Enhancing oral fluency through task-fluency discussions in second life
Item LinksURI: http://hdl.handle.net/10818/12416
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Asesor/esBanegas, Darío Luis
This qualitative exploratory action research was conducted with A2 university students at Universidad de la Sabana. They are immersed in blended learning practices where autonomy has become the key to succeed in learning processes. The needs analysis carried out in the target A2 population showed that there was a need to improve oral fluency and gain more motivation in virtual learning spaces. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to enhance oral fluency, which is understood as the ability to communicate by dealing with meaning rather than accuracy of language use. Thus, the approach that best responds to this aim is the implementation of Task-Fluency Discussions (Ur, 2012) which are effective tools to practice talking freely while learning from content and putting communicative strategies into action. Additionally, the present study proposes Second Life as a visual friendly virtual environment to foster communicative learning experiences. A process of participants´ self-reflection was followed by using a self-reflective-portfolio to review their progress in their oral performance, the further challenges and a potential action plan to achieve more fluent speaking. Those perceptions were also explored during in-depth group interviews. The teacher-researcher also compiled her own perceptions as individual, researcher and teacher in a reflective journal to supplement qualitative analysis. Findings indicate that Second Life is a tool that may empower oral participation and fluency, enhance autonomy and provide a more appealing virtual learning space. Oral fluency can be increased in several ways. Firstly, by accomplishing task-fluency discussions; secondly by making use of a self-access bank of words and expressions; by self-reflection upon achievements and future goals, all of which, in turn, may lead to new understanding of that being fluent means.