Telecollaboration for L2 Turkish Students: The Analysis of Online Interpersonal Communication


Tiryakiol S.

Conference on Central Asian Languages and Linguistics, Indiana, United States Of America, 9 - 11 April 2021

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Indiana
  • Country: United States Of America

Abstract

This study investigates the interpersonal interactions during a telecollaboration Project at a novice level L2 Turkish course. Currently, telecollaboration has mostly been used for exchanges between people in distant geographical locations, typically between learners of the target language and native speakers residing in the country or regions that are home to the target culture. Few studies have focused on the preparation that students need in order to engage in telecollaborative exchanges, particularly at the novice and low-intermediate levels. In this study, I develop and explore the notion of ‘in-course telecollaboration’ between learners of the target language. In our model, students had an opportunity to hone their videoconferencing abilities, and overall interpersonal communication proficiency in anticipation of a transnational telecollaboration project. The instructor-researcher designed biweekly oral and written interactional tasks based on discrete thematic units covering cultural points, grammatical structures, and vocabulary. Throughout the term, the instructor analyzed students’ oral and text conversations to evaluate their performance and track developments in their interpersonal communication proficiency. The six-week in-course telecollaborative exchanges culminated in a telecollaboration Project with pre-service Turkish teachers residing in Turkey. By exploring the notion of using telecollaboration to prepare students for authentic conversations with native speakers of Turkish, this study seeks to offer insight into a variety of factors that are critical to learners’ development of interpersonal communication as defined by the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages (ACTFL, 2006). The study showed that telecollaboration projects are possible even for novice-level learners. Online encounters enable students to practice the language in a meaningful context and get peer-feedback. An online environment could be more flexible and non-threating for the students. During the interpersonal interactions, students had to produce contextually appropriate language which is beyond grammar and vocabulary. This challenge encouraged students and helped them to develop their skills in the discourse level. However, this challenge caused language breakdowns. But the students dealt with these breakdowns, asking for help from their peers or using their body language. Even in novice-level, the learners can exchange cultural points and daily habits. Telecollaboration projects are also important tools to improve all participants’ e-skills.