Task design to enhance learners' collaboration and engagement in an online Chinese learning environment

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Empirical research has shown that applying authentic tasks can create a collaborative learning environment for learners, which enables them to engage in meaningful language exchanges that promote their second language acquisition.
Although new technologies make collaboration among learners possible in virtual classrooms, few studies have investigated task design in multimodal learning environments or its influence on learners’ interaction and collaborative language learning. To fill the gap, this study was carried out to explore the best practice by applying a task-based language teaching approach via a web conferencing-based online Chinese class. The purpose of the current research was to answer the following questions: (1) How do communicative tasks stimulate learners’ collaboration and interaction in an online Chinese language class?, (2) What are learners’ perceptions of the task design in the web-conferencing-based multimodal learning environment?, and (3) What are the impacts of technology-mediated task-based language teaching on learners’ learning experience? In this study, 16 university beginner learners of Chinese participated in this two-stage project. Data were collected through post-session surveys, in-depth interviews, and web conferencing archive recordings. The results confirmed that the designed communicative tasks showed great pedagogical value in facilitating learners’ collaboration and interaction in an online learning environment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLearning environment and design
Subtitle of host publicationcurrent and future impacts
EditorsWill W. K. Ma, Kar-wai Tong, Anna W. B. Tso
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9789811581670
ISBN (Print)9789811581663
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameEducational Communications and Technology Yearbook
PublisherSpringer Nature
ISSN (Print)2524-4078
ISSN (Electronic)2524-4086


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