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Anna Margaretha Armbrüster

Web 2.0 Technologies and Second Language Learning
A Critical Review of Wikis as a Tool in the Modern Language Classroom

Essen 2010, 120 Seiten, 16,- €[D], ISBN 978-3-89924-290-4

Since the breakthrough of Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia, in 2001, everybody talks about wikis. A wiki is a collection of interlinked web pages that cannot only be read but that can also be edited without special programmes or html-knowledge. Over the past few years wikis have also become notable in educational contexts as a tool for carrying out writing projects or collaborative workshops. 
This book is designed to meet the needs of practising language teachers interested in integrating wikis in a modern language classroom. By giving general information as regards basic features and functions, as well as setting up a wiki, it serves as an ideal introduction for novices, who do not have any experience with wiki technology. Apart from the theoretical investigation, this book especially addresses the questions to what extent wikis can really support second language learning and teaching. In order to answer this question, readers are invited to see themselves a tool in action: three wiki-based projects that have been carried out in English classes at two secondary schools are depicted and analysed. The projects illustrate wiki-based teaching ideas for pupils, who are different concerning age and language proficiency. Problems or difficulties that occurred during the projects are always critically discussed and reflected upon, as well. 

Anna Margaretha Armbrüster studied English and Education at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, and at The University College of St. Martin, Lancaster, GB. Since 2009 she teaches English and Education at a secondary school in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. She also conducts seminars on wiki-based language learning in the Department of Applied Linguistics and Didactics at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Furthermore, she regularly contributes a column on new technologies to a journal on didactics of pedagogy. 

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