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      WeChat-Mediated Simulation and the Learning of Business Chinese

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      Modern Languages Open

      Liverpool University Press

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          Abstract

          The purpose of this tutorial is to demonstrate social media engagement in higher-level language classrooms, using WeChat (a China-based free application with functions similar to WhatsApp or Messenger) as the digital medium. Originally designed for users in the Chinese market, WeChat is also available in English and increasingly used beyond China for both social and business communication, therefore its use as demonstrated in this tutorial may also be applicable to the learning of other languages, or to inspire the use of similar digital tools in language learning and teaching. This tutorial illustrates specifically how WeChat can facilitate the learning of language and culture for business in a Chinese context. It explores several modes of communication offered by WeChat, including one-to-one or group instant text messaging, voice messaging, voice or video call, document sharing, and online publication. These various functions are utilised in different stages of a business simulation game, and set up as pre-planned learning tasks. The tasks consist of specific, progressive activities and goals, such as drafting and pitching a business plan, business consultation, market research and digital marketing. Accordingly, specific learning processes are generated: enabling the simulation of digital business communication (focusing on China in this case) through gamification; in doing so, it extends learning in the conventional classroom (‘here’ offline in Europe) and blends it with that in real-life interactions and business practices (‘there’ online in China). The tutorial shows that the digital mediation afforded by WeChat encourages a coherent and authentic learning experience through collaborative and blended learning in interconnected steps, in which teachers act mainly as the organiser and facilitator while students are enabled to develop self-directed/collaborative, negotiated/differentiated, and affective/motivational learning, following a task-based approach.

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          Most cited references 4

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          Serious Games, Debriefing, and Simulation/Gaming as a Discipline

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            Digital affordances on WeChat: learning Chinese as a second language

             Li Jin (2018)
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              Social media in second and foreign language teaching and learning: Blogs, wikis, and social networking

              This review surveys and synthesizes the findings of 87 focal pieces, published primarily since 2009 and mid 2018, on the formal and informal use of social media—blogs, wikis, and social networking—for second and foreign language teaching and learning (L2TL), including studies on the use of educational sites like Livemocha and Busuu and vernacular sites like Facebook and Twitter. The article frames the review in the development of social media and the history of social computer-assisted language learning (CALL) research. Synthesis identifies common findings, including that social media can afford the development of intercultural, sociopragmatic, and audience awareness, language learner and user identities, and particular literacies. Presentation of the focal pieces and common findings is intertwined with discussion of problematic issues, and each section concludes with a summary and implications for future research and practice.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2052-5397
                Modern Languages Open
                Liverpool University Press
                2052-5397
                28 August 2020
                2020
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Cardiff University, GB
                [2 ]KU Leuven, BE
                Article
                10.3828/mlo.v0i0.300
                Copyright: © 2020 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                Categories
                Article – digital modern languages

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