THE USEFULNESS OF ESL CHAT FORUMS
ESL chat forums provide ESL students with the ability to communicate effectively with other students who are learning English or who want to improve their English skills. Chat forums are one of many ways to add value to the English language learning process. ESL chat rooms are useful because one can chat in real time with others who are also wanting to improve their English outside of the classroom environment. ESL forums are global so that your chat friends can be using the forum whether they are in Florida, Australia or Colombia. The platform of the chat forum is also appealing to many ESL students, and because it is virtual, students feel more confident chatting with people around the world.
This helps students to increase and broaden academic, personal, and multicultural horizons and contacts with those around the world. ESL chat forums allow students to better understand and comprehend the outside world while learning the English language.
Chat rooms offer numerous types of interaction such as:
- Student to student
- Student to teacher
- Student to expert
- Student to online resources
- Group chats
Depending on the chat forum, many students can chat as a group. This helps to encourage team work and collaborative learning while developing online social skills. As students begin to work as a group on joint projects they take responsibility and control over their learning while providing guidance and support for one another.
Other advantages to ESL chat forums include:
- Increased development of communicative skills.
- Increased computer literacy skills.
- Development of social skills
- Development of proper online etiquette.
- Increased English writing skills.
Finally, ESL chat forums also help ESL students to develop other essential life skills. These include:
- Autonomy and independence.
- Interpersonal skills including helping, negotiating, suggesting, debating, discussing, interviewing, listening and asking skills.
- Organizational skills including time management, project management, and setting objectives.