Ching, Gregory S.*
Lunghwa University of Science and Technology, Taiwan, ROC (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Information Technology (IT) is currently seen and felt in almost every aspect of our daily lives. In addition, the shift of the traditional literacies to the current notion of multiliteracies is caused by the rapid evolution and integration of IT in an age of increased cultural diversity and global connectedness. Such changes did not only change the way students’ learn, but it also changed the students’ perception of text. Furthermore, within the last decades, the rise in popularity of the concept of English for Specific Purpose (ESP) language learning has also encouraged dramatic curricular changes in Taiwan. Recently, students are much influence by the prevalent use of computer mediated communication (CMC) in terms of their English language learning. Students tend to use unorthodox text in their day to day CMC, hence, affected their formal language learning. In light of these situations, this study shall attempt to analyze the influence of maintaining and interacting with a blog posting while learning various Business topics. Participants are a group of volunteer students from the Applied Foreign Languages (AFL) department of a technical vocational university in Taiwan. Students gathered every two weeks for three months to meet and discuss pre-selected topics regarding Business English. Each student is then required to give their reactions and insights regarding the meeting topics through the use of blog entries. Students also take turns in taking the role of topic leaders, which are tasked with giving corrections and reactions with regards to the blog entries. Themes where then generated and analyzed from the students interviews, reactions, and insights. Results show that the peer cooperative learning opportunity combined with blog discussions have positively contributed to the enhancement of the students’ Business English vocabulary learning.
Keywords: English for Specific Purpose; blog discussions; cooperative learning; Business English; computer mediated communication; vocabulary enrichment