English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) and Telecollaboration are two relatively recent research areas within the broad field of Applied Linguistics whose growth is directly connected to the implementation of the technology known as Web 2.0, which brought a fundamental change in the use of the Internet, especially as regards the ability for people to interact and exchange information online. On the one hand, the rise of ELF -a novel variety of English that is spreading quickly among the communities of non-native speakers (NNSs) around the world- is an interesting sociolinguistic phenomenon that largely depends on the success of Web-based communication (Jenkins, 2007; Seidlhofer, 2011). On the other hand, Telecollaboration represents one of the highest achievements of Web applications focused on the improvement of foreign language learning and intercultural competence (Belz, 2005). It is thus reasonable to say that studies on ELF and Telecollaboration share a common background and that it should be advisable to try and integrate them in order to carry out research on the pedagogical implications of telecollaboration when the use of ELF is concerned. The purpose of this paper is to present a research project called Intercultural Telecollaboration that involved a group of ten Italian high-school students from the Liceo Classico Statale "E. Q. Visconti" of Rome, who use English as a Lingua Franca online, and a group of ten American intermediate students of Italian from the University of Arizona. Its main goal was to improve the students’ intercultural competence, a) by fostering their mutual understanding through the use of their L2s, and b) by supporting cooperative practices through web-mediated communicative activities (Thorne, 2003 and 2010; Belz, 2005). The rationale behind this study is that the Internet is an artifact that provides a hypermedia-based constructivist learning context whereby the remediation of linear written discourse via the integration of digital tools (e.g. verbal texts, audiovisual documents and hyperlinks) can promote authentic asynchronous interaction and favour sociocognitive processes in language use (Thorne, 2008; Batstone, 2010). This research is based on integrating Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT, Ellis, 2003) and Sociocultural Theory (SCT, Vygotsky, 1978; Lantolf, 2000; Lantolf and Thorne, 2006) via hypermedia applications (Bolter and Grusin, 1999). The students who participated in it created a community of practice (Cop, Wenger, 1998) and interacted online through a website and a wiki that were purposely designed for the needs of the project (O'Dowd and Waire, 2009). Moreover, as in second language acquisition (SLA) researchers and teachers increasingly recognize the necessity to elicit instances of language use that are illustrative of the learners’ performance while they are not focusing on accuracy (Ellis, 2003), participants were also encouraged to provide reciprocal peer feedback to enhance their language awareness and communicative competence (van Lier, 2004; Lantolf and Thorne, 2006). This way, it was possible to create a zone of proximal development (ZPD, Vygotsky, 1978; Lantolf and Thorne, 2006) whereby learners could support each other and improve their achievements in coping with their tasks. This paper will describe the different phases of the research project and discuss the most relevant results about the use of hypermedia to promote intercultural telecollaboration.

Grazzi, E. (2015). ELF and the Development of Intercultural Communicative Competence: an Italian-American Telecollaboration Project.. In Paola Vettorel (a cura di), New Frontiers in Teaching and Learning English. (pp. 179-204). NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE : Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

ELF and the Development of Intercultural Communicative Competence: an Italian-American Telecollaboration Project.

GRAZZI, ENRICO
2015-01-01

Abstract

English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) and Telecollaboration are two relatively recent research areas within the broad field of Applied Linguistics whose growth is directly connected to the implementation of the technology known as Web 2.0, which brought a fundamental change in the use of the Internet, especially as regards the ability for people to interact and exchange information online. On the one hand, the rise of ELF -a novel variety of English that is spreading quickly among the communities of non-native speakers (NNSs) around the world- is an interesting sociolinguistic phenomenon that largely depends on the success of Web-based communication (Jenkins, 2007; Seidlhofer, 2011). On the other hand, Telecollaboration represents one of the highest achievements of Web applications focused on the improvement of foreign language learning and intercultural competence (Belz, 2005). It is thus reasonable to say that studies on ELF and Telecollaboration share a common background and that it should be advisable to try and integrate them in order to carry out research on the pedagogical implications of telecollaboration when the use of ELF is concerned. The purpose of this paper is to present a research project called Intercultural Telecollaboration that involved a group of ten Italian high-school students from the Liceo Classico Statale "E. Q. Visconti" of Rome, who use English as a Lingua Franca online, and a group of ten American intermediate students of Italian from the University of Arizona. Its main goal was to improve the students’ intercultural competence, a) by fostering their mutual understanding through the use of their L2s, and b) by supporting cooperative practices through web-mediated communicative activities (Thorne, 2003 and 2010; Belz, 2005). The rationale behind this study is that the Internet is an artifact that provides a hypermedia-based constructivist learning context whereby the remediation of linear written discourse via the integration of digital tools (e.g. verbal texts, audiovisual documents and hyperlinks) can promote authentic asynchronous interaction and favour sociocognitive processes in language use (Thorne, 2008; Batstone, 2010). This research is based on integrating Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT, Ellis, 2003) and Sociocultural Theory (SCT, Vygotsky, 1978; Lantolf, 2000; Lantolf and Thorne, 2006) via hypermedia applications (Bolter and Grusin, 1999). The students who participated in it created a community of practice (Cop, Wenger, 1998) and interacted online through a website and a wiki that were purposely designed for the needs of the project (O'Dowd and Waire, 2009). Moreover, as in second language acquisition (SLA) researchers and teachers increasingly recognize the necessity to elicit instances of language use that are illustrative of the learners’ performance while they are not focusing on accuracy (Ellis, 2003), participants were also encouraged to provide reciprocal peer feedback to enhance their language awareness and communicative competence (van Lier, 2004; Lantolf and Thorne, 2006). This way, it was possible to create a zone of proximal development (ZPD, Vygotsky, 1978; Lantolf and Thorne, 2006) whereby learners could support each other and improve their achievements in coping with their tasks. This paper will describe the different phases of the research project and discuss the most relevant results about the use of hypermedia to promote intercultural telecollaboration.
978-1-4438-7458-8
Grazzi, E. (2015). ELF and the Development of Intercultural Communicative Competence: an Italian-American Telecollaboration Project.. In Paola Vettorel (a cura di), New Frontiers in Teaching and Learning English. (pp. 179-204). NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE : Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/169641
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