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Email Tandem Exchanges as a Tool for Authentic Cultural Learning

Reyes Llopis-García
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Reyes Llopis-García: Columbia University, USA

International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments (IJVPLE), 2012, vol. 3, issue 3, 43-59

Abstract: This paper presents the description of an email Tandem exchange project conducted between 94 intermediate-level students (47 pairs) from Columbia University/Barnard College in New York and Universidad Autonóma de Madrid in Spain during the Fall Semester 2010. There were several goals to this project: to help improve students’ writing skills; to encourage them to learn about culture through authentic (understood as ‘direct contact with a native speaker’) and real exposure to the target language; to foster progress in their use of the target languages through peer-to-peer corrections; and to take an active part in their own learning through self-assessment. Based on students’ opinions, this project had a very positive impact in the way they viewed the foreign/target culture on both sides of the Atlantic. It also helped them enhance their written proficiency and acquire a new lexical mastery that would have been impossible through the limited and less-real scope of the classroom.

Date: 2012
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