Staff profiles

Project lead
Sabine Kuuse

Project outline

Teletandem is dynamic and engaging project enabling UWA learners of French to develop linguistic and cultural competencies by being paired up, via Skype, with learners of English at the University of Lille in France. Through pre-established activities and online collaboration tools, they will share their own language and culture and reflect on their intercultural and inter-language learning.

This project aims to consolidate 'Teletandem' launched by Lille 3 University in France, a longstanding exchange partner who is keen to collaborate more closely with UWA. The immediate outcome is to integrate authentic, supervised but autonomous communication sessions between numerous pairs of students into Level 3 French units at UWA. The Teletandem sessions will develop UWA students' linguistic skills, cultural awareness, and understanding of language systems. Connecting UWA students to the real world allowing them to be immersed and engaged in a global context. Working in close collaboration with other international lecturers will develop and consolidate links between Universities and add new perspectives on teaching and learning.

This program was trialled in two French units with a small group of students in Semester 1 2014. The successful outcomes and overwhelmingly positive feedback from students are the reason why this project has been initiated. The goal is to strengthen this innovative project and extend it to larger numbers of students in French studies and also to other language studies across UWA. In today's technologically interconnected generation of learners, Teletandem offers an innovative and resource-efficient way of enhancing the quality of language teaching and learning.

Project findings

According to student feedback, Teletandem helped to improve their linguistic skills, enhance their cultural knowledge and reflect on their learning. They would highly recommend Teletandem to be part of a unit for future students.35 UWA students of French and 35 students of English from the Schools exchange partner university in France, Lille Charles de Gaulle, participated in this project. The pairing of French- Australian students, the activities’ set up and the monitoring of the project was a collaborative work between Lecturers of English at the University of Lille and Lecturers of French at UWA. In pairs, students completed six pre-established communicative and analytical activities via Skype. Each session was be conducted half in English (for French students) and half in French (for Australian students). After each session, students wrote a post on a collaborative blog, commented on other students’ posts and submitted a reflective learning journal analysing their learning experience.One of the key successes was to see some of the UWA students building real friendships with the French students on the other side of the world. A few of the French students are now considering UWA as their study exchange destination.


Published -  Jaccomard, H., & Kuuse, S. (2016). Authenticity in the language classroom: A case study. Journal of Education & Social Policy, 3(2), 23-29. Retrieved from 

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