Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal (Nov 2011)

Virtual Forums: A Pedagogical Tool for Collaboration and Learning in Teacher Education

  • Martha Isabel Espitia,
  • Amaparo Clavijo Olarte

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 13, no. 2
pp. 29 – 42


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Implementing technological tools in EFL classes has not been easy for language teachers, they often struggle to make class activitiesconsistent with the curriculum, policies, students’ needs and likes and lately, with computer and internet-based ICTs. The problem regularlyis that EFL teachers do not possess the pedagogical and technological knowledge to use technological tools to foster communication andinteraction among students to learn collaboratively. This study deals with a teacher education experience in which tools such as blogs, learningsoftware, e-mail, forums and internet-based tools were used to improve EFL learning and teaching. Data were gathered from the group ofEFL teachers in two phases: the first phase included participants’ planning, discussion, and implementation of a pedagogical project for youngEFL learners; the second phase consisted of the participants’ reporting and evaluating their performance using forums and blogs with theirstudents. The study demonstrated that teacher education experiences are crucial for teacher learning to integrate the use of forums and blogsin the EFL Curriculum. It also showed that the use of blogs and forums requires addressing language pedagogy from a perspective that valuescommunication, collaboration and participation as central elements of learning.