Forming a Community of Practice: Exploratory Teacher Research of an English as a Foreign Language Community at a University in Taiwan

By Paul S. Berg.

Published by The International Journal of Literacies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This exploratory teacher research study explores a community of practice (Wenger, 1998) at a university in Taiwan. The community comprised two groups, one of foreign graduate students new to Taiwan, the other of students in the Tourism Management Department. The practice of the community was formed around the need of the foreign students to learn their way around the city and that of the Taiwanese students to learn to use English for tourism-related contexts. This paper describes the practice of the community and analyzes the data in terms of the effect of the practice of the community on the English of the Taiwanese students. Results show that close bonds were formed within the community, the students were very positive about the experience, and English improvement, while limited, was noticeable.

Keywords: English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Community of Practice, Social Language Learning, Communicative Language Teaching, Situated Learning

The International Journal of Literacies, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp.17-25. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 405.299KB).

Paul S. Berg

Lecturer, Department of International Business, Ling Tung University, Taichung, NA, Taiwan

I have taught EFL at universities in Taiwan for over twenty years. My research interests include curriculum and policy issues especially pertaining to EFL, communicative practices, situated learning, and social learning.