Computers make language learning easier.

Chun’s (1994) study suggests that computer networking can be used to improve the interactive ability of language learners, especially those beginners. The main theme is that “using CACD (Computer-assisted Class Discussion) would provide students with the opportunity to generate and initiate different kinds of discourse structures or speech acts” (p.20).

Chun investigates her students who study German as their target language. She informs students about the discussion topics before the session begins. Every time she types in the specific questions of each topic, students begin to discuss it on the computer. The software they use is the InterChange function of the Daedalus Intergrated Writing Environment software, which allows the students to have real-time, synchronous conversations.The topics are various and chosen from real life. And the transcripts of what they said are printed for data analysis.

The overall findings are as follows:

  1. The most active participants in computer discussion are quiet male students in the class.
  2. Students tend to use simple sentences rather than complex ones, but the ratio of simple to complex sentences decreases for second-semester students.
  3. When students meet unfamiliar words, they will use their first language instead of paraphrasing them in the target language.
  4. When students request clarification, they use appropriate rhetorical devices and discourse strategies.
  5. Male students write more than females, and ask more general, open-ended questions to the whole group than female students do.
  6. Most of the conversations are participants’ replies to teachers’ questions.
  7. The second greatest number of entries are questions of specific peers rather than of the entire group or the instructor.
  8. The third most common type of entries are statements such as expanding on a topic.
  9. Compared to traditional classroom discourse, students have more liberty to manage the discourse and to choose their partners with the help of CACD.

We think CACD can give students more autonomy to express themselves. CACD offers a great platform for students who are afraid of face-to-face interaction without being afraid of making mistakes. Students’ language skills, especially writing, can be largely improved.

Apart from writing skills, how can CACD be applied to foster other kinds of language skills (reading, listening, speaking)?

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73 thoughts on “Computer-assisted Class Discussion

  1. The first finding is very interesting. In the real classroom, these quiet male students would keep silent. Maybe they are shy , afraid of making mistakes or afraid of facing teachers (which could generate anxiety), but ,on the Internet, they talk with their friends with less pressure or even less fear that they will be recognized if they are wrong. In this way, their willingness to communication would increase and more opportunities to use the target language will be added as well.
    In terms of the phenomenon that male students would write more than female students. I would contribute it to the quiet nature of males in reality and male may pay more attention to technologies uses.

    • Yes, I’m aware of your concerning as well. Why only males perform better than females? There would be a lot of individual factors.

    • I also doubt the findings about why male quiet students perform most actively online. Is it because the topics the teachers chose for online discussion arouse boys’ interest more?

    • For example, teachers may choose topics about digital games and sports. Therefore, boys are more likely to have interest in such topics and hence are more willing to respond online. The research should therefore include the topics the teachers used in the paper.

    • TO Wennie,
      this is a good question. Topics sometimes are very important. Maybe there should be a comparison experiment between different kinds of topics (female-related or male-related).

    • Interesting discussion. The researcher is a woman, so, assuming she designed the activities, one would think that topic bias would be less of an issue here but it is still a possibility.

    • OK here is the information about topics: “Topics for discussion ranged from weekend activities to complaints from parents about young people today, from travel experiences abroad to whether or not condom machines should be installed on campus.” (p. 21)

    • I also have the same concern. Before reading the article, I thought that there might be more males than females. After reading the relevant part, I found that the number of partipants was around 14 that might not be representative. Although I generally believe that interactive competence can be improved through computer-assisted lessons, the result about the male performance might not be generalized to other situations.

  2. CACD provides a good opportunity for students to express themselves, in which students have no fear of making mistakes and the consequences of speaking publicly like being laughed by others as well. But it may also result in other problems like taking a lot of time while students typing and reading others’ comments.

    I think add in some video or audio materials in CACD can be a good way to train students’ listening skills.As for the training of speaking, teachers can provide any short reading materials in advance, asking students to record their voice while they read different paragraphs in groups. In this way, students can be motivated and their anxiety of speaking face-to-face will be reduced.

