Practice Reports

Erasmus Speaks: Bringing Internationalisation Online




Erasmus Speaks, Transnational Virtual Exchange, Internationalisation at Home, Task Design and Framework


In recent years we have seen a growing recognition by educators of the value of Virtual Exchange (VE) in the context of Internationalisation at Home (IaH) (de Wit, 2016). Research has shown the benefits of VE for language learners, as it emphasises the development of transferable skills (European Commission, 2021; Godwin-Jones, 2020). In this paper, we report on the development of Erasmus Speaks, an innovative, transnational Virtual Exchange Project offered at a third-level research institution in Ireland in autumn 2020. This new element replaced the Erasmus study-abroad period for over 600 European language students in response to Covid-19 pandemic travel restrictions. The high completion rate of the project, reflected in the large number of Transnational Erasmus+ Project (TEP) digital badges awarded to participants, shows that this task-based project met its objectives in relation to language learning, intercultural awareness, digital literacy and transferable skills.

Author Biographies

Veronica O'Regan, University of Limerick

Dr Veronica O’Regan is an Associate Professor of German at the School of Modern Languages & Applied Linguistics, University of Limerick. She lectures in German and is a member of the Centre for Applied Language Studies (CALS). Her research interests include German Literature, Critical Discourse Analysis and Intercultural Communication.

Florence Le Baron-Earle, University of Limerick

Dr Florence Le Baron-Earle is a Teacher in French, Technology and Cross-Cultural Communication at the University of Limerick, Ireland, and also an active member of the Centre for Applied Language Studies. She enjoys implementing innovative pedagogies and student-centred practices, such as virtual exchanges which foster collaboration and intercultural understanding.

Marie-Thérèse Batardière, University of Limerick

Dr Marie-Thérèse Batardière is Associate Professor of French at the University of Limerick, Ireland. She has been involved for many years in Higher Education and in Initial Teacher Education. Her research interests include the use of computer-mediated communication tools to promote sociolinguistic competence, facilitate intercultural dialogue and develop critical thinking.