Can videoconferencing substitute for face-to-face contact sufficiently well for collaborative task-based learning to take place at a distance? The paper reports on the use of videoconferencing in the context of remote users' learning of a foreign language. Video-mediated communication was placed at the centre of an integrated system for the learning of business French, and students used it in performing collaborative role-plays, leading to the joint enactment of a communication task (such as the setting up of a subsidiary company in the Nord Pas de Calais). Observations of the system in real use are reported, and some positive conclusions are drawn about the potential role of videoconferencing in language learning.
- Collaborative task-based learning