A First-year Exchange

This series of tasks is designed for an exchange between two or more classes of students studying English in their study programme. It gives them the opportunity to use English in a semi-authentic context and also to develop their electronic literacies and their academic skills by carrying out different online activities together such as creating a blog, interviewing each other online and carrying out a class presentation based on their online collaborations.

The tasks are relatively simple to organise and implement and are adaptable to a wide number of topics. This task sequence has been quite successful with first year students as it combines online interaction with basic academic skills development such as class presentations, interviewing and essay writing.

Ethnographic interviews online

Students are assigned partner-students in the different partner universities and are required to interview them on an ethnographic theme- e.g. &quot Politeness rules in our partner countries&quot , &quot Rules of travelling in public transport in our partner countries&quot , &quot the people and symbols in our partner country&#39 s stamps and coins and what this tells us about our countries&quot , &quot what is on sale in tourist shops in our country and what this tell us&quot etc.

The aim is to get students to look critically at aspects of their own culture and then to report to each other and compare. These interviews can be done by email, skype etc. Students are then required to write an academic essay, comparing how the topic is treated/experienced in the different cultures.