HT News: Fall 2016

From the desk of Valeria Belmonti.

Greetings from the Heritage Telecollaboration team!

We hope that everyone had as enjoyable and productive a summer as we did. Below are some updates from our projects and activities.

Project Development

During the summer, we finalized the design of two telecollaborative modules which will be piloted this semester in Professor Cheng’s Heritage Chinese class at Hunter College, in partnership with Professor Guo’s English class at Inner Mongolia Normal University in Hohhot, China.

This semester we will also begin to analyze the data collected in the other pilots that were run by HT faculty last year. The findings of this research will eventually be disseminated through publications; we will release more information about our studies and publications towards the end of this semester.


As communicated in June, our HT projects will be presented at the upcoming ACTFL Convention in Boston. Below you will find the details of our presentations. We hope to see you there!

Telecollaborative Mobile Apps

Presented During:  ACTFL Roundtable Presentations III
Friday, November 18, 2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
Room: Exhibit Hall A & B1

Roundtable Presenter: Valeria Belmonti

Participants will be introduced to freely available mobile applications that can assist in connecting students to other speakers or learners of the target language and engaging them in telecollaborative projects. Programs’ interface and setup will be demonstrated, followed by a discussion on sample learning activities and teaching ideas.

Heritage Telecollaboration and the Construction of US Latin@ Identity

Saturday November 19, 8:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m.
Room: Room 261

Session Presenters: Laura Villa, Aránzazu Borrachero, Michael Rolland

How can heritage language educators use telecollaboration (TC) to tackle questions of language variation and identity? Presenters will offer insights from two pilot courses connecting US Latin@ students from diverse areas and backgrounds, encouraging students to rethink Latin@ identity while working to expand their linguistic repertoires.

Intercultural Discussions with Foreign Partners Using Smartphones

Saturday, November 19, 8:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m.
Room: Room 204B

Session Presenter: Valeria Belmonti

The presentation shares a task-based model of telecollaboration in which students complete intercultural activities with foreign partners using the free mobile application WeChat. Sample tasks, assessments, excerpts from student chats and presentations, and the feedback of from students and instructors will be discussed.

PLEASE NOTE: Even though two of our sessions will take place simultaneously, you can also obtain more information about our projects by stopping by our booth during the convention!

Our Chinese HT projects will also be presented at the NECTFL 2017 Conference, which will take place in New York City, February 9–11, 2017. For more information please visit:


On October 1, we will conduct a professional development workshop for the language faculty at Bennington College, VT. The topic of the workshop will be Telecollaboration and Technology for Language Teaching and Learning. If you are an educator interested in organizing a technology professional development opportunity for your language teachers, please contact Valeria Belmonti at


During the summer, we established a partnership with the UNI-Collaboration network, a European-based platform aimed at supporting the organization of online intercultural exchanges among universities. Our HT coordinator, Valeria Belmonti, has joined the Uni-Collaboration Liaisons Team and she will be, together with Sabine Levet at MIT, the US liaison to the UNI-Collaboration organization.

Inspired by the work of the Uni-Collaboration network and by the continuously growing interest for our Spanish HT projects, we are also in the process of creating a virtual network dedicated to US Spanish educators interested in designing domestic telecollaboration projects to explore topics and issues related to Latin@ Identity in the US. Stay tuned for more information.

Valeria Belmonti is the Associate Director of Technology at CILC and Coordinator of the Heritage Telecollaboration project.