Krengel, Fabian: Global (Teaching) Competence Development Through Transnational Virtual Exchange: A Design-Based Research Study on Telecollaboration Between Pre-Service EFL Teachers (Arbeitstitel)

Complex global problems, such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, underscore the need to equip young learners with specific knowledge, attitudes, and skills that empower them “to become responsible global citizens and actively take part in shaping a better, shared future in the world” (Freitag-Hild 2018: 169). Global education (GE) has been receiving increasing attention as a means of addressing these tasks and integrating global topics into local classrooms across subject areas, including English as a Foreign Language classrooms. As a modern approach to cultural learning, GE seeks to find ways to foster the ‘global competences’ required to face the challenges of the globalized reality of the 21st century (cf. Cates 2013).
A prerequisite for developing the ‘global competences’ of young learners is that their teachers are prepared for this task by honing their own global competences and their teaching competences. This research project positions and explores virtual exchange (VE) as a possible way to foster future teachers’ competences to integrate global education in their classrooms within the framework of task-based approaches to language teaching (TBLT) (cf. Müller-Hartmann 2012).

By zeroing in on a specific course design for EFL teacher training in higher education at a German university, the research deals with the question of how the "global (teaching) competencies" of future English teachers can be fostered. On a theoretical level, the potentials of a synthesis of current approaches of virtual exchange, global education and TBLT are elaborated. A design-based research study focuses on two goals: for one, a local theory on the chosen approach will be developed. On the other hand, a specific teaching concept based on the aforementioned synthesis will be empirically evaluated. Over several research cycles, concrete design principles will be further developed, which can be used for the planning of new virtual exchange projects in teacher education. The basis for the formative and summative evaluation of the cycles will be data from audio recordings, participant observation, reflection discussions with participating lecturers, interviews with students, students' products as well as evaluation and self-assessment questionnaires of the participating students.