Navigation – Plan du site

AccueilNuméros78Pratiques pédagogiques en anglais...Implementing the Virtual Language...

Pratiques pédagogiques en anglais de spécialité

Implementing the Virtual Language Centre at the University of Bordeaux during the 2020 lockdown

La mise en place du Centre de Langues Virtuel à l’Université de Bordeaux pendant le confinement de 2020
Jeni Peake et Alexandra Reynolds
p. 89-103

Texte intégral


1This contribution details the creation and implementation of a Virtual Language Centre (VLC) at the University of Bordeaux’s Département Langues, Lettres & Communication. The VLC provided social media content for educational purposes and was intended as a pedagogical response to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown of French universities. All the physical language centre’s activities were moved online in the outbreak of the crisis. The VLC operated on the main social networks and offered much of the information that had previously been made available to students on posters or via email. Its primary objective was to strengthen communication within and between the communities composed of student users and the teaching staff.

2Students enjoyed this innovative way of practicing their foreign language skills. Social media can be considered “as a space for learning with varying attributes of formality and informality” (Greenhow & Lewin 2016: 7) and indeed, VLC activities encouraged student participants to develop new skills, as they had to learn to communicate more informally using new written genres (e.g., Twitter posts) and master social media conduct building upon multimodal communication skills they were conformable with (e.g., using emoticons). The VLC also proved highly efficient in addressing the issue of student social welfare, especially regarding the situation of international students. They could go on practicing French and the online French Café workshop helped them cope with the isolation they experienced.

3In their conclusion, the authors discuss the limitations they encountered in this project, notably those induced by the harsh conditions of the total lockdown which lasted for several weeks and the sudden way in which it was implemented. This, for instance, made it difficult for those in the teaching staff that had no previous social media experience to commit to VLC activities. The authors also underline the fact that some students were reluctant to mix their social and professional identities when interacting online. Séverine Wozniak, Université Grenoble Alpes, ILCEA 4

1. Context

4Researchers and teachers at the University of Bordeaux, France, responded to the Covid-19 crisis by creating the Virtual Language Centre using social media tools (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). The Virtual Language Centre was created in parallel to the Département Langues Lettres et Communication (DLLC) English Department at the Science Faculty of the University of Bordeaux. Until the lockdown, the DLLC had no social media presence. The Virtual Language Centre therefore aimed to provide the DLLC with a virtual presence to advertise the online activities that the Department would be providing for their students during the lockdown. The objective was therefore to create an online community in order to promote useful information, learning opportunities, and create a network of support for students. The support and classes came in both the form of online posts as well as online classes.

5The DLLC building also contains a physical Language Centre which is open to the students during office hours. The space is an open plan area with 31 computers at the students’ disposal. The space contains a reception manned by a secretary as well as a member of academic staff for any pedagogical questions students may have. As well as the autonomous learning area, the Language Centre also provides daily oral workshops with four language assistants. The oral workshops cater for four English language proficiencies: beginner, elementary, intermediate, and advanced. In addition to the oral workshops, the language assistants also run TOEIC workshops. Academic staff also provide language workshops at the physical Language Centre, in subjects relating to their own specialist fields (from grammar to singing). The physical Language Centre also hosts the LACES (Laboratoire Cultures Éducation Sociétés) weekly research group. The weekly group, attended by both staff and students, focuses on the discussion of a research article.

  • 1 The physical Language Centre also offers extra-curricular German and Spanish classes.

6The experience took place at the DLLC at the Science and Technology Faculty. The DLLC caters for the English learning needs of all of the faculty’s 5,000 students, from first-year undergraduates to postgraduate students.1 Generally, all of the English and language classes take place in the DLLC building. This in itself creates enormous logistic challenges when teaching face-to-face. English for specific purposes (ESP) classes usually consist of twenty students on average and one language teacher. The lockdown in 2020 encouraged teachers to build upon pre-existing online teaching resources. Three modules already existed online but the remaining classes at the DLLC favoured face-to-face communication. The French government, as in many other countries, required teachers to continue classes during the pandemic. However, for classes that had only ever been taught in a classroom this raised many questions about how to proceed.

