Methodologies and Pedagogical Applications of Integrating Telecollaboration in Language Teacher Education

A Synthesis of 56 Studies from 2010–2020


  • Sumei Wu Beijing Normal University



language teacher education; teacher telecollaboration; methodologies; pedagogical applications


In light of globalization and advancements in communication technologies, telecollaboration is increasingly used for promoting the professional development of language teachers. However, very few reviews have been conducted to examine teachers’ telecollaborative learning. To address this gap, this study provides a systematic review of 56 telecollaborative studies that focused on teacher professional learning and were published between 2010 and 2020. The study aims to address the following two questions: What are the main characteristics of methodologies used in teacher telecollaborative studies? What are the main characteristics of pedagogical applications of teacher telecollaborative studies? Besides reporting on emerging methodological trends among the primary studies, this synthesis uncovers three patterns in the pedagogical applications: (a) diversification of mixed pedagogical models, (b) increased integration of pedagogical mentoring across telecollaborative learning stages, and (c) increased integration of telecollaboration in classroom practices. These findings offer implications for future research and practice in the field of language teacher education.

Author Biography

Sumei Wu, Beijing Normal University

Sumei Wu is an assistant professor in the School of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Beijing Normal University in China. Her research interests include telecollaboration for language teacher intercultural learning, language teacher noticing, and the integration of technology in language teacher education (especially virtual reality simulation programs).


Studies Included for Synthesis

Al Khateeb, A. A. (2018). Assessing English teachers as a foreign language telecollaborative competence: A case study from Saudi Arabia. English Language Teaching, 11(4), 52–69. DOI:

Antoniadou, V. (2011). Using activity theory to understand the contradictions in an online transatlantic collaboration between student-teachers of English as a foreign Language. ReCALL, 23(3), 233–251. DOI:

Baroni, A., Dooly, M., García, P. G., Guth, S., Hauck, M., Helm, F., & Rogaten, J. (2019). Executive summary: The key findings from the EVALUATE European policy experiment project on the impact of virtual exchange on initial teacher education. Research-publishing. net. DOI:

Bueno-Alastuey, M. C., & Esteban, S. G. (2016). Telecollaboration to improve CLIL and TPACK knowledge: Aid or hindrance? Estudios Sobre Educación, 31, 117–138. https:// DOI:

Bueno-Alastuey, M. C., & Kleban, M. (2016). Matching linguistic and pedagogical objectives in a telecollaboration project: A case study. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 29(1), 148–166. DOI:

Cavalari, S., & Aranha, S. (2019). The teacher’s role in telecollaborative language learning: The case of institutional integrated teletandem. Revista Brasileira de Linguística Aplicada, 19(3), 555–578. DOI:

Chen, W. C. (2012). Professional growth during cyber collaboration between pre-service and in-service teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28(2), 218–228. https://doi. org/10.1016/j.tate.2011.09.010 DOI:

Cunningham, D. J., & Ryshina–Pankova, M. (2020). What’s with the attitude? Exploring attitudinal resources in telecollaboration for teacher education. In A. Oskoz & M. Vinagre (Eds.), Understanding attitude in intercultural virtual communication (pp. 144–165). Sheffield: Equinox.

Damrow, A. L., & Sweeney, J. S. (2019). Beyond the bubble: Preparing preservice teachers through dialogue across distance and difference. Teaching and Teacher Education, 80, 255–265. DOI:

del Rosal, K., Conry, J., & Wu, S. (2017). Exploring the fluid online identities of language teachers and adolescent language learners. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 30(5), 390–408. DOI:

Dooly, M., & Sadler, R. (2013). Filling in the gaps: Linking theory and practice through telecollaboration in teacher education. ReCALL, 25(1), 4–29. S0958344012000237 DOI:

Dooly, M., & Sadler, R. (2019). “If you don’t improve, what’s the point?” Investigating the impact of a “flipped” online exchange in teacher education. ReCALL, 32(1), 4–24. https:// DOI:

Ernest, P., Guitert Catasús, M., Hampel, R., Heiser, S., Hopkins, J., Murphy, L., & Stickler, U. (2013). Online teacher development: Collaborating in a virtual learning environment. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 26(4), 311–333. 0.1080/09588221.2012.667814 DOI:

Fuchs, C. (2010). Cross-institutional blended learning in teacher education: A case study. International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, 2(2), 30–49. https://doi. org/10.4018/jmbl.2010040103 DOI:

Fuchs, C. (2016). “Are you able to access this website at all?” Team negotiations and macro-level challenges in telecollaboration. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 29(7), 1152– 1168. DOI:

Fuchs, C. (2019). Critical incidents and cultures-of-use in a Hong Kong–Germany telecollaboration. Language Learning & Technology, 23(3), 74–97.

