Intercultural communicative competence development through telecollaboration and virtual exchange

Authored by: Robert O’Dowd , Melinda Dooly

The Routledge Handbook of Language and Intercultural Communication

Print publication date:  May  2020
Online publication date:  April  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138389458
eBook ISBN: 9781003036210
Adobe ISBN:


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Telecollaboration, also increasingly referred to as virtual exchange, is a well-known pedagogical approach in foreign language education which involves engaging classes in online intercultural collaboration projects with international partners as an integrated part of their educational programmes. This chapter begins by reviewing the history of virtual exchange and outlines the different models which are being used extensively in foreign language education. Following that, the chapter reviews the main research studies that have looked at the intercultural learning outcomes of telecollaborative learning. Finally, the authors examine the challenges and problematic issues which have emerged in this area and explore how virtual exchange may develop in the future in order to be a more effective tool for intercultural competence development.

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