Publication details

“Get in touch with your foreign classmates”: international collaboration within legal English classes


BILOVÁ Štěpánka

Year of publication 2022
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Language Centre

Description Experiencing online teaching during the COVID-19 crisis brought new opportunities concerning not only the format, tools, or the content, but also students who could participate in the lessons. I would like to compare two projects which brought together law students of different countries. While working within their home legal English course at the Faculty of Law, Masaryk University (Czech Republic), the students collaborated with foreign “classmates”, specifically with Polish students in Spring 2021, and Hungarian students in Autumn 2021. Even though both scenarios were organized in legal English classes, the observations and tips might be inspiring for any ESP course. Both projects involved a task-based activity in which the main goal was to produce an output on a legal topic while implementing information and opinions from students of the other country. The major differences included the type of outputs and the level of students´ autonomy throughout the project. In the 2021 Spring project, the students were asked to deliver a team presentation and the teachers could follow their collaboration easily because all the work was happening in a closed Facebook group. The 2021 Autumn project required the students to record a team podcast, however, the students were given leeway in the form of cooperation. In the paper, I will describe both scenarios and present the outcomes of the questionnaires completed by the students. The questions were related to the involvement and autonomy of students, to the skills that the students developed, and the evaluation of the project. The results showed that both projects were successful in contributing to student learning, however, the more autonomous cooperation seemed to lead to more difficulties in the cooperation process than the controlled one.

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