Increasing the Communicative Competence of Foreign Language Students Through the FL Chatroom


  • Walter Rankin Ph.D.

    1. George Mason University
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      Georgetown University is Assistant Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA.


ABSTRACT  The popular online “chatroom” can be incorporated into course syllabi of foreign language courses as a regular homework assignment to encourage students to use the target language actively and frequently. By scheduling regular visits to an FL-specific chatroom, the FL instructor can greatly increase the amount of time students spend communicating in the target language. The FL chatroom allows the instructor and students to continue more in-depth discussions–grammatical, cultural, and literary–outside of the classroom. Further, these discussions can be opened up to include other sections and classes, as well as guests from outside the institution. Thus, students from all levels of language learning can benefit from a shared knowledge base.