Creating and nurturing a Community
of Practice for langauge teachers in
Principal Teaching Fellow
University of Warwick Language Centre.
What is a Community of Practice?
Etienne Wenger, cognitive anthropology. (1998)
Describes the long standing phenomenon of
learning in communities, concept expanded.
The formation and transmission of knowledge
by those sharing:
• Language Centre, 3500 students a year, 8
languages for academic credit.
• 50 staff, many part-time.
• Interest in ICT for teaching and learning.
• Assessment review and alignment with CEFR.
• Increasing importance of oral/aural skills.
• Need to provide tailored resources.
• Sustainable platform for blended delivery.
• Re-engagement in discussions of theory and
practice of language teaching.
• Importance of student experience.
• Need to support innovation.
• Principled deployment of ICT to support staff
Key points emerging from the data
• Student satisfaction with online course use
highest when interaction included in design.
• Staff reported skill development within CoP
“ I showed colleagues how to upload documents to Forum and
to each week, how to create activities, e.g. assignment… I
remember better in showing them how to do those tasks.”
“colleagues demonstrated how to make quizzes and how to
upload videos. I remembered them because I could use them
straight away in my design of online courses, and they are
very practical and quite easy to implement. The sharing has
been useful and did prompt me to try a new technology in my
• Cannot assume perceptions of shared domain,
community and practice.
• Important to celebrate all achievements.
• Emphasis on empowering not compliance.
• Important to disseminate clear messages and
have management support.
• Lifelong learning as a central premise.
Thank you for listening.
warwicklanguage on twitter and youtube
Teresamac in SL, slideshare and ning.
Please keep in touch!