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The Role of Teachers and the Modern Tool of Online Community Networks in Facilitating Social Interaction. S.K.Chitra Lakshimi Lecturer in English Government College of Engineering Salem 636008 chitra\[email protected] Tel: 94435 18465 . Social Interaction and Language Acquisition.

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The Role of Teachers and the Modern Tool of Online Community Networks in Facilitating Social Interaction

S.K.Chitra Lakshimi

Lecturer in English

Government College of Engineering

Salem 636008

[email protected]

Tel: 94435 18465

social interaction and language acquisition
Social Interaction and Language Acquisition
  • Social interaction is one of the components of learning and acquisition of a second language.

Interaction with fellow human beings is needed to convey needs, interests, demands, requests etc. through language.

earliest form of social interaction
Earliest Form of Social Interaction

The earliest form of social interaction probably began with gossip, exchange of pleasantries and news about the quantity of meat gathered by the group in a day, where the best berries could be gathered etc. among the cavemen of the pre-historic days.

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Cavemen to Technology in Social Interaction

Technology enables social interaction among people distanced by cities, countries and continents. This has led to research in the use of technology in enabling language acquisition through social interaction.

Social perspective of language acquisition can be encouraged using the internet.

is language acquisition tested through social interaction
Is language acquisition tested through social interaction?
  • In Tamil Nadu, schools and colleges have adopted the communicative approach to learning English
  • A student’s interaction with society or at least with those in the immediate vicinity in and outside of the campus depends on the fluency that the student has acquired in the language.
  • This is, perhaps, the reason why at placement interviews conducted in campuses where more than 70-80% of students are recruited, much emphasis is laid on the communicative ability of the student.
interviews social interaction
Interviews – Social Interaction
  • Questions such as, “Tell me about yourself”, “What do you think your strengths and weaknesses are?” or “Do you have any questions?” are asked at these interviews.
  • These questions encourage social interaction, wherein the interviewer and the interviewee exchange, express and elicit information. It is a process during which creation of contexts and inference of meaning are actively used.
social perspective of language
Social Perspective of Language
  • Social perspective of language acquisition can be encouraged using the internet.
  • Oblinger (2005) believes that after decades of IT exploration, people are beginning to harness the Internet, using the Internet for its strengths and

using people for their unique skills.

  • Perhaps the best example of this distribution of

duties is social software or social networks

(e.g., Ryze, Orkut, Yahoo! 360°)

social online communities
Social Online Communities

This paper explores the use of social e-networks, especially, the Orkut.Orkut like hi5, Friendster or Myspace is an online community designed to help people connect, build relationships and create engaging communities around common interests. Since its inception in 2004, Orkut has seen incredible growth around the world; Orkut has top 50 communities, with more than 37 million total members and nearly 1.3 million daily visitors

59,912,892 members to be added at the latest.

orkut social interaction and language acquisition
Orkut – Social Interaction and Language Acquisition
  • It has been a journey of discovery in very happy and pleasant exchange of talks and ideas with my students from school and college.
  • As a teacher, one also analyses the exchanges with a more critical eye and what has had the most impact on me as a teacher is the fact that this social networking activity has brought to the fore the fact that communication in this medium can make language acquisition more attractive and spontaneous.
what makes orkut a good resource
What makes Orkut a Good Resource?
  • Striking features about the Orkut that makes it a good tool to help reach the unreached:
  • Freedom of choice in choosing to interact
  • Spontaneity and naturalness
  • Brief and succinct messages
  • More individual attention from the receiver of messages
  • Lack of peer pressure .
  • Less fear, more openness.
  • Learning social graces in conversation from fellow
  • Orkutians
  • Use of language structures in an unconscious manner
freedom of choice in choosing to interact
Freedom of choice in choosing to interact
  • One can accept the offer of friendship or reject it; this makes a usually reticent student become friendly with his or her teacher if he or she has the ability to choose to speak to that teacher, unlike in real life where the choosing of the teacher usually lies not with the teacher but with the college administration. Where this freedom is available, (to select the receiver of his message), as in Orkut, the student becomes less diffident and becomes more communicative.
spontaneity and naturalness
Spontaneity and naturalness
  • The language teacher aims at helping her students gain enough confidence to be spontaneous and natural in their L2. Orkut has shown that when there is joy in communication, there is spontaneity and naturalness in speech or writing.

Genus: Mam, there are two sets of students a teacher will never forget the famous and the notorious... Well being the latter, I bet I wouldn’t have skipped off ur memory... This is Hazel here (93 batch).. How r u mam??? so glad to see u here....

