Proven Benefits of IVECA, Virtual Classroom Exchange:
- IVECA helps students enhance their intercultural competence. IVECA significantly helped students understand themselves (Awareness), open their minds to other cultures (Attitudes), learn about other cultures (Knowledge), interact appropriately with the people from other cultures (Skills), and effectively communicate with others using different languages (Language proficiency).
- IVECA helps students improve their writing skills. There is both theoretical and empirical evidence that shows IVECA is beneficial for promoting both L1 and L2 learners’ writing. Participant students were motivated to write. Second language (L2) learners reported improvement mainly in writing confidence (fluency), while first language (L1) learners reported enhanced writing (accuracy).
- IVECA motivates diverse students to learn at school. Students’ increased interest in cultural exchange activities across the world provided unmotivated and low-achieving students with reasons to attend school and helped them enjoy school life. Counterpart students’ exemplary life styles became role models to each other. High-achieving students found IVECA satisfying their desire to explore new and advanced knowledge regarding cultures, politics, and international relations, which they have not known before.
- IVECA facilitates students in expanding their worldviews. Students commented that IVECA helped them 1) overcome prejudice and racism, 2) think broadly, and 3) feel close friendships by understanding one another. The possibilities that IVECA holds for the future are evident in the change of students’ perspectives on world peace and philanthropy that took place as a result of what they experienced. One Korean student’s final posting is testimony to the ultimate goal of IVECA
“… I think IVECA activities are really great for students to develope [develop] their ways of thinking. It’s hard to explain but, this is the way. If you continue to share stories with foreign countries, you students naturally get used to think widely. What I mean is that their thoughts and the basic structure and ways they think will become based on the whole world not only their own country. And if that happens, all students would care about overseas friends and furthermore, the danger and worries about war between each countries [country] would decrease as well. The International Virtual Elementary Classroom Activities are the first start of all those great stuff. I fill [feel] proud and honorable for being the first class to experience it. I believe this activity would spread to more countries and help students all over the world develope [develop] themselves.” – Namyung, 6th grader, Korea 2007
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