A review of research on intercultural learning through computer-based digital technologies.
Intercultural interactions and exchanges have started to gain an important place in our everyday life as one of the indirect results of our globalizing world. This state of interconnectedness among people and cultures has been so apparent that it is claimed nowadays that "international relations become the basis for a well-functioning tomorrow." (Schenker, 2012, p. 449). In line with the impact of global developments on functioning of modern societies, having global communication networks and developing an intercultural communicative competence (ICC) have become one of the aims of today's educational systems (Alptekin, 2002; Thorne, 2003). Thus, ICC is strongly supported as a part of language instruction in schools as it enables people to communicate and negotiate successfully with people from other cultures (Byram, 1997; 2000).
Although no agreement has been established on the definition of ICC, there seems a general agreement on its key goals (Deardorff, 2006; O'Dowd, 2003). Byram's (1997) ICC model, which is the most commonly referred one in the literature, covers attitudes, knowledge, skills of interpreting and relating, skills of discovery and interaction, and critical awareness. Within his ICC model, the aim is to go beyond superficial intercultural fact exchanges and to develop a deep intercultural learning. The model suggests people to be open-minded, reflective on cultural similarities and differences, and to reduce their ethnocentrism. Developing this intercultural competence seems as a challenging task but is necessary to be a part of the global world (Talkington, Lengel, & Byram, 2004). Teachers of foreign languages or of other relevant fields therefore need to find sound ways to integrate intercultural competence into their courses. Moreover, cultural knowledge alone may not precede intercultural competence (Bennett, 2009; Perry & Southwell, 2011; Talkington, Lengel, & Byram, 2004), so a critical examination of cultures is a must to go beyond simple facts and knowledge about cultures, which is possible through interactions with people from other cultures.
With respect to helping every student to develop an intercultural competence, computer-mediated communication (CMC) and telecollaborative projects provide environments for students to have an opportunity to communicate with people from diverse cultures (Belz & Thorne, 2006; Kern, 2006; Lee, 2009; Muller-Hartmann, 2000; O'Dowd, 2007). Telecollaboration studies in fact have started to gain more importance due to their practical nature in terms of intercultural contacts. However, existing studies stress a lack of research in technology-oriented intercultural learning environments (Jin & Erben, 2007; Lee & Markey, 2014; O'Dowd, 2007; Perry & Southwell, 2011). Perry and Southwell (2011) especially state, in their review of intercultural models and approaches, that there is no thorough research on the development of intercultural competence via digital technologies, so, according to them, the area needs further research. To my best knowledge, there is no review research on this issue as well. Thus, this review study aims to fill a gap in the current research in intercultural learning through computer-based technology use in order to mark prevalent issues in the field. These major questions therefore seek for answers in this review study:
* What kinds of technologies were used in intercultural studies?
* What type of participants and contexts were involved?
* How long did the studies take place?
* What were the major findings in terms of intercultural learning?
* How effective were digital technologies to promote intercultural learning?
* Are there any potential gaps and suggestions for further research directions?
Different inquiry styles utilizing quantitative and qualitative paradigms in this technology-oriented intercultural field made it more appropriate to have a qualitative synthesis of quantitative and qualitative research (Baran, 2014; Suri & Clarke, 2009). As it has been implied, this review did not adopt a positivist approach to synthesis; rather, it benefited from the interpretative and transparent nature of qualitative synthesis (Suri & Clarke, 2009). The study also did not follow an existing model or methodology but it was inspired and directed by Baran (2014), Cooper and Hedges (2009), and Suri and Clarke (2008). The systematic steps that were broadly followed were problem formulation, literature search, data evaluation, data analysis, and interpretation of the results (Cooper & Hedges, 2009).
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Articles for this synthesis were chosen following a systematic process of selection (see Figure 1 for a summary of the selection process). As a result of the inquiry, 26 studies were identified for the review (Appendix A). Time frame was set as 2004 and 2014 covering a 10-year-long period including recent developments in web 2.0 tools and telecollaboration studies (Guth & Thomas, 2010). In this way, the focus is more on the effect of recent computer-based digital technologies and their effectiveness on intercultural learning, which may pave the way for a more reasonable and innovative research direction.
