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ERIC Number: EJ1089515
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1467-5986
Overcoming Barriers: Engaging Younger Students in an Online Intercultural Exchange
Peiser, Gillian
Intercultural Education, v26 n5 p361-376 2015
This paper reports on a small-scale project involving an online school exchange between two classes of 12-/13-year olds located in the North of England and the Ruhr area of Germany. The overarching aim of the project was to develop intercultural understanding in foreign language learning through communication in an online environment. Analysing data from website posts, lesson observations, student questionnaires and interviews, the paper investigates the extent to which the project realised this goal, and examines emerging practical and pedagogical issues. Comparing the processes and outcomes of this project in secondary education to similar projects in Higher Education (HE), the research found that the young people learnt more than older students about cultural similarities than differences. They were thus less likely to be party to cultural misunderstandings, developing friendly relationships and openness towards a people of a different culture. However, their failure to notice differences may have been due to a lack of in-depth discussion and absence of more demanding student tasks. The paper concludes that in order to develop more sophisticated intercultural learning, expertise derived from telecollaboration in HE needs to be adapted to the lower secondary school context, drawing particularly on auto-ethnography and ethnographic interviewing.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany; United Kingdom (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A