Virtual exchange for (critical) digital literacy skills development

Hauck, Mirjam (2019). Virtual exchange for (critical) digital literacy skills development. European Journal of Language Policy, 11(2) pp. 187–210.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3828/ejlp.2019.12

Abstract

This article examines the ways in which transcultural and digital literacy skills may be enhanced by telecollaboration, a model of virtual exchange (VE). After an overview of the literature on telecollaboration in language teacher education with a focus on digital literacy, it considers the potential of critical digital literacy development through VE. In particular, it argues for the relevance of critical digital literacy in relation to the characteristics of the twenty-first-century graduate, and the potential of the telecollaborative model of VE to develop skills to this effect in language teachers and subsequently their students. The EVALUATE project is presented, including its rationale and the methods used for data gathering and analysis, followed by the presentation and discussion of the main project findings in terms of the participants’ digital pedagogical competence development and evidence of emerging critical digital literacy. Finally, it offers some concluding remarks and points at gaps that remain to be addressed, if we want to draw maximum benefit from VE for promoting a critical and informed approach to the use of technologies first in language teachers and teacher trainees and thereafter also in their students.

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