Colloquium: "Case study of a community of practice"
Wednesday, March 26, 2003

9:30 am to 11:15 am, (14:30-16:15 GMT)
Baltimore Convention Center Room 306
event number #4101 at the TESOL 2003 Convention, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

How Participation in a CoP Informs and Influences Personal Teaching?




In Conclusion, I would like to thank Vance Stevens, founder of WiA CoP, and the other Webheads members for all the learning experiences and new knowledge I learned from and with them. The past eight weeks have been the best collaborative and cooperative learning learning I almost ever experienced. I feel more confident, and ready to implement many of the learned teaching skills in my classrooms and CALL sessions. It has been a very inspirational experience that motivated me to continue researching useful ways to improve my e-learning and to think of ways on how to facilitate these new approchaes to guide my students and encourgae them to become e-learners.

During Week 5, I learned more about the various synchronous and asynchronous computer mediated communication, (CMC) tools and the benefits of using text-chat projects for EFL students. Although, I knew about and used some CMC tools with some of my students, earlier, I found out later after I have joined WiA, that the use of synchronous CMC tools, such as, Yahoo Messenger or MSN in text-chat projects are essential for English learners of all levels. These kinds of projects can help EFL/ESL learners improve their English skills and also train them to become "Independent Productive learners". This is required especially in countries that suffer from bureaucracy, or easily led citizens by other parties or foreign forces.

Therefore, educators and officials in Kuwait as well as in many other countries with educational systems that use conservative, old-school teaching and learning methods or strategies that emphasize teacher-centered classrooms, must take the move, immediately, to integrate CALL/or CAL , in genral, in their classrooms. This will, definitely, help officials change the educational systems to a suitable ones that can survive the current universal change.

Nevertheless, a change per se cannot be reached with the use of technology, only! Officials and eductaors should take into consideration teachers "quality" as a main element to reach that goal. Cops , such as, WiA, can train teachers and provide essential skills that would allow Language teachers/or teachers of other subjects, in general, to step into the 21 Century and participate in the current , crucial Global change effectively.

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©2003 Buthaina Al Othman