After identifying the articles, they were examined and coded in an analytic synthesis table (see Appendix A for a detailed illustration of the categories). In addition to this analytic table, major outcomes of the studies in terms of intercultural learning were included as data. The table helped the study to recognize research descriptives in the field while the major outcomes of the studies formed the qualitative findings of this review study after they were coded in a qualitatively emergent/evolving and interpretative fashion (Creswell, 2013).
Following an open coding process (Elo & Kyngas, 2008) of major findings and outcomes of the studies (see Appendix B for a coding sample), and collecting an expert opinion on the process of theme formation, several main categories emerged from the selected 26 empirical studies. They are given as (1) research descriptives, (2) an overall satisfaction with digital tools and intercultural learning, (3) increased knowledge toward both own and target culture, (4) superficial and fact-based exchange between similar cultures and profiles, (5) varied levels of ICC development, (6) lack of in-depth analysis and of detailed reports, (7) necessity for training, guidance, and good communication skills, (8) need for stimulating contexts, and (9) technical and institutional challenges.
Applied technology types and environments created
Most of the reviewed studies did not use only one digital tool in fostering intercultural interactions. In order to have a glimpse of what kind of technologies were used and how frequently they were applied, a frequency graph is provided in Figure 2.
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Online discussion boards were the most frequently used ones in the studies. Text-based chat, blogs, and email exchanges followed online message boards in terms of frequency of use. These tools offer both asynchronous and synchronous communication, which reflects the effort put by the studies to take advantage of different types of communication ways to help their participants to develop an intact intercultural competence. Other tools such as video recording, video conferencing, and podcasting were also used to enrich both the nature and function of the communication. Microblogging -Twitter- was used only once in the study conducted by Lee and Markey (2014).
Study contexts, countries and subjects
Studies were conducted with participants from at least two different countries or cultures. Except three studies, all of the exchanges took place only on online platforms. As for exceptions, Lee (2011) conducted the research in a study abroad context where participants had a chance to have a face-to-face interaction with the target culture, so technology was used to enhance their intercultural development in that context. Elola and Oskoz (2008) created an online environment where American students in a study abroad environment maintained communication with the students at home university to increase home students' intercultural understanding. Canto, Jauregi, and van den Bergh (2013) included an experimental group that explored intercultural aspects only in inauthentic classroom environment, and they compared this group with an online interaction group in which language learners had a chance to communicate with native speakers.
Regarding the countries and interactions involved in the studies, Spain-USA exchange (n = 4) formed 15.3% of all intercultural exchanges. Following this pair, there were Germany-USA (n = 3), and Taiwan-USA (n = 3) exchanges. USA-China (n = 2) and Chile-USA (n = 2) followed these pairs in terms of frequency. Lastly, there were other interactions that were established only once. You can refer to Appendix A to see these remaining exchanges. However, there were four studies which did not require participants to communicate with another culture directly over some technological tools. Lee (2011; 2012) conducted her studies only in Spain with American study abroad students. Ducate and Lomicka (2008) studied only American students in the USA who followed blogs by native speakers of German and French, and wrote their own in time. Lastly, in Elola and Oskoz (2008), American students in Spain helped the students at home university to increase their intercultural understanding through blogs. Overall Figure 3 below illustrates country context of the participants and how many times they were involved in intercultural communication or intercultural learning. The figure shows that USA is the most popular country for technology-oriented intercultural studies.
As for the participants of the studies, it is possible to say almost all studies were conducted between undergraduate students from different cultures even though there were some exceptions that involved in-service teachers (Angelova & Zhao, 2014), MA students (Hauck, 2007) or local people (Lee, 2011; 2012). Language learning or practice was highly frequent in the studies, so sometimes the focus of the studies was not only intercultural learning.
Except four studies (Ducate & Lomicka, 2008; O'Dowd, 2005; O'Dowd, 2007; Ware & Kramsch, 2005), studies were conducted around one semester. Since data were mainly collected from undergraduate students at different universities, one semester seemed as an ideal duration for the studies. However, O'Dowd's (2005; 2007) studies were exceptions, which lasted for nine months and two years respectively, but these were large scale projects designed for longer periods. Moreover, Ware and Kramsch's (2005) research took only three weeks to complete, which seemed also as an exception to the research descriptives.
