Promoting Student-Centred Language Learning Via eTandem
The Case of Mexican and South African Students
eTandem is a type of virtual and synchronic way of learning an additional language in collaboration with peers who speak the target language and who are also learning their counterparts’ language. eTandem is usually incorporated as part of the activities that students have to complete whilst learning a language. However, these virtual activities are seldom part of the curriculum or the course syllabus and they are hardly ever part of the assessment process. The aim of this paper is to highlight the benefits of learning a language as the means of promoting a student-centred learning approach through autonomy, peer and self-assessment, self-reflection, feedback and by using the language to understand cultural and intercultural differences. The study was carried out via eTandem activities between Mexican students learning English and South African students learning Spanish. The results suggest that virtual exchanges whilst learning a language foster a wide ray of social, cultural and pragmatic means of learning a language in context. This paper has implications in promoting the inclusion of blended language learning in higher education settings.