Prior Experience and Student Satisfaction with E-Tandem Language Learning of Spanish and English
Keywords:Foreign language learning, telecollaboration, e-tandem learning, social networks, VOIP
Recent literature in the field of foreign language learning has indicated that classroom learning is not necessarily enough for students to acquire proficiency in a foreign language. Learners who achieve a high level in the target language often combine work in the classroom with activities outside it. At the same time, a number of studies indicate that, when foreign language learners do work with their target language beyond the classroom, it is often to practice the receptive skills of reading and listening as opposed to the productive ones of speaking and writing. For this reason, students at The College of New Jersey in the United States and Universidad de Alcalá in Spain were paired up to work in tandem to practice Spanish and English through a private Facebook© page and Skype calls©. This paper discusses the impressions of 195 participating students on both sides of the Atlantic to the activities as determined through a questionnaire. The overall objective was to determine if prior experience with the two applications and in using the foreign language in conversation has an impact on student satisfaction. The results indicate prior experience with the applications and with the target language correlates with a positive estimation of the activities. Additional variations were also found. Language instructors who wish to set up an e-tandem experience are advised to assist students with less experience so that they can benefit from the activity.
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