Wikis in the World Language Classroom: Transforming Teaching, Learning, & Teacher Preparation with Technology

by Cherice Montgomery, Brigham Young University
Last revision: February 19, 2014


This paper explores the use of a wiki as a tool for developing literacies that initiate, implement, and sustain transformative educational and social change in preservice teachers, world language methods courses, teacher preparation programs, and the K-12 schools they serve. Wikis can serve as mediating tools that draw "technological pedagogical content knowledge" (Mishra & Koehler, 2006) into a single actionable frame, helping teachers to consider students’ perspectives more carefully. Wiki use can also spur critical consideration of personal pedagogy, along with issues such as curriculum, authority, access, ethics, knowledge, and power. By doing so, wikis have the potential to transform teaching and learning.

Note: For a more classroom-friendly treatment of this information, visit The Whats, Whys, & Wows of Wikis in World Language Education

Table of Contents

Background - What does it mean to be literate and why should world language educators care?

Changes - How are writing spaces changing?

Definitions - What is a wiki?

Clarifications - How does a wiki differ from a website or a blog?

Functions - How do wikis work and what can language educators do with them?

Teacher Preparation - What do wikis have to do with world language methods courses?

Language Links - How might a wiki be used in a world language methods course?

Transformations - In what ways might the tensions inherent in wiki use highlight possible sites for the transformation of learning, teaching, and professional development?

Student Comments - What do teacher candidates think of working with a wiki?

Assessment - How might one use the interactive features of a wiki for assessment purposes?

References - Where might one go to further explore the use of wikis in world language education?

Resources - What resources will be most helpful to novices in creating wikis of their own?

Summary - What are the key points of this article?


Scholarly References

Mishra, Punya, & Koehler, Matthew J. (2006). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A Framework for Teacher Knowledge. The Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054. Retrieved March 29, 2008, from

Multimedia References

Free Buttons. (n.d.). Blur metal. Retrieved March 17, 2008, from