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Contribution to Book
Virtual Communities of Practice in Teacher Education
Preparing and Developing Technology-proficient L2 Teachers (2007)
  • Nike Arnold, Portland State University
  • Lara Ducate, University of South Carolina - Columbia
  • Lara Lomicka, University of South Carolina - Columbia
This chapter examines whether groups of pre- and in-service language teachers relying exclusively on online interactions form communities of practice. According to Wenger, McDermott, and Snyder (2002) “communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis” (p. 4). These communities are characterized by manifestations of a shared understanding about their actions and about themselves as members of that community. In our project, three teacher methodology classes at two different universities participated in virtual discussions over 6 weeks. Based on a jigsaw format, the project was designed in three phases: (a) via articles, observations, or interviews, students researched a specific topic; (b) students shared their knowledge and research with each other on the topic; and (c) students interacted with a topical expert in the field of language acquisition. Using a questionnaire, we examined student perceptions of the social and cognitive benefits of the discussions. Then, we analyzed the discussion transcripts both qualitatively and quantitatively, noting the frequency of key indicators found in social and cognitive presence and community of practice frameworks.
  • Communities of practice,
  • Language teachers,
  • Language and languages -- Study and teaching -- Technological innovations
Publication Date
Margaret Ann Kassen, Roberta Z. Lavine, Kathryn Murphy-Judy, and Martine Peters
CALICO Publications
CALICO Monograph Series
Publisher Statement
Copyright © 2007 The Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO)
Citation Information
Nike Arnold, Lara Ducate and Lara Lomicka. "Virtual Communities of Practice in Teacher Education" San Marcos, TXPreparing and Developing Technology-proficient L2 Teachers Vol. 6 (2007)
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