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Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice

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Language Evolution: The Windows Approach

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Language Evolution: The Windows Approach addresses the question: "How can we unravel the evolution of language, given that there is no direct evidence about it?"


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Academic Paper


Title: Virtual interaction through video-web communication: A step towards enriching and internationalizing language learning programs
Author: Kristi Jauregi
Institution: Universiteit Utrecht
Author: Emerita Bañados
Institution: Universidad de Concepción
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition
Subject Language: Spanish
Abstract: This paper describes an intercontinental project with the use of interactive tools, both synchronous and asynchronous, which was set up to internationalize academic learning of Spanish language and culture. The objective of this case study was to investigate whether video-web communication tools can contribute to enriching the quality of foreign language curricula, by facilitating a motivating virtual communication environment for purposeful interaction between non native and native speakers of Spanish to accomplish learning tasks. The project was carried out between a class of twenty Spanish as foreign language students from the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands, and a class of twenty Chilean trainee Spanish teachers from the University of Concepción, Chile. Students interacted weekly, over two months, in dyads and small groups making use of a video-web communication tool, . The video-web communication tool enabled synchronous interactions, during which participants could see each other while talking and sharing audiovisual documents on-line. A blog was also used to promote collaboration, reflection and exchange of ideas about issues raised during the synchronous sessions. Qualitative data was collected through a questionnaire, analysis of recordings of learners' interaction sessions and the project blog. Results show a positive impact on motivation and on learning outcomes, particularly regarding understanding of the use of language in given contexts, and of cultural issues.

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This article appears IN ReCALL Vol. 20, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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