Lilia Savova, English, presented on "Creating Online Communities of Practice Across Cultures and Borders" at the International TESOL Convention in Baltimore, Maryland. This year, the 50th anniversary of the foundation of TESOL (Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages) as the world's biggest professional organization for ESOL teachers, there were attendees from over 75 countries. This year also marks Savova's personal anniversary of presenting at the annual TESOL conventions for 25 consecutive years.
Her presentation analyzes Communities of Practice (CoP) as theory of learning, i.e., situated learning (Lave & Wenger) and as knowledge management, i.e., finding and sharing tacit knowledge (Hildreth & Kimble). It also explains how CoPs differ from group/project teams as they are organically created, defined by the knowledge of its members, and their long-term commitment.
She offers examples of CoPs which go beyond traditional collaboration by establishing social presence (Wasko & Farj), by sharing a strong motivation (Ardichvilli & Wentling) and by higher levels of collaboration (Sveiby & Simon). Such advanced levels of learning as social engagement in her teaching are enhanced by online videoconferencing where expertise across cultures and borders is the main organizing principle.
Department of English