, to share responsibility and support each other.
Moreover, most of our postgraduate students (91.3%) believed that the uses of
New Technologies can provide those opportunities for creative activities.
As we can see in Figure 2, our students positively evaluated the ability of New
Technologies, as an environment constantly evolving and rich in cognitive and
informational material, to contribute and support on the one hand learning and
collaboration and on the other hand their creative expression in planned pedagogical
activities.
Figure 2: Bar chart with the answers to the question
"The lesson via computer"
Then, they believed that by using the New Technologies they can make the lesson
enjoyable and easy (M = 3.48, SD = 0.58) but also full of motivation for further search and
learning (M = 3.43, SD = 0.6). Furthermore, the computer lesson can deepen the topics that
students are discussing (M = 3.19, SD = 0.6), encouraging creativity (M = 3.19, SD = 0.7)
and understanding (M = 3.09, SD = 0.7). Fewer students believed that during the teaching,
the use of the computer will lead to a feeling of dependence (M = 3.65, SD = 0.9), will
contribute to social isolation (M = 2.23, SD = 0.9) or discouragement of creative expression
(M = 1.63, SD = 0.6). We concluded, therefore, that computers facilitate the comprehension
of the course (92.2%) and enhance creativity (84.7%).
Data were further tested, as we see in Table 2, using a post hoc test (Tukey) to
detect differences within the answers given to the question.
3.17 3.48 3.43 3.19 3.09 3.19
1.63
2.23 2.65
becomes
comprehensible
Provides incentives for
further search and
learning
Develops a
methodological and
scientific way of
thinking
Discourages
creativity
It creates a sense
of dependence
The lesson via computer...
Ioanna Tyrou
ONLINE COLLABORATIVE WRITTEN ACTIVITIES
IN L2 FOR THE TEACHING OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching - Volume 5 Issue 4 2021 44
Table 2: Post hoc test analysis (Tukey) on the question "The lesson via computer…".
Cat2
N
Subtotal with error level a = 0.05
1
2
3
4
5
(1) It discourages creativity
637
1,63
(2) Contributes to social
isolation
644
2,23
(3) It creates a sense of
dependence
637
2,65
(4) Develops a methodological
and scientific way of thinking
630
3,09
(5) Becomes comprehensible
630
3,17
(6) Encourages creativity
637
3,19
(7) Deepens the topics under
study
630
3,19
(8) Provides incentives for
further search and learning
623
3,43
(9) Becomes easy to use
630
3,48
Sig.
1,000
1,000
1,000
,247
,944
From the table above we can see that the 9 sub-questions of the question "The lesson via
computer" can be grouped into 5 sub-groups based on the answers given by our sample.
The question (1) from the first subgroup does not differ statistically significantly from
that of the second subgroup question (2), nor from the question (3) of the third subgroup.
Respectively, the questions (8) and (9) are statistically significantly different from those
of the first, second and third subgroups, but do not differ from each other. The students
rated the specific questions as equally important to them. The fourth subgroup that
emerged from the post hoc analysis is the one with the questions (4), (5), (6) and (7), which
have mean acceptance (μ = 3.09, μ = 3.17, μ = 3.19 and μ = 3.19 respectively) and differ
statistically significantly from all other responses.
It becomes obvious that the concepts of understanding and deepening into the
issues with which our students negotiated are extremely important. They believed that
with New Technologies they could design their own learning curriculum and gradually
be led to understand another language and its culture. They acquired knowledge on the
subject that they negotiate, understood and visualized concepts, explored, but also
gained learning experiences in Internet environments, designed, and evaluated the
products of learning itself, which leads to understanding and reflection. The Internet,
multimedia and hypermedia, the virtual reality provide opportunities for both
personalized experiences and social interactions, while enhancing informal and
meaningful learning. It also follows from the same subgroup that New Technologies can
introduce students to a scientific approach to knowledge and reality. They will give them
the opportunity to observe and explore, to be interested, stimulating their imagination.
