Rosanna Miiller Salas

Reflections about online education…


September 2014

How to build a bilingual online community?

Last semester I explored best practices to build an online bilingual community. I performance individual interviews with two social media experts about their recommendations regarding how to build an online community. In their opinion the most important common factors in successful online community groups are:

Identity: Establishing an online identity. This is aligned with the purpose of creating a community that is the process to interact with other members that share common interests.

Passion: Developing an online community requires time, commitment, and interest that are provided by members’ passion for the subject.

Leadership: The responses collected indicated the importance leadership plays in managing efficiently an online community.

Ethics: One of the participants mentioned the importance of respecting the ethical procedures and participation in a virtual group.

I also investigated which are the best practices to create a bilingual site. Both participants empathized the importance of applying a technological approach to the site. How to address Technology integration? They recommended utilizing web technologies for the majority of their interaction and content sharing. “Utilize accessible technologies that accommodate and communicate the site’s content and messaging to users of all targeted languages.” One suggested incorporated translation features. Encourage interactions facilitated by networked technologies – like chats, discussion forums, comment section, and any other features than enhances participants’ interaction.

After this experience I begin to build a Facebook site with the purpose to share ideas, concerns, and resources related with Second Language Acquisition. It is still in the development phase. Now I faced the challenge to improve, maintain, and promote the site. I need to find the effectively approach to manage my personal and professional scheduled to address effectively all my online spaces.

Second Language Acquisition Online Reflections.

To learn a new language is a long term goal. I had the opportunity to experience it as a student and a teacher. This demanding process combines internal and external factors such motivation, personal agenda, purpose, and desire to learn. The acquisition process is frequently perceived by the student as slow and difficult and this can negatively affect the student’s interest and desire to learn.

One of the most engaging factors in a language course is the flexibility to adapt the student’s expectations and personal circumstances. I am constantly reflecting about the application of distant education on the language acquisition process. What are the potential advantages of taking an online language acquisition course? Which are the best practices in the eLearning education that can be successful in this specific area? What are the resources and tools most convenient to improve the student experience? What can be the different teacher approaches depending on the student’s native language and their desire to learn?

The incorporation of emerging technologies opens enormous possibilities in the second language acquisition process. Some advantages of using online instruction are time flexibility, accessibility, adaptability to the learner’s specific needs, and student’s ability to control during his own process. This is aligned with important educational theoretical frames as the Adult Learner Theory and the Constructivism Theory.

Another aspect to consider are the variety of activities to experience with each lesson such as joint learning communities, conversations with native speakers, translation experiences, pronunciation exercises, researching and discovering traditions, geography, grammar, culture, music, lectures, and news. These are some of the infinite real life experiences that can be incorporated into an online course.

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