The aim of this research project is to find out the similarities and differences in the use of two types of chats in language learning: Task-based chats and Free chats.
The use of tasks in language learning is recommended in order to provide students with opportunities to negotiate meaning and increase their knowledge of the target language. There are several studies that demonstrate that task-based synchronous computer-mediated communication (task-based chat) mainly increases students' lexical skills.
On the other hand, spontaneous conversations with native speakers of the target language provide opportunities to develop pragmatic, social and cultural skills. These kind of skills are at times hard to grasp in the language classroom or from a self study program. Online chats are a tool that serve this purpose.