    • I think your suggestion about fostering speaking skills is a good one. In this way, they can enhance their pronunciation as well as their reading skills.

    • I like your point. But if rethinking about the affordances of certain mode, it does develop students’ reading and writing skills but not the speaking. They still can’t overcome their anxiety of speaking in front of the public. Besides, barriers to build up confidence still exists.

    • I think this read aloud recording activity can still be done at the initial stage as students can practice more and gradually be used to this regular activity. Teachers can then proceed to more demanding speaking tasks such as dialogue and discussions

    • I like the video and audio part. It would generate in me a feeling that I could touch some authentic materials.

  3. I got a questions about the first research findings: It seems that the males perform much better than female and why? It’s that males are more interested to the new CACD approach?

    As for other skills, of course, speaking, reading and listening all would be improved. Class discussion can divide them into several groups and assign each groups with different topics, then they would be forced to do background readings ( radios for listening practice if applicable). Then come back to class, and ask them to share their findings or questions, or rather, set up a debate for the class.

    • For your question, I think that perhaps male students in this case study accept the new teaching method in a shorter period of time than female students do. Generally speaking, female students pay more attention to details than male students do.

    • I think you come up with a good question. I think the reason why boys perform actively in CACD is that boys are more interested in the new digital technology and computer stuff in general. Besides, boys may type more faster than girls.

    • I have the same question with you, too. Personally, I think that boys are more interested in technologies than girls. This might by one of the possible reasons that their motivation in participating in CACD is higher and has a better result.

    • The author points out that the study was different to others in this regard: “However, unlike previous studies which found increased participation by women [cf. Bump (1990) and Markley (1992)], three of the four most active participants in my small sample were males who normally were relatively quiet in class.” (p. 21) So, the gender issue isn’t settled at the time of writing. Can anyone find out what the latest on this issue is?

  4. I think CACD is really a good way to encourage students, especially those who are shy and afraid of speaking out in front of public, to interact more with their peers as well as teacher. Apart from improving students’ writing, this approach can also be applied to enhance students’ reading skills. Say for example, the teacher can ask the students to form groups. And then each group will have to post something related to a given topic on the online platform according to their own extra reading and researching. The rest of class will also need to make comments about the post afterwards. In this case students will gain quite a lot reading practice.

    • I agree that CACD can encourage shy students to interact more with other through the virtual space, but I am also wondering if they would grow to be over-reliant on the virtual space and hence be under-developed in their interaction with people in real life?

    • A reply to Betty’s question:
      The uniqueness of CACD as an effective tool for language beginners is that as long as students get enough practices in language use, they will have the confidence to use the target language to communicate in real life. Besides, although there are some difference between language used in virtual space and real life, they have much in common. So I think that the more CACDs students participate in, the freer they are going to use the target language later on.

  5. I believe CACD is a good approach for teaching. With the help of computer, it is more convenient to share reading and listening materials in the classroom, especially those recording files like BBC news. However, we can not live in the virtual world all the time, and it is so wired if we sit in the same room but practising listening and speaking through Skype. I think students in sencond language classroom should always be encouraged to speak more with real people rather than typing or communicating through screens.

    • I agree that putting students in an authentic and real context is a more effective and exciting way of language learning. Students can get the idea that what they have learned is useful which on the other hand will motivate them to learn much more.

    • I really agree with your idea that students should be encouraged to speak more frequently with people in the real communicative situations. Although the use of CACD may provide opportunities for shy students to express themselves out, the key to solving this problem is to encourage them to walk out of their comfort zone.

    • I cannot agree more. Although this CACD approach helps those shy people to express themselves freely on the internet, it won’t enhance learners’ face-to-face interaction ability in L2 if they rely too much on the virtual space. Thus authentic conversation with native speakers is a must

    • I think that CACD (Computer-assisted Class Discussion) only serves as a supplemental tool in language teaching and the choice are given to students, depending on their characteristics. If one is shy, CACD is suitable for him. If one is extrovert, then he should seek for real life interaction with native speakers who are accessible (e.g. foreign teachers).

