Keynote speaker presentation titles and abstracts

Emerita Bañados-Santana

Latin America continues to grow and take on more importance on the world stage due to its diverse and vast natural resources which includes the people. Though making up only a little over 8% of the world’s population the people of this region continue to be active in decision making around the world and know that Asia, with more than 60% of the world’s population is now a major player on the world stage. Learning about Asia in particular, but the world in general, has become a focus of education at all levels in Latin America over recent years. Universities in particular are looking at how “international” their programs are as intercultural understanding and competency are now more important than ever in every facet of business and politics.

With this background, it is little wonder that Virtual Exchange (VE) is becoming more common in Latin America and faculty are increasingly turning to different forms of VE to ensure their students are able to participate in the international arena. This keynote will focus on the way VE has developed in Latin America and introduce some of the examples we have seen and the results they have garnered.

It will show that though the influence of Europe and North America is still strong, increasingly Latin America is, like other regions, pivoting to Asia. A number of VE projects have taken place over the past two decades in Latin America with CoIL becoming more common and VE with Europe and North America also increasing in number. The one that was recently shared via a LatinCALL webinar is the IVEProject. These different VE are having a profound effect on many in the region. I will introduce some of these projects and also some of the teachers involved so that you will hear their stories. As Mohamed Abdel-Kader noted in his initial abstract, “virtual exchange can be an innovative intervention that builds understanding where there is division, provides access and opportunity for many who are excluded, and builds important mindsets and skills to empower young people to thrive in an increasingly diverse and complex world.” This applies to students everywhere but particularly to students in the rapidly changing area of Latin America and the keynote address will show this.

Yuka Akiyama

Keynote Title
Reflecting on the Last Decade of Telecollaboration and E-tandem Research: What Can We Learn from and Contribute to the More Recent Models of Virtual Exchange?

Keynote Abstract
It has been five years since the publication of the scoping review (Akiyama & Cunningham, 2018 in CALICO Journal) for which we synthesized practices of “telecollaboration” projects that took place between 1996–2016 which utilized synchronous computer-mediated communication (SCMC) tools. In just the five years, the world has changed dramatically and so have the objectives, practices, and research of Virtual Exchange (VE). This thus seems like a good time to reflect on the past decade of  research in the field and posit ways to go forward. In this talk, I will first review the last decade of research on “telecollaboration” and “eTandem,” the two major models of virtual exchange that have been in use in foreign language education (O’Dowd, 2020), so as to identify some of the limitations of the bilingual-bicultural models. I will then share with you my research on video-mediated eTandem (or dual language VE) projects between Japan and the U.S. from which I gleaned various insights as a practitioner and researcher. Specifically, I will introduce two discourse analysis studies that demonstrate the challenges my students and I as a practitioner and researcher faced. The first study addresses the role of critical incidents for intercultural learning (in this study, a student’s coming out), problematizes heteronormative ideology that may be prevalent in the designing stage of VE projects, and suggests future directions for social justice research. The second study addresses the role of students’ digital literacy and the impact of multimodal practices on relationship building and discusses the implications for language and cultural learning. I will conclude this talk by exploring ways the two major models can learn from and contribute to the more recent models of VE.

Last modified: Monday, 15 November 2021, 8:42 AM