Project Background Euroméditeranée Ecole de Management, Marseille University of Michigan, Ann Arbor One hour/week Skype voice exchange 30 min English - 30 min French
Student Profiles International Management Bachelor Planning study in USA Enrolled Civilization and Culture - Business English class Volunteers 2nd year Undergraduates Ross School of Business BBA Liberal Arts Bachelor Half studied abroad Some planning international internship Enrolled Business French Mix 2nd 3rd 4th year
Exposure Native Speakers MICHIGAN: classes in French, weekly conversation group, work/study abroad, tourism. EUROMED: International school with strong English language component. Daily contact with anglophones. Classes in English, work/study abroad, tourism.
Project Goals Enhance target language skills Increase cultural awareness target culture Familiarity with business practices Increased familiarity American campus life, university system
voice/video chat list contacts conference call text chat
Structured Activities CV and cover letter peer critiques Current event discussions (elections) Cross-cultural advertising Comparison education systems Daily life and customs
Survey: What did we want to learn? Culture and language: What do the students think they learned? What are student attitudes? Feelings on collaborative learning? Impact of group dynamics? Motivation for contact outside class?
Online Survey Students from 3 semesters Return rate 18 USA / x Majority open-ended questions Also: focus group and personal communication
What did you learn? Business content; educational system, “tidbits”, very general “topic” Language expressions, language skill Cultural value observation, perspective Don’t remember, rien Communication skills (0) intcult comm in (3elsewhere) Découverte d’une personne (elsewhere) 5 12 0 10 2 5 1 2 ? 0 2 0
What did you learn own language culture? Left blank (5) Insert quotes?
Target language improve? Yes (12) Yes/No (1) No (2) Actual French people Comfortable speaking, conversation, improvisation Constructive criticism encouraging partners (overt) Listen, compare accent, identify gaps (noticing) Technical problems, frequent contact anglophones Yes (2) Yes/No (2) No (4)
Best aspects Speaking (conversation) native student Making connections, friends Intercultural communication (2) What international employers want (1) Vie de campus, système univérsitaire Casser des stéréotypes Apprentissage de la langue Echange de culture Interactivité
Least useful aspect Fewer French than American students (pairs) Not same person every week Worksheets (structured activities) Staying on task Questions obligatoires, planning de discussion (everyone)
Contacts outside class TIDBITS: One pair exchanged holiday gifts Two meet up in France Romance Continue contact And beyond … Once or twice (16), regularly (3) via email and Skype with the same person for classwork and general conversation Once or twice (16), regularly (3) via email and Skype with the same person for classwork and general conversation
Learning from peers Positive (7)(5), pos/neg (4) ( 2) +Comments: general language, more professional, sound more French, better position myself in market, on apprend sans s’en rendre compte, charmante-brillante, bénéfique dans les deux sens -Comments: too general, accuracy?
Learning from peers Ils ont une manière de nous parler qui fait que nous comprenons mieux, car ils ont notre âge, on sait ce qu’ils vivent comme nous You learn an actual French opinion and reaction through interacting with them which is impossible to learn through a lecture...
Group Dynamics Pairs: build relationship, des affinités se sont créés, more speaking time, focus on task, typical internet chat New partner = time getting to know people - not focus task Large group first encounter (less awkward)
Group Dynamics Pairs : build relationship, more speaking time, focus on task, typical internet chat build relationship, more speaking time, focus on task, typical internet chat Getting to know new partner takes time away from task. Getting to know new partner takes time away from task. New partner Large group Large group videoconference might make first meeting less akward Large group videoconference might make first meeting less akward
Videoconferencing? Yes (2) (2) Maybe (3) No (6) (4) Video body language, gestures nice to see them, plus aisé Distraction, ça nous force à être concentré Audio hone comprehension less anxiety, nervous less worried appearance He’s cute!
Teacher perception Ease, confidence of communication w native speaker Vocab and cultural info Bureaucratic side French business (vs ‘Nike Cowboy’) ‘Just like us’ - age, similar experiences Authentic transfer, corroboration knowledge (practice vs theory)
What are students telling us? Worksheet/guides too constraining, not conducive to communication Communicate and focus better in pairs - relationship is important, same age Videoconferencing not important to learning Enjoyable overall experience Positive cultural exchange information