Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer


Vol. 4 No. 1 (2021): Special Issue: Technologies and Second Language Learners

Using Virtual Exchange to Foster Global Competence and Collaborative Leadership in Teacher Education

January 31, 2020


Virtual exchange is a technology enhanced educational platform that makes it possible to connect classrooms and educators across geographic borders. Often also referred to as ‘telecollaboration’ and other variation, virtual exchange offers educators opportunities to collaborate with other teacher educators cross culturally in their efforts to engage a classroom of diverse leaners. Around the globe, educators seek to combine virtual exchange and innovative pedagogy to transform classrooms into dynamic places to teach and learn. Despite the positive comments that have been reaped on the pedagogical potential of virtual exchange programs, virtual exchange has not been successfully mainstreamed into formal curriculum and made into a staple of educational practices in p-12 schools. Consequently, few studies exist to explore the implications of incorporating virtual exchange into formal learning settings where the curriculum is in dire need for instructional innovation in order to move education into the 21st century.

This paper presents a study in which virtual exchange is used as an authentic context to expand TESOL teacher candidates’ teaching and collaborative repertoire. TESOL teacher candidates worked in pair, taking turns between facilitating students in cross interaction and chronicling fieldnotes on student engagement. Candidates’ reflective journals and student interviews are used to collect data for this study. Practices and challenges in incorporating virtual exchange into the standards aligned classroom were explored and discussed.