Schedule

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Video-based communication in an intercultural online exchange: A multimodal learning experience

Jennifer Claro Kitami Institute of Technology

Jennifer Claro is an English lecturer at the Kitami Institute of Technology, Japan. She is also a Ph.D. student at OISE at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include culture and its effects on foreign language learning, technology in EFL, and motivation.

Negative outcomes resulting from misunderstandings have arisen in many intercultural online exchanges using text-based communication (see, e.g. Belz, 2002; O’Dowd, 2005; Ware, 2005). One reason why these misunderstandings occur may be because much of the information that we normally receive in face-to-face communication is excluded from text-based communication. In contrast, in video-based communication, students get all the visual and aural information that is missing in text-based communication. Without vital paralinguistic information like facial expression, laughs, intonation, and gestures, miscommunication (Belz, 2003) or missed communication (Ware, 2005) may be the result. While live video chat would be the closest approximation to face-to-face communication, live video chat is too fast for many beginning and intermediate students. With recorded videos, students have time to reflect and to prepare. In a recent intercultural online exchange, university students in Canada and Japan communicated via recorded videos. Results from the 2-month project indicate that students found video-based communication to be superior to text only. Students found video communication to be natural and authentic, felt that it brought them closer to their overseas partners, and found the project motivating. The presenter will show some student-made videos and discuss how student-made videos afford a unique multimodal learning experience.