Discussing Cultural Content via Chat

The eExchange Giessen-Hong Kong has ESP students who are preparing for a year-long study-cum-work stay in the German-speaking parts of Europe work with students of a German as a Foreign Language (GFL) seminar. Being aspiring teachers of GFL, the latter use the exchange to work with Internet applications for pedagogical purposes, developing teaching competences in the process. The Chinese students work with content on an open online blog which was created by the Giessen students for people who are interested in attending a German orientation course, an initiative of the German government to promote integration (Orientierungskursblog [OK-Blog]). By discussing the blog’ s content with their partners and tutors in Germany Chinese students develop their language and cultural competences and Giessen students develop competences as online tutors.

Institution reporting the task:


Language of task instructions:


Target Group:

Foreign languages
Foreign language teachers



References and acknowledgements:




Estimated Duration:

4 sessions


Discussion of various social issues in Germany on the basis of an interactive blog


teacher training
socialcultural context



Language Configurations:

Lingua Franca

Language(s) that the task can be used in:


Dominant language production:

Writing/reading synchronous
Writing/reading asynchronous
Speaking/listening synchronous

Target Competences:

Language competence

Specific pedagogical objectives:

Development of students foreign language competence

Suggested Communication Tools:


Suggested Resources:

The blog&#39 s website is:

Homepage of the project:


The OK-Blog provides a lot of material which the ESP students work through using the interactive exercises the blog provides (http://www.uni-giessen.de/dafblog/orientierungskurs/?page_id=2921).

The GFL students in Giessen monitor the activities and comments of the ESP students and discuss issues or questions that come up in the comments (see learner text). Because of the large amount of material on the blog ESP students interested in the same topics form groups. This group then only works on the material in the blog that relates to this topic. Giessen students offer ESP students two chat sessions based on the chosen topic which are all relevant in the ESP curriculum.

During four weeks students interact using diverse Web applications working on the cultural materials the blog provides. In this phase each participant engages in a chat with his or her partner(s) at least twice on a theme related to their tasks. At the end of these four weeks there is a joint feedback session on the Adobe Acrobat Connect platform.

Learner Texts:

See homepage of the project:

http://www.gfl-journal.de/2-2011/chaudhuri.pdf (p. 132)

Document related to the task:


Criteria for Completion:

Presentation of the topic in the local classroom.

Comments and suggestions:

As the author points out surprisingly the ESP students did not utilize the tools of the OK-Blog to work through the topics but relied instead on their German partners to explain these issues to them. To prepare for their in-class presentation they used their own net-research unknown to the teacher.


Tushar Chaudhuri (2011). Designing Web 2.0-telecollaborations for university students. The eExchange Giessen-Hong Kong. gfl-journal, No.2, 125-141. (http://www.gfl-journal.de/2-2011/chaudhuri.pdf)