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Introduction to Co-eLearning Languages

Posted by Marie-Lise Grare

What are co-eLearning Languages projects?

Co-eLearning Languages projects focus on students' collaborative, comparative and creative work using new technologies. Students from two countries, studying the same specialism, work together in pairs or teams using each other's native language.

E.g. In the field of law, the e-Legal co-project has encouraged French and English speaking law students to collaborate in speaking and writing on legal projects. Students not only improve their communication skills in each other's language but also gain an insight into another legal system. (currently the French, English and Australian Systems). They are able to demonstrate this creatively in the oral presentation which they plan and deliver via a videoconference or in class with their respective tutor.

Originality of the co-projects

The interaction between two individuals or two groups of students sharing the same specialism aims at improving their language skills in a professional and multicultural context. Students complete their assigned and generated tasks in each other's native language. The bilingual exchange ensures the understanding of the exact terminology in the two languages and leads for instance to the creation and implementation of a bilingual glossary of specific terms

Design of the co-projects

Facilitators combine student assignments and technological tools to create challenging tasks within a subject specific context so that students' communication and subject related skills can be used, developed and evaluated. Students are also encouraged and expected to generate their own content while working on their co-project.

Spirit of the co-eLearning Languages projects

Students participating in the co-projects share the same ambition of progressing in their learning of each other's native language and their understanding of diverse professional practices, by sharing and challenging their target language and subject related skills.

The role of facilitators is to design and adapt co-projects so that they create and generate situations in which students can use their communication and negotiation skills extensively.

The smooth running of the co-projects requires support and close collaboration of e-Learning departments and subject related departments They need to fully accept the demands and challenges of the programme put in place by the co-eLearning developers of their university and the co-university.