Globalizing On-line

Telecollaboration, Internationalization, and Social Justice

by Nataly Tcherepashenets (Volume editor)
©2015 Edited Collection 264 Pages
Series: Telecollaboration in Education, Volume 4


Internationalization plays an important role in shaping the philosophy and practice of higher education, and it is arguably one of the most durable University achievements. Offering creative ways to achieve a shift from isolation to communication between people of different economic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, telecollaboration exemplifies challenges and rewards of internationalization in the epoch of e-learning. In our interconnected world the tasks of both bringing the equality of opportunities and promoting intercultural dialogue continue to be priorities for education, whose major objective and obligation is an expansion of the freedoms of human beings. In the era of globalization, its fulfillment more than ever depends on making it possible for people of different backgrounds to participate in intercultural dialogue on equal terms. Intercultural collaborations in virtual environments offer unique opportunities for the realization of this goal. This book explores both a contribution of telecollaboration to the democratic education, solidarity and social justice in the globalized world as well as the complexities and challenges that arise from attempts to align international collaborations and social justice.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Series Editors’ Preface
  • References:
  • Acknowledgements
  • Notes on Contributors
  • Introduction
  • Telecollaboration and Lessons in World Citizenship
  • Technology and Poiēsis of Learning
  • Telecollaboration and Innovation in Online Pedagogy and Education Research
  • Overview of the Book
  • References
  • Part I: Telecollaboration as a Practice of Inclusion
  • Globalizing Online: Binary Distinctions or Global Partaking?
  • Introduction
  • The Use of Telecollaboration in Various Online Education Programs
  • Online Education: Comparison between Developing and Developed Countries
  • Binary Distinctions or Global Partaking
  • The Context of the Study
  • Telecollaboration, Internationalization and Social Justice: An Analysis of the Program
  • Findings and Conclusion
  • References
  • Telecollaboration in the Clash of Highand Low-context Cultures: Social Justice at Stake
  • Introduction
  • Telecollaboration vis à vis Bakhtinian Architectonics of Being: Its Potential for Social Justice
  • Culture Clash in Telecollaboration: Social Justice at Stake
  • Training for Telecollaboration: an Inductive Approach
  • Training for Telecollaboration: a Deductive Approach
  • Conclusions
  • References
  • Evaluation of an International Online Learning Initiative in Special Education
  • Materials and Methods
  • Participants
  • Course Information
  • Procedures for Data Collection
  • Reliability and Validity
  • Procedures for Data Analysis
  • Results
  • Discussion and Conclusions
  • References
  • Part II: Web 2.0 and Social Change
  • Opening up Worlds: Intercultural Exchanges through Telecollaboration
  • Introduction
  • Webheads in Action Online Community of Practice
  • The ArgentEgypt Telecollaboration Project
  • The Beginnings of a Cross-cultural Partnership
  • Learning Culture through Student-Teacher Skype Interviews
  • New Cultural Understandings and Breaking Down Stereotypes
  • Continuing Culture Exchange via Facebook
  • Sharing Language Practices
  • Discussion
  • Coda
  • References
  • Online collaboration with the language-learning software @genda 2.0
  • Introduction
  • A Double Target: Developing Language Skills and Understanding Cultural Differences
  • @genda 2.0: an Online Collaborative Platform
  • Phasing of the project
  • The Notion of Collaboration and Connectivism
  • The Teacher as an Online Mediator
  • Building rapport
  • Achieving Mutual Understanding Through Web-based Learning
  • References
  • Between “Pleasantville” and “My Way or the Highway”: Promoting Productive Discussion of Social Justice in a Globally Linked Learning Environment
  • Language Difference and Social Justice
  • “Writing Seminar”: A Globally Networked Course
  • Cultural Sharing in Online “Café Bar” Discussions
  • Integrating Online and F2F Discussion: Regional Differences in Croatia
  • “My Way or the Highway”: Negotiating Meaning in Collaborative Writing Tasks
  • Opportunities and Challenges
  • References
  • Part III: Intercultural Encounters as Transformative Experiences
  • ‘What Do We Chat about When We Chat about Culture?’ The Discourse of Online Intercultural Exchanges
  • The Educational Context
  • Global Discourse and Participant Identities
  • The platform
  • The participants
  • Transportable identities
  • Constructing identity by expressing affect
  • Negotiating conflicting identities
  • Territories and interventions
  • Scaffolding
  • Conclusions
  • References
  • Student-driven intercultural awareness raising with MexCo: agency, autonomy and threshold concepts in a telecollaborative project between the UK and Mexico
  • Empowering Critical Multiliteracies and Challenging Multimodal Digital Competences
  • Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC): Byram’s ICC model and new Web 2.0 ICC considerations
  • Threshold Concepts and Action Research
  • The MexCo Project
  • Data collected
  • Concluding remarks
  • References
  • Internationalizing U.S. Students with Hip-hop and Social Networks
  • Internationalizing with Social Networks
  • Creating a Globally Networked Classroom
  • Dialogue, dissension, and discomfort
  • Social Network Sites as Learning Spaces
  • Internationalization and social justice
  • References
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Index
  • Series index

