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Academic Paper

Title: CMC-Based Model Learning in Language Teacher Education: A German-American telecollaboration
Paper URL:
Author: Carolin Fuchs
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Teachers College, Columbia University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics
Abstract: This paper presents findings from a research project that integrated computer-mediated communication (CMC) into teacher education to provide future language teachers the opportunity to experience CMC-based model learning. Overall goals of the project included preparing pre-service language teachers to use computer technology in their future teaching, and fostering electronic and professional literacy as well as cross-cultural learning. The research context was a qualitative case study involving cooperation among teacher educators and pre-service foreign language teachers at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey, California, and the Justus-Liebig Universität Giessen, Germany. Six groups of pre-service teachers collaborated via email and chat functions of the FirstClass® computer conferencing software with their transatlantic partner groups in designing a joint website for CMC-based language teaching ( This paper explores institutional, technical, and sociolinguistic challenges that participants encountered when collaborating over a distance. More specifically, the following research questions are addressed: What kind of pedagogical value do CMC-based projects have in teacher education? What kind of challenges do pre-service teachers encounter when negotiating via computer technology? Which approach characterizes the most successful groups? The article draws on data such as email and chat transcripts, questionnaires, learner logs, and interviews. Lastly, some strategies to support a cooperative CMC-based learning environment and issues for further research are outlined.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: Honolulu: University of Hawai'i, National Foreign Language Center.
Publication Info: Thompson, I., & Hiple, D. (Eds.). Selected papers from the 2004 NFLRC symposium: Distance Education, Distributed Learning and Language Instruction (NetWork#44) [HTML document] (pp. 141-156).
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