Free webinars for intercultural foreign language learning and teaching


  • TILA Telecollaboration for intercultural language aquisitionEnrichening your foreign language classroom with motivating on-line tools.
  • Enhancing intercultural understanding thanks to interesting collaborative tasks
  • Getting your pupils really enthusiastic for the language you are teaching

If this is what you are trying to achieve within your language classroom, then register for the free webinars that the TILA consortium will offer between 7 May and 9 June. As you may know, TILA stands for Telecollaboration for Intercultural Language Acquisition, and that is why we are concerned with offering possibilities for pupils to meet on-line in secure environments, in order for them to discover other cultures while learning new languages.

The six interactive webinars are presented by various TILA experts and will cover a wide range of topics that connect with telecollaboration in your classroom. During the webinars, that will last one hour, you can ask your questions by text chat.

The program is as follows:

7 May (15.00-16.00 CET): Telecollaboration tools
13 May (15.00-16.00 CET): OpenSim
27 May (15.00-16.00 CET): Telecollaboration tasks
28 May (19.30-20.30 CET): Teachers’ experiences
2 June (16.00-17.00 CET): Intercultural communication
9 June (15.00-16.00 CET): Organisation of telecollaboration exchanges

More information about each session can be found on the following address:

For the webinar of 13 May you can register by sending your name, your mail address, the name of your institution/employer (if applicable) to For all the other webinars, please send this information to and mention the seminar for which you wish to register.

We hope to meet you soon on-line! In the meantime, please do not hesitate to visit the TILA project website:

TILA website:
TILA blog:
TILA on Facebook
TILA on Twitter: @tilaproject

ELF 2.0 Study – English as a Lingua Franca Discussions in the Web

Invitation to participate

Target groups:
(a) secondary school pupils who are non-native speakers of English
(b) university students who are non-native speakers of English
Proficiency level: Low to upper intermediate (A2 – B2)
Requirements: Internet, computer/laptop with sound/video, (simple) headset, webcam

In the EU project TILA (“Telecollaboration for Intercultural Language Acquisition”), we are conducting case studies of discussions in English as a lingua franca (ELF discussions) in two web environments: the 3D virtual world of OpenSim and the videoconferencing platform of BigBlueButton.
The ELF discussions take place in small groups of three to five speakers from different countries and cultures. The discussion topics concern the speakers’ experience with social media such as facebook.
Questionnaires, replay of recorded discussions, and retrospective interviews are used to collect speaker profile information as well as comments regarding lingua-cultural divergences, communicative challenges, and strategic solutions.
The focus of analysis is on intercultural communicative interaction in non-native speaker English and on how pupils and students adapt to the conditions imposed by the respective technological environment.
Our ELF 2.0 study aims to contribute to a better understanding of the potential of telecollaboration for real and authentic communicative language learning and teaching beyond the face-to-face classroom. It is also expected to provide insights for pedagogical measures concerning learner preparation and teacher development.
@ Teachers of English: if you are interested in this study and some of your pupils or students might want to join one of the ELF discussion groups, please get in touch.

Contact: Kurt Kohn
Steinbeis Transfer Center Language Learning Media

English for Special Purposes: Communication across Disciplines

The International Conference on English Education “English for Special Purposes (ESP): Communication across Disciplines”, 20-21 April 2013 at Shih Chien University, Taipei Campus, Taiwan (R. O. C.)

delicious dumplings

Food for Mind, Body, and Soul

An interesting and well-balanced range of talks: Keynote speeches by KAY WESTERFIELD (“Passport to Academia and Beyond”), KURT KOHN (“Collaborative Authentication – A Social Constructivist Perspective on ESP Learning and Teaching”) and YUKIO TONO (“Corpus Linguistics and ESP”) – Invited speeches by WENLI TSOU (“What’s Missing in our EAP Program”), SHIOU-WEN YEH (“What Can Technology Do to Support EAP”) and CHING KANG LIU (“The Strengths of the Project-based Framework in ESP Courses”).

