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What is Telecollaboartion?
Telecollaboration is defined by Julie A. Belz in the following way:

“…internationally-dispersed learners in parallel language classes use Internet communication tools such as e-mail, synchronous chat, threaded discussion, and MOOs (as well as other forms of electronically mediated communication), in order to support social interaction, dialogue, debate, and intercultural exchange.” (2003a: 1)

Robert O'Dowd precises it in Foreign Language Education as:

"The application of online communication tools to bring together classes of language learners in geographically distant locations to develop their foreign language skills and intercultural competence throught collaborative tasks and project work." (2010:Eurocall Symposium)

More recently, Telecollaboration is replaced by a more generic term "Online Interaction and Exchange "(OIE) by Melinda Dooly and Robert O'Dowd (2013).

Different forms of Telecollaboration

Dooly and O'Dowd(2013)proposed a general categorization of the OIE in FL Education that can be resumed as follows:

in-class interaction

It was described previously as Computer-Assisted Classroom Discussion(CACD)by Ortega(1997). Student-student interaction within one class using online networks for FL learning. In the early 1990's when access to Internet was not easy, synchronous text-based communication, such as chats, MOO's and Local Area Networks(LAN)were mostly used in target language (monolingual)Today,asynchronous text-based communication such as blogging, forums, are used for reflective discussion in distance education courses among teachers and students.

class-to-class interaction (Online Intercultural Exchange or Telecollaboration exchange)

It refers to class-to-class interactions via virtual intercultural interaction and exchange between classes of FL learners in geographically distant locations. In the late 1990's interaction was mainly text-based and asynchronous. Today, synchronous oral communication (e.g. videoconferencing)and multimodal exchanges (e.g. combination of different media such as forum, wiki, blog, etc.)are popular. Telecollaboration takes one of the two forms or models according to the leaning objectives they focus in FL education: eTandem (on fostering linguistic skills, learner autonomy and life-long language learning ability)and telecollaborative model (on intercultural communicative competence (ICC)).

class-to-world interaction(Telecollaboration 2.0)

FL learners using their target language to interact with individuals or groups in the "real world" without participating a language course.

Important Projects

Language learning
  • eTandem chinois-français [1]
  • V-PAL (Virtual Partnerships for All Languages)[2]
  • Teletandem Brasil [3]
  • Clavier Project [4]
Intercultural Exchange
  • Cultra[5]
  • Soliya Connect Program [6]
  • SpEakWise [7]
Combination (including pre-mobility)
  • The Erasmus Multilateral Project INTENT (Integrating Telecollaborative Networks into Foreign Language Higher Education)[8]. More projects can be found on the platform UNICollaboration [9]
  • Pre-mobility eTandem [10]
  • GALANT (Plateforme de formation à l'intercompréhension en langues romanes)[11]
  • Le Projet Léon - Grenoble [12]
  • Echanges Projet Leon - Lille [13]
Teacher Training
  • Le français en première ligne [14]
Content Learning
  • Global Syndicates [15]

Categorized Reference

  1. Guth, S., & Helm, F. (Eds.). (2010). Telecollaboration 2.0: Language, literacies and intercultural learning in the 21st century (Vol. 1). Peter Lang. (Telecollaboration in Education Volume 1)[16]
  2. Sadler, R. Virtual Worlds for Language Learning: From Theory to PRACTICE.(Telecollaboration in Education Volume 2)[17]
  3. Dooly, M., & O'Dowd, R. (2012). Researching online foreign language interaction and exchange: Theories, methods and challenges. Peter Lang Publishing.(Telecollaboration in Education Volume 3)[18]
  4. O'Dowd, R. (Ed.). (2007). Online intercultural exchange: An introduction for foreign language teachers (Vol. 15). Multilingual Matters.[19]
  5. Dooly, M. (Ed.). (2008). Telecollaborative language learning: A guidebook to moderating intercultural collaboration online. Peter Lang.[20]
  6. "FROM THE SPECIAL ISSUE EDITOR", Language Learning & Technology Vol. 7, No. 2, May 2003, pp. 2-5[21]
  7. Belz, J. A. (2003). Guest editor of a special issue of Language Learning & Technology on Telecollaboration, 7(2), 1-172.[22]
Linguistic Perspective
  1. Belz, J. A. (2003). "Linguistic Perspectives on the Development of Intercultural Competence in Telecollaboration". Language Learning & Technology, 7(2), 68-117.[23]
  2. Belz, J. A. and Vyatkina, N. (2005). "Learner Corpus Research and the Development of L2 Pragmatic Competence in Networked Intercultural Language Study: The Case of German Modal Particles". Canadian Modern Language Review/Revue canadienne des langues vivantes, 62(1),17-48.pdf
Sociocultural Dimension
  1. Audra,I.Chanier,T.(2007)"Observation de la construction d'une compétence interculturelle dans des groupes exolingues en ligne," Communication au Colloque Epal(Echange pour apprendre en ligne), Grenoble, 7-9 juin,2007 [24]
  2. Belz, J. A. (2002). "Social Dimensions of Telecollaborative Foreign Language Study". Language Learning & Technology, 6(1), 60-81.[25]
  3. Belz, J. A. (2005). "Intercultural Questioning, Discovery, and Tension in Internet-Mediated Language Learning Partnerships". Language and Intercultural Communication, 5(1), 3-39. [26](abstract only)
  4. Kinginger, C. and Belz, J. A. (2005). "Sociocultural Perspectives on Pragmatic Development in Foreign Language Learning: Microgenetic Case Studies from Telecollaboration and Residence Abroad". Intercultural Pragmatics, 2(4), 369-422.[27] (abstract only)
  5. “Internet-mediated Intercultural Foreign Language Education: The Cultura Project,” Beth Bauer (Brown), Lynne deBenedette (Brown), Gilberte Furstenberg (MIT), Sabine Levet (Brandeis), Shoggy Waryn (Brown), in Internet-mediated Intercultural Foreign Language Education, Julie A. Belz and Steven L.Thorne, editors, Boston: Heinle & Heinle, 2006 (pp. 31-62)[28]
  6. “Giving a Virtual Voice to the Silent Language of Culture: The Cultura Project,” co-authored with S. Levet, K. English, K. Maillet [G. Furstenberg principal author], electronic article in the Language Learning and Technology Journal, February 2001 [29]
  7. “Using communication tools to foster cross-cultural understanding”, G. Furstenberg, NFLRC Symposium 2004 [30]
  8. “Constructing French-American Understanding: the Cultura project,” G. Furstenberg. Published in a special issue of Politics, Culture and Society, based on a Middlebury symposium, Déjà Views: How Americans Look at France, edited by the Institute of French Studies at New York University, Spring 2003.[31]
Teacher Perspective
  1. Belz, J. A. and Mueller-Hartmann, A. (2003). "Teachers as Intercultural Learners: Negotiating German-American Telecollaboration Along the Institutional Fault Line". Modern Language Journal, 87(1), 71-89.[32] (abstract only)
Telecollaboration with Asia
  1. Telecollaboration for intercultural learning: An overview of projects involving Japan, Nathaniel Carney Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan [33]