Michael BARR
   Department   Kyoto Junior College of Foreign Languages  , Department of English Studies for Careers
   Position   associate professor/lecturer
Date 2019/11/04
Presentation Theme Virtual Community, Global Community: Tandem Learning in Action
Conference UCEC 2019
Promoters UCEC -University Community Engagement Conference
Conference Type International
Presentation Type Speech (General)
Contribution Type Collaborative
Venue Brunei Darussalam, Brunei
Presenter and co-presenter Michael David Barr, Robert McClung
Details Creating a virtual community between academic institutions has never been easier. As educators, we share the common motivation to encourage, support, and develop global citizenship by encouraging our students' critical thinking skills. Tandem learning describes any project where the educational goals of two or more parties are being fulfilled simultaneously. Globalization is making the world more connected, yet more divided, than ever before. Using best-selling author Yuval Noah Harari's most recent book "21 lessons for the 21st Century" as a basis, a tandem-learning project has been carried out between KUFS and Wenzao Ursuline University (WZU) in Taiwan. Our aim has been to teach academic writing through an authentic discussion of issues, comparing differing cultural ideas and opinions in regards to topics associated with the current and future state of global culture. We aim to examine the benefits and associated challenges associated with collaborations between university English writing programs. Our study comprised three groups of 18-20 students. Two academic writing classes at KUFS partnered with advanced students at WZU to collaborate on opinion essays, discussion of news articles, and sharing of personal feelings on an assortment of global topics. Our prediction is that the use of authentic source material as well as a 'real' audience will lead to higher motivation levels, focused research, and more sophisticated academic writing. If this pilot program is a success, we hope to contribute to a framework for more effective exchanges between universities in the future.