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Wednesday, August 12 • 11:00am - 11:50am
Single vs. Dual Language Virtual Exchange

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The European Commission co-financed INTENT project defines Virtual Exchanges (VE) as “technology-enabled, sustained, people to people education programs. These entail the engagement of groups of students in online intercultural exchange, interaction and collaboration with peers from partner classes in geographically distant locations, under the guidance of educators and/or expert facilitators.” Students, particularly in regional universities, have few opportunities to physically interact with users of the language they are studying – VE introduces these students to others in countries around the world giving them virtual mobility and showing them that the language they are learning is useful in many ways. There is a growing body of research showing that virtual exchange can improve language learning outcomes in addition to intercultural communicative competence. The US, via the world readiness standards, and most other countries are asking their educators to promote cultural understanding and improve the language skills of their charges. VE is a powerful means to bring those goals to fruition. VE can take many forms. In this presentation the author outlines two types of VE. The first is single language VE where English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students from Colombia, Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam interact online in English as a lingua franca. The second is dual language VE where EFL students in Japan interact with Japanese as a Foreign Language students in the US and Australia. They use both Japanese and English in the exchanges. The exchanges were carried out over 8 week periods using Moodle's forums and wikis. Some students also used Skype. The outcomes of these two different types of VE will be outlined using data gained from pre and post tests as well as from text analysis and student feedback. Single and dual language VE have both benefits and drawbacks and these will be outlined too.

avatar for Eric Hagley

Eric Hagley

Muroran Institute of Technology
Eric has been carrying out virtual exchanges using Moodle. Students in Japan study with students in other countries and practice the language they are studying. He welcomes others to join.

Wednesday August 12, 2015 11:00am - 11:50am EDT
CGIS Knafel K050 1737 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA