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Reading the world through virtual exchange: critical interculturality and glocal awareness in English teacher education
Malmö University, Faculty of Education and Society (LS).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8774-6902
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Virtual exchange (VE) is a pedagogical approach that connects learners across borders and cultures through online communication technologies. Taking a point of departure in critical social constructivism, this thesis contributes to the VE research field by presenting a collection of studies that explore the intersections of critical interculturality, global citizenship education, and online exchange in English teacher education. 

The aim is to explore ways in which VE participants navigate online cross-cultural dialogue and intercultural experiences in projects anchored in real-world issues and connected with the United Nations sustainable development goals. Furthermore, the aim is to examine what pedagogical insights pre-service teachers can gain from participating in VE, as a learning-by-doing experience for their future profession as English teachers. This approach, developed in accordance with critical virtual exchange (CVE), involves engaging the participants in inquiry, action, and reflection, where they explore a topic from multiple perspectives, collaborate with peers from different cultural backgrounds, create tangible products that demonstrate their learning, and reflect on their own assumptions, biases, and learning processes. 

Through action research and analysis of participants’ self-reported data and co-created artifacts, this thesis foregrounds the role of critical reflection as interconnected with and generated from the process of collaborative design. 

The findings show that, through active participation in VEs designed with a focus on global citizenship education, pre-service teachers can gain self-awareness, professional pedagogical insights, and evoke un/relearning of that which is often taken for granted in their own (educational) cultures. While shedding light on the challenges involved in transnational online collaboration, the thesis demonstrates the transformative potential of VE in teacher education, as well as the need for further research and development of this innovative pedagogical approach as a model that pre-service teachers can transfer to school contexts and explore in their own future classrooms. In an increasingly globalized, digitally advanced, and interconnected world, VE can serve as a conduit for glocalizing the curriculum and promoting internationalization at home in teacher education programs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Malmö: Malmö University Press, 2024. , p. 139
Series
Malmö Studies in Educational Sciences: Doctoral Dissertation Series, ISSN 1651-4513 ; 105
Keywords [en]
Virtual exchange, interculturality, global citizenship education, glocal awareness, teacher education, English, action research
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Sustainable studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-66579DOI: 10.24834/isbn.9789178774661ISBN: 978-91-7877-465-4 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7877-466-1 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-66579DiVA, id: diva2:1847720
Public defence
2024-04-19, D138, Nordenskiöldsgatan 10, Malmö, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Paper IV in dissertation as manuscript