7During the lockdown, students could no longer ask their teachers questions in class, or go to the physical Language Centre for advice. How to keep in touch with students was therefore reassessed through the Virtual Language Centre social media project described here. The Virtual Language Centre was created to bridge the physical chasm created by the lockdown by reaching out to students on platforms that they already knew and used on a regular basis.

8Our report presents the background of the Virtual Language Centre and the implications for both students and staff at the University of Bordeaux. Data were collected from the participants through an online survey of student and staff testimonies. The 141 anonymous testimonies provide qualitative participant experience of the Virtual Language Centre social media pages. In addition to the survey, interviews and email exchanges added to the triangulation of the data. The participants were undergraduate and postgraduate students enrolled at the Collège Sciences et Technologies.

2. Background literature

9Educational institutions have been using technology and social media as a means of accompanying their interactions with both their colleagues and students (Darwish 2019). It can even be said that it is one of the “main communication channels for higher education institutions” (Segura-Mariño et al. 2020: 128). Universities communicate with students, future students, and alumni, most of which are “permanently connected through social media” (Amaral & Santos 2019: 21) communicating with others, looking at online content or connecting with businesses and or daily campus life (Darwish 2019). This constant connection has been demonstrated by the shift from going online to being online; where social networks have become virtual living spaces. Different social media platforms appear to appeal to different age groups. Fennell and Miller (2019) found that students and younger alumni prefer Instagram and Twitter, whereas older students and alumni prefer Facebook. Kent and Capello also found that younger populations tend to use location-based social media more often than their older counterparts, and have a preference for Twitter over other social media platforms (Kent & Capello 2013).

10Social media is a cost-effective way of promoting institutions as well as communicating with students and employees (Fennell & Miller 2019). Social media can be used to offer exclusive insights of an institution, announce its achievements, and advertise its events (Fennell & Miller 2019). It is widely accepted that social media sites are essential for communicating not only with students, colleagues, family members (Kennedy 2012) but also to bridge gaps between the community inside and outside of the institution (Bellucci et al. 2019).

11Possible limitations of institutionalised social media may arise when assumptions are made about students’ social media usage and preferences (Darwish 2019; Jensen 2019). This may be difficult when members of staff rely on their opinions about social media over current research (Jensen 2019). In addition, social media can be seen negatively by some of the teaching staff, who ultimately make the decisions (Darwish 2019). A lack of both administrator and user guidelines, including ethical review procedures can also create unnecessary distrust (op. cit. 2019). For example, there is currently no official charter for social media conduct at the University of Bordeaux although the Communications Department will be offering a training course for implementing social media in the future.

12Social media can also be seen as a new learning space for both teachers and students (Rust 2015) in which the learning outcomes may expand to digital literacy (e.g. dealing with videos, posting photographs, texts, and musical content). Therefore, the posts can be defined as a multimodal text (Crovitz & Moran 2020) which may in turn be used in two different ways: first, as pre-given material whereby users can react to messages and content by liking or sharing posts (Moschini 2018) and second, as multimodal posts that users can create using words and emoticons they share with the other users (op. cit. 2018). By creating a place where students can see model online posts and interact with them, the teaching staff are also indirectly educating students in online etiquette. For example, Moje (2004) explains that students should be provided with places and opportunities to learn and use social media within semi-formal learning contexts.

3. The Virtual Language Centre

3.1. Implementation

13The managers of the Virtual Language Centre had experience of managing social media pages and creating content. Peake had experience with online promotion of events through Facebook at a previous university language centre. This experience enabled the authors to respond quickly to the crisis and create appropriate social media content for educational purposes. The authors launched a pilot pending approval from the University of Bordeaux’s legal department. Peake logged into the accounts every day for one hour and updated posts at least every other day. She also used the events feature on Facebook to promote workshops offered by her colleagues.

Figure 1: Virtual Language Centre logo

Figure 1: Virtual Language Centre logo

3.2. The Virtual Language Centre: A “social media trio”

  • 2 Total likes and followers on 04/06/2020: 58 followers on Twitter, 186 likes on Facebook, 222 follow (...)