An overall satisfaction with digital tools and intercultural learning
Analyses revealed that most of the participants completed intercultural projects with satisfactory feelings although there were some varying voices among participants. Participants generally ended up with a feeling of enjoyment as a result of using technology to establish some types of communication with native speakers of their target language or with people from another culture (Jin & Erben, 2007; Keranen & Bayyurt, 2006; Lee, 2009; Lee, 2012; Lee & Markey, 2014; Liaw, 2006; Liaw & Bunn-Le Master, 2010). Some even reported their emerging desire to study abroad after they engaged in an intercultural exchange (Tudini, 2007; Zeiss & Isabelli-Garcia, 2005). It can therefore be said that CMC played a useful role in providing enjoyable intercultural experiences and in increasing the motivation and preparation for study abroad programs (Angelova & Zhao, 2014; Hauck, 2007).
Digital tools such as blogging, podcasting, email exchanges, and chat rooms were welcomed by the participants and were reported to be valuable and enjoyable in terms of cultural exchanges (Lee, 2011; Lee, 2012; Lee & Markey, 2014; Schenker, 2012; Tudini, 2007). Blogs particularly helped people to create a sense of community (Lee, 2011), or to have flexibility in what to share with other people (Lee & Markey, 2014). Furthermore, blogs sometimes functioned as a window to the target culture and let people have a taste of the target culture (Ducate & Lomicka, 2008). Overall blogs can be regarded as a convenient digital tool to foster intercultural learning. Although they were not implemented frequently, email exchanges and chat rooms were also reported to be suitable and stimulating for intercultural communication (Chun, 2011; Furcsa, 2009; Tudini, 2007).
Increased knowledge toward both own and target culture
Myriad intercultural opportunities were provided by the studies in terms of learning target culture and language (Lee, 2011; Lee & Markey, 2014), and these opportunities contributed to cultural awareness (O'Dowd, 2007) or to intercultural understanding of the participants (Menard-Warwick, Heredia-Herrera, & Palmer, 2013). Since Bennett (1993) and Kramsch (1993) highlight the importance of reflecting on cultural differences and similarities as a crucial and a triggering aspect of intercultural contacts, it can be said that CMC helped people to reflect on both own and target culture, and contributed to the process toward being an interculturally competent person (Canto et al., 2013; Angelova & Zhao, 2014; Liaw, 2006; Keranen & Bayyurt, 2006). As well as stimulating people to contrast and compare cultures, CMC also helped participants grow interculturally (Liaw & Bunn-Le Master, 2010) by increasing their knowledge (Ducate & Lomicka, 2008; Keranen & Bayyurt, 2006; Lee, 2009; Schenker, 2012), interest (Jin & Erben, 2007; Liaw, 2006) and awareness (Angelova & Zhao, 2014; Elola & Oskoz, 2008; Rooks, 2008; Ware & Kramsch, 2005; Zeiss & Isabelli-Garcia, 2005) toward the other and own culture. Reflection on both own and target culture did not only increase intercultural understanding but also resulted in an attitude change or a development of a positive attitude toward other cultures to a certain extent (Elola & Oskoz, 2008; Furcsa, 2009; Schuetze, 2008).
Varied levels of ICC development
Byram's (1997) ICC model is by far the mostly adopted framework for the studies reviewed here. Adopting a complete intercultural framework as ICC seemed to be helpful for researchers to conduct deeper analyses rather than only focusing on fact-based intercultural exchanges.
The main claim by the telecollaborative studies was that ICC could be developed through facilitating communication between different cultures over appropriate technology (Schenker, 2012). To support this idea, O'Dowd (2007) highlighted the potential of telecollaboration in supporting the development of students' ICC compared to the traditional instruction. Those studies using ICC in interpreting data reported evidences for different levels of ICC. Lee (2012) showed differing attitude among participants toward the host culture but also showed the signs of a growth from ethnocentrism to ethnorelativism. These varied levels of development could also be seen in Liaw (2006; 2007) where English learners who communicated with native speakers showed four levels of ICC. In addition to Liaw's studies, Jin and Erben (2007) showed a variable process of ICC among their participants. Their development fluctuated but eventually they improved their intercultural sensitivity. This varied and individual aspect of ICC in the studies indicates that learners show signs of being on the way to develop a complex ICC (Schuetze, 2008). Using a more secure phrase like "being on the way" is actually more appropriate with studies reviewed here because they mostly fail to provide detailed reports for their participants and data analysis process, so strong claims as "they have developed ICC" must be avoided due to ICC's complex and always evolving nature (Byram, 1997).
