Can the EFL Classroom Be Considered a Community of Practice?

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Author: Akiko Nagao, Ryukoku University, Japan
Email: nagao@world.ryukoku.ac.jp
Published: April 27, 2019
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijll.4.1.06

Citation: Nagao, A. (2018). Can the EFL Classroom Be Considered a Community of Practice? IAFOR Journal of Language Learning, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijll.4.1.06


Abstract

The concept of Communities of Practice (CoPs) has attracted interest for over two decades and has been actively re-examined from a variety of perspectives, especially in the field of education. However, limited research has been conducted into the concept of one EFL classroom-based teaching and learning community constituting one CoP. This paper discusses the potential applicability of the concept of CoPs to the EFL classroom and investigates the following question: “Can a certain number of students and their instructor participating in a group population be defined as a CoP?” The results of the study showed that considering an EFL classroom in its entirety as a CoP is possible, and an expansion of the definition of CoPs to include EFL pedagogical communities is necessary.

Keywords

Communities of Practice, higher education in Japan, EFL CoP, teacher education