The tone and naturalness are marked by the use of dots and question marks that convey very effectively the excitement of the writer in ‘scrapping’ to her former teacher.

brief and succinct messages
Brief and succinct messages
  • Next, the exchanges are usually short. There are no elaborately constructed sentences. The words are simple and convey the message most effectively. They do not exceed four or five sentences at the most.

Revathi: Hi mam!! Caught u again!! :)

Barath: Hi Ma'am, how are you? how are things back at our college? anything new?

more individual attention from the receiver of messages
More individual attention from the receiver of messages
  • Unlike in the classroom, the teacher communicates in a more personal way with the student who chooses to talk to the teacher over Orkut.
  • Orkut makes it possible for the teacher to talk personally, be informal and with the ability to edit her speech or writing, be able to not hurt the student. The student-teacher bond develops strongly and several interactive conversations ensue, something that is just not possible in the classroom environment.
lack of peer pressure
Lack of peer pressure
  • A student refuses to open up and talk freely in English in the classroom due to pressure from the peer group.
  • In Orkut, there is relative freedom from this problem and the student feels free to communicate either with his teachers or with his friends in English.
  • hari
less fear more openness
Less fear, more openness
  • In Orkut, the student overcomes such fears, since he/she is possessed by the desire to communicate, come-what-may. The feeling, “Hey, this is only a conversation on the net. Teacher will not reprimand”, goads one to freely talk and send messages to his/her teacher.
  • hari
  • wat r u sayin mam......... (In class this would’ve been interpreted as rudeness)
  • There is also Karthik, who in response to a scrap from me, says:
  • [email protected]®TI-II þ© ~: ahhhh....verbose..all english teachers r lyk that...(Such a light-hearted response does not usually occur in the classroom)
learning social graces in conversation from fellow orkutians
Learning social graces in conversation from fellow Orkutians
  • In face-to-face interaction, following the conversation itself becomes a tedious task for the second language learner and therefore, by the time one message has been decoded, the sender is already on to another message and thus, a few messages are either lost or overlooked.
  • However, in this medium of social interaction as the Orkut, there is time for the student to read the message slowly and at his own leisure and to understand and respond to the message. There is also the option to read others’ scraps (as messages in Orkut are called).
use of language structures in an unconscious manner
Use of language structures in an unconscious manner
  • The student uses language in a variety of ways and in an unconscious manner acquires practise in the use of language structures. Levity, humour, anger, curiosity, joy, surprise etc., are expressed in suitable words through exposure, use and practise.
  • Revathi: Hi mam.. Ah! University life is tiring :( Assignments, deadlines, presentations, class tests(!!), continuous assessments and ofcourse partying n wot not(Though im less active in the last one).. Im missing home and the comparatively relaxed life i had there.. But ya,no looking back.. I need to gear up.. N the weather is havin a toll as well.. It snowed yest for the frst time ever since i came here.. N its freezing! Goes to -some degrees even during the day n u can imagine the nights.. Oh how i miss India and the nice warm days!! Siiiiigggghhhhhhh!
communities on orkut a sample
Communities on ORKUT- A Sample

campus recruitment questions (1,876)

CAT @ TIME Institute (4,596)

  • I Am What I Am !
  • (31,546)

Books n novels (12,029)

Drawing (26,231)

Cluny ,Salem (541)

ELA @ GCE Salem (48)

E Books Database (39,639)

Vocabulary (14,751)

conclusion
Conclusion
  • Drawbacks
  • Social networking offers no privacy.
  • Invasion of privacy is possible.
  • However_
  • To make sure that abusive content (e.g. pornography, racism, pedophilia, etc…) does not circulate among the different communities the idealizers have created standards which are the shared values of the orkut.com community.
social networking online a bridge to connect teacher and the taught
Social Networking Online – a bridge to connect teacher and the taught
  • Teacher can safely guide students
  • Teacher can delight in the tangible manner in which the students’ social interaction levels rise and will continue to have the pleasure of being in touch with her students long after they have acquired the skills of using language as a means of communication with those in society.
references
References
  • [1] http://bowlandfiles.lancs.ac.uk/chimp/langac/LECTURE9/9conc.htm, accessed 6.11.2006
  • [2] Kimball Young.1930. "Language and Social Interaction." Chapter 10 in Social Psychology: An Analysis of Social Behavior. New York: Alfred A. Knopf .203-232.
  • [3] Stacy Moira Gayman, 2000. Understanding language use and social interaction in a French/English two-way immersion classroom. University of Pennsylvania.http://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI9976424/ accessed on 11. 04.2007.
  • [4] Pica, Teresa. 1987. “Second-Language Acquisition, Social Interaction, and the Classroom”. Applied Linguistics. . University of Pennsylvania: Oxford University Press. 8(1):3-21
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When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life.Greg Anderson

Thank you.