14The Virtual Language Centre,2 like the physical Language Centre, provided a variety of resources for students, specifically at the science faculty, as well as schedules for the extracurricular online activities run by staff, which were not part of the regular ESP programme. It was designed to provide a tri-media platform consisting of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages. Instagram is a free online social media application that allows users to take, enhance, and share photographs or videos. Facebook is a free social networking website that permits its users to create personalised profiles, upload photos and videos, exchange messages and correspond with friends, family, and colleagues. Twitter is a platform for microblogging that allows users to post short written messages and follow the short messages written by other users. One of the key advantages of using Instagram is that many applications can be accessed through an Instagram account. Access is achieved through a process of “simple sign on (SSO)” and it is “designed to simplify authentication for end users that draws information from a social media to sign in to a third-party website/application instead of creating a new account for that app or website” (Moschini 2018: 633). This allows the page managers to create content for all three pages from just one post including hashtags (see figure 2).

Figure 2. Example hashtags used on the social media pages.

#UBx #languages #English #learning #free #education #covid2019 #quarantine #covid2019 #JeResteChezMoi #StayHome #StaySafe

Purpose 1: Disseminating social welfare information

15The Virtual Language Centre was used for sharing information on social welfare (see figure 3). Although the University of Bordeaux gave students social, financial, and medical help during the crisis via email, this information was not always necessarily read by students. The Virtual Language Centre therefore acted as a crisis support structure through quick social media posting of any appropriate information for students during the lockdown. The majority of the posts were written in English to continue helping students with English language skills, this being the main vocation of the DLLC. Some posts were written in the other languages of the department for those also wishing to learn French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Figure 3: Examples of social welfare resources shared by the Virtual Language Centre in English and by the University of Bordeaux Facebook page, in French during Covid-19

Purpose 2: Maintaining the practice and developing new skills

16We promoted synchronous activities in which students could interact with other students and English teaching staff via Skype, Zoom, or Discord. English oral workshops were run by the language assistants from Monday to Friday for beginner to advanced users of English. Oral workshops allowed students to continue practising their English in level-appropriate groups with language assistants from the UK and the USA. Weekly videoconferences were held in French, Spanish, and Portuguese as well as the creation of a debating club. This also enabled students to interact with each other and practise their other languages. To complement the general oral workshops, teaching staff volunteered their time to give online interactive workshops on a variety of topics including English-speaking cities or countries, films, conspiracy theories, CV and job interview training, as well as light-hearted quizzes.

17We also offered asynchronous activities, such as articles and videos to be read or watched by the students in their own time. In addition to input activities were the interactive quiz-like activities such as Kahoots and online escape game challenges. For example, 110 followers on Facebook saw an escape game post, eleven clicked on it and one commented:

That was real fun! It pains me to say that it took me twice as much time as you did though [smiley].

18One element of informal communication, as in the quotation above, is the use of emoticons and this informal aspect was amplified because social media is mainly accessed by smartphones. Smartphone communication indeed enabled some of our students to experiment with informal English in informal contexts. For example, one student joined their beginners English Skype class from a supermarket whilst shopping, and another one from a party.

  • 3 During the lockdown, the University of Bordeaux decided to maintain all continuous assessments and (...)

19As is common social media practice, students could comment, share, bookmark or like the content posted by the Virtual Language Centre. For example, the video entitled “How to do an oral presentation”3 was sent to other Instagram users seven times, bookmarked six times, and commented upon three times by students. The comments were either written by students tagging their friends or as a means of showing their peers a video. The “how to” videos, which were humorous and light-hearted, received appropriately humorous comments, such as:

Goddam, you really need to get a walk outside [smiley]

  • 4 The distribution of followers per media page was as follows: Instagram 45%, Facebook 44 % and Twitt (...)
  • 5 <>.

20The Twitter account received fewer views than the Facebook and Instagram accounts.4 This can be explained by Twitter being generally used for external information sources rather than sharing of information within the closed community of the university (Ford et al. 2011; Ricoy & Feliz 2016). Another interactive activity was Sporcle5 which generates online quizzes such as “Who Am I?”. On completing the quiz, one student commented:

  • 6 The student was quoting the humorous feedback given at the end of the quiz.