Series Editors’ Preface

This series is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the activity of telecollaboration in educational settings. Telecollaboration refers to the engagement of groups of students in online intercultural interaction and collaboration with partner classes from other cultural contexts or geographical locations, under the guidance of educators and/or expert facilitators. The application of such activity may include different subject areas (e.g. Foreign Language Education, History, Science) as well as different educational contexts, including but not limited to primary, secondary, university and adult education.

This fourth volume in our series looks at a topic that is fast becoming one of the most prevalent concerns around the world: social justice in education, and in particular how telecollaborative exchange can play a role in experiential learning of key features related to this concept. Inevitably the concept itself is fraught with controversy related to two key questions: What do we expect education to do? What is its purpose?

These may seem naïve questions, but they lie at the heart of the debate about the nature of inequity in our societies and the future development of social activity. There is no simple and universally agreed answer: different societies have debated and disputed the reasons for why we should teach and learn [since the times of Aristotle]. Do we teach to enhance and develop the individual’s intelligence or their social behaviour? Do we spend large sums of money on schooling in order to develop a skilled and able workforce (‘the useful things in life’), or to advance socially responsible behaviour (‘those most conducive to virtue’), or to support specialised knowledge and progression (‘exceptional accomplishments’)? Are these competing alternatives, or can some or all be achieved at the same time? (Ross, Dooly & Hartsmar, 2012, p. 4)

Just as the basis for social inequity and educational disadvantage is not a straightforward, transparent cause-and-effect process, the discussion of social justice in education is, at times, circular and complex. This is reflected in the following chapters as they approach the topic from different perspectives, although various recurrent themes do emerge as the authors describe how the development of social justice stands to benefit from the use of telecollaboration. These themes include the opportunities online intercultural exchange offers for collaboration, critical thinking and reflection on controversial topics and intercultural understanding. ← 9 | 10 →

Telecollaboration has now been in use as a pedagogical tool in foreign language education for almost 25 years. While the first reports of online exchange were primarily practical publications describing how the activity was being carried out (Warschauer, 1995), recent years have seen a proliferation of research publications which have explored the learning outcomes of telecollaborative initiatives (see, for example, Belz & Thorne, 2006; Guth & Helm, 2010). However, these studies have looked primarily at the potential benefits of telecollaboration for specific aspects of language learning, including students’ linguistic competence, aspects of intercultural competence, autonomy and, more recently, digital literacies. The complex issue of social justice and how telecollaboration can support its development in institutionalised learning contexts, has rarely been explicitly addressed until now.

This fourth volume therefore provides timely material for educators, researchers and policy-makers interested in understanding how telecollaboration can contribute to the creation of a more equitable, respectful, and just society in an attempt to go beyond mere hollow rhetoric.

Melinda Dooly, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain
Robert O’Dowd, Universidad de León, Spain

4 November 2014


Belz, J., & Thorne, S. (Eds) (2006). Internet-mediated intercultural foreign language education. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle.

Guth, S., & Helm, F. (Eds.) (2010). Telecollaboration 2.0: Language, literacies and intercultural learning in the 21st Century. Bern: Peter Lang.

Ross, A., Dooly, M. & Hartsmar, N. (2012). Equalities and education in Europe: Explanations and excuses for inequality. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Warschauer, M. (Ed.) (1995). Virtual connections: Online activities and projects for networking language learners. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai‘i Second Language Teaching and Curriculum Center. ← 10 | 11 →


I would like to express my gratitude to the contributors to this volume for their innovation, knowledge, and insight. I would also like to thank Melinda Dooly, Robert O’Dowd and Benjamin Fröhlich at Peter Lang for their editorial guidance and encouragement.

During my work on this volume, I was given several opportunities to present and discuss my work at professional conferences. I am grateful to the dean, Dr. Tom Mackey and to the Office of Academic Affairs of the Empire State College, State University of New York, for their funding of this project, and for their generous support of my initiatives, which led to its completion. One of them was the opportunity to present at the fourteenth Cambridge International Conference, “Internationalization and Social Justice: the role of Open, Distance and e-Learning,” organized by Anne Gaskell, Roger Mills and Alan Tait, where I had the pleasure to meet some of the future contributors to this volume. My work as a fellow at the State University of New York’s Collaborative Online International Institute, as part of a National Endowment for the Humanities supported fellowship for teaching humanities across national borders, was another such opportunity.

