Fostering intercultural competence through videoconference exchange: using an external provider to match learners with trained native speakers and administer video calls
Keywords:telecollaboration, external provider, intercultural competence, virtual exchange
This practical case presents the use of an External Provider (EP) as an alternative approach to the traditional telecollaboration setting where a partnership with a foreign higher education institution is established. Usually, these partnerships involve language exchanges between learning partners who mutually practice each other’s native language. Instead, an eight-week cross-cultural Virtual Exchange (VE) in Spanish between US college students studying Spanish and trained Colombian university students was organized through an external language platform to foster the US students’ Intercultural Competence (IC). It is concluded that the use of an EP brings an undeniable level of flexibility to the organization of the VE, and makes manageable the integration of this type of program in higher education language classes. Additionally, this article assesses the value of this approach by looking at the effect of VE on the US students’ self- assessment of IC after the videoconference exchanges. Data from quantitative surveys and student blogs show a significant increase in the students’ IC after the program.
Copyright (c) 2021 Alonso Varo Varo
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
All our authors retain their copyright and all rights associated to their work, and what we ask in return is a mere non-exclusive right to publish their work in print and electronically. This means that authors are free to do whatever they want with their article, even republish it elsewhere, as long as the original creation is properly credited.
Each accepted article is published under a Creative Commons licence. Although we apply a CC BY licence by default to all individual articles, we believe it is fair-minded to let authors decide the level of restriction of their licence should they wish so; see our Licence policy for additional information.