    • I agree with you on that point, and I think the cultivation of communication in real life cannot be ignored for language learners. There exist differences between online communication and face-to-face communication in terms of language production and response capacity, such as the utterances, grammatical accuracy as well as the reaction speed and speech fluency. Based on these factors, personally CADA should be used in a more appropriate way that let students achieve the ability to confidently make conversation with anyone in any situation.

  6. I agree that putting students in an authentic and real context is a more effective and exciting way of language learning. Students can get the idea that what they have learned is useful which on the other hand will motivate them to learn much more.

  7. I think the CACD approach is similar to many CMC approaches in which students can freely express their opinions and ideas without worrying about being pointed out mistakes in public. This is especially good for shy students who are not willing to speak in class. However, according to the findings, there are concerns as well. For example, when meeting with unfamiliar words, students will use their first language to illustrate instead of paraphrasing it in the target language. In terms of this concern, it might be that students’ language levels are not that advanced and they have difficulty in paraphrasing; or it can be that they just don’t have the habit to use the target language. For the latter one, I think the teacher’s supervision is very important and teachers should make it a rule that all the writing on the software should be in the target language.
    As for fostering other kinds of language skills, reading skills can be improved as they write, since they have to read what other people have written. Besides, teachers can ask students to bring what they have read in the lat week and to share it on the CACD software with the whole class.

    • I agree with your idea that teacher’s supervision is of great importance in CACD. If all the students are required to only use the target languge in discussion, both of their language and communication skills will be largely improved.

    • I also agree that CACD has similarities with CMC. Students can both use them to discuss online instead of meeting each other in a place. However, CMC give students more choice to do want they want . For instance, they can form friendship online or write letter to key pal. CACD mainly focus on online discussion only.

  8. The CARD mode creates a platform for the students to participate in a discussion not only in class but also out of the class. Besides, it also changes gradually the teacher-centered pattern into more multimodal communication for students.

    Using CARD, can provide an opportunity to those who don’t like speaking in the public. Now they have the chance to share their own point of views to their classmates. Therefore, such mode is suitable for the language curriculum and pedagogies that meet to language learners’ digital literacies needs.

    • I agree with your opinion that by applying CARD in the class, the traditional teacher-centered model can be changed. Students motivation of learning will be increased. Also, such platforms provide opportunities to those who are shy and not confident to share their opinions in public.

  9. Usually, in traditional classrooms, when a teacher raise questions, only those students who are willing to share their personal ideas publicly will volunteer to answer and then gain teachers’ feedback and encouragement. But this does not mean quiet students could not provide better answers. They are just too shy to walk out of their comfort zone and express themselves in public places. The application of CACD, however, provides a platform for every student to present their opinions freely. I think it has little to do with avoiding making mistakes, because students may still use wrong words and incorrect sentence structures when writing, but it makes it possible to enhance peer communication and make teachers to have a better understanding of each student’s learning conditions.
    As for language skills, apart from writing, I think students’ reading capacity could also be improved through this program if they want to effectively communicate with their classmates for further discussions.

    • Based on what you pose, CACD may be a good way for everyone sharing ideas equally. In that case, language learning becomes the top priority rather than the personality of the student or the fear of making mistakes.

    • You make a good observation that in the traditional form of classroom discussion, quiet and shy students are often neglected at the expenses of the more active and outgoing students. Computer indeed provides a platform for everyone to voice out their ideas freely without any physical boundaries and psychological constraints. Furthermore, I think the possessing the ability to correct is crucial for the shy and quiet students who are afraid of making mistakes.

    • CACD is a really effective tool for both teachers and students since there are not so many opportunities offered to each student to fully explain their thoughts in class. With a platform like this, students could be given more spaces to express themselves.

  10. I am a little surprised at the overall findings of the investigation, from which we can see that CACD provides a very good platform for students to communicate each other, and particularly, for those who are shy and introverted to express themselves freely in class. This platform of CACD also need more guides on language learning instruction. As listed in the findings, students are more likely to use simple sentences and when meeting unfamiliar words, they tend to use first language rather than try best to use foreign language. in this way, in this study CACD just emphasizes idea generation and innovation, but not involves much of language learning, which needs further investigation.

