CULTIVATING INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION COMPETENCE AND FACILITATING KNOWLEDGE CONSTRUCTION VIA TELECOLLABORATION AMONG PRE-SERVICE FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHERS
Tunghai University (TAIWAN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Page: 1652 (abstract only)
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:To meet the educational needs of the 21st Century students, this study aims to assist pre-service English as foreign language teachers in Taiwan develop intercultural communication competence and facilitate knowledge construction via the integration of telecollaboration. With their informed consents, ten graduate student teachers participated in the study during the fall semester of 2014. The participants were divided into 4 groups where 2 or 3 local students were grouped together with 1 or 2 students from either Université Laval, Quebec or the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Spain. There were 16 prospective foreign language teachers of English and French took part in this cross-continent telecollaboration. Under the guidance of their respective professors from three institutions, sixteen pre-service language teachers first met in VoiceThread, a web-based, collaborative, multimedia presentation tool. They also took part in the VoiceThread discussion forums in which every participant recorded their oral responses to the language-teaching-related scenarios. After their initial oral postings, they subsequently recorded their feedback to their group-mates’ responses. All of the postings were in English. Intercultural Sensitivity Survey (ISS) was administered to the participants before and after the telecollaboration. Open-ended surveys and group interviews were conducted to understand student teachers’ concerns and views regarding the integration of telecollaboration. The preliminary findings indicate that most participants found telecollaboration of this nature instrumental in testing out their own intercultural communication competence as foreign language teachers. However, no statistic significance was identified from the paired-samples t-test of ISS. The participants did acknowledge how the cross-institution, VoiceThread-mediated discussions enhanced the depth and breadth of their own knowledge construction process.
Keywords: Intercultural communication competence, telecollaboration, foreign language teacher education, pre-service teacher education, knowledge construction.