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offer the possibility for learners to practise the four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking, and there is considerable potential for learning about L2 culture(s) through direct contact with native-speaker members of L2-speaking communities.
Although interactions in these websites are not without certain drawbacks, such as a lack of reciprocity in a language exchange, perhaps due to disparity in the levels of proficiency of the language partners, or encounters with individuals who have motives other than language learning, it does nonetheless seem possible that some genuine collaborations may be established between people who have come into contact through an online language learning community.
When conditions are propitious, the person will feel comfortable or "ready" to communicate and will actually make use of L2.
(Figure 1 below is a diagrammatic representation of the WTC construct.), and they indicate which language(s) they speak and which they would like to learn or practise.
The new language partners can then continue to communicate asynchronously by posting feedback on each other's responses to tasks in the website, and also via email within the site.
They may also choose to communicate synchronously, using a text-based chat application, and they may later decide to open the audio and video channels, if they connect microphones or webcams.
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In view of the fact that the communication can be asynchronous or synchronous, spoken or written, these websites may suit learners of different personality types, and some may display an increased willingness to communicate due to the disinhibiting effect often associated with certain types of online environment.
Mac Intyre (1998) explain willingness to communicate in L2 as the confluence of a number of factors that impact on L2 use, starting with a person's personality (tendency towards extroversion or introversion is a key aspect), ranging through the person's level of self-confidence, motivation for speaking the L2 and attitude towards the L2 community, and also including the variable of "social situation"; the environment within which the communication is to take place.
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DEADMOCHA: Rosetta Stone announced it will be shutting down Livemocha, an online, web-based language learning platform it acquired in 2013.