Fuchs, C., Hauck, M., & Müller-Hartmann, A. (2012). Promoting learner autonomy through multiliteracy skills development in cross-institutional exchanges. Language Learning & Technology, 16(3), 82–102.

Fuchs, C., Snyder, B., Tung, B., & Han, Y. J. (2017). The multiple roles of the task design mediator in telecollaboration. ReCALL, 29(3), 239–256. S0958344017000088 DOI:

Garcia-Esteban, S. (2020). Telecollaboration for civic competence and SDG development in FL teacher education. European Journal of Education, 3(3), 51–61. https://doi. org/10.26417/936ywi19y DOI:

Garcia-Esteban, S., Villarreal, I., & Bueno-Alastuey, M. C. (2019). The effect of telecollaboration in the development of the learning to learn competence in CLIL teacher training. Interactive Learning Environments, 29(6), 973–986. 0494820.2019.1614960 DOI:

Grau, M. K., & Turula, A. (2019). Experiential learning of telecollaborative competences in pre-service teacher education. Language Learning & Technology, 23(3), 98–115.

Hauck, M. (2019). Virtual exchange for (critical) digital literacy skills development. European Journal of Language Policy, 11(2), 187–211. DOI:

Hauck, M., Müller-Hartmann, A., Rienties, B., & Rogaten, J. (2020). Approaches to researching digital-pedagogical competence development in VE-based teacher education. Journal of Virtual Exchange, 3(SI), 5–35. DOI:

Helm, F. (2013). A dialogic model for telecollaboration. Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature, 6(2), 28–48. DOI:

Helm, F., & Baroni, A. (2020). Researching emotions and attitude through student teachers’ reflections on virtual exchange. In A. Oskoz & M. Vinagre (Eds.), Understanding attitude in intercultural virtual communication (pp. 166–195). Sheffield: Equinox.

Kurek, M., & Müller-Hartmann, A. (2017). Task design for telecollaborative exchanges: In search of new criteria. System, 64, 7–20. DOI:

Kurek, M., & Müller-Hartmann, A. (2019). The formative role of teaching presence in blended virtual exchange. Language Learning & Technology, 23(3), 52–73.

Lawrence, G., & Spector-Cohen, E. (2018). Examining international telecollaboration in language teacher education. In D. Tafazoli, M. Gomez Parra, & C. Huertas-Abril (Eds.), Cross-cultural perspectives on technology-enhanced language learning (pp. 322–345). Hershey: IGI Global. DOI:

Lee, K. (2018). Implementing computer-mediated intercultural communication in English education: A critical reflection on its pedagogical challenges. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 34(6), 673–687. DOI:

Lenkaitis, C. A. (2020a). Recorded video meetings in virtual exchange: A new frontier for pre-service teacher reflection. Journal of Virtual Exchange, 3, 39–58. DOI:

Lenkaitis, C. A. (2020b). Teacher candidate reflection: Benefits of using a synchronous computer-mediated communication-based virtual exchange. Teaching and Teacher Education, 92. DOI:

Lenkaitis, C. A., Hilliker, S. M., & Roumeliotis, K. (2020). Teacher candidate reflection and development through virtual exchange. IAFOR Journal of Education, 8(2), 125–139. DOI:

Liaw, M. L., & Priego, S. (2020). Understanding L2 teachers’ attitudes via their uses of multimodal resources in telecollaboration. In A. Oskoz & M. Vinagre (Eds.), Understanding attitude in intercultural virtual communication (pp. 117–143). Sheffield: Equinox.

Melchor-Couto, S., & Jauregi, K. (2016). Teacher competences for telecollaboration: The role of coaching. In S. Jager, M. Kurek, & B O’Rourke (Eds.), New directions in telecollaborative research and practice: Selected papers from the second conference on telecollaboration in higher education (pp. 185–192). Dublin: Research-publishing. net. DOI:

Müller-Hartmann, A. (2016). A task is a task is a task is a task ... or is it? Researching telecollaborative teacher competence development—the need for more qualitative research. In S. Jager, M. Kurek, & B O’Rourke (Eds.), New directions in telecollaborative research and practice: Selected papers from the second conference on telecollaboration in higher education (pp. 31–43). Dublin: Research-publishing. net. DOI:

O’Dowd, R. (2015). Supporting in-service language educators in learning to telecollaborate. Language Learning & Technology, 19(1), 63–82.

