Benefits of English ‘Lingua Franca’ COIL Projects in the Post-COVID-19 Era

Conference: The Barcelona Conference on Education (BCE2022)
Title: Benefits of English ‘Lingua Franca’ COIL Projects in the Post-COVID-19 Era
Stream: Learning Experiences, Student Learning & Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Michael Barr, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, Japan


This study examined the benefits of incorporating COIL projects into the curriculum of the English department at KUFS - Kyoto University of Foreign Studies. COIL stands for collaborative online international learning, and describes interactions that take place between cohorts of students from institutions in different countries. Our project was based on designated content as opposed to language-acquisition curriculum goals. Through student surveys, comparisons of online work, research of the literature, and sharing of content, we found that indeed there are clear and quantifiable benefits to incorporating international COIL projects into the curriculum. Participants were second-language speakers of English at universities with a strong international focus. Development of the 2022 project involved a painstaking and careful trial period over the course of several years. In academic year 2022, an ambitious project was carried out between four professors with the author acting as coordinator. Cohorts of students were organized from a total of roughly 140 participants, and content based on the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals was selected. Through this study, it was concluded that the experience resulted in tangible learning outcomes, increasing student competence with online platforms, and realistic interaction through the process of legitimate international communication.

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