Participation in Usenet groups is another way to join an Internet discussion. These groups function like bulletin boards, where people post their messages and respond to others. They differ from discussion lists in that you do not join but rather access the postings via a Usenet reader, if your service provider gives you this option. Also, the postings are "on the bulletin board" and do not come to your mail account or your computer. In this way, Usenet groups take up much less space on your computer or in your Internet account. You can follow a thread of discussion, and your Usenet reader keeps track of the messages in that thread that you have or have not read. In some ways, Usenet groups are easier for people to manage. On the other hand, they require much less commitment and are perhaps not taken nearly as seriously as membership in a discussion list. Consequently, the whole range of discussion--acceptable, useful, or not--is present in these groups.
Several Usenet groups exist for the support of K-12 foreign language instruction and are designated as follows:
These groups provide a means for students to make contact with peers who are native speakers (NSs) of the TL and then engage in conversations with them via e-mail. Other groups exist to discuss TL cultures and societies, which might be useful for FL teachers.