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Fostering Positive Affective Climates for Language Learning in Asia Using Moodle



In recent years Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) has gained wide usage worldwide, but still faces cultural barriers in some contexts. This presentation reports on a project involving the use of Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) in a support role for CLT in face-to-face classrooms in a Japanese university. The project sought to exploit technology in a support framework for two main purposes: to free up class time for increased teacher-student and student-student interaction, and to provide an extension to the physical classroom to foster the growth of social bonding and a sense of classroom community. The software package Moodle was used to create a support site for an English conversation course, allowing for student tasks to be completed on-line before class meetings. It was hoped that this would allow for greater use of class time for students to focus on communicative tasks and ‘noticing’ skills. The support site also made extensive use of forums to extend the course beyond the physical classroom in order to facilitate more stress-free communication. This presentation discusses both the lessons learned from the application of this overall strategy, and ways in which CMC can serve as a strong support system for the traditional classroom in an Asian context.