Michael BARR
   Department   Kyoto Junior College of Foreign Languages  , Department of English Studies for Careers
   Position   associate professor/lecturer
Date 2019/10/19
Presentation Theme Bridging cultures, connecting institutions: Developing a virtual community through tandem learning exchange projects
Conference ATEM 2019 National Convention
Promoters ATEM - Association for teaching English through multimedia
Conference Type International
Presentation Type Speech (General)
Contribution Type Individual
Venue Kyoto Women’s College, Kyoto, Japan
Presenter and co-presenter Michael David Barr
Details Language exchanges have always been viewed as an important aid to instruction, and they have - almost by necessity - had to exist outside the traditional classroom; as an optional accessory to the language practice that is the domain of the teacher-student-textbook dynamic. Only recently has technology enabled students to have real interaction within international academic communities. The theme of ATEM 2019 was 'Developing Creativity and Communicativity through Multimedia'. With the advent of more and more platforms and technologies aimed at making collaboration possible, we have more opportunities than ever to interact with people all over the world who we have not met in person. The Internet allows us to bridge physical or linguistic barriers so that we can connect to peers who share our interests regardless of their location. This presentation described a collaborative project between intermediate students of the Japanese Department at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and students in a 2nd-year English Workshop class at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies. The CU students questioned KUFS students in Japanese, and created, as the final project of their second year of Japanese study, a video presentation that was focused on a particular theme. KUFS students viewed these, creating responses in the form of 2-4 minute multimedia English videos. Our hypothesis was that, given the benefit of an authentic international audience, students would be more motivated to create content with focus and nuance. Creating video presentations allowed students who experience performance anxiety the chance to craft their message in an atmosphere where they had a chance to record their content in multiple ‘takes’. In terms of second language use, higher motivation and lower anxiety is the ultimate win-win.