Action Research on Literature Circles in Moodle Chat
The aim of this paper is to study the benefits and drawbacks of using Moodle Chat for the implementation of literature circles (LC) in the English language classrooms among university students. LCs are widely used in language teaching to promote active learning, develop communication skills and encourage critical thinking, creativity and self-motivation. Furthermore, they are highly effective in developing other soft skills such as problem solving, leadership, teamwork and empathy which are in high demand in the contemporary job market. Technology advancements and the development of new e-learning tools have opened myriads of possibilities for developing language skills in less conventional ways. Therefore, instead of the traditional LC conducted in class, students have been given the opportunity to conduct LC discussions in the Moodle Chat environment in their own arrangement, without direct teacher intervention. The added value of Moodle Chat is that the conversations are recorded and provide material for further linguistic and discourse analysis and can be adapted and used to assess the students’ level of proficiency in both general and academic English. The respondents are first- and second-year students of English Language and Literature at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Osijek, Croatia. The aim of the study is to establish the suitability of online chats for implementing LCs, and to obtain student feedback and their assessment of the conducted activities.
Keywords: communication skills, literature circles, Moodle chat, soft skills, TEFL
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