Digital Communication through Effective Verbal Language in the 21st Century Classroom. Topic: Intercultural Communication

Maria Genova

2ELS “Thomas Jefferson”, Sofia,


Abstract: The paper presents a piece of small-scale research carried out with 17-year-old students who follow an intensive five-year course in EFL. In accordance with the curriculum for the eleventh grade, they are presented with classical British and American literature. To motivate students to participate in classes and develop their skills to interpret and analyse short literary texts, the teacher relies on students’ digital literacy and digital technologies. The author’s aim is to describe the participants, the messages, noise, feedback and channel of communication in a new context, i.e. the 21st century classroom where students often communicate with each other and the teacher not only face-to-face but most of the time digitally while performing various tasks and completing assignments. Involved in project work and student-centred activities on themes discussed by classical authors, the students are asked to share ideas and opinions, comment on written assignments and assess formatively peer work on digital platforms. This in turn requires the usage of verbal language for communication. And here come the two questions:

  1. Are students prepared to use appropriate verbal language to foster digital communication within a group?
  2. How can teachers help students foster a dialogue based on mutual respect, understanding and friendly criticism?

Keywords: digital communication, verbal language, 21century classroom, peer assessment.

Rhetoric and Communications E-journal, Issue 33, March 2018,,, ISSN 1314-4464

Read the original of the text (in English)