Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on Communication and Language in Virtual Spaces, January 2023 Pp. 3-16
International E-Tandems: A Tool for Increasing Student Motivation in the Foreign
CREA- EA370: GReMLIN Research Group
Université Paris Nanterre, France
Corresponding Author: email@example.com
Department of Romance Studies
Received:10/10/2022 Accepted:12/06/2022 Published: 01/20/2023
This study presents findings from an online collaborative project involving students learning English at the University of Paris Nanterre (France) and students learning French at Cornell University (USA). Our main goal was to determine the impact of e-tandems on language learner motivation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly all courses at these two institutions were offered online, a move that greatly complicated the use of interactive group activities. This change represented a major threat to learner motivation and the development of communication skills in the target language. To counteract these effects, language teachers from the two universities organized an online e-tandem program; pairs of students composed of one American learner of French and one French learner of English had three virtual meetings to complete activities relevant to their studies. During these meetings, they were to alternate between speaking English and French. Following each exchange, students completed journal entries about their experience using the target language. Results indicated that the e-tandem program was a positive experience for students, with many reporting higher levels of intended learning effort and being able to see themselves as competent language users. These findings highlight the didactic potential of virtual exchanges.
Keywords: e-tandems, foreign language classrooms, languages for specific purposes, motivation, online
exchange, speaking skills
Cite as: Schug, D., & Torea, T. (2023). International E-Tandems: A Tool for Increasing Student Motivation in the Foreign Language Classroom. Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on Communication and Language in Virtual Spaces, January 2023. 3-16
Aranha, S., & Wigham, C. R. (2020). Virtual exchanges as complex research environments: facing the data management challenge. A case study of Teletandem Brasil. Journal of Virtual Exchange, 3, 13-38.
Aubrey, S. (2014). Development of the L2 Motivational Self System: English at a University in Japan. JALT Journal, 36(2), 153-174.
DOI: 10.37546/JALTJJ 36.2-1
Batardière, M., & Jeanneau, C. (2020). Towards developing tandem learning in formal language education. Recherche et Pratiques Pédagogiques en Langues de Spécialité, 39(1). Available at: http://journals.openedition.org/apliut/7842. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/apliut.7842
Chalak, A., & Kassaian, Z. (2010). Motivation and attitudes of Iranian undergraduate EFL students towards learning English. GEMA online journal of language studies, 10(2), 37-56.
Chen, S. (2012). Motivation and possible selves: An interview study of Taiwanese EFL learners. Language Education in Asia, 3(1), 50-59. Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Coleman, J. A. (1995). Progress, proficiency and motivation among British university language learners. CLCS Trinity College Dublin, Occasional Paper No. 40. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED383221.
Debras, C. (2020). Teletandems are not the online version of face-to-face tandems; Here’s why. Recherche et Pratiques Pédagogiques en Langues de Spécialité, 39(1). Available at: http://journals.openedition.org/apliut/7644.
De Martino, S. (2020). The “Bologna–München” tandem: Experiencing interculturality inside and outside the foreign language classroom. Recherche et Pratiques Pédagogiques en Langues de Spécialité, 39(1). Retrieved from: http://journals.openedition.org/apliut/7479.
Develotte, C., Guichon, N. & Kern, R. (2008). “Allo Berkeley ? Ici Lyon… Vous nous voyez bien ?” Étude d’un dispositif de formation en ligne synchrone franco-américain à travers les discours de ses usagers. Alsic, 11(2), 129-156.
Dörnyei, Z. (2009). The L2 motivational self system. In Z. Dörnyei & E. Ushioda (Eds.), Motivation, language identity, and the L2 self (pp. 9-42). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
Fondo, M., & Jacobetty, P. (2020). Exploring affective barriers in virtual exchange: The telecollaborative foreign language anxiety scale. The Journal of Virtual Exchange, 3(SI), 37-61.
Fuchs, C., Snyder, B., & Tung, B. (2022). The value of mediation for task design and implementation in a US-China virtual exchange. Journal of Virtual Exchange, 5(SI-IVEC2021),1-23.https://doi.org/10.21827/jve.5.38197.