Although a clear developmental process among participants was not observed, it is fair to say that participants developed a sense of awareness toward viewpoints of other people and their differing perspectives (Furcsa, 2009; Ware & Kramsch, 2005). It is therefore possible to say that intercultural communication through technology triggered learners to develop interculturally; however, this improvement changed from person to person. Although ICC might not be easily measurable due to its dynamic and ever-changing nature, it was showed that it was possible to track major changes in perspectives toward target culture and in reflections on own culture (Elola & Oskoz, 2008).
Superficial and fact-based exchange between similar cultures and profiles
Computer-based digital tools, as it has been shown so far, enabled people to communicate with people from other cultures without visiting each other. These interactions also fostered ICC of participants though there were some variability among participants. While explaining the sources of this variation, it was found that cultural understanding was sometimes superficial and fact-based (Lee, 2009; Lee, 2011; Liaw, 2006), but some superficial understandings were developed in consequence of reflecting on both own and target culture (Ducate & Lomicka, 2008). Similarly, Keranen and Bayyurt (2006) admitted interchanges of ideas might seem to be depending on a superficial level; yet, people might build understanding on this superficiality. Furthermore, Liaw and Bunn-Le Master (2010) found that the majority of exchanges of information were fact-based. At this point it could be necessary to engage a facilitator in the dialogue to maximize the intercultural environment in which people could argue over different viewpoints.
On the other hand, studies mostly took place between similar cultures and profiles. Most of the interactions happened with undergraduate students from USA, and other interactions also were realized between similar Western cultures with a few exceptions from Eastern cultures. That is to say, such exchanges between similar cultures and profiles may not yield rich intercultural learning situations. This does not mean that participants were the same in every aspects, but they sometimes failed to create an optimized situation for challenging and fruitful intercultural discussions, which might have fostered a robust development of ICC.
Lack of in-depth analysis and of detailed reports
Most of the studies in the literature were designed around language learning or teaching. Thus, it is fair to say that not all studies concentrated on intercultural processes in details. This situation caused studies to report superficial results in terms of intercultural development. This may also be one of the reasons lying behind varied representations of ICC. For instance, Chun (2011) and Schenker (2012) reported varying levels of development; however, there was not much clear information about participants' ICC development although there was an attempt to track their intercultural development.
This lack of in-depth analysis of data or trying to measure many components at the same time produced a lack of detailed reports. There were studies in fact reporting intercultural sensitivity developed by individual participants as in Jin and Erben (2007) or in Hauck (2007); however, the majority of the literature offered superficial exchanges and analyses in terms of intercultural learning. On the other hand, it was visible that there were some participants in the studies who were not happy with the projects. For example, Lee (2011) and Lee and Markey (2014) reported the positive results for their technological interventions but the percentages they gave also included an uneasiness among some few other students. What made the reader suspicious was the lack of the report for this dissatisfaction. Similarly, in Lee (2012), 80% found blogs useful for intercultural learning but it is unknown what the rest felt about blog's integration and its contribution to intercultural learning. Additionally 30% lacked access to computer in the same study but it was not shown how exactly they went through the online intercultural exchange. This silent scream was frequently observed across the literature such as in Ducate and Lomicka (2008), and in Chun (2011) where some participants showed dissatisfaction with online assignments. These are all given to say that the literature may need more elaboration on all of the participants and their experiences in the future.
Necessity for training, guidance and good communication skills
Intercultural interaction through technology has multiple facets as it has been implied so far. Within this complexity, designing a basic online intercultural or cross-cultural telecollaborative environment might not be enough by itself to promote intercultural learning; therefore, the current literature has revealed that there was and will be a need for training participants for technology-based competences or for the required tools before any online exchange takes place (Chun, 2011; Hauck, 2007; Lee & Markey, 2014). However, providing participants with a basic training may not be enough because sometimes it is possible for researchers to realize that the training given is not sufficient for them to maximize the experience (Lee, 2009). Training before the intercultural experience also needs to be designed and implemented carefully by taking unique characteristics of the participating subjects.
