Teacher Competences in Telecollaboration: The Case of Web Conferencing and German for Professional Purposes

Teacher Competences in Telecollaboration: The Case of Web Conferencing and German for Professional Purposes

D. Joseph Cunningham (University of Kansas, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4482-3.ch012
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Abstract

The following case examines the use of Web-based desktop conferencing as part of a university-level German for the Professions course, with a particular focus on the competences the foreign language teacher must exhibit in such a learning arrangement. Over the course of one semester, United States American learners of German interacted with invited expert guests from Germany and participated in an associated focused instructional module. As a result of interaction with invited expert guests and focused instruction, course participants increased their ability to make appropriately polite requests, a necessity for effective communication in a professional register. The case also discusses logistical requirements related to planning and facilitating a Web conferencing course component, including both expert-novice and peer-peer models. It will be seen that the successful use of synchronous online communication tools in foreign language instruction is directly dependent upon the teacher’s pedagogical competences, digital competences, organizational competences, and beliefs and attitudes.

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