Having accessible technology provides many opportunities for enhancing the learning experience for students. In the case of learning a foreign-language, such as Spanish or French, what better way to learn the language than from an actual student from Spain or France?
The Chronicle of Higher Education recently posted an article about a Portuguese class at Virginia Commonwealth University that uses video-conferencing software, such as Skype and Google Hangouts, to connect VCU students with English-learning students in Brazil to facilitate “authentic language-immersion experiences.” Using teletandem, or telecollaboration, allows students from both countries to teach each other their native languages, creating a genuine and highly engaging language-learning experience.
For senior Lizzett D. Uria, having been a part of the telecollaboration process has been very beneficial for her. She says that “it basically forces you to learn,” and that “it pushes you to practice the language to make sure you are ready for the next meeting.”
For students in various countries, having the opportunity to speak with someone in a different country and learn their language is invaluable. Some students are unable to travel abroad to learn about different cultures and languages, thus making telecollaboration a very appealing and useful practice for institutions to employ.
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