Enhancing Teacher Education Programs Through International Online Collaboration
Dr. Christa de Kleine.
Today many teacher education programs provide opportunities that include distance learning. Typically, however, these programs do not involve students from more than one educational institution. This presentation reports on a unique international online project, conducted under my supervision, which brought together over 70 students in teacher education programs from three different universities in the United States and Brazil. This talk explains how international online collaboration can significantly enhance the educational experience of students and faculty alike, with special emphasis on TESOL education.
An online learning project involving several universities in different countries requires detailed planning. I will first discuss how the project was designed and implemented, focusing on technology training for faculty and students. I will then present an account of the core of the project, which consisted of collaborative research assignments completed in small international groups of students. The assignments centered on teaching EFL/ESL pupils, including those with special needs, and allowed students a unique opportunity to share data, analyses and reflections in an international forum. This greatly enriched the participants’ learning experiences, providing students and faculty from universities with limited travel resources an invaluable opportunity for discussion with their international counterparts.
For educators interested in setting up similar projects, I will also share some of the most important practical lessons that we learned during this 6-month project, illustrating these with successes (and failures!) as we experienced them.
Dr. Christa de Kleine (United States)
M.A. in TESOL Program Department of Education
College of Notre Dame of Maryland
Dr. Christa de Kleine is Assistant Professor of Education at the College of Notre Dame in Baltimore, USA, where she coordinates the MA in TESOL program. She holds advanced degrees in linguistics from the University of Groningen (the Netherlands) and the City University of New York, and has taught ESL and TESOL courses in the U.K and the U.S. Her research interests focus on the acquisition of standard American English by speakers of English-based creole languages, and on the role of online technology in teacher education programs.
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)