Course module - Computer Mediated Intercultural Communication
Code : EDUC10902 (EDUC10912) Credit rating: 20 Semester : 2
This unit aims to:
• explore the characteristics, complexities and affordances of computer-mediated communication (CMC)
• explore the characteristics, complexities and affordances of intercultural communication (IC)
• explore the characteristics, complexities and affordances of computer-mediated intercultural communication (CMIC)
• explore the characteristics, complexities and affordances of the use of English as a lingua franca in CMIC; and
• provide an experience of CMIC accompanied by:
• critical reflection on that experience
• analysis of the various data (eg communication logs, journal entries, etc) generated through that experience, and
• consideration of the communication skills required for appropriate and effective CMIC
• use the CMIC experience as an opportunity to develop students’ cultural awareness in general terms and with regard to the specifics of their CMIC project topic(s).
Objectives (Learning Outcomes)
Knowledge and understanding:
• demonstrate their understanding of the characteristics, complexities and affordances of computer-mediated communication (CMC), intercultural communication (IC) and computer-mediated intercultural communication (CMIC);
• develop their understandings of CMC, IC and CMIC in a specific CMIC project;
• demonstrate their understanding of some of the characteristics, complexities and affordances of the use of English as a lingua franca in CMIC
• demonstrate their increased cultural awareness
• reflect on their CMIC experiences as supported by communication logs, journal entries and analytical frameworks
• critically evaluate online content
• analyse communication and introspective data
• write a research report
Transferable skills and personal qualities:
• move towards a cultural relativist stance
• view their place in the world from an international perspective
• confidently work autonomously and reflectively
• use CMIC skills inter-culturally
• use IC skills mediated by technology.
An assignment – focussing on a description of your experience of, reflection on, and analysis of the CMIC experience, as informed by an understanding of the conceptual frameworks and subject areas covered in the course (ie CMC, IC, CMIC and cultural learning) : Approx. 4000 words, plus appendices ( 100%)
Staff/Student Contact F2F contact during seminars (2 hrs x 10) : 20 hours
Staff/Student additional support (eg tutorials, email advice): 10 hours
Internet-based CMIC Project work: 40 hours
Private Study, including directed reading : 70 hours
Preparation for the assignment: 40 hours
Preparation for the exam : 20 hours
Total Hours: 200
This course uses theoretical frameworks and experiential learning to explore the nature of intercultural communication (IC), computer-mediated communication (CMC), and computer-mediated intercultural communication (CMIC). The experiential learning primarily takes place through a CMIC Project in which students communicate with one or more ebuddies who have a markedly different cultural background. During this CMIC experience, students will practise particular CMC, IC and CMIC skills. Based on their communication logs / records, students will critically reflect on their CMIC experience and what this suggests about the characteristics, challenges and affordances of IC, CMC, and CMIC. The student-determined topic areas explored during the CMIC Project will be framed through a cultural perspectives exchange designed to develop both generic and specific cultural awareness forming part of a cultural relativist stance.
10 weeks @ 2 hours per week
• Face-to-face seminars, tutorials, email and other online support, sessions in the computer suits, independent online communications, independent reading / study, and learning journal
• Critical reflection and analysis of experience
• Data analysis
• Computer-mediated communication skills
• Inter-cultural communication skills, including working with students in other institutions overseas
• Computer-mediated inter-cultural communication skills
• Autonomous study (through the CMIC Project)
a) Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC)
To gain an overview of the field of CMC you should read one or both of the following:
a) Herring, S. (2001) ‘Computer-mediated discoursem,’ in Schriffin, D., Tannen, D. and Hamilton, H (eds.), The Handbook of Discourse Analysis, Oxford, Blackwell Publishers (pp. 612-634) [online: http://odur.let.rug.nl/~redeker/herring.pdf]
Herring, S.C. (ed.) (1996) Computer-mediated communication: Linguistic, Social and Cross-cultural Perspectives, Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company (esp. chapter by Ma, pp. 173-185).
Thurlow, C., Lengel, L. and Tomic, A. (2004) Computer-mediated Communication: Social Interaction and the Internet, London, Sage (esp. Unit 1).
Wood, A. and Smith, M. (2001) On-line communication: Linking Technology, Identity and Culture, New Jersey, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates (esp. Chapter 1).
B) Intercultural Communication (IC)
To gain an overview of the field of IC, you should read one or more of the following:
Holliday, A., Hyde, M. and Kullman, J. (2004) Intercultural Communication: An Advanced Resource Book, London, Routledge.
Jandt, F. (1998) Intercultural Communication: An Introduction (2nd ed.), Sage: London [or later ed.].
O’Sullivan, K. (1994) Understanding Ways: Communication Between Cultures, Sydney NSW, Hale & Iremonger (esp. Chapter 4).
Samovar, L.A. and Porter, R.E. (eds.) (1997) Intercultural Communication: A Reader (8th ed.), Belmont CA, Wadsworth [or later ed.].
Storti, C. (1999) Figuring foreigners Out: A Practical Guide, Yarmouth ME, Intercultural Press.
C) Computer-Mediated Intercultural Communication (CMIC)
To gain an overview of the CMIC field, you should read one or more of the following:
Belz, J.A. (2002) ‘Social dimensions of telecollaborative language study,’ Language Learning & Technology, 6 (1), 60-81. [online: http://llt.msu.edu/vol6num1/belz/default.html]
Belz, J. (2003) ‘Linguistic perspectives on the development of intercultural competence in telecollaboration,’ Language Learning & Technology, 7 (2), 68-99. [online: http://llt.msu.edu/vol7num2/belz/]
Bellz J. (2005) ‘Intercultural questioning, discovery and tension in internet-mediated language learning partnerships,’ Language and Intercultural Communication, 5 (1), 3-39
Belz, J.A. and Thorne, S.L. (eds.) (2006) Computer-Mediated Intercultural Foreign Language Education, Boston: Thomson Heinle.
O’Dowd, R. (2006) Telecollaboration and the Development of Intercultural Communicative Competence, Berlin, Langenscheidt.
Smith, B. (2003) ‘The use of communication strategies in computer-mediated communication,’ System, 31 (1), 29-53.
d) Cultural Awareness and Cultural Perspectives Exchange
As will be explained during the course, the understanding of ‘cultural awareness’ used as the basis for the cultural perspectives exchange at the heart of the CMIC Project is one which has been derived from works such as the following (which should be approached as advised by the tutors):
Byram, M. (1989) Cultural Studies in Foreign Language Education, Clevedon, Multilingual Matters (esp. Chap 1).
Fantini, A. (ed.) (1997) New Ways in Teaching Culture, Alexandria VA, TESOL Inc. (esp. the introductory chapters before the activities).
Seelye, H.N. (1974/1993) Teaching Culture: Strategies for Intercultural Communication (1st / 3rd ed.s), Skokie IL, National Textbook Company.
Tomalin, B. and Stempleski, s. (1993) Cultural Awareness, Oxford, Oxford University Press.