Dr. Astrid Buschmann-Göbels / Dr. Annette Jahnke (Fremdsprachenzentrum Bremen, Universität Bremen, Deutschland)

Bridging passion and profession – Setting the stage for cooperative out-of-classroom learning

Over the last years, out-of-classroom (language) learning has been getting increasingly in the focus of research and practice in second language learning. Due to Web 2.0 technologies, there are far more opportunities for learning than merely at the university or at home, and universities have to consider this when planning new course formats. The internet is not only used for information retrieval, but is a place for sharing knowledge and for working collaboratively on a project.  It gives raise to open and dynamic learning environments and communities, giving learners a chance to pursue their own goals. Social media enable more people to connect in more ways.  Synchronous or asynchronous communication with native speakers is made possible and learners are often unaware of the fact that e.g. engaging in social media also contributes to their language learning. Another great advantage of informal learning settings is that is could serve mixed ability groups to meet their needs. However, we need challenging pedagogic approaches, which try to accept, encourage and integrate independent and cooperative out-of-classroom learning at institutional level, as the various scenarios of informal learning require specific competences and skills both from teachers and learners. In our contribution, we would like to give some examples of how we integrate informal learning scenarios at institutional level, showing how project-based learning can turn out to be passion-based learning.

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