Telecollaboration: Fostering Foreign Language Learning at a Distance

Open access

Abstract

Today, language learners can be linked with students in other countries to form international partnerships, which is often called telecollaboration. Some common goals of telecollaboration include cultural awareness, development of foreign language skills and intercultural communicative competence. This study intends to gain insights about the learners’ experience following a 5-week telecollaboration activity between 100 English as a foreign language (EFL) students from Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics in China and Anadolu University in Turkey. The participation in the project was on voluntary basis for Turkish students. The telecollaboration activity included three different stages in which learners from both countries were expected to be able to communicate using different channels (text messaging, voice calls, video calls, emailing) synchronously and asynchronously, to analyse and compare their own and their peers’ culture to build understanding of each other’s identities and to collaborate together to produce a cultural piece of work. At the end of the activity Turkish EFL students were invited to answer a questionnaire that aimed to gain insights about their experience related to telecollaboration activity. Results revealed that the participants mostly enjoyed the activity. They also believed the activity contributed to their language learning process, motivation and intercultural communicative competence.

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