I think I might lack some basis with general knowledge. I’ll try again later “with my eyes open”6

21The social media trio therefore provided the students with opportunities to take part in both synchronous and asynchronous activities, on a voluntary basis, and to leave comments relating to their experiences as learners.

Purpose 3: Disseminating good practice

22The video content produced by students served as both a means of sharing work produced by students in recognition of their hard work and as examples for other students to follow in case they needed guidance for their English projects. The “how to” videos made by the staff replaced the teacher in-class demonstrations about the best practises of oral presentations. See table 1 for more details.

Table 1: Video Content created by the Virtual Language Centre or by students of the University of Bordeaux

Video Screenshot



Archaeopteryx Oral Presentation

This video was created by a student to replace an oral exam, the student authorised the use of the video to be used on the social media pages as an example.

Mobile Phone Oral Presentation

This student’s video was published on the social media pages as an example for the Year1 oral project.

Oral Presentation Dos and Don’ts

This video was created by Peake in order to give advice to students on how to make an oral presentation.

Virtual Language Centre in French, English, Spanish, Italian, and Arabic

This video was created by students to explain how the Virtual Language Centre represented linguistic diversity. The students chose to use several languages to portray language diversity.

4. Student and staff feedback

23Written testimonies by staff and students were analysed in order to assess the Virtual Language Centre. Overall, the testimonies, as well as the growing number of “likes” and “followers”, were positive. Student testimonies confirmed that the Virtual Language Centre was a place for more than just language learning, as it provided a support system, intellectual stimulation as well as light relief during the lockdown.

4.1. Student testimonies

24Students coming to France through international exchange programmes were particularly affected during the Covid-19 lockdown. They had chosen to come to France to study and meet new people. Instead they were in lockdown, often alone, away from their families, and unable to benefit from being in France.

  • 7 All of the participants have been given pseudonyms.

25Natasha,7 an exchange student from Brazil, regularly attended French and Portuguese workshops during the lockdown in order to maintain contact with teaching staff and continue improving her French:

  • 8 All student and staff testimonies were given in English.

I got really sad […] seeing all my friends leaving and going back to their countries. I started looking for courses, workshops and everything I could to do in this quarantine and be productive because I really wanted to make it worth the time I was here. I got really happy when the university sent me the Virtual Language Centre on Facebook, so I joined the French Café workshop on Skype, and I really liked it! I was really focused to study French as much as I could, and the conversation time I had during those sessions helped me a lot with that. Also, [it] gave the idea to do a Portuguese Café because as a native I could help a lot… to help other people and also to use my time even better during the quarantine. I had a really great time during those sessions too, I never had helped anyone foreign with my native language but it turned out fine.8 (Natasha, international student)

26Natasha started attending workshops in order to practise her French, then agreed to participate in the “Portuguese Café.” As an L1 Portuguese speaker, she helped other people learn her language. The Virtual Language Centre therefore provided a network of support for students through shared language learning interests.

27Another overseas student, Sara, returned to Ireland at the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis. Whilst continuing her Chemistry studies online she also attended the research group entitled Cercle de lecture hosted by the Virtual Language Centre. The research group, held on Skype, allowed her to pursue her language and literature learning interests with the colleagues she had met in France: As I am back with my parents, it’s very grounding to talk to others from University and it feels like I never left France!” Another member of the research group, Barbara, a semi-retired English teacher also regularly attended the research meetings during the lockdown. She explained that it helped her maintain a sense of order and regularity during the lockdown as well as being a pleasant start to her day. One of the particularities of this research group was that it was open to all university students at the University of Bordeaux (including University Bordeaux Montaigne). This was one of the reasons for an increase in attendance during lockdown (from 5 to 10 attendees on average) as members were more available during lockdown and did not have to travel across Bordeaux to attend the meetings. The research group therefore intends to continue meeting through videoconferencing after lockdown.

28The Virtual Language Centre also provided a reach-out service to students who were further isolated by disability. One such student, Celia, had to start the lockdown before most people and did not know when she would be allowed out, causing her to feel as if she had lost “the concept of time and reality.” Celia felt that the activities offered by the Virtual Language Centre allowed her to maintain “real and significant connections with people.”

29The activities allowed her to continue improving her language skills and provided distraction from worry:

  • 9 The comments were made in English by the students who used the social media pages for practising th (...)

