Chain stories (continued)

Groups of students in two different institutions collaborate together to produce a short story which continues from an opening line given to them by the tutor. Using google docs, the students contribute to a story in their own language as well as one in the target language. They can all edit and add comments, correcting language and changing the direction of the storyline.

Echange de friandises

An exchange of physical gifts, small items between the two centres. Groups bringin items that they consider to be little known to the other culture, items are cheap/free but present an aspect of the home country s culture which may be unfamilar. Reactions are shared through photosharing and thank you notes/messages on a forum. An online classroom is availalbe as is an Instant Messenger tool for connecting synchronously.

Chansons d’hiver

A video sharing activity which gives cultural background to celebrations during winter.

A forum is created and students are asked to share their favourite christmas songs. They can use links to youtube, make a group video or record audio singing their favourite winnter song.

Getting to know you

This online profile creation task is the opening task once our students arrive in the shared online area, EWC. It is a useful initial language activity as students have to draft and upload the information and also discuss in class the nature of their online identity for this virtual exchange.

Students have the option of adding a video recorded presentation or audio recording to introduce themselves using the integrated audio/video tools. They can also contribute to fora that are of interest to them (multiple fora are available on a range of topics e.g. music, film, politics, sport.

Cultura surveys

Based on the Cultura surveys. Adapted from Furstenberg and Levet 2001, we set up 3 types of anonymous survey in google forms to be completed in the mother tongue of the students. They were encouraged to complete these without spending too much time thinking about their answers so that we could collect their instinctive reactions. The results would then be analysed by students who were learning that language and use the information as a basis for discussion about their assumptions of the cultural norms of the country whose language they were studying.