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Wednesday, August 12 • 11:00am - 11:50am
Improving Language Proficiency and Intercultural Communicative Competence through Telecollaboration

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Due to the inexhaustible source of materials it provides for the classroom, internet is commonly used for the teaching of languages. In addition to that, it also allows students to establish contact with native and non native speakers of the language they are learning. Among approaches of language and intercultural learning, computer-mediated communication (CMC) has opened up a wide range of opportunities for cross-cultural exchange. Online communication tools not only offer more opportunities than before to interact with peers from distant societies but they also provide an authentic and effective way of preparing learners for intercultural enrichment through partnership. (O’Dowd 2007)

This session reports on practitioner experiences relating how telecollaboration can successfully be used to improve students’ language proficiency as well as their Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC). Two different contexts are presented.

The first telecollaborative project is set between French second-year engineering students (Béthune University Institute of Technology) and Finnish third-year engineering students (Savonia University of Applied Sciences). The project is spread over 10 weeks and English is used as a Lingua Franca. Only synchronous communication is used and a common website has been created.

The second one involves first-year French and Irish students (Dundalk Institute of Technology) and is spread over a whole academic year. It is bilingual in the sense that 2 languages are used (French for French learners and English for English learners). Communication is synchronous and asynchronous using Web 2.0 tools such as GoogleHangouts, Skype, Audacity, a wiki and emails.

A survey is being conducted in order to evaluate the impact of the online exchanges on students’ language and intercultural skills.

During the session, the structure and outcomes and challenges of these experiences will be discussed and some preliminary results will be presented.

avatar for Laurence de Gruil

Laurence de Gruil

English teacher, Béthune Institute of Technology, University of Artois, France
I teach BE and ESP to engineering students in an Institute of Technology in France and I am getting more and more interested in using new technologies (ICT) to meet my students' needs. Telecollaboration or online intercultural exchange is my main focus and I would be delighted... Read More →

Wednesday August 12, 2015 11:00am - 11:50am EDT
Holden Chapel Holden Chapel, Harvard Bus Tunnel, Cambridge, MA