Getting their Feet Wet: Trainee EFL Teachers in Germany and Israel Collaborate Online to Promote their Telecollaboration Competence through Experiential Learning

Published: 
Nov. 16, 2016

Source: Sake Jager, Malgorzata Kurek, Breffni O'Rourke (Eds), New Directions in Telecollaborative Research and Practice: Selected Papers from the Second Conference on Telecollaboration in Higher Education (pp. 179-184)

 

The paper presents a telecollaboration project between 54 pre-service teachers of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) studying at a teacher training college in Israel and a university in Germany. The telecollaboration involved a collaborative Project Based Learning Task (PBLT) in which the students compared and evaluated the ways EFL is taught in their respective contexts. The purpose of this ongoing study is to provide pre-service EFL teachers with an apprenticeship of learning ways that technology can be used to transcend classroom walls for virtual mobility and cooperation. It specifically intends to determine how such an apprenticeship can strengthen student teachers’ belief in their ability to implement telecollaboration in their own teaching.

Data for the study were gathered through a pre-post quantitative survey. The findings indicate that telecollaboration experience integrated into teacher training can raise students’ perceived self-efficacy to implement telecollaborative exchange projects into their future teaching.

 

Results show that the student teachers’ telecollaboration experience was meaningful within the process of their teacher training. Following the telecollaboration experiential learning, the students’ post-survey results revealed a higher sense of self-efficacy originating from their experience. The survey showed raised feelings of competence in designing, organizing, running and assessing an online exchange with their future pupils. Moreover, it showed willingness to cooperate with partners and capability in choosing appropriate digital tools. The initial results from this ongoing study support the notion that telecollaboration exchange deserves a place in pre-service EFL teacher education programs. By equipping future teachers with telecollaboration knowledge and skills, there is hope that there will be an eventual backwash effect and telecollaboration exchange will be applied to EFL curricula.

Updated: Jan. 04, 2017
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