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Growing like Topsy

The INTENT report described the work of the Clavier virtual exchange as a case study in 2012. At the time, Clavier was a project that included two institutions, the Language Centre at the University of Warwick, UK and the Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont Ferrand, France. Three years later this virtual exchange has grown and currently involves 900 students in France and the UK. However further rhizomatic learning has occurred as a community of interested teacher educators formed connections across several countries and started to collaborate, sharing insights and research, forming an informal telecollaborative Community of Practice which extends across continents. Could this grass roots interest be how we could achieve normalisation of online foreign language interaction?
I will present our experiences and some of the many unexpected outcomes that these serendipitous connections through web 2.0 technologies have brought to our professional lives. Video interviews with Clavier teacher educators from Poland, Japan, Spain and France illustrate the transformative benefits of working across borders. To what extent is it possible for a minority of enthusiastic online communicators to influence wider adoption of computer-mediated communication?

INTENT report
Cormier, D. 2008. 'Rhizomatic education: Community as curriculum', Innovate Journal of Online Education, 4(5) Accessed online:
O’Dowd, R. 2011 Online foreign language interaction: Moving from the periphery to the core of foreign language education? Language Teaching, 44(3), 368–80.
Wenger, E. 1998 Communities of Practice: Learning, meaning and identity. Cambridge (CUP)


Teresa MacKinnon    
Language Centre
University of Warwick
United Kingdom

Teresa is an award winning teacher with a wealth of expertise in online delivery and a good understanding of assessment issues in language learning. She is experienced in education management and course design in secondary and higher education. Recent projects include the development of a ground breaking platform for online language learning, the establishment of CPD resources and community building for the professional development of language tutors, including a successful pilot of an accredited e-portfolio for 100 non-specialist language learners and an international virtual exchange for 700+ students in France and the UK, featured in a case study by the EU funded INTENT project. Holder of a Fellowship to the Institute of Advanced Teaching and Learning, Teresa has extensive experience of the integration of computer-assisted language learning and computer-mediated communication. She researches and designs in this area in order to find solutions supporting student-centred pedagogy. A career long exponent of the importance of high quality language teaching in the UK, she was involved in the development of the National Language Standards (now National Occupational Standards), delivered specialist input into the Ofqual Vocational awards review and supports the Speak to the Future campaign.

Teresa is Vice Chair for external engagement and communications on University Council for Modern Languages executive, where she leads the online networks for this over-arching organisation for UK HEI language provision. Her twitter presence as WarwickLanguage has over 1700 followers and she manages WarwickLanguage YouTube channel. She actively connects language educators across sectors. A mentor for the #globalclassroom network, and #edchat, she moderates twitter chats and is an experienced user of online classrooms. She also curates on to amplify the voice of the foreign language community. She recently produced a report on tools for telecollaboration as an academic associate of the Higher Education Academy which is shortly to be published.

Further details are available on my website.


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