Promoting Intercultural Understanding in an International Online Seminar

Dr Stephen Carey,
Kristy Yan Liang
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This paper describes and analyzes the viability of a model of international online education in a graduate seminar that promoted intercultural understanding and second language/cultural acquisition using online discussion forums. The students, who were enrolled for credit courses in universities in Russia, Japan, Mexico and Canada, followed similar course outlines for credit in their home institutions. In addition, all students and instructors participated in an online course discussion forum where they developed topics on intercultural understanding and their identity as well as their second language of English. Students were required to write autobiographies of their language and cultural experiences. This database allowed analyses of their social constructions of their online community and the role that language, critical thinking and problem solving played in developing that online community. This model of online instruction provides an economical data-rich bases for investigating second language acquisition from a social constructive perspective and how the discussion of the knowledge of one's personal culture and identity can facilitate a student-centered environment that maximizes personal growth, critical thinking and second language acquisition. The data showed the importance of community-building and using narrative to achieve the goals of the course.

Keywords: Online Community, Narrative, Autobiography, Culture, Identity
Stream: Technology in Education
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr Stephen Carey

Professor, Language and Literacy Education, University of British Columbia

Stephen Carey is past president of the Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics (president from 1996-2004) and teaches mixed-mode graduate courses in Applied Linguistics at the University of British Columbia. His research on online education has been published in numerous journals including Computer Assisted Language Learning and Korean Applied Linguistics. He has directed numerous projects and theses on online education over the past decade.

Kristy Yan Liang

Graduate Student, Language and Literacy Education, University of British Columbia

Ref: T05P0237