Finally, creative engagement with New Technologies is crucial for our students. The
desire for creative expression through the computer will help students to experience
different situations through aesthetic experiences, producing many ideas, using the
metaphorical way of thinking. Encouraging creativity can engage students in authentic
Ioanna Tyrou
ONLINE COLLABORATIVE WRITTEN ACTIVITIES
IN L2 FOR THE TEACHING OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching - Volume 5 Issue 4 2021 45
social activities and teach them to negotiate language and communication codes that
promote autonomy and self-control. By being exposed to different societies and cultures,
their imagination is stimulated, and the consciousness of alternatives becomes an integral
part of their way of thinking.
In a series of related questions, we tried to investigate the impact of various
elements of the online design of museums on the overall image and perception that our
students have of museum spaces. Despite their overall very positive attitude towards
New Technologies in foreign language learning, the majority of them had not visited
virtual museums (73.9%) nor had they communicated with them via e-mail (95.6%).
With the follow question, in Figure 3 we wanted to explore their believes on the
elements they considered important in a website.
Figure 3: The data that the user considers important for the online design of museums
We found that our students valued, on a scale of 0-10, as the most important
aspects of a website the ease of navigation (M = 8.33, SD = 2), the use of technology (M =
7.78, SD = 2 , 2) and virtual tours (M = 7.77, SD = 2.1), as well as the three-dimensional
display of objects (M = 7.57, SD = 2.3). Less important were the home page (M = 7.49, SD
= 2.4) and the general aesthetics of the website (M = 7.11, SD = 2.3), as well as the various
games (educational or entertaining) (M = 6.98, SD = 2.2) and the complexity of the page
(M = 5.74, SD = 2.3).
In Figure 4 we could observe what they considered important for the content of
the online museum.
8.33 7.78 7.77 7.57 7.49 7.11 6.98 5.74
easy navigation
use of technologies
such as graphics,
audio, video
Virtual tours
3d illustration of
objects or virtual
"regeneration"
main page
general
aesthetics
pedagogical or
entertaining games
complexity
Which elements of the website that the user comes in contact with
and interacts do you consider important while navigating?
Ioanna Tyrou
ONLINE COLLABORATIVE WRITTEN ACTIVITIES
IN L2 FOR THE TEACHING OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching - Volume 5 Issue 4 2021 46
Figure 4: Bar chart with students' answers to the content of the online museum
Our students evaluated the content of a museum website, by understanding its
content (M = 8.55, SD = 1.8) and the ease with which one can search for information in it
(M = 8.50, SD = 2.5) to occupy the highest positions. They also considered important the
accuracy (M = 8.38, SD = 1.9) and its quality (M = 8.30, SD = 2.4), but also the satisfaction
of the requirements of the public (M = 8 , 18, SD = 1.9). They rated less the utilization of
information for research and education (M = 8.16, SD = 2), but also the adequacy (M =
7.95, SD = 2.2) and the amount of content of the website ( M = 7.51, SD = 2.1).
We found that the majority of our students (74%) did not visit often museums,
while half of our students have visited a museum in Italy.
We also tried to find (Figure 5) out what functions they would expect to find in a
virtual museum. The most anticipated content were the images (M = 8.44, SD = 2.3) and
the virtual tours (M = 8.17, SD = 2.5) followed by the videos (M = 8.09, SD = 2), links to
other museums and sources (M = 7.79, SD = 2.2) and online presentations (M = 7.38, SD =
2.2). A smaller percentage evaluated the various online discussions (M = 6.72, SD = 2.2)
and educational games (M = 6.39, SD = 2.3).
8.55 8.5 8.38 8.3 8.18 8.16 7.95
7.51
understanding the
content
the ease of searching
for information
the accuracy of the
content
the quality of the
content
the satisfaction of the
requirements of
different visitors
the possibility of
utilizing museum
information for
educational and…
the adequacy of the
content
the plurality of
content
What do you consider important for
the content of the online museum?
Ioanna Tyrou
ONLINE COLLABORATIVE WRITTEN ACTIVITIES
IN L2 FOR THE TEACHING OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching - Volume 5 Issue 4 2021 47
Figure 5: What functions do you expect to find in a virtual museum?”
4.2 Final Questionnaire- Interpreting the results
After completing the laboratory courses, we provided an additional questionnaire, in
order to assess the overall satisfaction of our sample from the wikis-based learning
experience, as we can observe in Figure 6.
