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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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3.1 Integration of Electronic Tandems into Classroom Instruction (Carmen Gierden Vega / Patricia Manjavacas Sneesby)

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Carmen Gierden Vega (University of Valladolid), Patricia Manjavacas Sneesby (Friedrich Schiller University Jena)

3.1 Integration of Electronic Tandems into Classroom Instruction

Abstract: This article describes the necessary considerations of incorporating eTandem activities into the classroom to enhance third-language acquisition and cultural awareness with groups of German and Spanish students. We aim at providing an overview of how project-based eTandem affects the role of the teacher, especially regarding the complexities of synchronising web-based sessions with several foreign partners at once. We explore the implications of integrating eTandem into the teaching curriculum, and we discuss our views on how to organise the projects, elicit feedback, promote student motivation and evaluate results. We conclude with a series of recommendations for future, project-based and teacher-led eTandem collaborations based on the results of our experience in the academic year of 2015/2016.

1 Introduction

In this article, we summarise our experience monitoring two groups of students of Spanish and German as foreign languages (levels A2-B1) in the framework of the electronic-Tandem language exchange programme L3TASK, led by the Faculty of German as a foreign language at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena (Germany), with partners in Vienna, Barcelona, Madrid, and Alicante. We describe the collaborative exchange that took place between the Institute of Romance languages at the Friedrich Schiller University and the French and German department of the University of Valladolid (Spain) with the aim of using online communication to enhance third-language acquisition. Additional Tandem partners were kindly...

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