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Telecollaborative Language Learning

A guidebook to moderating intercultural collaboration online

Edited By Melinda Ann Dooly Owenby

This guidebook brings together the knowledge, insight and experience gained by the participants of an international telecollaborative language learning project entitled Moderating Intercultural Collaboration and Language Learning (MICaLL). Telecollaboration is understood here as a shared teaching and learning experience between distanced partners that is facilitated through the use of Internet technology; an area of growing interest for many teachers. The book first provides a theoretical outline of suitable pedagogical practices for this type of joint effort and then moves into the more practical aspects of designing, setting up, implementing and evaluating telecollaborative projects. The guidebook considers relevant questions and issues which often come up when teachers without previous experience in telecollaboration undertake this type of enterprise. Through the realistic advice and practical examples provided, the reader will be motivated to engage in telecollaborative language learning projects with their own pupils.


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Introduction 15


INTRODUCTION This handbook is a compilation of the knowledge, insight and experience gained during a three-year project entitled Moderat- ing Intercultural Collaboration and Language Learning (MI- CaLL, 118762-CP-1-2004-1-NL-Comenius 2.1), funded by the European Union. The MICaLL project aimed to study and ana- lyse the kind of competences teachers need in order to be able to participate efficiently in collaborative, network-based language learning projects. This handbook presents both theoretical and practical aspects that emerged during the three years the project was carried out. Thus, readers of the handbook will find discus- sions about issues related to the stages of design, implementation and assessment of online language learning projects, presented in a practical and straight-forward manner. The handbook is divided into five chapters. The first two chapters discuss some theory around which the idea of online collaboration in language learning can be developed while the third and fourth chapters outline different types of the so-called new technology formats – Internet, Communication and Tech- nology (ICT) formats – and how they can be used in telecollabo- rative language learning. The fifth chapter combines both theory and practical knowledge to orient the partners towards final re- flection about carrying out projects. Readers should note that while this handbook is based on the experiences derived from the MICaLL project, output from this project is not described until Chapter three. The descriptions have been integrated into the chapter on using portals since this has been the main format used in the MICaLL project. Finally, the chapters have been...

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