Figure 6: Students' answers about the subjects they liked the most
What was most appreciated by the courses was the familiarity with cultural
elements from specific places in Italy (22%) but also the interaction with the multimedia
elements of the websites and their creative use (22%). This is followed by the ability of
22%
16%
10%18%
10%
22% 2%
What items do you like?
learning about culture and
regions
learning the vocabulary of the
Italian language
access to information that is
current and varied
visual contact with web pages
(eg. videos, photos, graphics and
maps)
the familiarity with the Internet
16%
15%
15%
14%
16%
12%
12%
What functions do you expect to find in a virtual museum?
images
virtual tours
videos
links to other museums and
sources
online presentations
online discussions
educational games
Ioanna Tyrou
ONLINE COLLABORATIVE WRITTEN ACTIVITIES
IN L2 FOR THE TEACHING OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching - Volume 5 Issue 4 2021 48
users to make visual contact with the various websites (18%) and to learn vocabulary
(15.9%). To a lesser extent, our students evaluated the familiarity they gained with the
Internet (10%), the access to current information (10%), but also the instructions they
received for the completion of the activities (2%).
We also explored the preferences of our sample regarding the services provided
by the websites of the various museums, with which they had the opportunity to interact
during the courses (Figure 7).
Figure 7: Bar chart for “Which museum services that students consider most important?”
Most of them ranked, on a scale of 0-10, as the most important services both on-
line educational services (M = 7.56, SD = 2.34) and virtual tours (M = 7.56, SD = 2.48). They
also considered that the provision of information, in relation to the actual visit to the
museum, was very important (M = 7.14, SD = 2.52), as well as the information related to
the collections that each museum has (M = 6.99, SD = 2.8). In a similar position are
evaluated the information that are related to current or future events of the museum (M
= 6.98, SD = 2). The following were the museum research services (M = 6.94, SD = 1.9) and
the possibility to participate in the work of the museum (M = 6.76, SD = 2.1).
Table 3 shows our students’ positive evaluation on their learning experience. To
test the statistical significance of the different answers given in the question for the
evaluation of the use of advanced Web 2.0 technologies, the Analysis of Variance
(ANOVA) was used.
7.56 7.56
7.14
6.99 6.98 6.94
6.76
educational
services (on-
line learning)
virtual
browsing
services
providing
instructions
on the "real"
visit to the
museum
providing
information
about the
museum's
collections
providing
information
on current
and future
museum
events
research
services
possibility
information
Which museum services do you consider most important?
Ioanna Tyrou
ONLINE COLLABORATIVE WRITTEN ACTIVITIES
IN L2 FOR THE TEACHING OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching - Volume 5 Issue 4 2021 49
Table 3: Variance Analysis (ANOVA) for the use of advanced technologies
The evaluation of the answers given showed that the students answered in a
statistically significant way (F = 7,768, df = 16, 1486, p <0.000).
It appeared from the questionnaire completed by our students that they were
satisfied both with the wiki environment, on which the activities were developed, and
with the content and instructions given to them. It is well known that collaborative
sharing of material and information in wikis environments gives a significant boost to
these environments. After all, the planning of the activities had exactly this purpose:
through useful and rich content in matters of culture and language to facilitate our
students to mobilize and work together.
Even without knowing much or nothing about the HTML language, in online
wikis environments, we wanted our students to know, create and finally format content
on the Internet. For this reason, they positively evaluated the additional technical skills
acquired during the laboratory courses, dealing with up-to-date and authentic material
of Italian culture. In addition, this knowledge gained is not limited to the classroom, but
is material that they can and want to use outside of it. This is the magic of learning and
knowledge when is based on individual and collective active discovery on topics that
interest them, concern them, are every day, modern and up-to-date, authentic, and
Evaluation of the use of advanced Web2.0
technologies
The activity instructions from the main wiki
(it.web2lang-learning.wikia.com) were easy to follow
I learned additional technical skills during the course
I will get a better grade in this course because of the use
of the Internet
The Internet offers more up-to-date information than
print sources
Other university courses should make use of the
Internet
The main website had rich and useful content
I liked that I used the World Wide Web for my activities
The information provided in the classroom can be used
outside the classroom
The activities are suitable to increase the knowledge
of the Italian language and its culture
I would choose again a course which would include the
use of Computers and the Internet
I feel comfortable using the Internet to search for
information
The use of the Internet is an essential element of
teaching and education
The main wiki page was easy to use
Using the main website www.mediocratitour.it was
easy
Access to internet addresses have been possible at a
time
I went back to the main site to explore it further, even
after completing my activities
I completed my activities during the laboratory course
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European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching - Volume 5 Issue 4 2021 50
essential. They can enhance cognitive flexibility and knowledge of foreign languages and
cultures by cultivating a positive attitude towards the intercultural approach.
