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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The internet in the British Columbia French as a second language classroom Ellis, Stefan


This study investigates the role of the Internet in teaching and learning French as a second language. In facilitating communication with francophones and access to topical information in French, the use of the Internet addresses many of the criticisms identified in prior research of the static nature of traditional computer-assisted language learning (CALL). The Internet potentially plays an important role in realizing the goals of the communicative approach in the British Columbia Core French curriculum. This study documents a variety of language learning activities that make use of the Internet's many facets, such as electronic mail, listservs, gophers, Usenet newsgroups, and World-Wide Web. Questionnaires were distributed to French teachers who either registered for an electronically-distributed course or attended a workshop on using the Internet in the French as a second language classroom. Follow-up interviews were conducted with a selection of teachers who completed and returned the questionnaire. The present study found that French teachers continue to value the Internet most for the exchange of electronic mail with francophone students. While expressing interest in other Internetbased activities, the teachers identified overriding concerns about keeping their students on-task, and about the poor quality and quantity of computing facilities at their schools. Further research should involve case studies with teachers who are implementing a variety of Internet activities over an extended term.

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