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Throughout their public school education, Japanese students are socialized into cultural learning practices  that emphasize group-oriented tasks. Well-organized group work is paramount to successful EFL teaching in Japan. In this paper, we look at how Moodle an open-source learning management system, is used at a Japanese computer science university to organize both individual and group tasks. Examples are provided of freeware and open-source software tools, such as CmapTools for concept mapping and Praat for acoustic analysis that can be used within Moodle to enhance EFL reading, writing, and pronunciation courses. We also explore how Moodle can be integrated with collaborative document production tools, such as Google Docs and Spreadsheets. Finally, we demonstrate the use of Moodle as a tool for action research, enabling the teacher/researcher to tightly control the course content in two different courses while systematically varying aspects of the content to test hypotheses about language learning. An important aspect of our work is the systematization of group process in language and communication courses and the development of a context for experimentation.