Using a scale from 1 to 6, they stated that in the future they will try to choose a
course related to computers and the use of the Internet (M = 5.48, SD = 1.02).
They believed that the use of the Internet should be fully integrated into every aspect of
the education system (M = 5.48, SD = 0.97), as they felt familiar with it (M = 5.47, SD = 1).
They liked to use the Internet for educational purposes (M = 5.43, SD = 1.07) and believed
that the activities they engaged in and developed were suitable for increasing their
knowledge of both the Italian language and its culture (M = 5.34, SD = 1). In addition,
they believed that other university courses should make use of the Internet (M = 5.32, SD
= 1.06), while the information obtained during the laboratory courses could be used
outside the specific educational environment (M = 5.22, SD = 0.96). Our students rated the
information provided by the Internet to a lesser extent in relation to the printed sources
(M = 5.02, SD = 1) and the content of the main website (M = 4.91, SD = 1). There is the
possibility for a better grade that they may get thanks to the use of the Internet (M = 4.87,
SD = 1) and the easy instructions they received (M = 4.87, SD = 1.1). They considered that
they have learned additional technical skills (M = 4.85, SD = 1.1) and that they have not
had difficulty with the main wiki site (M = 4.85, SD = 1.2) or by navigating the main page
virtual content (www.mediocratitour.it) (M = 4.82, SD = 1.2). Few of our students
completed their activities during the course (M = 4.69, SD = 1.6), returned to the main
website for additional research (M = 4.56, SD = 1.3) and they had easy access to the
websites whenever they wanted (M = 4.44, SD = 1.1).
Table 4 shows a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with which we calculated
the evaluations of our students for teamwork. The analysis was significant (F = 87.445, df
= 7, 12079, p <0.000).
There is a deep need for our students to share the knowledge they gain from the
Internet and to interact with their team members, to be critical of the issues under study
and to contribute to new ideas, to new ways of expression. This increased learning in
Internet environments was experienced in collaborative wikis environments, which offer
flexibility and open access, convenience, and collaborative writing in a second language.
Elements especially useful for teamwork.
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Table 4: Assessment of teamwork through Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)
Participants found, according to Figure 8, that the most useful aspect of teamwork for
online educational activities was the exchange of ideas, views, and information between
team members (M = 5.45, SD = 0.94).
Figure 8: Bar chart with the assessment of teamwork
5.45 5.37 5.35 5.34 5.29 5.13 4.39 4.69
The exchange of ideas,
opinions and knowledge
was useful
The members of my
team helped me
satisfactorily
I helped my team
members satisfactorily
The collaborative
creation of the wiki
environment was
effective
The cooperation of the
team members was
satisfactory
The division of the work
was fair
The collaborative wiki
environment for writing
development is an easy
program to learn
I could easily tell my
other classmates how
to use the Internet
Teamwork assessment
The
members of
my team
helped me
satisfactorily
The
collaborative
wiki
environment
for writing
development
is an easy
program to
learn
I was able to
easily show my
fellow students
how to use the
Internet
The
cooperation of
the team
members was
satisfactory
The
division of
labor was
fair
The group
creation of the
wiki
environment
was effective
I helped
the other
members
of my
team
The
exchange of
ideas,
opinions
and
knowledge
was useful
teamwork
assessment
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IN L2 FOR THE TEACHING OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching - Volume 5 Issue 4 2021 52
They were satisfied with the cooperation that developed during the courses both
for the help they received from the group members (M = 5.37, SD = 1.06) and for the help
they offered to their group (M = 5.35, SD = 0.99). They considered the creation of the wiki,
where they developed their activities, effective (M = 5.34, SD = 1.08), their cooperation
satisfactory (M = 5.29, SD = 1.06) and the division of labor fair (M = 5.13, SD = 1.2). To a
lesser extent they believed that wiki interfaces were easy to learn (M = 4.93, SD = 1.1) and
that it was easy to teach Internet use to those members of the team with poor computing
skills (M = 4.69, SD = 1.18).
