Developing Soft Skills in Higher Education Foreign Language Programs. Initial Insights into Telecollaboration
Recent research has highlighted the importance of developing soft skills in a global job market which is currently undergoing profound changes. Several reports by the European Union have also sought to introduce methodologies aimed at integrating soft skills within the learning and teaching processes. In the same vein, O’Dowd and Lewis (Online intercultural exchange: policy, pedagogy, practice. Routledge, London, 2016) note the potential of online intercultural exchanges in the development of students’ foreign language and intercultural communication skills. This study describes a telecollaboration experience between two classes of university students: English students learning Spanish, and Spanish students learning English. A total of 32 participants exchanged and shared views on six topics over a three-month period by using online tools ICT. It then explores the results of the self-assessment process through which students evaluate the cross-cultural and telecollaboration skills gained during this experience of using a foreign language to communicate.
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