Participation, (Non-)linguistic Choices, and Attitudes in an East-West Telecollaboration
Carolin Fuchs [+]
Tsz Yan Lo [+]
Hong Kong Glory Education & Technology Limited
Sneha Thapa [+]
Nepalese community project coordinator
In this chapter, the authors explore how participants engage in the initial stages of a telecollaboration, what linguistic and non-linguistic choices facilitated their negotiation processes, and how they rated their attitudes. Participants in this eight-week project included English majors in a graduate-level sociolinguistics core course at a public research institution in Hong Kong who telecollaborated with student teachers in a language teaching and new media elective course for EFL teacher education at a public education university in Germany. Telecollaborative teams used social media tools to complete three sequential tasks: 1) introductions and themed discussions on Facebook for comparing their educational contexts, 2) collaborative research and writing of a literature review on Google Docs, and 3) generation of recommendations for their respective educational contexts on a Wix website. These data were a subset from a broader ethnographic analysis of these learners, and results from four focus teams were analyzed. Triangulation includes social media interactions on Facebook and pre-/post-questionnaires. Findings indicate that, regardless of task performance, all focus team made a range of choices that facilitated team negotiations such as accommodating propositions, emoticon use, or constructive communication styles. In contrast, L1 use, aggressive communication style, or pragmatic presupposition were hindering factors.