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Telecollaboration 2.0

Language, Literacies and Intercultural Learning in the 21 st Century

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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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Case Studies 259

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Case Studies Introduction to the Case Studies SARAH GUTH AND FRANCESCA HELM The aim of the final section of this volume is to offer readers practi- cal examples of different ways practitioners are implementing new forms of telecollaboration. The eight case studies represent different sociocultural contexts involving different types of learners, group configurations (e.g. in dyads or groups), language combinations, communication modes and objectives. They demonstrate how many of the theoretical concepts presented throughout the volume are dealt with in real contexts with real students. This means, however, that the case studies describe not only the positive aspects of their projects, but they also point out problematic areas, difficulties, and aspects of the projects that did not work. We have encouraged this because, as is always the case, there is just as much, if not more, to be learnt from failures as there is from successes and, we hope, this will help readers interested in implementing Telecollaboration 2.0 in their own contexts to be aware of potential difficulties. As was said in the Introduction to this volume, in our view it is not necessarily the tools which define Telecollaboration 2.0, but rather the relational aspect, the mindset, the desire for learners to use new technologies to communicate and collaborate, to share and co- construct knowledge and artefacts, which is the defining feature. Therefore, some of the exchanges described in the case studies em- ploy Web 2.0 environments, i.e. Skype, wikis, social networking sites and Second Life. Others employ environments which...

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