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Intercultural Communications for Students via the Internet

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This presentation was given at the JALTCALL 2014 conference. It discusses the lessons learned from an online collaboration between two language classes in Japanese and English. The presentation discusses steps to take to help ensure a successful collaboration as well as a ways find collaboration partners.

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Intercultural Communications for Students via the Internet

  1. 1. Intercultural Communications for Students via the Internet: Lessons Learned Edo Forsythe Lecturer, Hirosaki Gakuin University EdD Candidate, Northcentral University
  2. 2. Wiki-based Cultural Exchange Freshman English majors with students of Japanese in USA Each student creates own page on wiki site US students in Japanese; Japanese students in English Discussions based on cultural topics and introductions Comments in L1 and L2 as appropriate
  3. 3. Personal Page Assignment: - Create Self-Introduction page - About you - Your family - Hobbies - Work - Dreams
  4. 4. Student Comments: Natsumi’s Page
  5. 5. Student Comments: Kayla’s Page
  6. 6. Types of Comments over 3 Years Comments: n=152 22% 23% 55% Student Teacher Total Number of English Wiki Pages: 37 2 Page Types: Cultural 13 Personal: 24 Total # of Student Responses: 34 Types of comments: Personal interests / inquiries: 83 (70%) Cultural inquiries: 86 (73%) Language correction: 1 (by a teacher) **Some overlap in comments so they were counted in each category.
  7. 7. Types of Comments over 3 Years Comments: n=109 26% 19% 55% Student Teacher Total Number of Japanese Wiki Pages: 24 2 Page Types: Cultural: 7 Personal: 17 Total # of Student Responses: 40 Types of comments: Personal interests / inquiries: 49 (45%) Cultural inquiries: 60 (55%) Language correction: 0 **Some overlap in comments so they were counted in each category.
  8. 8. Problems with Implementation 1. Technologically unsavvy students 1. Walk them through step-by-step 2. First few sessions in computer lab 2. Lack of experience in online interaction 1. Give specific instructions on what to do with whom 2. Tried general topics for students to discuss in 1st yr— more comments but fewer responses; person pages had more back & forth 3. Allow conversation to develop naturally but teacher comments can guide
  9. 9. Where can you find partners? The Mixxer www.language-exchanges. org ePals www.epals.com Sister schools
  10. 10. What can you do with partners? Check out The Lunchbox Project for ideas: http://lunchboxproject.wikispaces.com/PLANNER
  11. 11. Where can you do exchanges?  PBWiki / Wikispaces Open slate for lots of customization and synchronous interaction  Blogger / Wordpress Variety of customization levels; good for asynchronous interaction  Tumblr / Facebook Group or Page / Google+ Hot new thing; more socially oriented & some students are familiar with these already
  12. 12. Discussion and Questions How do your students interact online? Questions or comments? Thank you for coming! Download this presentation at www.slideshare.net/EdoForsythe

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