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Technology Provides Foreign-Language Immersion at a Distance

July 3, 2014

A female student is shown videoconferencing with another female student in class.

Photo Courtesy of The Chronicle of Higher Education

"In an Internet-era version of pen pals, some foreign-language professors at American colleges are using free or low-cost technology to match their students with partners in classes in other countries and to provide authentic language-­immersion experiences.

Teletandem, or telecollaboration, as the practice is known, uses video­conferencing—whether Skype, Google Hangouts, or Adobe Connect—to complement both in-person and online language courses. For example, students in a Spanish class here are paired with students in an English course abroad. To minimize intimidation, professors try to pair students of the same proficiency level. The idea is a simple one—I teach you my language, you teach me yours."

Read more at The Chronicle of Higher Education