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Integrated Teletandem: Portuguese as a Foreign Language (PFL) teaching/learning/evaluating practices

Grant number: 17/02937-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): August 11, 2017
Effective date (End): January 10, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Education - Educational Teaching and Learning
Principal Investigator:Rozana Aparecida Lopes Messias
Grantee:Rozana Aparecida Lopes Messias
Host Investigator: Michael Jones Ferreira
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Letras (FCL-ASSIS). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Assis. Assis , SP, Brazil
Research place: Georgetown University, United States  


Teletandem practices have continuously increased at UNESP (Assis/ Araraquara/ São José do Rio Preto), even after the end of the thematic project Teletandem Brasil (2006-2010). These practices are configured as a context of autonomous learning in which each interactant (a Brazilian and a foreign student) teaches his/her proficiency language and learns the partner's language, through messaging and video applications (TELLES, 2009; TELLES, VASSALLO, 2009). Over the course of ten years of researches about teletandem, significant changes have happened not only in the format of the partnerships, but also in the themes of the studies conducted. Given this context and the necessity of tracking Teletandem impact on the interactants' oral proficiency, I aim to research the development of learners' oral competence in Integrated Teletandem partnerships (when the interactions happen integrated to the curriculum of a course) carried out at Georgetown University, where teletandem practices are integrated to the curriculum of the Portuguese for Foreigners course. The relevance of this research is justified by the lack of studies based on empiric data that explain, from the researcher's perspective, how this development happens. Therefore, I aim to investigate how Teletandem practice influences the development of oral communicative competence. For this purpose, the research will be conducted based on the data collection of all Teletandem sessions and extra learning activities (classes, extra-classes activities etc.) carried out by a group of students of Portuguese as a Foreign Language (PFL), during one academic semester. Oral proficiency is understood, in this study, as the knowledge and abilities that a person possesses about the language (CANALE & SWAIN, 1980). The study will be developed based on a qualitative methodology, more specifically, the case study, which presupposes a detailed monitoring of the observed fact (ANDRÉ, 1984; FLICK, 2004). In addition to the in loco observations, some quantitative instruments will be used: an interactive task (applied in the beginning and in the end of the Teletandem sessions) and an online questionnaire for participant students, aiming to verify variables that can impact the process of oral development in PFL. The qualitative research instruments will be: mediator's observation diaries of the interactions, diaries of the Portuguese classes observed, diaries elaborated based on the interactions with the researchers from Georgetown University, who are adept of the integrated Teletandem practice. The guidelines for the analysis of the students' oral proficiency will be the descriptors of the Common European Framework of Reference (2001) regarding the linguistic, sociolinguistic and pragmatic competences. All the data collected will be confronted in a system of methodological triangulation (FLICK, 2004), aiming to understand the impact of the Teletandem practice on learners' oral communicative competence, from a broad perspective, and considering the different cultures of foreign language teaching. Through the comprehension of the impacts of teletandem on foreign language acquisition, I expect to construct instruments, teaching and evaluative methodologies to help Brazilian and foreign mediators of the Teletandem practice implement such tasks in their foreign language teaching activities. In addition, the comprehension of the actions carried out in the scope of foreign language teaching practices at Georgetown University will strengthen the research networks between this institution and researchers from UNESP involved in Teletandem practices and language teaching.

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