English-Japanese Email Exchange Project

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Mark Shrosbree, Tokai University

Reference Data:

Shrosbree, M. (2016). English-Japanese email exchange project. In P. Clements, A. Krause, & H. Brown (Eds.), Focus on the learner. Tokyo: JALT.

In this paper a bilingual email exchange project involving two universities, one in Japan and one in Canada, is described. Participants in this tandem learning project wrote emails in both English and Japanese on subjects of personal interest. The email exchanges involved a high level of learner autonomy, as well as peer support through a dual mentor-protégé, protégé-mentor relationship. The success of the project was evaluated through student questionnaires, the main results of which are presented here. Students reported high levels of satisfaction with the project and indicated preference for this type of bilingual interaction. Student feedback, together with the subjective experiences of the teachers, was used to develop the methodology for subsequent projects. To date, five successful projects have been completed. A description of the bilingual email exchange methodology is included, along with suggestions for teachers wishing to start a similar tandem learning project.