5. Recommendations
5.1 Research limitations
The new internet age is highlighting new forms of culture and learning. That is why we
tried to use online collaborative tools that could enrich the knowledge of culture and
foreign language. What we need to emphasize is that students should be given alternative
ways of learning and building their knowledge on cultural issues, through organized
support frameworks using the Internet and Web 2.0 technologies, in small groups.
Clearly, the results of this work leave questions that need to be answered: For example,
we believe that other activities that develop the same skills can be designed so that we
can draw safer conclusions, covering any gaps that have been identified in computer-
based teaching. Also, a study on other Web 2.0 technologies can be done, beyond wikis
environments, in which our students could develop collaborative web activities to feel
familiar and comfortable navigating virtual cultural spaces.
5.2 Research prospects
We have several indications of a positive influence of the digital environment depending
on how it is used and depending on the teaching practices adopted. Moreover, given the
short duration of the intervention, we should be cautious about drawing any conclusions.
Nevertheless, this finding is in full agreement with most of the international literature
which concludes that the electronic means of collaborative written expression can make
a positive contribution to the teaching of language and culture. The proposed
methodology focused on students of the Department of Italian Language and Literature
of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. It is possible, however, to extend and
adapt it appropriately to other foreign language sections. Research on learning and
teaching Italian as a first language also remains an open challenge. Of course, in this case
a different planning of activities is required. Of particular interest is the use on the one
hand of students who will join a conventional-traditional teaching of language and
culture, and on the other hand students who will use New Technologies to evaluate and
compare results. In addition, one of the topics that remains open for future investigation
is the evaluation of both written and oral productions of students for the acquisition of
the Italian language and its culture.
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European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching - Volume 5 Issue 4 2021 53
In terms of planning and selection of activities, it would be interesting for students
to be able to choose to navigate virtually and culturally in various other parts of Italy and
engage in the cultural tradition there. In addition, the collaboration to develop
collaborative online activities for both Greek and Italian students is an interesting
extension and complement to the proposed methodology. It would be particularly
fascinating to conduct similar research and apply online teaching to other subjects. The
extension of the research will contribute decisively to the formation of more scientifically
substantiated conclusions for the most pedagogically beneficial use of the Internet in the
educational process. It is worth exploring students' attitudes and perceptions about the
new teaching approach, e.g. how students respond to online teaching. Finally, it remains
useful educationally to investigate whether there is the appropriate technical
infrastructure and the appropriate atmosphere at the Greek university, which favor the
development of non-conventional forms of teaching.
6. Conclusion
As previously discussed in the paper, our specific research proposal is a case study and
is a proposal to contribute to the relevant discussion on whether computers, and more
specifically Web 2.0 technologies and wikis environments as well as online, educational
and written activities, can make a positive contribution to the teaching of the Italian
language and culture. Given these necessary clarifications, we note that the results of our
research confirmed our basic hypothesis, according to which online collaborative wikis
tools can increase knowledge of culture and foreign language, promote teamwork and
familiarize our students with New Technologies and virtual museums.
Firstly, we stated that online teaching through wikis environments has a positive
effect on teaching and familiarizing students with Italian language and culture.
Researchers (Reinhardt, 2019; DeHaan et al., 2012; Tyrou & Mikros, 2012; Elola & Oskoz,
2010b) have focused on social and cultural qualities of formal online language use and
interaction, such as computer-mediated collaborative learning (Warschauer & Kern,
2000), intercultural communication, situated learning, and self-presentation (Lam, 2000).
By integrating authentic and up-to-date material in university departments that teach
foreign language and culture, the language can be supported by the prevailing general
framework and the required range of communication and sociolinguistic skills can be
achieved. The information and knowledge that students will receive will not be outdated
but will reflect key issues that interest and concern these ages. They will be able to keep
up with the current issues, the society, and the culture they are learning. The Internet and
New Technologies can meet the expectations and requirements of those interested in
information wealth. Still, team spirit seems to be very important. It shows that our
students need to acquire a positive and more open way of thinking, to recognize the
participatory exchange of views, to work together, having a common goal and
predetermined roles. This will develop a strong sense of shared responsibility, friendship,
and support for other members, as well as additional motivation for learning. Moreover,
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IN L2 FOR THE TEACHING OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching - Volume 5 Issue 4 2021 54
the cooperation of the students and their contact with the New Technologies can
encourage an enriched production and exchange of views that will facilitate the
acquisition of the language, but also the quality of their writing.
