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Handbook for Foreign Language Learning in Online Tandems and Educational Settings

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Edited By Hermann Funk, Manja Gerlach and Dorothea Spaniel-Weise

This book is about foreign language learning in non-formal Online Tandems. The collected papers by contributors who have expertise in the field of Language Pedagogy and Foreign Language Acquisition gather information on online interactions, such as the initiation of tandems, the mentoring of online activities and learners’ interaction, as well as the assessment of the processes at hand. The handbook targets stakeholders, institutions of higher education, language teachers and tandem trainers at educational institutions that want to set up Online Tandems especially designed for third language learners. The book is the result of the three-year project L3TASK carried out at five universities in Austria (Wien), Germany (Jena) and Spain (Alicante, Barcelona, Madrid) and associated partner institutions in China. It was funded by the European Commission in the frame of the Life Long Learning Programme.

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1.3 How to Set up Non-Formal Online Tandems?

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1.3 How to Set up Non-Formal Online Tandems?

Learning in Tandem as an approach to foreign language learning has not only achieved worldwide acceptance over the past 40 years. It is also offered in different contexts with varying goals. Whereas offers of language learning in Tandem at first have aimed at preparing learners for intercultural situations in linguistic encounters, language Tandems later have served the initiation of authentic linguistic contact with native speakers with Tandem courses at universities and language schools acting as Tandem brokers. Advances in information and communication technologies have led over time to an increase in e-mail partnerships and Tandems based on online video call and messaging systems. Tandem participants mostly have been involved in institutionalised language courses. In most cases the introduction of the Tandem learning approach as well as the mentoring of language learning experiences and the evaluation of learning progress could therefore be carried out in the classroom or at least with the support of a language teacher. Structure and extent of mentoring schemes in this area have varied as much as the grade of integration into the course structure: Tandems have been offered as an addition to the course work for interested learners or as part of the curriculum with the according documentation requirements for grades or points within the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

In accordance with the call for proposals for this project as part of the European Commission Life Long Learning Programme one focus has been...

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