Research Articles

Pedagogical mentoring in virtual exchange: Developing students’ videoconferencing skills




foreign language education, intercultural communication, pedagogical mentoring, videoconferencing, virtual exchange


In the context of foreign language education (FLE), virtual exchanges (VE) involving videoconferencing are becoming an increasingly widespread practice. It is to be expected that students face challenges as they may not have developed the skills necessary to successfully carry out these types of online intercultural interactions naturally. In order for them to get the most out of the collaborative learning experience, teachers must engage in the process of teaching students how to do so. With this in mind, this case study analyses the impact that VE teachers’ mentoring had on the development of students’ videoconferencing skills by conducting a qualitative content analysis of pre- and post-intervention videoconference recordings, as well as students’ reflections in their personal portfolios. Despite the limitations identified, the results of this study point to the importance of providing adequate videoconferencing mentoring to improve the VE learning experience and its learning outcomes.

Author Biographies

Lucía Pintado Gutiérrez, Dublin City University

Lucía Pintado Gutiérrez is an Assistant Professor of Spanish and Applied Linguistics at Dublin City University. Her research explores the developing field of language education and translation, sociolinguistics, learners' motivation and agency and pedagogical media accessibility. Her research activity includes publications on these topics.

Begoña F. Gutiérrez, University of León

Begoña Fernández Gutiérrez is a Postdoctoral Researcher and English as a Foreign Language teacher in the Department of Modern Languages at the Universidad de León, Spain. Her major research interests lie in the area of virtual exchange, foreign language teaching and citizenship education.

Inmaculada Gómez Soler, Dublin City University

Inmaculada Gómez Soler is an Assistant Professor of Spanish and Applied Linguistics at Dublin City University. She obtained her PhD in Linguistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research explores the connection between the acquisition and the pedagogy of Spanish as a foreign and heritage language with a particular focus on teacher and student agency.