    • In some ways I can understand your critique of CACD. Yes, it places more emphasis on idea expression and interaction. However, I think it also involves much language learning, but the matter is that what type of language it involves. As one of the findings shows, students prefer simple sentences to complex sentences, which implies that the language they use write is quite in the spoken form, since they tend to directly type what they think in mind without organizing their thoughts into well-structued sentences. In this sense, only using CACD is not enough to help students’ academic writing skills. Formal instruction in classroon is still necessary.

    • I cannot agree more. The standardization of students’s writing is of great significance. Because discussion seems to be causal and free, students may use some oral expression instead of formal one. So more guides on language learning instruction is in great need.

    • So do you think this kind of discussion (CACD) is actually more like speaking or more like writing?

  11. I would like to add two advantages of using CACD in a langauge classroom. One is that it helps teachers to better assess the student’ language ability. Students have different potentials. Some students who are weak at speaking may be a good writer and they really contribute a lot to online discussion. Therefore, CACD helps teachers make a more comprehensive evaluation of their students. The other advantage is that CACD promotes students’ critical thinking because they are able to see other classmates’ opinions on the same topic or issue. Thus, they can view the topic from different perspectives.

    In order to use CACD to foster other language skills, teachers can initiate a discussion question based a required reading, like a news article, so students need to do some reading so as to participate in the discussion. As for listening and speaking skills, teachers can select several interesting ideas from students’ comments and in the class, ask students to talk about them in groups and then share their views with the whole class.

    • Your last point about listening and speaking task is somthing like what we have done in carolin’s course last semester, which is interesting.

    • I think using CACD to foster other language skills needs to be explored. Like what Zoe posted that providing an article with the help of the computer rather than traditional way can be further considered.

  12. In my school, teachers have to use a recording tool called Sanako for speaking assessment. Sanako provides read aloud (individual), dialogue (pairing) and group discussion recording functions. I think Sanako can actually serve as a CACD tool for classroom learning when students are asked to perform different speaking activities. For instance, in a dialogue of telephone conversation practice, teachers can randomly assign students into groups of two and pair them up using Sanako. Students can then sit in front of the computers and pretend to make a distant call to their partners. Teachers can monitor the progress of speaking by listening to the individuals students pair by pair and provide direct feedback to them without criticizing the students in front of the whole class.

    • The Sanako is already sounds good. Combining with CACD, the class would become more student-centered classroom. But is it waste of time for teachers to listen the students dialogue one by one? is it possible for students to check other groups dialogue?

  13. Interesting research.
    One thing I find from the findings is male students tend to be more active than female students. I could imagine the reason, because it happened in my high school class. Most male students hated learning. As long as they do not need to just listen to teachers and do exercise by using computer themselves, they would be interested in it. Every other kind of teaching, in their eyes, were joyful. But they do not realize that CACD is also a kind of learning.
    As for the question, I think CACD also foster reading, because the D refers to discussion and discussion need to share opinions. The only why to share opinions is to read others opinions and comes up students’ own opinion. Just as what we are doing now, we need to go over the blog and give out our opinions and reply to other opinions.

    • I concur^^ Male students tend to have a favour in using computers than the female counterparts. Apart from students, some parents also disagree with the effectiveness of CACD (thinking that computer is a platform for entertainment). But actually computer can help students promote interest in learning and improve their language proficiency. Therefore, those who disagree should be open-minded to accept using computers as a medium for learning. 🙂 🙂

  14. I think CACD mode can promote students’ willingness of expressing their own ideas because some students are just afraid of speaking out in public. But I still doubt its functions. Traditionally, in-class discussion mainly involves listening and speaking skills but online discussion will shift to reading and writing skills. As is mentioned in the report, initially students prefer simple sentence structure and their L1. Students do not take the discussion as serious as their writing assignment because the former one lays more emphasis on the liberty in expression. So how to foster students’ speaking ability and standardize their writing are questions now.