Available from: 2024-04-02 Created: 2024-03-28 Last updated: 2024-04-02Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Power, Politeness and Liquid Persona: Intercultural Reflection and Virtual Exchange in Teacher Education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Power, Politeness and Liquid Persona: Intercultural Reflection and Virtual Exchange in Teacher Education
2021 (English)In: Educare, ISSN 1653-1868, E-ISSN 2004-5190, no 4, p. 1-28Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores pre-service English teachers’ self-reflections as participants in online intercultural exchange (VE). The aim is twofold: to examine participants’ perceptions of intercultural experiences in response to VE; and, to understand whether and how teacher trainees gain pedagogical insights through self-reflection situated in a cross-cultural online project. The study draws upon two iterations of exploratory research in a VE-project carried out with two cohorts of student groups. The first cycle involved students in Indonesia and Sweden, and the second cycle, a three-way collaboration, involved students in Argentina, Poland and Sweden. This article focuses on the Swedish side and examines empirical data incorporating e-diaries and interviews. A qualitative transcript analysis generated three intersecting themes: language and power, politeness, and participation through digital tools. Two theoretical constructs provide the analytical lens: persona (Hinrichsen & Coombs, 2014) and liquid interculturality (Dervin & Dirba, 2006). The findings challenge fixed notions of identity and interculturality, showing how participants engage in negotiations and fluid constructions of persona in response to perceived expectations of their interlocutors. The findings also indicate affordances of VE as a lingua franca contact zone in developing pre-service English teachers’ self-awareness and pedagogical competences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Malmö universitet, 2021
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-56610 (URN)10.24834/educare.2021.4.1 (DOI)
Available from: 2022-12-13 Created: 2022-12-13 Last updated: 2024-03-28Bibliographically approved
2. Safe/brave spaces in virtual exchange on sustainability
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Safe/brave spaces in virtual exchange on sustainability
2022 (English)In: Journal of Virtual Exchange, E-ISSN 2647-4832, Vol. 5, p. 61-81Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores the potential for fostering critical intercultural and global awareness through Transnational Virtual Exchange (TVE) focused on sustainability. The study is based on a lingua franca exchange between university students in Argentina, Poland, and Sweden. A qualitative content analysis of student e-portfolios unveiled reflective dimensions construed here as safe/brave spaces, echoing Andreotti’s (2006) notion of soft versus critical global citizenship education. Using theories of critical interculturality and third space, the analysis shows potential for developing participants’ critical reflection through TVE. However, the findings also reveal how in-depth reflection is often a lonely endeavor, overshadowed by project tasks that might unintentionally steer learners toward safe topics and consensus. So far, critical reflection is an underexplored area in empirical Virtual Exchange (VE) research. Student voices in this study bring to the fore questions regarding what it means to approach global citizenship education critically through online collaboration. The findings have implications for future design of VE projects where the focus is on social change through action-oriented tasks, but where critical and dialogic reflection after the completion of a pedagogical task is the salient part.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of Groningen Press, 2022
Keywords
virtual exchange, critical interculturality, global citizenship education, sustainability
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-56611 (URN)10.21827/jve.5.38369 (DOI)
Available from: 2022-12-13 Created: 2022-12-13 Last updated: 2024-03-28Bibliographically approved
3. Saying and doing: a multiliteracies analysis of preservice teachers' virtual exchange at the onset of COVID-19
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Saying and doing: a multiliteracies analysis of preservice teachers' virtual exchange at the onset of COVID-19
2023 (English)In: Language and Intercultural Communication, ISSN 1470-8477, E-ISSN 1747-759XArticle in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Although co-creation of artefacts is a common practice in virtual exchange (VE), there are still few studies that explore the connection between collaboration on multimodal texts and student teachers' development of intercultural and pedagogical awareness. Based on a trinational VE, coincidentally developed during the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020, this case-study explores how COVID-19, as the impromptu context for VE, fostered preservice teachers' intercultural and pedagogical perspectives. Through a multiliteracies approach, findings indicate that co-creation both generated and scaffolded intercultural dialogue and that, the disruption caused by the pandemic was experienced by students as an expansive learning opportunity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2023
Keywords
Teacher education, multiliteracies, interculturality, virtual exchange, COVID-19
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-60893 (URN)10.1080/14708477.2023.2199710 (DOI)000972907700001 ()2-s2.0-85153494211 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2023-06-16 Created: 2023-06-16 Last updated: 2024-03-28Bibliographically approved
4. Fostering Glocal Intercultural Awareness through Virtual Exchange in TESOL Teacher Education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fostering Glocal Intercultural Awareness through Virtual Exchange in TESOL Teacher Education
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This article reports on a seven-week Virtual Exchange (VE) involving teacher candidates in three countries in co-creation of learning materials based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). The aim of the study was to investigate whether and how the participants found a VE project focused on global citizenship education beneficial for their training as English language teachers. Through the lens of critical and reflexive interculturality, we analyzed VE participants’ self-reported data in relation to four categories on global competence: investigating the world, acknowledging perspectives, sharing ideas, and taking action. Participants reported that cross-cultural collaboration on a professionally oriented task was a potentially empowering activity enabling future teachers to not only gain intercultural and pedagogical self-awareness, but also to understand TESOL from both local and global perspectives. With relevance for teacher educators and teachers in the wider international TESOL community, the findings contribute to the growing body of research demonstrating the value of merging VE with global citizenship education in TESOL teacher preparation.

Keywords
Virtual exchange, teacher education, materials development, global competence, interculturality
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-66588 (URN)
Available from: 2024-04-02 Created: 2024-04-02 Last updated: 2024-04-03Bibliographically approved

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