Leaving participants alone with people from other cultures may not yield effective communication, which may necessitate a conscious guidance by interculturally competent persons (Angelova & Zhao, 2014; O'Dowd, 2007; Rooks, 2008; Schenker, 2012; Schuetze, 2008). In this sense, Lee (2009; 2011; 2012) suggested a more active, key and facilitating role for instructors. Additionally, O'Dowd (2005; 2007) defined certain roles for teachers to adopt during projects such as organizer, intercultural partner, model and coach, source and resource. O'Dowd (2005) also highlighted an adaptive role for teachers so that teachers should play a constant role in organizing and adapting their guidelines and activities depending on the emerging circumstances. Moreover, Menard-Warwick et al. (2013) and Ware and Kramsch (2005) highly valued the importance of tutor facilitation in their studies. However, there were some opposing voices to the high engagement of instructors in the projects. One argument came from Tudini (2007) who discussed that ICC could develop more in authentic environments than in the places designed and controlled online, so she defended a freer environment for people to interact interculturally. This suggests a moderate involvement of instructors or researchers in the process.
In addition to the key role of facilitators, Rooks (2008) offered a conscious pairing among different cultures because a small problem between them might cast away all the efforts invested for the promotion of intercultural learning. On the other hand, a preliminary trust establishment between teachers and students before a telecollaboration study was offered by Menard-Warwick (2009); in this way, facilitators might ensure exchanges go well and misunderstandings are to be prevented. In addition to guidance, there is also a strong need for everyone involved to have good communication skills in order to handle potential misunderstandings or breakdowns (Elola & Oskoz, 2008; Furcsa, 2009; Hauck, 2007; Lee, 2011).
Need for stimulating contexts
As well as providing training on tools and successful communication, a careful planning should also be considered before implementing an online intercultural project or study. Furcsa (2009) highlights the importance of careful planning and appropriate tasks if instructors aim to create opportunities for productive discussions. It therefore seems that the backbone of successful online intercultural interactions is a meticulous design (Hauck, 2007) or stimulating environments which are intended and organized for the unique characteristics of the participating subjects (Menard- Warwick, 2009).
Designing appropriate environments for a certain profile of people to interact online may not be an easy task to achieve; rather, there are certain steps to consider across the studies such as selection of appropriate technologies and materials, grouping or pairing people wisely, choosing discussion topics carefully, developing ways to handle problem, and perpetuating the communication. The highlighted aspect of topic choice was visible in the studies conducted by O'Dowd (2005), Schuetze (2008), and Zeiss and Isabelli-Garcia (2005). Additionally, Rooks (2008) supported the inclusion of more enjoyable topics to discuss rather than compulsory writings with restricted options. This flexibility of topics was also suggested by Menard-Warwick (2009) to respond to emergent opportunities for discussions.
With respect to the types of digital tools in the studies, Keranen and Bayyurt (2006) underscored the advantages offered by asynchronous communication such as flexibility and in-depth exchanges. Ware and Kramsch (2005) also supported the advantage of asynchronous communication by presenting some difficulties caused by synchronous communication. However, this does not mean that future researchers should give up using synchronous communication tools; rather, they should combine and diversify them to maximize and optimize the intercultural experiences of their unique subjects.
Technical and institutional challenges
As it was reported in research descriptives, most of the studies took around one semester to be completed. The reason for such a time period was generally given as the difficulty of arranging the projects between institutions from different countries for long time periods because each institution or university had different course requirements or even different time zones (Keranen & Bayyurt, 2006; O'Dowd, 2005; Lee & Markey, 2014). This short duration of studies was mentioned in some studies like Angelova and Zhao (2014), Jin and Erben (2007), Menard-Warwick et al. (2013), Rooks (2008), and Ware and Kramsch (2005) in an explicit way, but it is not difficult to sense the time limitation or constraint on the studies overall.
It is also known that there were some invisible subjects in the studies who were not quite happy with the online projects. One reason for this dissatisfaction was lack of technical insufficiency (Chun, 2011). For example, Rooks (2008) explained negative reaction of his participants with "logistic failures." Similarly, Liaw (2006) reported how students found it very frustrating when the system did not work properly. These all suggest another facet of online intercultural learning because placing subjects in an online environment is not sufficient to enable them to engage in a meaningful and productive exchange; sometimes they may simply get distracted by technical breakdowns or get demotivated by short duration of the exchanges.
This review on online intercultural learning is well positioned since it has revealed sufficient number of issues to be considered. In terms of research descriptives, it can well be said that studies favored certain contexts, participants and digital tools over others, and technology has attracted a modest but limited number of intercultural researchers. Before further studies are conducted, it is important to revise what this review has brought to light. Figure 4 summarizes all the studies conducted in this field and it does so by benefiting from the interpretative nature of qualitative synthesis.
The literature has showed its own advantages, weaknesses or challenges. Advantages were overall satisfaction with digital tools and intercultural experiences over the Internet or technology, increased knowledge of both own and other cultures, and varied levels of ICC development. As for weaknesses or challenges showed by the literature, most studies tended to report superficial findings without an in-depth analysis, and most of them aimed to measure different aspects of the exchanges at the same time rather than only focusing on intercultural issues, which has left us with scant reports on ICC development. Even though subjects had chances to collaborate, share or discuss, they generally had superficial exchanges, maybe due to their similar backgrounds or to the limited nature of online exchanges. Moreover, experiences of discontent participants were not too visible but still they were sensible, which seems still as a mystery to the literature.
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Recommendations for future research and practice
This review offers a number of important recommendations for people who have an intention of utilizing technology in terms of intercultural learning. First of all, the overall picture of the literature (Figure 4) has pushed this study to bring up a number of major necessities. One of them is training of participants for technological tools and good communication skills so that they do not have communication breakdowns or can avoid potential misunderstandings without having any problem with the use of technology. Even if they know how to use technology and how to communicate, they still may face technical challenges at their own institutions, so this technical and communicational aspect is crucial to keep in mind before any project is conducted. Furthermore, there could be differences in time zone, academic calendar or course requirement between institutions, so people who plan to take action in this field should not neglect these technical and institutional challenges.
Training participants does not seem to be sufficient for a successful intercultural communication. A stimulating environment should also be designed meticulously to help participants to feel engaged and maintain their interaction with other cultures. While designing the environment, the diversification of the digital tools should be taken into account in parallel with the unique aspects of the participating subjects and contexts. It is also strongly recommended to utilize some new tools in line with the developing technologies; in this sense, video technologies seem to offer significant opportunities in terms of enriching intercultural contacts for future practices and research (Bray, 2010). Such designs also require interculturally competent facilitators who should be knowledgeable in both cultures and should be aware of theoretical background of intercultural issues.
Duration for future studies is also a key issue. So far technical and institutional challenges have forced researchers to keep their studies short but in the future this issue should be revisited by the researchers in order to present robust, detailed, and longitudinal findings to the literature. Although it is difficult to assess ICC thoroughly in a short time and in an online environment, the future researchers can adopt different and mixed data collection tools to increase the likelihood of robust outcomes. In this sense, models or inventories such as Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) developed by Bennett (1993) or Intercultural Development Inventory offered by Hammer, Bennett and Wiseman (2003) could be utilized for future research aims. Also innovative and in-depth qualitative analyses can be helpful to offer rich and thick descriptions of the experiences. Menard-Warwick (2009) actually presented an innovative linguistic analysis, so in the future more innovative studies in terms of data collection and analysis are expected. This is not to tell Byram's (1997) ICC model has failed to measure what it aimed to measure, but the aim is to bring fresh and in-depth insights into technology-based intercultural learning field. Future researchers therefore should be seeking for in-depth interpretations or intercultural representations gained through digital technologies with the help of theoretical models and tools.
Another prevalent shortcoming in the literature was repeating interactions between similar cultures and age or study groups, which sometimes resulted in poor exchanges. For future practices, it will be a lot better to see exchanges between different study contexts. Interactions between different profiles other than undergraduate students may also provide future research with fresh perspectives. Additionally, dominant aspect of language learning in the studies up to now may have caused researchers to limit themselves; however, future studies with an only intercultural focus and with participants who speak English as a lingua franca may yield more fruitful insights into intercultural issues.
Emrullah Yasin Ciftci
Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Education, Department of Foreign Language Education, Ankara, Turkey // firstname.lastname@example.org
(Submitted March 22, 2015 Revised June 20, 2015 Accepted August 10, 2015)
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Muller-Hartmann, A. (2000). The Role of tasks in promoting intercultural learning in electronic learning networks. Language Learning & Technology, 4(2), 129-147.
O'Dowd, R. (2003). Understanding the "other side": Intercultural learning in a Spanish-English e-mail exchange. Language Learning & Technology, 7(2), 118-144.
* O'Dowd, R. (2005). Negotiating sociocultural and institutional contexts: The Case of Spanish-American telecollaboration. Language and Intercultural Communication, 5(1), 40-56.
+ O'Dowd, R. (2007). Evaluating the outcomes of online intercultural exchange. ELT Journal, 61(2), 144-152.
Perry, L. B., & Southwell, L. (2011). Developing intercultural understanding and skills: Models and approaches. Intercultural Education, 22(6), 453-466.
* Rooks, M. J. (2008). A Unique opportunity for communication: An Intercultural e-mail exchange between Japanese and Thai students. Computer-Assisted Language Learning -Electronic Journal (CALL-EJ), 10(1). Retrieved from http://callej.org/journal/10-1/rooks.html
+ Schenker, T. (2012). Intercultural competence and cultural learning through telecollaboration. Computer-Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO) Journal, 29(3), 449-470.
* Schuetze, U. (2008). Exchanging second language messages online: Developing an intercultural communicative competence? Foreign Language Annals, 41(4), 660-673.
Suri, H., & Clarke, D. (2009). Advancements in research synthesis methods: From a methodologically inclusive perspective. Review of Educational Research, 79(1), 395-430.
Talkington, B., L. Lengel, & M. Byram. (2004). Setting the context, highlighting the importance: Reflections on interculturality and pedagogy [Article]. Retrieved from https://www.llas.ac.uk/resources/paper/2048
Thorne, S. L. (2003). Artifacts and cultures-of-use in intercultural communication. Language Learning & Technology, 7(2), 3867.
+ Tudini, V. (2007). Negotiation and intercultural learning in Italian native speaker chat rooms. The Modern Language Journal, 91(4), 577-601.
* Ware, P. D., & Kramsch, C. (2005). Toward an intercultural stance: Teaching German and English through telecollaboration. The Modern Language Journal, 89(2), 190-205.
* Zeiss, E., & Isabelli-Garcia, C. L. (2005). The role of asynchronous computer mediated communication on enhancing cultural awareness. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 18(3), 151-169.
Note. "*" References marked with an asterisk and "+" symbol show these articles were analyzed for this review study.
Appendix A: Analysis table Study Subjects Study duration O'Dowd (2005) An advanced group of Nine month English learners Students of Spanish Ware & Kramsch A learner of German Three weeks (2005) A learner of English Zeiss & Isabelli- US university students Fall 2001 Garcia (2005) engaged in CMC with Mexican university students Liaw (2006) Freshmen at a Taiwanese One semester university University students from U.S. Keranen & Bayyurt In-service English Not specified in (2006) teachers from Mexico details Turkish undergraduate students Hauck (2007) Adult learners from UK 10 weeks Students from Carnegie Mellon University French native speakers enrolled in a MA program at a French university Jin & Erben American university Eight weeks (2007) level students (Chinese learners) Native speakers of Chinese Liaw (2007) Freshmen at a One semester university in Taiwan American students O'Dowd (2007) German university Three qualitative students studies between Two American, one 2001 and 2003 Irish partner classes Tudini (2007) Australian learners of From April to Italian June 2003 Native speakers of Italian Ducate & German and French Two semesters Lomicka (2008) language students Elola & Spanish intermediate Spring semester Oskoz (2008) classes from an of 2007 American university Rooks (2008) Japanese university Six weeks students Thai university students Schuetze (2008) Students from Six weeks in University of British 2004 and Six Columbia and weeks in 2005 University of Kiel Furcsa (2009) Pairs of American and Spring semester Hungarian of 2005 undergraduate undergraduate students Lee (2009) American undergraduate Spring of 2008 students Spanish undergraduate students Menard-Warwick Undergraduate students Eight weeks (2009) at a Chilean university Graduate students at a US university Liaw & Bunn-Le Freshman students One semester Master (2010) majoring in English in Taiwan Pre-service teacher education trainees in the U.S. Chun (2011) Students learning 10-week period German at an American university Students studying English at a German university Lee (2011) American undergraduate One semester students enrolled at a study abroad program Spanish local people Lee (2012) American study abroad One semester students Native Spanish speakers Schenker (2012) American undergraduate Six weeks students German high school students Canto, Jauregi, University students February-April & van den forming three groups 2010 