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Social media in intercultural communication : the way beyond just learning languages

  • Denksteionova, Marketa
  • Sundh, Stellan
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2018
DOI: 10.21125/inted.2018.0160
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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Higher education of language and intercultural learning nowadays requires new approaches to second language acquisition to increase both motivation and interaction in courses of ESP for university students. For several years co-operation with student-interactive video-conferences (VCs) between universities in the Czech Republic and Sweden has been carried out in an ongoing project. Communication prior to and after video-conferences is organized with the help of writing in Facebook and speaking using Skype. Gradually other means of communication than these two ones start to be introduced by the students to facilitate interaction. As the second language is best learned and taught through interaction (Blake, 2014), these individual contacts tend to be of increasing significance in order to prepare and to evaluate the matters discussed in the VCs since they do not give the full opportunity to all members to participate as much as they would like. In addition, the interaction in the VCs is highly dependent on group dynamics and thereby open up for maximal individual production when the students negotiate toward mutual comprehension of each other's message. The authors provide detailed insights and analysis of the shift in the perspective of SLA theories based on the research carried out within the last decade and the hands on experience with social media used in intercultural communication. The potential of social media in language learning provides opportunities not only to integrate language skills but also to support the development of cultural awareness and critical literacy. These opportunities mirror contemporary and authentic uses of social media in the students' ways of communicating in their everyday lives (Warschauer, 2009). The conclusions and results are based on data collected in ESP courses at both universities.

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