    • How about FaceTime? If students had video calls with each other, they can discuss the assignment. For instance, in a group meeting, everybody listens to each other and meanwhile they are free to talk to the others. For the sake of shyness, students who are familiar with each other can form into a group.

  15. This case reminds me of a similar online discussion space, “Socrative.com”. Teacher could set up a virtual discussion room on Socrative. Then students entering this room can see the question posted by the teacher. After discussing with their partners or in group face to face, students need to post their answer on Socrative. As soon as the teacher stops posting, students can vote for their favorite answer showed in the list. The answers will be ranked based on the popularity. Therefore, instead of sharing in front of a class of students and the teacher, students discuss with their partner and share their opinions online which will make them less anxious. Besides, through the discussion in the small group and the practice on Socrative, all four skills are involved in class.

    • Yes, I agree also that Socrative.com is a useful website for introducing new kinds of classroom interactions. I enjoy it because it encourages smooth integration between virtual and real-life interactions.

  16. It seems that a few of us here are quite intrigued by the first finding of the study, where quiet males are found to be the most active participants in the CACD. I think it is worth noting that it is the ‘quiet’ male students here, i.e. not the loud ones. I wonder if their participation is usually of a more dominating kind, or a more subtle one. Nonetheless, it still shows how the shift of teaching platform can have a great effect on this group of student, whilst less so a change in the girls. This may have to do the many learning differences between boys and girls.

    I think it is easier to practice reading and writing facing a computer. For example, in this case, the teacher gave a topic, the students had to read it, read other students’ responses, and write their own. As for listening, the Internet expands our access to different materials from all over the world. As an activity, we teachers may be able to choose different discourses to help our students learning, including using clips from comedy to teach our students how to appreciate the humor the listen, e.g. what the important words were, the cultural references etc.

    • I think your idea of making the differences between boys and girls when teaching in one classroom. The boys’ ways of thinking and learning may different from the girls’.Sometimes boys don’t participate the class actively, because they are not interested in the teaching style in class. If teachers pay more attentions to what boys or girls need, the participation will be more harmonious.

  17. This CACD study give me a impression on arousing students’ enthusiasm to actively take part in the discussions. Like the first finding that the male students participate in discussions mostly, the male participants always more like to control the computers than the female, so that it is a good chance for them to use the technique they like and the discussing way they are interested in. Students may feel bored of or not interested in the traditional class system, so in CACD students are more likely to open their minds and speak out.
    I think teachers can open a discussion in class without the computer after the discussion online, and students can share what they have said online and why they said that. In this way, students can not only practice their writing skills, but their speaking skills. Moreover, when reading others’ comments, students are also improving their reading skills.

  18. This is an interesting article. I am quite surprised by the results that male students write more than females and the male students have more responds that the females. It is because society always regards that (stereo-typically?!) girls have a better language skills than boys in Hong Kong. Girls are also more “verbal” than boys. I hope that there will be more research for explaining this result.

    I agree that CMC allows students to have more liberty in controlling their conversational discourse. I think this will indeed encourage students to be more engaged and willing to initiate an online conversation in L2. However, even online conversation provides a better platform for students to practise their writing, it indeed overlook the importance of speaking skills. Students may just immerse and express themselves in the computer. To rectify this problem, I think teachers can encourage students to use Webcam or Skype and record their speech. Not only an interactive platform can be maintained, such approach can also help students to drill their oral speaking.

  19. Computer provides an alternative channel/medium for communication and learning. It is distinctive in the sense that it is bilateral, instantaneous, interactive and informational. Using computers for class discussion is a good way to elicit responses from the more reserved and shy students who are afraid of giving wrong answers or speaking with incorrect grammar structure openly in the classroom. Computer allows students to proofread, modify and correct their “speech” easily without leaving any traces. It can avoid embarrassment caused by individual physical and psychological differences and effectively facilitates classroom discussion.