Similarly, we confirmed that our students, after completing their online written
activities and engaging with the Internet, felt much more comfortable and familiar when
navigating virtual cultural sites, contributing in their linguistic and cultural learning. This
research has demonstrated a pedagogical approach in teaching and facilitating L2 writing
through wikis opportunities and cultural learning. This is consistent with the results of
many studies (Yanguas, 2019; Reinhardt, 2018; Li, 2018; Zheng & Warschauer, 2017;
Bikowski & Vithanage, 2016; Stickler & Hampel, 2010), motivating learners to produce
written, foreign language. We, also, confirmed that with the collaborative writing of
selected activities in the wiki environments of our students, they themselves managed to
meet the goals they set each time. This question is also confirmed by relevant literature
(Lai, Hu & Lyu, 2018; Li & Zhu, 2017; Aydin & Yildiz, 2014; Storch, 2013; Lee, 2010; Forte
& Bruckman, 2006) indicating the learners’ engagement in collaborative writing activities.
All in all, comparing the results of the statistical analysis of the survey, one can
infer a generally positive evaluation to share the knowledge they gain from the Internet
and to interact with their team members, to be critical of the issues under study and to
contribute to new ideas, to new ways of expression. This increased learning in Internet
environments was experienced in collaborative wikis environments, which offer
flexibility and open access, convenience, and collaborative writing in a second language.
Elements especially useful for teamwork. The contact with other students can clearly
create new motivation for learning and multiple knowledge, for collaboration and
initiatives, for being acquainted with art and culture so that the stakeholders themselves
can produce multiple interpretations. Obviously, the mediation of New Technologies has
changed not only the way of teaching, but also the communication in teamwork,
interaction, and collaboration. Starring the student community now, appropriate
incentives are created to mobilize all individuals, to transfer knowledge, to carry out an
evolving dialogue with culture, language, and relationships.
Based on the results and the data from our research and other previous remarks
and interpretive comments, we can point out that the emerging technologies of Web 2.0
and wikis environments have a positive effect on the teaching of the foreign language
and its culture, and in this case of the Italian language and culture. This research is
significant because it creates the conditions for the creation of alternative learning
environments in the context of university language education and a more exploratory
perception of students through cultural environments, such as those of virtual museums.
Moreover, it contributes greatly to the students' deepening of the issues they are
negotiating with and it develops a methodological way of thinking, through the
possibilities provided by New Technologies.
This research explored with the creation of positive conditions for cultivating
creativity and collaborative, written expression, within a framework of participatory
decision-making and experimentation. Finally, in this article, we have underlined the
Ioanna Tyrou
ONLINE COLLABORATIVE WRITTEN ACTIVITIES
IN L2 FOR THE TEACHING OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching - Volume 5 Issue 4 2021 55
contribution of the active participation and social interaction of students through
teamwork, making the course a pleasant learning experience and gaining additional
technical skills and greater familiarity with virtual cultural organizations. In a
knowledge-building community, each member can become an expert and an apprentice
together. It is obvious that their relationships will be strengthened, they will acquire, in a
"cooperative" way, new experiences and skills. In other words, they will share
knowledge, relate to the team and, ultimately, become accustomed to acquiring
knowledge in a new and open environment.
Acknowledgements
We are grateful to the students who took part in this study for sharing their experience.
Conflict of Interest Statement
The author declares no conflicts of interests.
About the Author
Ioanna Th. Tyrou has been a Special Teaching Staff at the Department of Italian Language
and Literature, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, since 2017. She is a
graduate of the Department of Italian Language and Literature and a graduate of the
Department of Primary Education of the National and Kapodistrian University of
Athens. She completed postgraduate studies in "Informatics in Education" of the
Pedagogical Department of Primary Education and is a doctor of the Department of
Italian and Spanish Language Philology of the University of Athens on "Educational
Technology and Teaching: The teaching of Italian as a Foreign Language". She conducts
her postdoctoral research in the field of knowledge management and in particular in the
explicit and implicit knowledge found during the educational process in students, with
the aim of creative writing at the National Technical University of Athens (Polytechnic).
