International Journal of Curriculum Development and Practice
Online ISSN : 2424-1415
Print ISSN : 1344-4808
ISSN-L : 1344-4808
The Emergence of an Online Learning Community in the EFL Context
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2008 Volume 10 Issue 1 Pages 39-53


The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of an application of Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) technologies on learning community emergence and students' identity construction in the EFL context. To this end, a web-based course management system called Moodle was used in a general English class at a college. Adopting a sociocultural approach, we had a qualitative examination of the data obtained from students' online discussions. Through the lens of Wenger's (1998) notion of Communities of Practice, we found that learners' online activities facilitated the formation of an online learning community, in which learners constructed their identities. Specifically, with the deepening of the online negotiation, the participants expanded their identities from "we" as students confined in an inconvenient town to "we" as members in the other overlapping communities of the broader context. Thus, they reached a new level of understanding and developed a new sense of self in the community.

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© 2008 Japan Curriculum Research and Development Association
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