Sociocultural Theory and Computer-Mediated Communication-based Language Learning

Main Article Content

Heesook Cheon


Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) refers to “communication that takes place between human beings via [networked] computers” (Herring, 1996), which includes both synchronous modes (e.g., real-time chat and video-conferencing) and asynchronous modes (e.g., e-mails and bulletin boards). This new type of communication is now widely used in foreign language learning and teaching either in the form of telecollabration (class-to-class collaboration) or tandem learning (student-to-student collaboration). The studies on CMC-based language learning, on the whole, have been framed within the Interactionist theory; however, recently, prompted by the suggestion of the sociocognitive approach to the study of CMC (Kern & Warschauer, 2000; Chapelle, 2001), the frameworks used in researching CMC have been expanded to include Sociocultural theory. The sociocultural frameworks for CMC-based language learning, by and large, are based on the claims of scholars calling for sociocultural approaches to second language (L2) and foreign language (FL) learning (Block, 2003; Donato, 2000; Lantolf, 2000; Lantolf & Thorne, 2006; Ohta, 2001).

Article Details