Wikipedia:WikiProject Cross-language Editing and Learning Exchange/Guide

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Hi there. You are viewing the page of an inactive Wikiproject. Its founder, Tdslk, would be happy to talk with anyone interested in reviving the project.

The Cross-language Editing and Learning Exchange is based on the idea of language exchanges. In short, it helps you find a partner who speaks the language you are learning, and is learning the language that you speak. Together, you can help each other learn while contributing to Wikipedia.

To participate, first write a draft of an article in the language you are learning. Of course, you should make sure that the article does not already exist, or, if it does exist, that you are improving it! When you have finished the draft, post a link to it on the appropriate language page. For instance, if you speak Japanese and are learning English, click on the tab marked "Japanese" and post the link under the "In English" heading. Then, an editor who speaks English and is learning Japanese will edit the draft and give you helpful language tips. In return, the editor may ask you to edit an article he or she wrote in Japanese.

What this is not forEdit

1. Copyrighted materials! Copyrighted text is still copyrighted in translation.

2. Machine translations.

3. Anything not intended for a Wikimedia project. Anything written for Wikipedia or other Wikimedia projects is fine. However, your homework, your advertisement, and anything else not intended for Wikimedia are not allowed.

4. People who have not edited Wikipedia before. If you are new to Wikipedia, welcome! We recommend that you practice editing in your primary language first to learn how to write for Wikipedia. Once you know how the site works, come here to participate in the language exchange.

Why should I participate in the language exchange?Edit

There are many reasons why people choose to edit Wikipedia. One reason is to practice writing in a foreign language. However, it can be difficult to get timely, helpful feedback on your writing and be sure that readers can understand your contributions. This exchange is designed to allow you to find a writing partner who will work with you so that you both can improve your skills in each other's main language while improving Wikipedia. This is a type of language learning exchange, a method that has been found in studies to be effective and enjoyable, since it emphasizes reciprocity and autonomy.[1] Reciprocity refers to the need for both participants to benefit similarly,[2] while autonomy emphasizes that learners work individually instead of as part of a class.[3]

There are other benefits to participating in a language learning exchange. For example, a study of an exchange between English-speaking and Spanish-speaking students found that, not only did students improve their second language, but in the process of tutoring their partner they even improved their own first language skills![2] Another potential benefit is the opportunity for meeting and learning about someone from another culture.[4]

Tandem language learning fits within the applied linguistics concept called Long's Interaction Hypothesis of second language learning, which states that communication with a more-fluent individual who provides corrections is important for language learning.[5] Therefore, the rate and nature of error corrections strongly affects how much you learn. Students in formal language classrooms have been found to ignore many of their partners' errors out of the fear of causing offense,[6] even though more explicit correction is often preferred by the students themselves.[7][8] On Wikipedia, it is normal for editors to improve writing as much as possible, so this will maximize your opportunities for learning.

The type of interaction can also affect error correction. Asynchronous interactions, like those that take place in the language exchange, were found to promote more explicit correction than synchronous interactions in a study of Japanese and Australian students.[9]

How does this differ from normal Wikipedia editing?Edit

Wikipedia editors often correct the writing of others. While these changes improve the article for the benefit of the reader, it is rare that editors provide feedback to the original writer. When an editor contributes to Wikipedia, it can take months or years for another editor to correct errors. By that time, it would probably be too late to benefit the original writer in his or her learning. Even if the corrections are made rapidly, it can be difficult to improve one's writing skills by simply looking at the differences between an uncorrected and a corrected version of a page.

The language learning exchange is designed to overcome these obstacles. First, by working with a partner, you can have your writing corrected quickly. Further, you will have the opportunity to learn from your partner because, in addition to directly making corrections to your writing, your partner will answer your language questions and provide you with tips to help you learn. This is the most important part of the exchange, so please provide thoughtful feedback to your partner.


  1. ^ Vinagre, M.; Lera, M. Zhang, F; Barber, B (eds.). Handbook of research on computer-enhanced language acquisition and learning.
  2. ^ a b Thurston, A; Duran, D; Cunningham, E; Blanch, S; Topping, K (2009). "International on-line reciprocal peer tutoring to promote modern language development in primary schools". Computers & Education. 53 (2): 462–472.
  3. ^ Dekhinet, R; Duran, D; Blanch, S (2008). "Let Me Learn with my peers online!: foreign language learning through reciprocal peer tutoring". Innovate. 4 (3).
  4. ^ Conley, R. N.; Gallego, M. (2012). "Negotiation of meaning in e-Tandems: Student perceptions of language acquisition during an intercultural exchange program". Instructional Technology. 9 (5): 21–32.
  5. ^ Gass, S. M.; Mackey, A. (2007). VanPatten, B.; Williams, J. (eds.). Theories in second language acquisition: An introduction. New York: Routledge. pp. 175–199.
  6. ^ Edasawa, Y.; Kabata, K. (2011). "Tandem language learning through a cross-cultural Keypal project". Language Learning & Technology. 15 (1): 104–121.
  7. ^ Vinagre, M.; Munoz, B. (2011). "Computer-mediated corrective feedback and language accuracy in telecollaborative exchanges". Language Learning & Technology. 15 (1): 72–103.
  8. ^ Ware, P. D.; O'Dowd, R. (2008). "Peer feedback on language form in telecollaboration". Language Learning & Technology. 12 (1): 43–63.
  9. ^ Bower, J.; Kawaguchi, S. (2011). "Negotiation of meaning and corrective feedback in Japanese/English eTandem". Language Learning & Technology. 15 (1): 41-71.