Date Approved

2021

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

World Languages

Committee Member

Zuzana Tomaš, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Cynthia Macknish, Ed.D.

Abstract

This mixed-method research examined the reasons, challenges, and use of online intercultural exchanges (OIEs) among Slovak English as foreign language (EFL) teachers in order to maximize the potential of OIEs for English language learning. The study collected data from an online survey, semi-structured interviews, and artifact analysis. The key findings of this study demonstrate that Slovak EFL teachers engage in OIEs to develop their learners’ intercultural competence and to collaborate with other European teachers despite the time-consuming nature of the OIEs. Based on the results of the study, effective OIE projects include clear task instructions, information-exchange, and collaborative tasks. In these projects, experienced teachers demonstrate flexibility, cultivate agency, and lead their English learners to create meaningful and engaging end-products. One recommendation is that the role of language be more explicit and intentional in order to leverage the linguistic potential of OIEs for English language instruction.

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