Background‎ > ‎

Project summary

TeCoLa: Pedagogical Differentiation through Telecollaboration and Gaming for Intercultural and Content Integrated Language Teaching

The TeCoLa project brings together experts in the fields of foreign language education, intercultural telecollaboration, teacher education, and technology mediated pedagogy from six countries (Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain and UK). Focus is on developing and testing innovative gamified telecollaboration approaches for secondary schools that address issues of learning diversity in intercultural and content integrated language learning and teaching. At the very heart of the learning process are authentic task-based interactions among peers from different socio-cultural, educational and language backgrounds using telecollaboration for communicating and collaborate internationally. 

Objectives

TeCoLa aims:

1. To empower pre- & in-service teachers to use telecollaboration and gamification in order to:

  • facilitate intercultural communicative competence development as a prime objective of foreign language learning and European citizenship building,
  • create conditions for real-life communication in a foreign language in lingua franca or tandem constellations with a potential for incidental language learning,
  • foster autonomous collaboration and authenticity as key principles of task-based learning,
  • strengthen personalized learning and learner agency as part of a differentiated pedagogy approach.
2. To internationalise education by integrating telecollaboration at schools to innovate, enrich and make language teaching programmes more meaningful and effective.

3. To contribute to the integration of all pupils regardless of their background by promoting intercultural dialogue in telecollaboration events among diverse populations of pupils from secondary schools across Europe.

4. To exploit the possibilities web 2.0 applications, virtual worlds, serious games and gamification offer with a view to diversifying teaching and facilitating content integrated language learning alongside with intercultural dialogue and play in telecollaboration encounters.

TeCoLa addresses two main target groups:

1. A diversity of secondary educational institutions including

  • schools that pay special attention to meaningful and intensified foreign language practice in their curricula (bilingual education, CLIL, LinQ schools in NL),
  • Dalton/Montessori schools,
  • vocational education,
  • schools where language learning and teaching is a challenge because of cultural, cognitive, social, or financial diversity.

2. Teacher education institutions as carriers of pedagogical innovation and reform at secondary schools through professional development of both pre-service and in-service teachers.

 TeCoLa outputs

TeCoLa will develop a multimodular approach for professional teacher development around task-based gamified telecollaboration. The TeCoLa OER pool serves as an online one-stop shop with all educational resources created in the project’s lifetime to support teachers and teacher educators with an interest in gamified telecollaboration for improved foreign language learning at secondary schools. The following elements will be included:

  • teacher development modules covering gamified telecollaboration for intercultural communication and European citizenship building, content integrated and vocational language learning, differentiated pedagogical practices, and learner preparation;
  • telecollaboration tasks for intercultural communication, gamification, subject knowledge acquisition and sharing, and assessment;
  • online pedagogical video guides for teacher training and course support;
  • case study reports on piloting activities involving gamified telecollaboration for differentiated foreign language learning under conditions of learning diversity.

 TeCoLa will provide tailor-made pedagogical training activities to teachers and teacher educators to develop their competencies and get them started with their own telecollaboration-enhanced courses. Teachers in the six project countries will participate in piloting courses in connection with the TeCoLa case studies. The entire process of course creation, implementation and evaluation will be accompanied by a continuous coaching collaboration between the teachers involved and a TeCoLa telecollaboration expert.

 In addition to the project’s direct impact on the participating teachers, the project will also ensure a long-term impact on teachers and teacher educators through the combined effect of three measures: the open availability of tried-and-tested educational resources, a series of regional/national and European workshops, webinars and Multiplier Events, and the TeCoLa networking and community building facilities on the TeCoLa website.