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Virtual Exchanges in Language Teacher Education: Facilitating Reflection on Teaching Practice Through the Use of Video

Written by: Barbara Loranc-Paszylk, Shannon M. Hilliker, Chesla Ann Lenkaitis
Published on: Jul 12, 2021

Video Call
Image credit: Courtney Keating/iStockphoto

Language teachers must be equipped with technological skills to respond to the needs of 21st-century classrooms (Guichon & Hauck, 2011). The virtual exchange can be used as an innovative tool for developing these competences by connecting culturally and linguistically diverse populations through technologies.

The study reported in this article explored how teacher candidates develop their ability to reflect on their teaching practice through virtual exchanges. Sixteen participants from universities in the United States and Poland met weekly in cross-cultural teams via Zoom videoconferences to discuss cultural topics and subsequently reflected on their collaborative, interactive experience by watching their recorded synchronous sessions.

Open-ended questions and postproject structured interviews were analyzed through NVivo. By analyzing participants’ reflections on the potential of cross-cultural exchanges for educational purposes and professional development, this study offers implications for the innovation and internationalization of curricula (Rubin & Guth, 2015) through virtual exchange and provides an example of how to integrate virtual exchanges into language teacher preparation programs (Dooly & Sadler, 2013). Furthermore, the results show that the development of participants’ ability to reflect on their teaching practice was facilitated through the use of video-recorded interactions with other teacher candidates.

TESOL Journal