I can’t go outside due to a lifelong general disorder. The Virtual Language Centre helps me a lot during the whole quarantine, because these kinds of experiences generate sense, maintain or create a real and important connection between people who are hopeless and alone or who don’t have the possib[ility] to enjoy sunny weather because of the viruses. Thanks to these activities, we are able to develop and improve our own skills, without thinking about [an] uncertain future.9 (Celia, 2nd year Biology student)

30Antoine, a first-year Computer Science student, believed that the language workshops went above and beyond his regular classes. Antoine reported that the online classes were “more than just English lessons” he appreciated having the opportunity to interact with “teachers and students coming [from] all around the world” during the lockdown:

I loved to talk about the different English idioms, the American flag history, Louisiana, Scotland, and the differences between British and US English speaking. For me, it is much more than just English lessons. I really appreciate each and every moment with all the language centre teachers, thank you all so much, I mean it, from the bottom of my heart. (Antoine, 1st-year Computer Science student)

31The feedback from students suggested that they appreciated the topics discussed and the individual attention they received during the sessions. It could therefore be argued that the lockdown helped to make the workshops more adaptable to the students’ needs. Alexis, Ilyes and David all felt that the workshops were individually relevant and helpful.

32David explained that receiving information through the social media pages was quicker and more effective than email because it was quicker to log on to social media and there was less content. He found the use of Facebook events particularly useful as they reminded him of the upcoming events:

I find the websites for the VLC easier and faster to get info from because I'm used to checking my social media, rather than my email with the password being asked every time and the tons of mails we're all getting these days, for example. The content is really understandable and with the ‘event’ option, I don't miss a date. (David, 2nd-year Biology student)

4.2. Staff testimonies

33The Head of the Language Centre, Rose, viewed the continuation of the activities previously held at the Language Centre activities as vital during the lockdown as “it provided a means for students to continue to enrich and practise their English even when the University premises were no longer available due to lockdown.” The Head of the physical Language Centre described the online activities during the lockdown as a means to provide students with “both social and pedagogical support during this time [which] helped combat the possible feeling of isolation.”

  • 10 Students are normally required to complete 5-8 hours of English workshops or autonomous learning in (...)

34It has to be said that attendance during the lockdown was reduced which may be explained by the fact that attending workshops was no longer an obligatory part of the students’ English course.10 However, the smaller groups allowed for the workshops to be more personalised and hopefully for students to make more progress.

35This was confirmed by Sophie, a language assistant:

The students who attend are highly motivated and working one-on-one with them helps me better address their language learning needs. I am able to listen to their feedback and adapt each week’s conversation lesson to their interests and level. I have also noticed that students seem to use these distance lessons not only as an educational resource, but as a welcome distraction from their own confinement situation. (Sophie, language assistant)

36Annie, also a language assistant, reported that she “finished the classes in a better mood than when [she] began.” She explained that most of the class time was spent discussing the lockdown and how students were coping:

During this time of isolation, I have enjoyed continuing live interaction with students and finish the classes in a better mood than when I began. I go into the classes with a lesson plan, but often spend the majority of time talking with students about their personal situations and how we are dealing with the confinement. I feel like I am particularly helping students who are feeling lonely during this time. (Annie, language assistant)

37Annie could not always “stick to her lesson plan” and in being flexible was able to provide both moral support and personalised language tuition by discussing these topical issues with her students in English.

38Language assistant, Sophie, highlighted some of the limitations of the Virtual Language Centre as a means of social outreach:

I have noticed some limitations of distance learning, especially in terms of accessibility. It seems to privilege non-working students with good internet connection, access to a quiet learning environment, and confidence in their English speaking skills. (Sophie, language assistant)

39Maria, a language assistant, reflected on both her own motivation as well that of her students during the COVID-19 crisis:

Finding the motivation to attend lessons online during this difficult period is tough, but my colleagues and I were pleasantly impressed by the dedication of the regular students who have attended our lessons since the language centre’s virtual launch. Their persistence in attending our Skype sessions is a true testament to their dedication to learning English. This made teaching all the more pleasurable because they showed up eager to learn and we couldn’t have asked for more from our students! Despite some of the challenges we faced trying to adapt our conversation lessons to fit an online format, I’m happy knowing that we were able to maintain a strong impact online for some of our stellar students! (Maria, language assistant)

40The teaching staff had to adapt rapidly to the dynamics of a discussion-based Skype or Zoom class which could be very different from that of a regular in-person class. Although the ‘breakout rooms’ in Zoom enabled teachers to put students into pair or group work, the video-based discussion may have made less confident students feel uncomfortable. In addition, technical problems such as bad connections, freezing images, and audio cut-outs added a new level of difficulty to managing a conversation class. Overall, these problems were rare and both staff and students showed great patience when adapting to language teaching through video-conferencing.

5. Concluding remarks

  • 11 The University of Bordeaux currently has a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account.

41The Virtual Language Centre was created by non-funded volunteers from the DLLC as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic to accompany and facilitate communication between students and staff at the DLLC, University of Bordeaux, as well as providing extra-curricular online classes. The pages served as an online resource allowing students to communicate with other students and staff during interactive online classes as well as autonomously practise their English. The DLLC, and the university itself, had previously used emails, forums, and posters to communicate with students. We now aim to continue using the Virtual Language Centre, like the University of Bordeaux’s own social media pages,11 as a supplementary means of communicating with students, in particular during weekends and holidays.

42The limitations to the Virtual Language Centre involved the difficult conditions of the lockdown and how this impacted teaching staff. Members of the department were unable to give workshops online if they had small children to look after. Other members of the department were reluctant to create social media pages because they lacked experience in social media. Other members of the teaching staff were concerned that the pages would not accurately reflect the department and its values. In order to answer these concerns, the Communications Department of the University of Bordeaux was consulted, other members of staff were given access to the pages to ensure variety, and the Department was invited to like and follow the pages so that they could give feedback on the content.

43One final limitation of the experience is that some students are not willing to mix their personal and professional identities. This can be seen in the admittedly small amount of likes and comments on the posts. This does not mean that the information is not being seen by the students, only that they choose not to publicly interact with the content. The advantages of social media for keeping a dialogue open with student cohorts nevertheless exceed the drawbacks of social media administration.

44The positive outcome of the Covid-19 crisis has been that the DLLC Language Department now has a social media presence at the University of Bordeaux. The Virtual Language Centre, created during the pandemic, continues to update students on both relevant social welfare and language learning events.

The authors would like to thank and acknowledge their colleagues at the DLLC for having supported and contributed to the creation and running of the Virtual Language Centre during the Covid-19 global pandemic. We would particularly like to thank our colleague, Mickael Choisi from the University of Bordeaux Legal and Communications Department for his support and advice. Finally, we would like to thank our students from the Science Faculty for attending the language workshops and liking and commenting on our Virtual Language Centre pages.

Haut de page


Virtual Language Centre Social Media Pages and Accounts

Facebook: <>

Twitter: <>

Instagram: <>

Altena, E., C. Baglioni, C. A. Espie, J. Ellis, D. Gavriloff, B. Holzinger, A. Schlarb, L. Frase, S. Jernelöv & D. Riemann. 2020. “Dealing with sleep problems during home confinement due to the COVID-19 outbreak: Practical recommendations from a task force of the European CBT-I Academy”. Journal of Sleep Research.

Amaral, I. & S. Santos. 2019. “Social networks and institutional communication: The case of Portuguese Universities”. Revista Prisma Social 28, 20–45. Retrieved from <> on 1/8/2020.

Bellucci, M., S. Biagi & G. Manetti. 2019. “Dialogic accounting and stakeholder engagement through social media: The case of top-ranked universities”. Review of Higher Education 42/3, 1145–1184.

Crovitz, Darren & Clarice Moran. 2020. “Analyzing disruptive memes in an age of international interference”. English Journal 109/4, 62–69. Retrieved from <> on 3/7/2020.

Darwish, E. B. 2019. “Social media education in the Arab world: Reality and challenges.” International Conference E-Society, 21–28.

Fennell, M. & S. D. Miller. 2019. “College presidents and social media: What’s not to ‘like’? Establishing an online presence-using a variety of platforms-can extend your reach to a vast audience.” University Business 22/6, 48.

