The possibilities of international communication increase as new technologies break down the physical barriers of distance. For language teachers and learners, this provides many real opportunities to integrate critical thinking and intercultural learning into the language curriculum. Critical thinking is most efficiently taught together with factual content and depends on domain knowledge and practice. It is, therefore, essential to find contexts that put students in need of metacognitive strategies. The online exchange with international and intercultural communication is such a context.
This paper explores the pedagogical and conceptual issues that accompany the integration of intercultural communication skills and critical thinking into the tertiary curriculum by analysing international interactions in an online exchange. Starting with videoconferencing tasks related to intercultural issues and involving critical thinking based on the experience and investigations by the students of Swedish Uppsala University and the Czech University of Pardubice, we had an opportunity to observe the development of our students' learning within the Language and Culture Exchange in Sweden and Czechia. This paper focuses on the potential in putting the learners in these two different situations and creating short video-reports on controversial topics such as attitudes to the LGBT community and religious aspects in a multicultural society. The authors will provide a qualitative analysis of using the new media in language learning and the process of intercultural language learning within the above described experiences. To triangulate the findings, qualitative and quantitative methods were used to collect the data; specifically, questionnaires, interviews, and document analyses were used to investigate the learners' responses and learning processes. The results revealed that the participants had strong positive attitudes towards technology-enhanced intercultural language learning (TEILI), which enabled the learners to experience authentic language learning that fostered linguistic competence, critical thinking and intercultural communicative competence (ICC). The findings suggest that TEILI approximates real-life learning contexts by allowing students to use a language for similar purposes that they will use it outside school.
Autoři se ve svém příspěvku zamýšlejí nad možností propojení videokonferenčí technologie a tvorby krátkých videoreportáží na zadané téma, podněcující kritické myšlení a interkulturní kompetenci studentů v terciárním vzdělávání na Univerzitě Uppsala ve Švédsku a Univerzitě Pardubice v České republice. Autoři ke svému výzkumu používají triangulaci dat prostřednicvím kombinace kvalitativního a kvantitativního sběru dat. Autorům se na základě zjištění podařilo poukázat na propojenost kontextu reálného života se studiem jazyka a jeho specific s důrazem kladeným zejména na rozvoj a osvojení interkulturní kompetence a schopnosti kritického myšlení.
Stellan Sundh, Ph D, senior lecturer and Director of Studies at the Department of Education, Uppsala University, Sweden. His main duties are within teacher education and in courses for international students. He is now engaged in several projects with international cooperation and with a special interest in non-native use of the English language and intercultural communication. His research areas cover didactic issues such as student-interactive video-conferences and linguistics with a focus on young learners' uses of English as a foreign language.
Mgr. Marketa Denksteinova, ESP lecturer at Language Centre, University of Pardubice. Her field of expertise lies in the intercultural communicative competence within the Language and Culture Scheme program, and new media involvement in language teaching and learning.