    CACD can benefit reading and writing for obvious reasons (reading comments and typing responses). I think teachers can post journals/articles for students to read and comment online, with lower words limit, in order to foster the reading and writing skills. For listening, this can be achieved by listening to an audio recording/video and answer based on the questions given by the teacher in the first place. As for speaking, teacher can ask student to prepare a speech for a given text and record in front of the computer. They can play the tape back to listen for mistakes/find areas for improvement.

  20. I am quite surprised about the first finding – “the most active participants in computer discussion are quiet male students in the class.” At the beginning, I thought that the active participants online would still be the active ones in class. Computer-assisted class discussion has provided an alternative channel for quite students to voice out their opinion, as many students are afraid to speak up in class.

    Some may think that students may put too much emphasis on writing, their speaking skills may be overlooked. As can be seen from the findings, students tend to use simple sentences during discussion. I do think that using simple sentences resembles face-to-face communication. Not only can this encourage students to express their ideas, but it can also train their spoken language.

    Of course, computer-assisted class discussion alone is not enough to perfect students’ language competence. Thus, computer-assisted class discussion may just be suitable for beginners who are not willing to speak up in class. To improve one’s English proficiency comprehensively, all four areas (reading, writing, listening and speaking) should be considered.

    • I agree with you that we need more than CACD to help language leaners to perfect their competence, and it depends on leaners’ level to choose the best plan for he or she. Teachers should always keep the strategies of student- centered in mind.

  21. Apart from writing skills, CACD as well can be applied to foster the other kinds of language skills such as listening and speaking. With the rapid development of computer technologies, I think it is possible to practice listening and speaking. These is a useful tool that can achieve this purpose. That is, YY. Though this application is first used by the players as a communication tools in online games, it as well can apply to the CACD. Teachers set up an audio chatting room before class, then invite the students to get in the room. This provides student an out-of-class discussion platform, where they can communicate with each other freely. Through the communication process, students are able to practice their listening and speaking skills. However, there are some problems that need to be considered. First, teachers should make some guild lines for students in advance. For example, ask students try their best to use target language rather than the mother tongue. Second, it is better that teachers can be involved in the chat room while students discuss the topics assigned. Here teachers play not only the role of supervisor and but also an observer, observing students’ use of language. Also, teachers are able to notice the mistakes that made by students in this way and provide useful feedback to them.

    • It seems that YY is changed from the e-pal chatroom to pedagogical chatroom, brilliant! Teachers can also assign homework in set time so as to supervise and check the accomplishment in the process and in the end.

  22. I believe CACD is also a good way to practice L2 learners’ listening and speaking. First, CACD helps to fix the problem of many new learners, which is afraid of speaking out in front of others, sometimes, even a paired-partner cannot help. That’s when CADA is quite useful, and learners psychological state would normally become more stable and shows more confident when they are in the virtual space, so it will benefit for learners to practice their listening and speaking. Also, CADA allows more people engage in one conversation simultaneously, which is helpful for collaborative work and thinking. Students are unconsciously practice their listening, and will generate more ideas to speak out.

    • I agree with your idea that CACD help boost students confidence in using the language. I think the topic is attractive for students, they would put more effort to explore it and devote to it. Thus, a teacher may better look at or do a survey on what topics students are most interested in so that the discussion can get the best learning result.

  23. It is a fact that CADA is beneficial to language learners especially for improving their writing ability with more active and higher frequency of interaction than face-to face communication. In terms of using CADA to foster other language skills, I believe that improving speaking skill can also work well. For example, in my undergraduate interpretation class, my teacher did such an activity for several times. After students using a computer to log in the teaching system individually, our teacher first showed a Chinese manuscript of an English interview program on the computer, and then let the students work in pairs to discuss and prepare to translate it into English through online discussion in the given time. After the warm up, every group was required to do sight interpretation with computer recording simultaneously. Next students needed to listen several groups of recording together that randomly selected by the teacher in class and sent the comments of others’ merits and demerits online by taking notes. In the end, the teacher played the interview video with English subtitles.
    Actually, CADA can be used in this way to foster their speaking skills. With the discussion result of each group recorded and demonstrated by computer, it is easier for teachers and other listeners to find the spoken English problems of the students, thus correcting errors or giving advice directly.

