Research Articles

Possibilities of virtual exchange for Internationalization at Home: Insights from the Global South




virtual exchange, Internationalization at Home, English language teaching, Global South


The paper discusses the potential of virtual exchange (VE) to promote the development of Internationalization at Home (IaH) approaches. With that aim, the GAZUFES VE project was undertaken in the COVID-19/post-pandemic scenario between two universities in the Global South: one in Brazil and another one in Turkey. The theoretical framework informing the research is that of VE as a strategy to internationalize higher education and English teacher education. The methodology employed is qualitative, using content analysis to analyze data collected through reflection reports, interviews, journals, and observations produced by the project informants: preservice English teachers, researchers, teacher trainers and international relations office (IRO) staff in the two institutions involved in the GAZUFES project. Results of the analysis suggest that the GAZUFES project made a significant contribution to English Language Teaching (ELT) education and IaH in the contexts researched, not least by raising the awareness at the IRO offices and the two institutions about the potential of VE for IaH approaches. The implementation of the GAZUFES project was a teacher-led innovation in the two institutions involved and more work is required to institutionalize VE projects beyond individual teachers’ efforts. Results are discussed in terms of the challenges and benefits of VE for ELT education in general and IaH in particular through the inclusion of voices and perspectives of different agents in the two institutions (student teachers, researchers, teacher trainers and IRO staff) involved in the GAZUFES project.

Author Biographies

Kyria Finardi, Federal University of Espirito Santo (UFES)

Kyria  Finardi is a senior lecturer in the Department of Languages, Culture and Education (DLCE) and post-graduate program of Education (PPGE) of the Federal University of Espirito Santo (UFES), in Vitória, Brazil. She is currently vice-president of the International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA) and co-creator, co-coordinator of the Iberoamerican Association of Applied Linguistics (AIALA). Her academic interests include pre-service English language teacher education, multilingualism, decolonial perspectives, language policies in higher education, the use of technology in education and internationalization.

Asuman Aşık, Gazi University

Asuman Aşık is an associate professor at the Department of English Language Teaching at Gazi University and vice manager of Project Coordination Implementation Research Center. Her main research topics include teacher training, technology and language teaching, teaching English to young learners and curriculum and materials development, corpora and language teaching, CALL and eLearning.