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2023.06.23About COILCOIL Course Example

COIL with Seneca College

In June, an exciting new COIL initiative commenced between Kansai University and Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology in Canada. In this language-based COIL, KU students taking a course on Foundations for Academic English partnered with Seneca College students enrolled in an introductory Japanese language course for 5 weeks of language exchange and collaborative research. 

Facilitated by KU assistant professor Michele Fujii and Japanese language instructor Rie Miyamoto, the project began with two weeks of ice-breaking activities. Students were encouraged to create and share self-introduction videos and vlogs on Flipgrid, providing insights into their daily lives and by utilizing their target language as much as possible. Before the COIL officially started, the instructors also visited each other's classes, introducing themselves and giving students the opportunity to ask questions and get accustomed to the virtual exchange format.

During the following week, the students gathered for their first meeting over Zoom. Utilizing a speed-dating approach, they engaged in brief one-on-one conversations to get to know each other better and discussed cultural differences, with a particular focus on food and restaurants in Japan and North America. These conversations were continued on Padlet.

In the second phase of the COIL, students formed groups and embarked on a collaborative research project. Their task was to conduct a cross-cultural analysis of a social issue of their choice, comparing similarities and differences between Japanese and North American cultures. To achieve this, each group collected news articles related to their chosen topic and utilized various communication platforms such as Facebook, Slack, and WhatsApp for discussions and information sharing.

The culmination of the program was a final presentation session where each group showcased their research analysis and reflected on their COIL experience. The students found the project to be an immensely rewarding opportunity to practice and enhance their language skills. Additionally, they forged new friendships and learned valuable lessons in effective teamwork with peers from diverse cultural backgrounds. Some of the student feedback included:

"I feel this is the most meaningful experience in college. I'm very happy to have taken this class. If I can take it again, I'll take it again. The importance of friendship and cooperation has helped me learn a lot from this experience."

"I was able to become more interested in my country's culture by learning not only from the Japanese perspective but also from a foreign perspective. Indeed, I learned the importance of thinking from a different perspective. I think this is an ability that can be used not only in case of academic situations but also when we go out into society."

"I learned that it is important to get to understand other cultures and to cooperate with each other from COIL. I am majoring in a foreign language in my college, and I am going to study abroad next year. I would like to remember what I learned through this project and have a fulfilling study abroad experience."