Online Synchronous Platforms, Foreign Language Learning and the Use of Sociolinguistic Competence
The current saturation of possible synchronous software platforms that foreign language teachers can utilize is challenging the traditional classroom. At the same time, these virtual platforms are having a profound effect on current pedagogical practices that are not yet firmly entrenched in foreign language teacher development programs. A number of issues arise whenever an instructor chooses to implement such a tool (or circumstances require its implementation). These issues include logistics, preference for platform choice, student concerns, computer/device specifications and customization options. On top of these practical concerns, these cultural factors, teacher abilities (through training and otherwise), multi-modality adjustments, and virtual adaptations influence the success or failure for the implementation journey. One area in particular poses a significant challenge for both learners and teachers alike in a foreign language-learning environment. The development of sociolinguistic competence is a necessary skill for successfully navigating through synchronous environments. After completing a historical review of the term sociolinguistic competence, I investigate the manner in which sociolinguistic skills influence the language acquisition process. This editorial includes investigations into how teacher training and technological skills influence and enable the acquisition of sociolinguistic competence within the tools and the target language in virtual classroom spaces through these guiding questions for synchronous virtual classrooms, language learning and foreign language teacher development. First, in what manner do sociolinguistic skills influence the language acquisition process, especially as it relates to the influence of multimodality? Second, what teacher training elements influence both teacher and student acquisition of sociolinguistic competence in language learning in virtual synchronous environments? Lastly, what technological skills enable both implicit and explicit acquisition of sociolinguistic competence in the target language?
Dustin De Felice,
Online Synchronous Platforms, Foreign Language Learning and the Use of Sociolinguistic Competence, Higher Education Research.
Vol. 2, No. 5,
2017, pp. 123-134.
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