Enhancing Beginners' Second Language Learning Through an Informal Online Environment
Jessica Chakowa, Monash University
Web 2.0 tools are used increasingly to support second language learning, but there have been limited studies involving beginner learners, multiple technologies, and informal settings. This current study addresses this gap and investigates the factors affecting students’ interest in a nongraded online learning environment and what kinds of tools, modes of expression, and activities they prefer. Findings reveal that students enjoyed being able to consolidate their skills in a personalized and flexible environment, which highlights the importance of addressing students’ needs and interests and providing the appropriate facilitation and finding strategies to maintain their interest. Students showed interest in the different aspects of the platform under investigation, although to differing extents, hence the relevance of balancing opportunities, combining different tools, and sustaining activities.
second language learning, blended learning, informal online learning