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CitySpeak: A Virtual Exchange Project between Malmö University (Sweden) and Hostos Community College

CitySpeak: A Virtual Exchange Project between Malmö University (Sweden) and Hostos Community College


Malin Reljanovic Glimang, Teacher Educator, Ph.D. Candidate , Faculty of Education , Malmo University
Kate Lyons, Professor, Head of Reference & Library Technology, Library, Hostos Community College
Karin Lundberg, Professor, Chairperson, Language & Cognition, Hostos Community College


This presentation discusses a virtual exchange project between Hostos Community College and Malmö University (Sweden). Students in a course in the Language & Cognition department at Hostos work with pre-service teachers at Malmö University to develop intercultural awareness and critical multiliteracies by collaboratively studying the city and its many discourse representations (Kramsch, 2020). The project offers first-hand experiences of cross-cultural collaboration and opportunities for innovative learning related to language development, multimodal practices, and critical (digital) literacies.

The project spans 6 weeks and involves cross-cultural group collaboration through a task-sequence in four stages (O’Dowd & Lewis, 2016). In the first stage, participants connect in cross-cultural groups and get to know each other through a few initial activities. Secondly, participants choose a topic and compare relevant news media and other sources from/about each city. The third task is about, first, ‘going to town’ and exploring the topic, and then, collaborating in creating a multimodal learning site about the chosen topic. All the different learning sites are then displayed and discussed through an online exhibition. Finally, there is a project reflection task in the closing of the virtual exchange.

In this presentation we will discuss how the faculty members from the two universities connected with each other, connected two different courses and then co-taught the project (Kurek & Müller-Hartmann, 2019).
Kramsch, C. (2020. Language as Symbolic Power. New York: Cambridge University Press. Kurek, M., & Müller-Hartmann, A. (2019). The formative role of teaching presence in blended Virtual Exchange. Language Learning & Technology, 23(3), 52–73. O’Dowd, R., & Lewis, T. (Eds) (2016), Online intercultural exchange: policy, pedagogy, practice. New York: Routledge.

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