Cross-Cultural Communication Project

Students in two countries learn terms and expressions to introduce different aspects of their culture and interact using the foreign language they are studying (their partners` native language).

1.) This project requires students to have previously learned how to use software for making narrative slideshows (e.g. PowerPoint, moviemaker). It also requires the school IT administrator to create an online message board especially for the project, and a partner school to have Japanese language courses in their curriculum.

2.) The project starts by having students write their self-introduction in the language of their partners in another country (e.g., Japanese students use English, Australian students use Japanese). Teachers correct/give comments and after editing, students post them on the online message board that can be accessed using the ID name and password provided by the the IT administrator.  Students are free to post messages anytime and anywhere.  Teachers have the responsibility to monitor the exchange.

Students form small groups according to the topic they are interested in (e.g., traditional houses, their neighborhood, festivals, food, clothing, fashion, etc.). Each group decideds the plot and later takes many photos related to their selected topic.  They make the narration, and then choose the photos to be used with the narration (or vice-versa). Then, they create a digital slide show that combines photos, text, and audio.  The finished product will be sent to their partners either be attaching it to an email or saving it on a CD-ROM which is sent by post.

4.) If the two schools` schedules allow, real-time discussions through video conferencing (e.g., using Skype) can also be arranged.


Potential Issues

1. Finding a partner can be challenging.

2. Internet connection problems can occur, so teachers should always have contingency plans.

3. Teachers need a lot of planning time.

4. Coordinating activities can be difficult at times because of different school calendars. 

High School
computer lab, internet access, cameras, video camera, voice recorder, PowerPoint, MovieMaker