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Telecollaboration 2.0

Language, Literacies and Intercultural Learning in the 21 st Century


Edited By Sarah Guth and Francesca Helm

Telecollaboration, or online intercultural exchange, has become widely recognised as an effective way to promote the development of intercultural communicative competence and language skills. However, the study and implementation of new 2.0 environments such as wikis, Skype, virtual worlds and gaming for telecollaboration is still in its infancy. How can these multilingual, multimodal, collaborative environments be used to promote language and intercultural learning? What are the implications for teachers and learners and what new literacies are required? Do they offer an added-value? This book seeks to answer these questions and many more by bringing together the experience and expertise of researchers and practitioners alike. The authors offer critical stances, new frameworks and practical case studies to help the reader ‘navigate’ the world of Telecollaboration 2.0.


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Language Learner 2.0: New Skills and Competences 197


Language Learner 2.0: New Skills and Competences Learner 2.0 ELIZABETH M.C. GUERIN, MARIA ELISABETTA CIGOGNINI AND MARIA CHIARA PETTENATI In the 21st century, perhaps more than ever before, learning must be thought of as an ongoing and reiterative process which requires the development of specific enabling skills on the part of the learner in an ever-changing world. This is especially true if the learner is to achieve meaningful learning experiences through the use of digital media and new online technologies and participation in online com- munities, be they formal as in the case of Telecollaboration 2.0 or informal. The speed with which technology is changing is reflected in the speed with which these new technologies, gadgets, and tools are becoming part of our daily lives. However, what may be more sig- nificant is the way in which, even unwittingly, these changes impact our lives. In the context of education, it may be argued that social networking and Web 2.0 tools are the driving forces of change that are impacting learning from the bottom-up. This is in stark contrast to the more traditional model by which new technologies are im- posed in a top-down manner by administrations and/or institutions. As these socially-based platforms and tools continuously evolve, the emphasis in learning moves from the tools (objects) to the actors (sub- jects), with the accent on the learner as a developing continuum in terms of learning skills and expertise. Social networking environments, slide and video-sharing web- sites, online video games, and mobile...

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