Gardner, R. (1960). Motivational variables in second language acquisition, (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
Gardner, R. (2005). Integrative motivation and second language acquisition. Retrieved from http://publish.uwo.ca/~gardner/docs/caaltalk5final.pdf.
Guth, S., Helm, F., & O’Dowd, R. (2012). University language classes collaborating online: Report on the integration of telecollaborative networks in European universities. Executive summary. Retrieved from: https://www.unicollaboration.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/1.1-Telecollaboration_report_Executive_summary-Oct2012_0.pdf.
Hadfield, J. & Dörnyei, Z. (2014). Motivating Learning. Routledge: New York, NY
Jauregi, K. & Melchor-Couto, S. (2017). Motivational factors in telecollaborative exchanges among teenagers. In K. Borthwick, L. Bradley, & S. Thouësny (Eds), CALL in a climate of change: adapting to turbulent global conditions – short papers from EUROCALL 2017 (pp. 157-162). Research-publishing.net.
Kırkgöz, Y. (2005). Motivation and student perception of studying in an English-medium university. Journal of language and linguistic studies, 1(1), 101-123.
Lamb, M. (2009). Situating the L2 Self: Two Indonesian school learners of English. In Z. Dornyei (Ed). Motivation, language identity, and the L2 Self (pp. 229-247). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters Ltd
Li, M., & Zhang, L. (2020). Tibetan CSL learners’ L2 Motivational Self System and L2 achievement. Systems, 97(2021). doi: 10.1016/j.system.2020.102436.
Liu, M. (2007). Chinese students’ motivation to learn English at the tertiary level. Asian EFL Journal, 9(1), 126-146.
Longhi, E., & Valero Gisbert, M.J. (2020). Possibilities and limitations of computer-mediated tandem: Skype vs. Adobe Connect. Recherche et Pratiques Pédagogiques en Langues de Spécialité, 39(1). Available at: https://journals.openedition.org/apliut/7512.
Moiinvaziri, M. (2007). Motivational orientation in English language learning-Summary: A study of Iranian undergraduate students. Available at http://www.usingenglish.com/articles/motivational-orientation-in-english-language-learning.html
Murray, G. (2011). Identity, motivation and autonomy: Stretching our boundaries. In G. Murray, X. Gao & T. Lamb (Eds). Identity, motivation and autonomy in language learning (pp. 247-261). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
O’Dowd, R., & O’Rourke, B. (2019). New developments in virtual exchange for foreign language education. Language Learning & Technology, 23(3), 1–7.
Papi, M. & Khajavy, G.H. (2021), Motivational Mechanisms Underlying Second Language Achievement: A Regulatory Focus Perspective. Language Learning, 71(2), 537-572. https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.12443.
Rajab, A., Roohbakhsh Far, H., & Etemadzadeh, A. (2012). The relationship between L2 motivation self-system and L2 learning among TESL students in Iran. Procedia—Social and Behavioral Sciences, 66, 419-424.
Schug, D. (2019). English courses across disciplines: A question of motivation, (Unpublished doctoral thesis). Université de Paris VIII and Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia.
Schug, D., & Simon, K. (2021, September 9). Measuring foreign language anxiety during a virtual tandem project [Conference presentation]. Contemporary Crossroads: Studies in English Applied Linguistics, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary.
Sebastian, P., & Souza, B. (2022). Connecting the disconnected: analysis of a virtual exchange during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Virtual Exchange, 5, 94-104. https://doi.org/10.21827/jve.5.38374.
Ushioda, E. (2006). Language motivation in a reconfigured Europe: Access, identity, autonomy. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 27(2), 148 — 161.
Vassallo, M.L. & Telles, J. A. (2006). Foreign language learning in tandem: Theoretical principles and research perspectives. The ESPecialist, 27(1), 83-118.
Yashima, T. (2000). Orientations and motivation in foreign language learning: A study of Japanese college students. JACET bulletin, 31, 121-133.