Special thanks go to Dr. Florence Lojacono (Universidad de Las Palmas, Gran Canaria) for productive discussions during the early stages of preparing this manuscript. I would also like to thank Dr. Janet Shideler, Dean of School of Liberal Arts at Siena College, for her interest and feedback on the project from its inception. Dr. Miriam Russell is responsible for many other improvements in this book. A debt of gratitude is also owed to my family for their support, love and understanding. ← 11 | 12 →

← 12 | 13 →

Notes on Contributors

HAYAT AL-KHATIB is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at the Arab Open University – Lebanon. She was awarded a PhD in Applied Linguistics from The University of London in 2003. She has had ample professional experience in Britain with the Centre of Information on Language Teaching (CILT) in consultancy and advising, teaching at the Institute of Education – University of London and as research associate at Goldsmith – University of London. Al-Khatib is currently Head of the English department at the Arab Open University in Lebanon and the Academic Deputy Director. Hayat Al-Khatib has several publications in the fields of Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching, Open Distance and E-Learning, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis and Functional Grammar. She serves as associate editor in the Linguistic Journal, the European Scientific Journal (ESJ) and is the editor in chief of the Centre of Applied Linguistics Research (CALR) journal. Her e-mail is hkhatib@aou.edu.lb.

WENDY ANDERSON is Senior Lecturer in English Language at the University of Glasgow. Her research and teaching interests include intercultural language education, semantics, metaphor, corpus linguistics, and translation. She was formerly Research Associate for the AHRC-funded Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech project (<www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk>). She is the co-author of Exploring English with Online Corpora (with John Corbett, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), and the author of The Phraseology of Administrative French (Rodopi, 2006). She directs the AHRC-funded project, Mapping Metaphor with the Historical Thesaurus (<www.glasgow.ac.uk/metaphor>).

GWENOLA BESCOND is Course Leader for the French and English degrees in the department of English and Languages at Coventry University (UK). She is currently working on her PhD on a comparative study between France and England, investigating barriers and enablers to inclusion within Higher Education for students with disabilities – in particular those with visual impairment. Her research interests include social justice, international approaches to education, international and national inclusion discourse, support for learning, Computer Assisted Languages Learning ← 13 | 14 → (CALL) and translation. Her MA considered inequalities regarding Dalit women’s education in Tamil-Nadu. She has created blended learning materials for Business French and is currently contributing to the MexCO CMC project.

REBECCA CHARRY ROJE is Senior Lecturer in English at Rochester Institute of Technology’s Dubrovnik, Croatia, campus, where she has taught English language and literature to international students since 2001. Her recent articles include “Communicative language teaching in Croatian English classrooms” published by the European Council on Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Education, and she is co-author of a forthcoming English language textbook for use in Croatian college preparatory high schools. She works frequently as an editor and translator, and holds degrees in English Literature and Writing from Haverford College and Georgetown University.

JOHN CORBETT is a Professor of English at the University of Macau, and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in English Language at the University of Glasgow. He has published widely on intercultural language education and on corpus linguistics. He was Principal Investigator of the AHRC-funded Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech project, and the Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing (1700–1945) (<www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk>). He is the author of An Intercultural Approach to English Language Teaching (Multilingual Matters, 2003) and Intercultural Language Activities (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and he co-authored Exploring English with Online Corpora (with Wendy Anderson, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). In 2013, he was Visiting Professor in English at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil.

ZOE GAZELEY is a lecturer in English for Academic Purposes and a research assistant for the MexCo project, in the Department of English and Languages at Coventry University (UK). Zoe has previously taught Business English in Mexico City and has also taught EFL and EAP in several other countries. Her research interests include intercultural communication in language learning and teaching along with the development of digital literacies in language learning. Her MA in English Language Teaching was based on the pilot phase of a CMC international project with Mexico.


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2015 (January)
Globalisation Higher education Solidarity E-learning Intercultural dialogue
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2015. 264 pp.

Biographical notes

Nataly Tcherepashenets (Volume editor)

Nataly Tcherepashenets is Associate Professor of Spanish and Area Coordinator of World Languages at the State University of New York, Empire State College. She is the author of Place and Displacement in the Narrative World of Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortázar (2008), a book chapter and numerous articles on topics of intercultural language education, Latin American and comparative literature.


Title: Globalizing On-line