Ford, N., M. Bowden & J. Beard. 2011. “Learning together: Using social media to foster collaboration in higher education.” In Wankel, L.A. & C. Wankel (Eds.), Higher Education Administration with Social Media. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Vol. 2, 105–126.

Greenhow, Christine & Cathy Lewin. 2016. Social media and education: Reconceptualizing the boundaries of formal and informal learning. Learning, Media & Technology 41/1, 6–30.

Jensen, L. J. 2019. “Integrating Social Media into Online Education.” Library Technology Reports, 55(4), 27–30. Retrieved from < /ltr/article/view/7003/9492> on 28/7/2020.

Kennedy, M. 2012. “Social media and crisis response”. American School & University 84/6, 14.

Kent, Joshua D. & Henry T. Capello Jr. 2013. “Spatial patterns and demographic Indicators of effective social media content during The Horsethief Canyon Fire of 2012”. Cartography and Geographic Information Science 40/2, 78–89.

Moje, E. B. 2004. “Powerful spaces: Tracing the out-of-school literacy spaces of Latino/a Youth”. In Spatializing Literacy Research and Practice, New York: Peter Lang. 15–38.

Moschini, Ilaria. 2018. “Social semiotics and platform studies: An integrated perspective for the study of social media platforms.” Social Semiotics 28/5, 623–640.

Ricoy, M.-C. & T. Feliz. 2016. “Twitter as a learning community in Higher Education.” Journal of Educational Technology & Society. JSTOR, 19/1, 237–248. Retrieved from <> on 5/7/2020,

Rust, Julie. 2015. “Students’ playful tactics”. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 58/6, 492–503.

Segura-Mariño, Adriana Graciela, Francisco Javier Paniagua-Rojano & Manuel Fernández-Sande. 2020. “Metodología rara evaluar la comunicación universitaria en Facebook y Twitter”. Methodology to evaluate university communication on Facebook and Twitter 28 January, 127–44. Retrieved from < codigo=7263734> on 5/7/2020.

Haut de page


1 The physical Language Centre also offers extra-curricular German and Spanish classes.

2 Total likes and followers on 04/06/2020: 58 followers on Twitter, 186 likes on Facebook, 222 followers on Facebook, 229 followers on Instagram.

3 During the lockdown, the University of Bordeaux decided to maintain all continuous assessments and exams which were held at a distance and online. The Virtual Language Centre therefore provided help for students on how to video record their oral presentations, which they had hitherto performed in class.

4 The distribution of followers per media page was as follows: Instagram 45%, Facebook 44 % and Twitter 11%.

5 <>.

6 The student was quoting the humorous feedback given at the end of the quiz.

7 All of the participants have been given pseudonyms.

8 All student and staff testimonies were given in English.

9 The comments were made in English by the students who used the social media pages for practising their English.

10 Students are normally required to complete 5-8 hours of English workshops or autonomous learning in the physical Language Centre.

11 The University of Bordeaux currently has a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account.

Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Jeni Peake et Alexandra Reynolds, « Implementing the Virtual Language Centre at the University of Bordeaux during the 2020 lockdown »ASp, 78 | 2020, 89-103.

Référence électronique

Jeni Peake et Alexandra Reynolds, « Implementing the Virtual Language Centre at the University of Bordeaux during the 2020 lockdown »ASp [En ligne], 78 | 2020, mis en ligne le 01 novembre 2020, consulté le 29 mai 2024. URL : ; DOI :

Haut de page


Jeni Peake

Jeni Peake is an English language teacher at the University of Bordeaux, France. She is also a PhD candidate in Linguistics at the University Bordeaux Montaigne. Her main areas of study are language hybridity in public spaces, with a particular focus on graffiti and tattoos.

Alexandra Reynolds

Alexandra Reynolds is Associate Professor of English and Linguistics at the University of Bordeaux, France. Her main research areas are English as a medium of professional identity, virtual exchange and language identity.

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur


Le texte seul est utilisable sous licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Les autres éléments (illustrations, fichiers annexes importés) sont « Tous droits réservés », sauf mention contraire.

Haut de page
Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search