O’Dowd, R., Sauro, S., & Spector-Cohen, E. (2020). The role of pedagogical mentoring in virtual exchange. TESOL Quarterly, 54(1), 146–172. DOI:

Priego, S., & Liaw, M. L. (2017). Understanding different levels of group functionality: Activity systems analysis of an intercultural telecollaborative multilingual digital storytelling project. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 30(5), 368–389. DOI:

Rienties, B., Lewis, T., O’Dowd, R., Rets, I., & Rogaten, J. (2020). The impact of virtual exchange on TPACK and foreign language competence: Reviewing a large-scale implementation across 23 virtual exchanges. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 1–27. DOI:

Rojas-Barreto, L. S. (2019). The intercultural competence in Colombian university teachers’ analysis of a questionnaire. English Language Teaching, 12(1), 30–47. https://doi. org/10.5539/elt.v12n1p30 DOI:

Sauro, S. (2016). Student perspectives on intercultural learning from an online teacher education partnership. In S. Jager, M. Kurek, & B O’Rourke (Eds.), New directions in telecollaborative research and practice: Selected papers from the second conference on telecollaboration in higher education (pp. 83–88). Dublin: Research-publishing. net. DOI:

Sundh, S. (2018). International exchange of ideas in student-interactive videoconferences— sustainable communication for developing intercultural understanding with student teachers. Discourse and Communication for Sustainable Education, 9(2), 123–133. https:// DOI:

Tanghe, S., & Park, G. (2016). “Build [ing] something which alone we could not have done”: International collaborative teaching and learning in language teacher education. System, 57, 1–13. DOI:

Turula, A. (2017). Teaching presence in telecollaboration: Keeping an open mind. System, 64, 21–33. DOI:

Turula, A., & Raith, T. (2015). Telecollaboration insights: Learning from exchanges that fail. EuroCALL Review, 23(2), 19–37. DOI:

Uzum, B., Yazan, B., Avineri, N., & Akayoglu, S. (2019). Preservice teachers’ discursive constructions of cultural practices in a multicultural telecollaboration. International Journal of Multicultural Education, 21(1), 82–104. v21i1.1777 DOI:

Uzum, B., Akayoglu, S., & Yazan, B. (2020). Using telecollaboration to promote inter cultural competence in teacher training classrooms in Turkey and the USA. ReCALL, 32(2), 162–177. DOI:

Viáfara González, J. J. (2020). Prospective English teachers re-examining language ideologies in telecollaboration. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 33(7), 732–754. DOI:

Vinagre, M. (2016). Training teachers for virtual collaboration: A case study. British Journal of Educational Technology, 47(4), 787–802. DOI:

Vinagre, M. (2017). Developing teachers’ telecollaborative competences in online experiential learning. System, 64, 34–45. DOI:

Wach, A. (2017). Intercultural experience in online collaboration: A case of Polish and Romanian teacher trainees. TESL-EJ, 20(4), 1–22.

Waldman, T., Harel, E., & Schwab, G. (2019). Extended telecollaboration practice in teacher education: Towards pluricultural and plurilingual proficiency. European Journal of Language Policy, 11(2), 167–185. DOI:

Ware, P., & Kessler, G. (2016). Telecollaboration in the secondary language classroom: Case study of adolescent interaction and pedagogical integration. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 29(3), 427–450. DOI:

Wu, S., Ware, P., & Liaw, M. L. (2020). Promoting peer-to-peer synchronous online discussions: Case study of intercultural communication in telecollaboration. In L. Wilton & C. Brett (Eds.), Handbook of research on online discussion-based teaching methods (pp. 283–310). Hershey: IGI Global. DOI:

Yang, S. J. (2020). Affordances and challenges of telecollaboration for pre-service teachers. Language Learning & Technology, 24(3), 30–41.

Zhang, Z., Li, J., Liu, F., & Miao, Z. (2016). Hong Kong and Canadian students experiencing a new participatory culture: A teacher professional training project undergirded by new media literacies. Teaching and Teacher Education, 59, 146–158. https://doi. org/10.1016/j.tate.2016.05.017 DOI:

Studies Included as References

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Müller-Hartmann, A. (2006). Learning how to teach intercultural communicative competence via telecollaboration: A model for language teacher education. In J. A. Belz & S. Thorne (Eds.), Internet-mediated intercultural foreign language education (pp. 63–84). Boston: Heinle & Heinle.

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O’Dowd, R., & Ware, P. (2009). Critical issues in telecollaborative task design. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 22(2), 173–188. Thorne, S. L. (2003). Artifacts and cultures-of-use in intercultural communication. Language Learning & Technology, 7(2), 38–67. DOI:

Ware, P. D., & Kramsch, C. (2005). Toward an intercultural stance: Teaching German and English through telecollaboration. Modern Language Journal, 89(2), 190–205. https:// DOI:

Wu, S. (2021). Unpacking themes of integrating telecollaboration in language teacher education: A systematic review of 36 studies published between 2009 and 2019. Computer Assisted Language Learning. DOI:



How to Cite

Wu, S. (2022). Methodologies and Pedagogical Applications of Integrating Telecollaboration in Language Teacher Education: A Synthesis of 56 Studies from 2010–2020. CALICO Journal, 39(3), 281–305.