Title: Wiki Technology and Taiwanese EFL Teacher-Learners
Date: Aug. 2005
Author: C. Chiou
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
As the Internet is seen as a huge knowledge repository and a place for communication, an EFL teacher can make use of it to get teaching resources or learn how to teach from others. A new kind of server-side software called ‘wiki’ can be used to construct a collaborative website for teacher-learners (those teachers who want to learn how to improve their teaching) to share their teaching ideas, materials, and experiences on the Internet. With wiki technology, teacher-learners can write or edit webpages collaboratively with others; however, some researchers point out some factors may affect the effectiveness of online learning. In addition, the question about whether wiki-powered websites can help EFL teacher-learners learn about TESOL issues remains unanswered in current literature. Therefore, the main aim of the study is to describe how Taiwanese EFL teacher-learners use a collaborative wiki to help their professional development and how they think about and react to the new technology. A wiki called ‘TESOL Taiwan’ was constructed by the present researcher in order to ask Taiwanese EFL teacher-learners to participate. Tracking data provided by the wiki system was collected during the three-week participation period, and further data from questionnaires, think-aloud protocols, and interviews were collected after their participation in order to ensure triangulation of the study. The data show that the participants generally thought that the new type of website was easy for them and effective in helping them to write collaboratively. They generally agreed that articles on the wiki were of high quality and helpful for them to learn about issues in the TESOL field. However, the teacher-learners think interaction among the users on the wiki was insufficient and their teaching techniques were not improved after their participation. Overall, the wiki was a good collaboration tool for sharing thoughts and teaching materials, so other virtual communities could make use of this new technology to help their members achieve professional development.
Keywords: TESOL, EFL, ELT, teaching, teacher, teacher-learner, wiki, website, teacher development, professional development, collaboration, CoPs, VCoPs, virtual community.
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# 目前論文中所提到的協作 wiki 網站由本人繼續維護，網址在 http://www.tesol-taiwan.org/ 。