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Volume 19 Number 1
Abstract

Supporting In-service Language Educators in Learning to Telecollaborate
Robert O’Dowd, Universidad de León

The importance of teachers’ capacity to integrate and exploit computer mediated communication (CMC) in the foreign language classroom has been recognised by many of the leading publications in foreign language teacher education, including the European Profile for Language Teacher Education (2004) and the European portfolio for student teachers of foreign languages (EPOSTL) (2007). One of the essential CMC activities in foreign language education is undoubtedly telecollaboration. This is the application of online communication tools to connect classes of language learners in geographically distant locations with the aim of developing their foreign language skills and intercultural competence through collaborative tasks and project work (O’Dowd, 2007).

This paper begins by presenting a model of competences for the telecollaborative teacher, which has been developed and verified by this author (2013) using the Delphi technique. The paper then presents UNICollaboration (www.unicollaboration.eu), an online platform, which has been developed reflecting these competences and a sociocultural approach to teacher education. Following that, the findings of four qualitative case studies of novice telecollaborators are used to inform the design of tools and training courses for educators in this complex activity of online foreign language education.

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