Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) SIG

Why have a SIG in Computer Mediated Communication?

The field of computer-mediated communication (CMC) has become a key area of research and development in CALL and it has established itself as one of the main themes of EUROCALL conferences over the past number of years. Colleagues working in CMC have focussed on a wide variety of themes which examine the application of online communication tools such as blogs, wikis, email, online forums, video- and audio- conferencing and virtual worlds to foreign language learning contexts. Important sub-themes include telecollaboration, the application of interactionist, constructivist and sociocultural interpretations of language acquisition in online environments, issues in task design for online interaction and the role of teachers in online learning.

What are the SIG’s activities?

This aim of the CMC SIG is to provide EUROCALL members working in this area with a specialised forum for networking and collaboration with other colleagues as well as for professional development. Some ways in which the SIG does this are by:

  • sharing information on recent developments in CMC related applications, research and pedagogy with other members through our listserv (http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/CMCSIG) and other communication channels.
  • organising pre-conference workshops at EUROCALL conferences.
  • organising regional workshops in members’ home institutions, which will enable members to make others aware of EUROCALL’s work.
  • collaborating on the development of international project proposals.
  • establishing links with other organisations’ special interest groups working in related areas such as the CMC SIG of the American association Calico.

Since its founding at the EUROCALL 2007 conference in Coleraine, Ireland, the SIG has organised pre-conference workshops and/or CMC symposia at each annual EUROCALL conference in order to share ideas not only with one another but to publicise CMC research and practice to conference participants who may not yet be involved in CMC. In addition to this, the SIG has organised two successful workshops (Padova, Italy in 2008 and Leòn, Spain in 2009), which were characteristically small and allowed for intense learning and sharing of experience and knowledge. In 2011, the CMC SIG joined together with the Teacher Education SIG in order to exploit the overlap of topics in the two fields and share experiences across these two areas. The first joint SIG workshop was then held in Barcelona, Spain. This was believed to be particularly important given cuts in funding for professional development across Europe as a consequence of the financial crisis. Given the success of the 2011 conference, the two SIGs subsequently organised a workshop in 2012 in Bologna, Italy. Please see below for further activities that have taken place since.

Anyone interested in joining the SIG and taking an active part in its activities can subscribe to our listserv (http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/CMCSIG)

For your social media posts (Twitter, Instagram etc.), please use #cmcsig to get your post featured on our tagboard.

We have an open, public group on Google + called CMC SIG open space where you can see what we are currently doing and we always welcome interest in our activities.

Further information is available in the member’s area.