The OIL project, Spanish for Business: Exploring intercultural communication, involves students from two countries (France and UK) who participate in online interactive discussions and team work regarding the study of the underlying cultural differences in consumer preferences in Frances, Spain and the UK.
The project incorporates regular informal meetings with students and several formative activities in the target language: Collaborative synchronous presentations via Skype and short business reports /posters produce by bi-national groups as well as reflective, individual short written communications.
The second iteration of this project takes place in 2015-16 and incorporates modifications based on the analysis of data obtained during the first iteration in 2014-15. The later indicated that the project had provided a very positive impact regarding participation and commitment to developing effective international teams, an enhanced intercultural awareness and the improvements of their Spanish language skills.
A number of participating students reported that they encountered some problems concerning the differences in teaching schedules, mainly exam and holiday periods, and also issues regarding frequency and timing of replies to online posts by some members of their groups. They also indicated that a greater attention should be given to improving students’ organizational skills and the need to include technologies that will facilitate online collaborative work and communication.
Students have the opportunity to: