CROSS-CULTURAL PROJECT-BASED LEARNING USING SOCIAL MEDIA: LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE FOUR-YEAR EXPERIENCE OF INTERNATIONAL JOINT CLASS BETWEEN HUNGARIAN AND JAPANESE STUDENTS
, P. Molnar2
1The Open University of Japan (JAPAN)
2Károli Gáspár University (HUNGARY)
With the tools of social media, it is becoming increasingly popular to connect students in different countries in informal and formal educational settings for the purpose of foreign language learning as well as intercultural learning. Before the advent of social media, email exchanges and video conferencing were mainly used for similar purposes, but now with the social media such as Facebook and Google+, the online intercultural experience can be richer and more diverse. Intuitively it sounds a great idea to connect students in different countries to communicate and collaborate for particular objectives and the success stories of such projects have been reported fairly frequently. However, rarely discussed are the factors that have to be taken into account in designing such international collaborative learning. Drawing from the four years of experience in conducting joint classes between a class in Karoli University, Hungary and that in Kanda University of International Studies, Japan, the authors will discuss what work and what do not work in such international telecollaborative activities. In addition, the authors will suggest ways to increase the chance of success in designing and conducting international joint classes for foreign language and intercultural learning.