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Teaching Intercultural Communication in Foreign Language Education through Video Conferencing
Dalarna University, School of Languages and Media Studies, Chinese. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong. (KIG)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6609-0713
2013 (English)In: LMS Lingua, ISSN 0023-6330, no 1, 20-24 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Since 1980s, Western linguists and specialists on second language acquisition have emphasized the importance of enhancing students’ intercultural communication competence in foreign language education. At the same time, the demand for intercultural communicative competence increased along with the advances of communication technology with its increasingly global reach and the process of globalization itself.In the field of distance language education, these changes have resulted in a shift of focus from the production and distribution of learning materials towards communication and learning as a social process, facilitated by various internet-based platforms. The current focus on learners interacting and communicating synchronously trough videoconferencing is known as the fourth generation of distance language education.

Despite the fact that teaching of Chinese as a foreign language (CFL) faces the same or even greater challenges as teaching other languages, the intercultural communication perspective is still quite a new trend in CFL and its implementation and evaluation are still under development. Moreover, the advocates of the new trends in CFL have so far focused almost exclusively on classroom-based courses, neglecting the distance mode of CFL and leaving it as an open field for others to explore.

In this under-researched context, Dalarna University (Sweden), where I currently work, started to provide web-based courses of the Chinese language in 2007. Since 2010, the Chinese language courses have been available only in the distance form, using the same teaching materials as the previous campus-based courses. The textbooks used in both settings basically followed the functional nationalism approach. However, in order to catch up with the main trend of foreign-language education, we felt a need to implement the cross-cultural dimension into the distance courses as well. Therefore in 2010, a pilot study has been carried out to explore opportunities and challenges for implementing a cross-cultural perspective into existing courses and evaluating the effectiveness of this implementation based on the feedback of the students and on the experience of the teacher/researcher.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sweden: Riksföreningen för Lärarna i Moderna Språk , 2013. no 1, 20-24 p.
Keyword [en]
Intercultural Communication, Chinese, Foreign language education, Video conferencing
National Category
Social Sciences Educational Sciences
Research subject
Kultur, identitet och gestaltning
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-13270OAI: diva2:664694
Available from: 2013-11-15 Created: 2013-11-15 Last updated: 2015-08-27Bibliographically approved

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