APVEA 2017 schedule

The second APVEA conference schedule

Roundtable 1

´╗┐The advent of computers and internet has brought about a complete change in the way that teachers and students approach their work, particularly in the field of foreign languages. Internet is a repository of endless materials accessible at the click of a mouse and now, with the help of a computer and an internet connection, communication is fast. Online Intercultural Exchanges (OIE) can provide countless opportunities for real communication, potentially┬á a motivating factor for foreign language learners. However, despite all the advantages offered by OIE projects, their implantation at tertiary level is not extensive, as shown by the results of the INTENT study in Europe. Although a detailed study such as that of INTENT has never been carried out in Asia, at first glance, it seems that OIE projects are not an integral part of university courses, just like in Europe. Asia is a big continent with a variety of cultures and traditions. A number of Asian countries and territories follow the Confucian tradition and are classified as Confucian Heritage Culture (CHC) territories. They comprise China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore (Ho, 1994).

The Confucian tradition for education lays down clear guidelines regarding the roles and expectations of teachers and learners, which may come into conflict with the principles of OIE. This paper looks at the roles of teachers and learners in the Confucian tradition and compares them with what is expected of practitioners and participants in OIE projects. A comparison of roles highlights the possibility that Confucian tradition may not align well with the principles of OIE, which may explain why OIE does not appear to be very popular in CHC territories. The paper also looks at what could be done to address the issue and make OIE an integral part of university education in these territories.