Hi again Attilio,
Thanks once again for this detailed information, and for these great anecdotes about what students found surprising about each others' cultures :-)
I've had a look again at the wiki you set up for the project, and am very impressed with the work that you all did on this. Wonderful stuff, and thank you for sharing it here with the group. I think it makes a very nice framework for other teachers interested in carrying out similar projects between classes in different countries.
--- In LearningTechnologiesSIG@yahoogroups.com, "attiliog" <galimber@...> wrote:
> Dear Nicky,
> the main aim of our tandem project was to develop intercultural competency through interactive web activities. Actually students didn't have many intercultural issues. These are the most relevant:
> 1. once an Italian student at first hadn't understood if the name Cameron was male or female, so at first she didn't know if she was writing to a boy or a gilr (this first name is not common in Italy);
> 2. an American student was shocked when she read that her partner every Sunday ate rabbit with polenta (dish made from maize flour cooked in salted water to accompany various foods). The Italian student hadn't told her that rabbits are edible meat (and not pets, unfortunately...) in Italy!
> 3. an American student was quite surprised when she read that her partner wanted to study in a university far from home, but this 'far' meant only 25 km! The concept of 'distance' is very very different among Europeans and Americans.
> As to preparation, students had to follow deadlines we wrote in the wikispace pages. The American teachers and I agreed on some intercultural topics (one per month), such as: immigration in Europe and in the USA, national and local Italian and American holidays, sports, university life, historical period (World War II), etc, in both countries. Students were also free to talk freely about other topics. You can read lots of their letters in this page: http://amaldi-english-corner.wikispaces.com/OREGON+TANDEM+PROJECT+2008-09 (scroll down the page, after 'Look at our class phot here' and click on the links of the students).
> You can also see a PowerPoint presentation one of the American teachers showed in a talk given for the American Association of Teachers of Italian in San Antonio, Texas, 2007. This is the link: http://amaldi-english-corner.wikispaces.com/OREGON+PROJECT
> Some of the slides in this PP presentation are written in English and I think they might be useful.
> Hopefully this can be of any help.