UF Faculty Department College
Christine Voigt English Language Institute College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Partner Faculty Department Partner Institution
Yuddy Perez Language Institute Universidad del Norte
Crossing Cultural Borders: Intercultural English Language Exchange
Project Description:

This virtual exchange project isĀ an interactive collaboration between adult learners of English at Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, Colombia, and the English Language Institute at the University of Florida. Students develop their skillsĀ using the English language through conversational and academic language, classroom discussion, writing, presentation, and sharing about the educational culture in a variety of locations around the world.

Our online collaboration serves to connect students internationally and provide opportunities that will foster cultural exchange through structured discussion of culturally-bound topics. We examine how peers from different cultural backgrounds experience the world, helping to develop the linguistic skills in both formal and informal contexts when interacting with diverse English speakers and intercultural competencies needed for successful intercultural communication in a variety of settings.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this VE, students will be able to:

  • Ask and answer questions about their own and other cultures
  • Discuss and write about international issues using appropriate language
  • Communicate effectively with group members in formal and informal situations
  • Present about a cultural issue
  • Compose an essay about a cultural topic
  • Articulate their cultural perspectives in speech and writing
Participating Countries:
Number of Participants:
14 UF students and 21 students from the partner institution
English as a Second Language
UF Course Code & Name:
Varies - intermediate to advanced proficiency levels -
Project Duration:
8 weeks
Activity Type(s):
Student-to-Student Dialogue
Student-to-Student Project
Time allotted to each activity:
Synchronous activities: 1-2 hours/week
Asynchronous activities: 2-3 hours/week
Local group activities: 2-4 hours/week
Individual work: 1 hour/week
Technology Tools:
Sequence of Activities:
  • Week 0: Prepare for VE
    • Determine interests/needs
    • Partner students and discuss how VE will integrate with class
  • Week 1: Getting Started
    • What is VE? Set expectations setting & group norms
  • Week 2: Exploring Cultural Identity
    • What is identity? How does culture interact with language?
    • Create Cultural identity maps
  • Week 3: Celebrations
    • Share celebrations from your country and compare/contrast significant celebrations
  • Week 4: Protests
    • Why and how do people protest? Causes/Effects of significant protests
  • Week 5-6: Intercultural Projects
    • Developing a website and creating content
  • Week 7: Present projects
  • Week 8: Reflect
    • Individual reflections and class discussions

Sequence of Activities: