The effects of international email and Skype interactions on computer-mediated communication perceptions and attitudes and intercultural competence in Taiwanese students

  • Shih-Yin Stella Hsu National Kaohsiung Marine University
  • Robert E. Beasley Franklin College
Keywords: Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC), Email, Skype, Intercultural Competence (IC)

Abstract

Learners in an English as a foreign language (EFL) context seldom have the opportunity to interact with people from other cultures and experience intercultural communication in English to foster their intercultural competence (IC), whether inside or outside of the classroom. In an effort to create a brand new opportunity to boost target language interactions, this study utilised two computer-mediated communication (CMC) tools, namely email and Skype, to involve Taiwanese EFL university students in an intercultural project to discuss interesting and cultural topics with university students from the USA. Data were collected from Taiwanese students’ reflective journals, a post-project questionnaire, and interviews. The study’s results indicate that despite encountering numerous problems initially, Taiwanese students eventually have strong positive perceptions and attitudes toward intercultural CMC learning experiences, which can facilitate efficient online discussions with native speakers of the target language and can promote IC. Thus, endeavours to implement such expedient, innovative, and beneficial methods in foreign language courses are encouraged.

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Author Biographies

Shih-Yin Stella Hsu, National Kaohsiung Marine University

Shih-Yin (Stella) Hsu, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of English in the Foreign Language Education Center at National Kaohsiung Marine University, Taiwan. Her specific interests have been in the areas of online communication, computer-assisted language learning, ESP, learner autonomy, collaborative learning, intercultural awareness, multiple intelligences, public speaking and presentation skills. 

Robert E. Beasley, Franklin College

Robert E. Beasley, Ph.D. is Professor and Chair of Computing in the Department of Mathematics and Computing at Franklin College, USA. His research interests lie in the areas of online multimedia/hypermedia learning environments, computational linguistics, telecommuting, and energy and environmental engineering information systems.

 

Published
2019-03-21
How to Cite
Hsu, S.-Y. S., & Beasley, R. E. (2019). The effects of international email and Skype interactions on computer-mediated communication perceptions and attitudes and intercultural competence in Taiwanese students. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 35(1). https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.4209
Section
Articles