Developing Intercultural Competence via Social Media Engagement in a Language Learning Framework

Pin-Hsiang Natalie Wu (1), Michael W. Marek (2)
(1) Chienkuo Technology University, Taiwan - Wayne State College, USA, United States,
(2) Chienkuo Technology University, Taiwan - Wayne State College, USA, United States


Today’s EFL students need both advanced language skills and an appreciation of other cultures. Technology for language learning, however, is usually focused on language skills. Cultural understanding is rarely a primary goal. Intercultural competence was the primary goal of this study, using a technically-mediated and culturally-oriented online learning community to cultivate intercultural competence using social collaboration, understanding, reflection, and appreciation. Students in South Africa and Taiwan reacted to videos on cultural topics made by American college students. Qualitative data analysis included the social media discussions of the participants, end-of-study questions, and teacher-participant journals. Six themes in the data are presented, as well as resulting best practices for instructional design and specific author recommendations.

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Pin-Hsiang Natalie Wu
(Primary Contact)
Michael W. Marek
Author Biographies

Pin-Hsiang Natalie Wu, Chienkuo Technology University, Taiwan - Wayne State College, USA

Pin-Hsiang Natalie Wu, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Chien-kuo Technology University, Taiwan. She has been involved in the field of second language teaching for over 18 years and has many years of experience with cross-cultural, task-based English learning via synchronous and asynchronous computer mediated communication among learners all over the world. Her research in EFL instruction stems from her interest in incorporating computer and mobile learning to stimulate student motivation. She also has academic interests in applying new technologies to the teaching of L2 literature.

Michael W. Marek, Chienkuo Technology University, Taiwan - Wayne State College, USA

Michael Marek, Ed.D., is a full professor of Communication Arts at Wayne State College, Wayne, Nebraska, USA. He teaches media and communication courses, including broadcasting, marketing communications, and social media management. He is active in research concerning use of Internet, multimedia, and interactive technologies, such as social media, to teach English as a Foreign Language. He has recent publications in System, CALL Journal, International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching, and Educational Technology & Society.

Wu, P.-H. N., & Marek, M. W. (2018). Developing Intercultural Competence via Social Media Engagement in a Language Learning Framework. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 18(1), 1–16.

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