Check out the full programme

Overwhelming hospitality and professional conference support by a merry crowd of enthusiastic students gently supervised by Wei-chen Chuang and Tian-Tsai Chiang (TJ), not to mention the rich cultural and culinary excursions – and of course Lyn and Eve and Jim, my “cultural bodyguard” – a BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU!

If you want to know more about “Collaborative Authentication”, here are my presentation slides.

Back from TESOL Arabia, Dubai, 14-16 March 2013

A GREAT conference experience – Interesting people, excellent insights – These were some of my favorites:

  • “Curriculum Approaches in Language Teaching: Forward, Central and Backward Design” (Jack C. Richards)
  • “Creating and Performing Jazz Chants” (Carolyn Graham)
  • “Ten Ways to Get Your Students to DO Something” (Ken Wilson)
  • “Learners in the 21st Century: Are they Any Different?” (Linda Price)
  • “The Price and Value of Education: A Dickensian Approach” (Luke Prodromou)

A big THANK YOU to the organizers Les Kirkham and Sandra Oddy.

And here are my own presentation slides:


TILA – Telecollaboration for Intercultural Language Acquisition

On 24 and 25 January 2013, partners from 6 countries met in Valencia for the kickoff meeting of the new European Lifelong Learning project TILA.

TILA Kickoff MeetingThe aim of the TILA project is

  • to innovate and enrich language teaching programmes at secondary schools by introducing telecollaboration activities to facilitate intercultural communication with peers from other countries;
  • to implement (pre- and in-service) teacher training programmes that promote teachers’ pedagogical and intercultural competences in relation to telecollaboration through experiential learning in connection with task development, implementation and evaluation;
  • to explore the added value of telecollaboration activities for language learning and intercultural communication among young learners (aged 13-16).

TILA will offer actual practice and hands-on experiences in telecollaboration activities using video conferencing tools (e.g. skype or BigBluebutton) and virtual worlds created in OpenSim as well as asynchronous tools like blogs and wikis. It promotes professional teacher development by addressing technological, intercultural, pedagogical and organisational concerns for the successful integration of telecollaboration practices in language education.

Target languages: English, French, German and Spanish.

The TILA Consortium:
The Netherlands: Utrecht University (Coordinator); Berlage Lyceum in Amsterdam; 3D Learning Experience Sevices (3DLES)
United Kingdom: University of Roehampton; The Godolphin and Latymer School in London
Germany: Steinbeis Transfer Center Language Learning Media; Gymnasium Saarburg
Spain: Universidad de Valencia; IES Clot del Moro
France: Université de Paris 3; Collège La Cerisaie
Czech Republic: Palacky University

Associate partners: 42 institutions from the Netherlands, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Poland, Portugal and Italy


icEurope – Intercultural Communication in Europe
Web Collaboration and E-learning in the English Classroom

icEurope is a Comenius multilateral project (142672-LLP-1-2008-1-DE-COMENIUS-CMP), funded by the European Commission from Dec 2008 until Jan 2010. The project was coordinated by the Chair of Applied English Linguistics, University of Tübingen and involves five other partner institutions from Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Turkey. The aim of icEurope was to explore the method of “web collaboration” (aka telecollaboration or online exchange) for authentic and interactive intercultural language learning.

icEurope combines 3 main strands for research and development:

  • intercultural communication and intercultural competence development
  • second and foreign language learning research with a focus on English and English as a lingua franca (ELF)
  • web technologies, e-learning and CALL, i.e. computer assisted language learning

Within icEurope, the project group has been investigating theoretical and methodological synergies between these three strands to create learning, teaching and training materials with a focus on intercultural language learning through web collaboration.

For more information, visit the icEurope website and the icEurope Moodle.

The icEurope project has been funded with support from the European Commission.The project information on this website reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.