Teletandem is a virtual, autonomous and collaborative context, which uses writing and sound resources as well as webcam images of VOIP interactions (such as Skype) for foreign language teaching/learning (TELLES, 2009) and plays an important role in the project described. This research project focuses on the cultural dimension (which does not exclude the linguistic one), on interaction and feedback given by students in the virtual, autonomous and collaborative context of teletandem. We have seen that the way of giving and receiving linguistic feedback between the partners may cause tension leading to conflicts and ruptures in teletandem partnerships. Thus, we identify a rich aspect of studies concerning intercultural collaboration mediated by the computer to research(a) How do the students of different cultures prefer to receive linguistic feedback? (Do they want to receive feedback and are there similarities between the partners?) and (b) How do the US students answer to the partner´s preference to be corrected? The participants of the research are US students in teletandem partnerships with native or proficient Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, Turkish, Spanish or French speakers in an US university where the solid teletandem practices will be implemented in these languages. The data will be analysed as a qualitative case study from the observation of video interaction recordings, questionnaires generated via Esurveys and notes taken by the students in Skype. As a result, this study aims to offer theoretical and practical support to professors involved with practice and mediation of foreign languages learning in teletandem, considering the cultural issues and the specificities of languages and cultures in this telecollaborative intercultural communication.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: