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Main presenter
Dr. Zhiyan GUO
School of Modern Languages and Cultures University of Warwick Coventry United Kingdom
Presenter [2]
Presenter [3]
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Presentation details
Presentation title
A preliminary study of virtual exchange as part of blended mobility: a case of foreign language classes in China and the UK
Presentation abstract
Almost all language teaching practitioners in higher education have changed their delivery methods into fully online during the pandemic. A variety of teaching strategies emerged in how to deploy a vast array of online technological tools in teachers’ weekly endeavours of engaging their students inside their virtual classrooms. While most of our institutionalised language teaching has been managed online in this challenging year, physical language exchange or tandem programmes between universities from different countries have been stopped. In order to compensate for the opportunities lost, how can the emergent tools that are used with or without the teacher’s virtual presence? The presentation focuses on the projects running among students of Chinese in a British University who were organised into a separate Teams outside their normal language classes to meet their language partners of similar age, who learn English as a foreign language from a China’s university. In exchanging communication across cultures, students enriched their intercultural experience and developed their intercultural competence while improving linguistic skills fundamental to their language proficiency. As a timely support, the projects were beneficial to students’ overall well-being during a challenging period. Through questionnaires and interviews, it has been found that the projects increased exposure to the target languages and cultures, and increased amount of knowledge and understanding of each other’s countries and there were mixed feelings that can be taken as precious moments of their intercultural understanding. The current study will explore how students’ virtual encounters can be transformed into real intercultural learning experiences. Rather than replacing physical exchanges even when the pandemic ends, virtual exchanges can become an essential part of blended mobility to foster collaborative learning across countries and nations. Issues and problems will be discussed for future similar projects especially how to integrate online opportunities and intercultural learning into language curriculum development at HE institutions.
Original submission
intercultural understanding, intercultural learning experiences, intercultural competence
Integrating virtual exchange
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Submitted: Tuesday, 27 July 2021, 9:23 AM
Modified: Tuesday, 27 July 2021, 8:09 PM
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