  24. CACD allows students to express themselves freely without worrying the embarrassment that usually occurs in face-to-face discussion, as students could think through their ideas, carefully make their word choices and check grammar before they post online.
    I think CACD could also be used in practicing students’ reading, writing, speaking and listening at one designed lesson. Teachers could set a popular topic with relevant questions for class discussion. Students are form in groups and they are asked to share some interesting ideas they get from the CACD period afterwards.
    However, as what was found in this study, students used their first language when they met unfamiliar words. In this case, rules about L2 only need to be set up at the very beginning in order to achieve the excepted results.

    • I agree with you that tutors should monitor the class discussion. When students encounter difficult words, they will easily tend to use the familiar L1 ones. When one student starts to use L1, others may mimic him and also use L1. So rules are needed for better l2 learning enviroment.Also, the paraphrasing is also an important skill to pratice.

  25. I agree with the point that computer network provides good opportunities for language learners. For those who are at the iniitial stage, network offers them a platform to build up confidence in language learning. When they interact with others online, they face less pressure such as the pressure of speaking in public. They can have less anxiety of producing poor pronunciation, low voice and when they communicate on the Internet, they do not need to respond so quickly, which is needed in the public speaking. Also,I’m interested in the seventh finding which says that specific peers are the second largest entries.I guess the reason is that we are familiar with them.

    I think the networked class discussion can also benefit the learning of listening and reading. A superlink can be added to some reading and listening materials. And tutor asks students to finish reading or listening in fixed minutes and answer questions related. This can hel p students develop specific language strategies. For speaking, the need to face others cannot be avoided and it is better to practice in the real environment.

  26. Firstly, I think the tool that the teacher uses to generate the classroom discussion is quite effective in some way. Just as you mention, it encourages students to speak out their opinions, especially for those less active one in traditional classroom. And there are some drawbacks of this kind of discussion, like using L1 instead of paraphrasing. The teacher might set some rules to guide the discussion so as to achieve the effectiveness.
    In my opinion, as students tend to use simple sentences, they are practicing their oral English in a written form. And some abbreviations or idioms that used in the discussion might be used in their speaking. Also, when they are reading peer opinions, they are developing their reading skills. They do not merely read other’s opinion as they have to reflect on it and give feedback or express their own ideas on it. This is a way to train students’ reading skills as well.

  27. In my opinion, I think CACD can also be a good way to develop students’ speaking skills. For instance, we can use bussu to make video calls to talk with learning partners.
    CACD can develop students’ potential , sometimes students’ feel anxious when they communicate others face to face or are singled out to speaking in oral lessons. By using computer as platform, shy students can also express their ideas, just like the first finding.

  28. It is certain that the students in the study would write simple sentences as they were giving comments, not writing a critical essay. The main concern is acutally strengthening interactive competence.

    I think what we do here can be a good example of a computer-assisted activity which involves both reading and writing. If a hyperlink of a video is inserted, it can be a listening practice as well.

    For speaking, we may try video conferencing which can involve a group of people.

    I prefer this post to the previous posts as the reading and the discussion of a journal article are involved. The post is informative and the discussion is more indepth and critical. I can definitely learn more.

  29. I believe CACD is also a good way to practice L2 learners’ listening and speaking. First, CACD helps to fix the problem of many new learners, which is afraid of speaking out in front of others, sometimes, even a paired-partner cannot help. That’s when CADA is quite useful, and learners psychological state would normally become more stable and shows more confident when they are in the virtual space, so it will benefit for learners to practice their listening and speaking. Also, CADA allows more people engage in one conversation simultaneously, which is helpful for collaborative work and thinking. Students are unconsciously practice their listening, and will generate more ideas to speak out.

  30. CACD is also useful for fostering L2 learners’ reading and listening skills. Firstly, reading was involved all the time for everyone would read comments and others’ ideas. Secondly, while L2 learners writing something, before posting, usually they would check their wiring. It’s also a kind of reading. Thirdly, CACD also can get more students in one topic, they can discuss via internet. Listening to others is a necessity.

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