Virtual Environment and Social Skills Development
The use of the videoconference technology has recently become a promising field in network-based language teaching (NBLT). In the foreign language context, the significance of this technology lies basically in providing students with the opportunity to engage in meaningful speech interactions and, therefore, creating a supporting learning environment that enables them to develop real-life cross-cultural conversations, particularly with native speakers. On this basis, the present paper seeks to assess the impact of implementing such technology on students’ social skills development. More importantly, it makes use of the Global Understanding Project to show the extent to which virtual intercultural encounters can affect the development of tolerance, respect and understanding among students in a world driven by its complex multiculturality; a world within which successful communication means a great deal.
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