She has taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses. She was a teacher in a public
school (2007-2017). Her research interests: pedagogical use of the Internet and New
Technologies in teaching practice, creative writing in a foreign language, computer
science in the arts and humanities, learning languages through digital media, teaching
foreign languages and pedagogy.
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IN L2 FOR THE TEACHING OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
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... Wikis are at the centre of educational interest as they have dynamic characteristics that promote collaborative creation and collaborative learning (Tyrou, 2021 Learners can increase ✓ their creativity and 21st century literacies, linguistic and non-linguistic (Castañeda, 2013) ✓ their attention to language forms and discourse, such as lexis and grammatical accuracy and discourse (DiCamilla & Anton, 1997) ✓ their interactive motives in the target language, whilst it converted the linguistic and cultural education to social multidimensional experience (Tyrou & Mikros, 2012) ✓ their collaboration, through online activities between students facilitates language acquisition (Murray, 2005) ✓ their product, which is a co-owned and jointly produced text -cannot be simply reduced to the separate input of individuals (Storch, 2013 With the advent of Web 2.0, the social web, has fostered the emergence of a new collaborative culture shared by internet users worldwide in which the notions of intertextuality and hypertext have evolved, resulting in the reconsideration of authors and their role in text production (Sevilla- Pavón, 2015). ...
... • social and cultural qualities of formal online language use and interaction, such as computermediated collaborative learning (Reinhardt, 2019;DeHaan et al., 2012;Tyrou, 2021;Tyrou & Mikros, 2012;Elola & Oskoz, 2010b) • intercultural communication, situated learning, and selfpresentation (Warschauer & Kern, 2000;Lam, 2000). ...
... Appropriate incentives are created to mobilize all individuals, to transfer knowledge, to carry out an evolving dialogue with culture, language, and relationships (Tyrou, 2021). ...
Presentation
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The New Technologies are capable of motivating the multilingual and multicultural meeting point and the contact for autonomy and flexibility, but also for creativity and a dynamic intervention in the educational process, especially in the teaching of foreign languages. The wikis environments can set up online collaborative learning communities, which offer opportunities for team writing, increased participation and motivation for learning, skills of cooperation and a high degree of interaction of students with each other and the teacher. Wiki’s learning activities can ensure continuity of learning process and the learners’ writing skills can acquire meaningful contexts and authentic purposes for writing [5], [6], [3], [1], [4]. The research presented was conducted on first-year students of the Department of Italian Language and Literature of the University of Athens who learn foreign language and its culture through online activities in wikis environments, as an alternative learning environment through cooperation and active participation of students. The presentation focuses on the statistical results of an initial and a final questionnaire with the statistical tool of SPSS for our students' perceptions of alternative foreign language learning environments. In particular the results focus on the positive impact of the emerging technologies, Web 2.0 and wikis on their language teaching environments and its culture. Our original research questions confirmed that the more the students use the Internet for educational purposes, the more they can increase their knowledge of the foreign language and its culture. It is also statistically documented that there is a positive relationship between teamwork and achievement of the educational goals, by fostering positive conditions for cultivating creativity, collaborative written expression and the cultural contact.
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While communicative approaches promote collaboration in the classroom, linguistic and cultural content knowledge is often regarded as information to be transferred most effectively from teachers to learners. Applying sociocultural and socioconstructivist perspectives and taking critical pedagogy into consideration, this chapter discusses the implementation of curricular changes into two hybrid Spanish courses: an advanced writing course and a beginning-level Spanish course. The use of social tools such as wikis, chats, and discussion boards not only emphasized collaboration among participants but also generated and developed content and linguistic knowledge in what is called the architecture of participation. The pedagogical shift possible through the use of social tools reshaped the foreign language context setting by expanding the physical classroom into a larger e-classroom and creating writing communities that used a language of their own. Learners actively participated in a community of writers in which, through dialogue, they created knowledge and achieved common goals both through the integration of the group and through their own voice.
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