The Effects of a Virtual Exchange on Students' Interest in Learning About Culture



A 12-week electronic exchange was conducted between a third-year German college class in the United States and an advanced English high school class in Germany. The exchange consisted of e-mails between tandem partners, blogs, videoconferences between both classes, and class essays. The study examined the effects of participation in the semester-long cross-cultural, cross-lingual exchange on students' interest in learning about the target culture. The results showed that students' interest in learning about culture was high before and after the exchange. Likewise, students believed that learning about culture is an important part of foreign language learning. The virtual exchange outlined here is an example of a standards-based approach to integrating language and culture instruction.