Bergh (2013) (1. Virtual worlds with native student teachers 2. Video-web communication with native student teachers 3. Nonnative- nonnative interaction in the classroom) Menard-Warwick, Prospective teachers Eight weeks Heredia- studying English in Herrera, & Chile Palmer (2013) Graduate students from US Angelova & Zhao U.S. in-service and One semester (2014) pre-service teachers Chinese students majoring in English Lee & Markey Advanced Spanish One semester (2014) speakers Advanced English speakers Study Technology used Countries involved O'Dowd (2005) Online message boards U.S.A. Spain Ware & Kramsch Asynchronous online Germany (2005) discussion board, U.S.A. Blackboard Zeiss & Isabelli- CMC through U.S.A. Garcia (2005) text-based messages, Mexico Electronic bulletin board Liaw (2006) A web-based Taiwan environment, U.S.A. E-referencing tools, Online forums Keranen & Bayyurt Online discussion Mexico (2006) rooms, Blackboard Turkey Hauck (2007) An Internet-mediated, U.K. audiographic U.S.A. conferencing France environment, Blogs Jin & Erben Instant Messenger U.S.A. (2007) China Liaw (2007) A web-based Taiwan environment, U.S.A. E-referencing tools, Online forums O'Dowd (2007) Email, Germany Online message board, Ireland Online content U.S.A. materials, Video conferencing Tudini (2007) Chat rooms Australia Italy Ducate & Blogger U.S.A. Lomicka (2008) Elola & Web logs U.S.A. Oskoz (2008) Spain Rooks (2008) Email exchanges Thailand Japan Schuetze (2008) Email, WebCT Canada Germany Furcsa (2009) Email messages Hungary U.S.A. Lee (2009) Moodle, Blogger, Spain Audacity, iMovie U.S.A. Menard-Warwick MSN Messenger Chile (2009) U.S.A. Liaw & Bunn-Le A project website Taiwan Master (2010) called CANDLE U.S.A. Chun (2011) Asynchronous forum Germany discussions, U.S.A. Synchronous text chats Lee (2011) Blogger, Blackboard, Spain (Face to face interaction) * Lee (2012) Blackboard, Blogger Spain (Face to face interaction) * Schenker (2012) Email exchanges Germany U.S.A. Canto, Jauregi, Adobe-Connect, The & van den Second Life, Netherlands Bergh (2013) Open Sim (Classroom Spain interaction) * Menard-Warwick, Online chat groups, Chile Heredia- MSN Messenger, U.S.A. Herrera, & Moodle Palmer (2013) Angelova & Zhao Email functions of U.S.A (2014) Blackboard, China Chat rooms, Skype (only one pair), Discussion board Lee & Markey Twitter Spain (2014) Blogger U.S.A. Audioboo iMovie Movie Maker Appendix B: A Coding sample for major findings Lee (2009) (1) Students reacted positively to the inclusion of the online exchange project and (2) were satisfied with the outcomes. (3) the experience helped them to view cross-cultural learning from a different angle. (3) They reported that they would not have a deeper understanding of certain aspects of spanish culture if they did not have an opportunity to have a contact with spanish people. (4) Some found communication short and unyielding but not elaborated on the reasons. (5) Instructors played a key role in facilitating online exchanges. (6) Blogs and (7) podcasting were (8) useful in letting students to engage in exchanging ideas. (9) Blogs also fostered critical thinking and deeper understanding of the topic. (10) More than 70% found online tasks time consuming. (11) In studies like this, they build the environment, group the learners, and observe well but report less, so we do not see how deep intercultural learning was. Lee (2009) (1) Positive reaction (2) Satisfaction with the project (3) Development of cross-cultural understanding (4) Superficial intercultural exchange (5) Necessity for guidance (6) Blogs as a useful tool (7) Podcasting as a useful tool (8) Benefits of combining tools (9) Blogs for deeper understanding (10) Time concern in online tasks (11) Superficial reports (these codes were then color coded and clustered into major themes through a constant comparison among studies. This coding process was done only by the author under the supervision of an expert.) Figure 3. Frequency distribution of country context of participants Spain 4 USA 18 Germany 5 Taiwan 3 China 2 Chile 2 Ireland 1 Italy 1 The Netherlands 1 Australia 1 Thailand 1 Japan 1 UK 1 Hungary 1 France 1 Canada 1 Turkey 1 Mexico 1 Note: Table made from bar graph.
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|Author:||Ciftci, Emrullah Yasin|
|Publication:||Educational Technology & Society|
|Date:||Apr 1, 2016|
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