Guest Editors : Robert O’Dowd and Breffni O’Rourke
Telecollaboration, also commonly referred to as online intercultural exchange or virtual exchange, refers to the use of online communication tools to bring together classes of language learners in geographically distant locations with the aim of developing their foreign language skills and intercultural competence through collaborative tasks and project work (O’Dowd & Lewis, 2016).
Telecollaboration has been employed in foreign language education for more than 20 years (Cummins & Sayers, 1995 ; Eck, Legenhausen, & Wolff, 1995 ; Warschauer, 1995), and during this period, telecollaborative learning has played an increasingly important role in computer assisted language learning (CALL) practice and research. This is clear from the significant number of articles related to the subject which have appeared over the past decade in research journals such as Language Learning & Technology, ReCALL, and CALL Journal. There have been several book publications exclusively on the theme (i.e., Belz & Thorne, 2006 ; Dooly, 2008 ; Guth & Helm, 2010 ; O’Dowd, 2006 , 2007 ; O’Dowd & Lewis, 2016 ; Warschauer, 1995) as well as two special issues of this journal Language Learning & Technology (Vol. 7, Num. 2 and Vol. 15, Num. 1).
Recent years have also witnessed a gradual growth in awareness of telecollaboration in mainstream foreign language education, particularly at the university level. This can be seen in the presence of chapters on telecollaboration in many of the recent overviews of foreign language methodology including the Routledge Handbook of Language and Intercultural Communication (Jackson, 2013). It is also demonstrated by reflections on telecollaboration in volumes related to intercultural foreign language education (i.e., Corbett, 2010 ; Liddicoat & Scarino, 2013) and bilingual education (i.e., Mehisto, Frigols, & Marsh, 2008).
However, in telecollaboration even more than in other areas of CALL, the interplay of technological and cultural developments make for an ever-changing landscape for teachers, researchers, and, not least, students. Therefore, 20 years on, it is still important for telecollaborative researchers and practitioners to continue to innovate in their research and practice, exploring new ways of improving the learning experience of virtual exchange and providing fresh research that provides critical insights into how telecollaboration can contribute to language, digital, and intercultural learning goals in different learning contexts. With this in mind, we seek proposals that present theoretically grounded and methodologically rigorous empirical studies in various areas which include, but are not limited to, the following :
Telecollaborative language and intercultural learning outcomes among younger learners
Telecollaboration and its role in bilingual or Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) contexts
Longitudinal and large-scale telecollaborative initiatives where findings are not limited to one class, one semester contexts
Telecollaboration and its role in the development of digital literacies
Technological interfaces and multimodality in telecollaborative exchanges
Telecollaborative studies involving learners from non-western contexts and the developing world
Telecollaboration and its role in the development of global citizenship
Telecollaboration and its role in foreign language teacher education
Telecollaboration as a mediator of interpersonal relationships
Language issues in telecollaborative initiatives in non-language disciplines
Telecollaboration, discourse, and pragmatics
Reviews of research in telecollaboration : critique and innovation
Studies that advance our understanding of aspects of foreign language and culture learning in telecollaborative contexts are also welcome but authors should make clear how these new studies expand on previous publications.
On a methodological level, we would welcome studies that use quantitative and qualitative or mixed research methodologies. Studies that problematize issues of method and that employ innovative but rigorous methodologies will be particularly welcome. We will not be able to accept studies that provide only descriptive reports of telecollaborative exchanges or uncritical presentations of student feedback. Guidelines for Authors
Articles should be no longer than 8,500 words (including references but not appendices). For specific guidelines, please refer to the LLT submission guidelines. To be considered for this special issue, send a title and a 300-word abstract in a Word document by February 1, 2018 to firstname.lastname@example.org.