Minneapolis and Brittany: A Cultural Exchange Revisted
Learning Languages Volume 11, Number 1, ISSN 1083-5415
In 1996, Learning Languages published an article describing a cultural exchange that occurred from 1991 to 1993 between Breck School, a private school in Minneapolis, and Paul Dukas School, a high-needs school in Brest, France. Much of that exchange was carried out through online telecommunications using the Minitel. The result of a two-year communication exchange was the production and presentation of a student written multicultural play. Students from Paul Dukas School in France visited Minneapolis to present the play with American Breck students. The article concluded: "it should be stressed that Bardy and Malgorn (the teachers involved) spent an extraordinary amount of personal time and energy from their first debate about whether to begin an exchange between students of such diverse backgrounds to the final production of the bilingual multicultural play. They created an international classroom that encouraged student communication in the target language. They nurtured in their students an appreciation of differences and similarities for other cultures." Technology was the vehicle for students' communication, but it was the pedagogy that successfully transformed communication into a viable and effective learning environment. Included in this article are a follow up summary of the author's conversation with Mireille Bardy, the French teacher at Breck School in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and excerpts from the e-mail received from Michel Malgorn, the English teacher at Paul Dukas School in Brest, France. The author also includes reference to how pedagogy supports communication and how appropriate use of technology can increase student learning. Shelley also concludes with links to several online collaboration resources available today to teachers who would like to explore the possibility of creating their own international classrooms.
Shelley, J. (2005). Minneapolis and Brittany: A Cultural Exchange Revisted. Learning Languages, 11(1), 19-21.