Transforming the EFL Pedagogical Approach towards a Digital Age through Online Communities of Practice (Cops)

Norizan Abdul Razak, Murad Saeed

Abstract


This qualitative descriptive study provides an understanding of the characteristics of a community of practice (CoP) via a Facebook (FB) group among English as foreign language (EFL) learners. Utilizing a qualitative descriptive method, the data was collected from the interactional exchanges and responses to online written discussions posted by 12 EFL learners who are regular members of this CoP. A qualitative content analysis of the participants’ interactional exchanges and responses in the discussions was carried out based on Wenger’s (1998) three dimensions of a CoP: joint enterprise (what is about?), mutual engagement (how does it function?) and shared repertoire (what capacities has it developed? ). These three dimensions which were adopted from Smith (2003) and Pearce (2010) served as macro codes for the analysis.  For the join enterprise, the findings revealed that this CoP is characterized by the EFL learners’ shared interests in English, knowledge and enjoyment, negotiated enterprise and certain rhythm and rules followed by them in practicing English. Furthermore, the findings indicate that the CoP functions through the EFL learners’ engaged diversity, sharing different information, relationship building and community maintenance. As a result of this, the EFL learners as members of this Cop described their sense of knowledge, language and communication skill development, sense of autonomy over their learning, sense of comfort and sense of belonging.       


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