Integrating the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals: Developing content for virtual exchanges

Date
2022-05-02
Authors
Lenkaitis, Chesla Ann
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
(co-sponsored by Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning, University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were adopted in 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, “provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet” (United Nations, 2020a). The SDGs, which include gender equality, quality education, and ending poverty, are those objectives that must be met by all countries “in a global partnership” (United Nations, 2020a). With the 2030 Agenda in mind, this Virtual Exchange (VE) study reveals learners in different geographical locations who are partnered with one another via technology can benefit from the embedding of SDG content into their VE (Dooly, 2017; Forward et al., 2020). This article focuses on two parallel, but separate, Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication (SCMC) six-week VEs. Teacher trainees from a university in the United States were partnered with other teacher trainees from a university in Poland and/or Colombia. In another cohort, second language (L2) learners of Spanish from a university in the United States were partnered with those from a university in Poland. In each of these groupings, participants completed SCMC sessions via Zoom and discussed the SDGs. Qualitative and quantitative data reveal that awareness of these universal objectives increased and afforded them new perspectives. By using a culturally sensitive lens, teacher trainees developed teaching strategies and L2 learners increased their intercultural competence. These results suggest that integrating SDG content into virtual exchange can support the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and can make a contribution to the field of VE.
Description
Keywords
Virtual Exchange, Sustainable Development Goals, United Nations, Videoconferencing
Citation
Lenkaitis, C. A. (2022). Integrating the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals: Developing content for virtual exchanges. Language Learning & Technology, 26(1), 1–20. https://doi.org/10125/73470
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