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The project is trialling an innovative new method of practising language, where three native speakers of English, Spanish and German work together practising the three languages in a structured online environment.
Each member of the threesome wants to practice the two other languages, and also acts as helper/informant on his/her own language for the other two members.

Thus it uses native speakers of 3 languages, each of whom wishes to practise the other 2. There is a context of

  1. suggested communicative joint tasks, e.g. WebQuests, that give content to the practice and
  2. guided modes of interaction between the two participants who are practising a language and the third who is their guide, mentor and informant regarding his/her mother tongue.

The system is based on the solid experience of the main partners in fostering this kind of independent activity between pairs of learners, where each native speaker of the pair wishes to practise the other's language. Two unique aspects of this project are

  1. to engage groups of 3 native speakers instead of 2
  2. to use ICT as a strong part of the learner practice in a blended teaching situation where face to face meetings are also arranged.

We believe that the benefit of this system for genuine multi-lingual communication will be that

  1. a wider cross-cultural interchange and understanding can be achieved.
  2. insights can be developed about which languages can most fruitfully be practised by one learner. It should be noted that this is a totally undeveloped area, in which it is assumed by many people, without evidence, that cognate language can more easily be learned. But this is still open to test, especially because there is anecdotal evidence that using cognate languages at the same time may be confusing [e.g. false friends].
  3. motivation is increased by the use of 3 members of a learner group instead of pairs, and therefore more interesting cultural comparisons will be made.



Project Description