Interculturality in Online Learning: Instructor and Student Accommodations

Gulnara Sadykova, Carla Meskill

Abstract


As more distance education courses broaden their reach across borders, the chances of online classes being multicultural are high. This means that more often students may find themselves in courses designed for and by a host culture that differs from their own regarding its approach to teaching and learning. Compounding the difficulties inherent in a novel cultural environment and its unfamiliar forms of academic discourse are challenges represented by the medium itself. This year-long case study examines the experiences and reflections of a Chinese graduate student and her U.S. instructor; specifically the accommodations both made to mediate differences and mitigate these challenges. Analyses suggest that when both parties take differences into account and exercise thoughtful accommodations relative to both the challenges of the online medium and language socialization, positive learning experiences can result.


Keywords


Interculturality, online teaching and learning, instructor-student interaction, international students, academic discourse

Full Text:

PDF

References


August, D., Artzi, L. & Mazrum, J. (2010). Improving science and vocabulary learning of English language learners. Center for Research on the Educational Achievement and Teaching of English Language Learners.

Banks, J. A., & Banks, C. McGee (Eds.). (2010). Multicultural education: Issues and perspectives (7th ed.). New York: John Wiley.

Belz, J. A. (2005). Intercultural questioning, discovery and tension in Internet-mediated language learning partnerships. Language and Intercultural Communication, 5(1), 3-39. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14708470508668881

Biesenbach-Lucas, S. (2005). Communication topics and strategies in e-mail consultation: Comparison between American and international university students. Language Learning & Technology, 9(2), 24-46. Retrieved from http://llt.msu.edu/vol9num2/biesenbachlucas/default.html.

Blake, R. (2013). Best practices in online learning: Is it for everyone. In F.Rubio, J.J. Thoms, & S.K. Bourns (Eds.), AAUSC 2012 Volume--Issues in Language Program Direction: Hybrid Language Teaching and Learning: Exploring Theoretical, Pedagogical and Curricular Issues, 10 (Chapter 2, pp.10-27). Boston: Heinle.

Chen, C.-F. E. (2006). The development of email literacy: From writing to peers to writing to authority figures. Language Learning & Technology, 10(2), 35-55. Retrieved from http://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/bitstream/10125/44060/1/10_02_chen.pdf.

Dalton-Puffer, C. & Smit, U. (2013). Content and language integrated learning: A research agenda. Language Teaching, 46(4), 545-559. doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444813000256

Duff, P. (2010). Language socialization into academic discourse communities. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 30, 169-192. doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0267190510000048

Greenholtz, J. (2003). Socratic teachers and Confucian learners: Examining the benefits and pitfalls of a year abroad. Language and Intercultural Communication, 3(2), 122-130. doi: 10.1080/14708470308668096

Hofstede, G. (1986). Cultural differences in teaching and learning. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 10, 301-320. doi: 10.1016/0147-1767(86)90015-5

Hofstede, G. (2011). Dimensionalizing cultures: The Hofstede model in context. Online readings in psychology and culture, 2(1), 8.

Hu, G. (2002). Potential cultural resistance to pedagogical imports: The case of communicative language teaching in China. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 15(2), 93-105. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07908310208666636

Jung-Ivannikova, L. (2016). Communication challenges learners face online: Why addressing CMC and language proficiency will not solve learners’ problems. British Journal of Educational Technology, 47(2), 239-247. doi: 10.1111/bjet.12219

Lin, C.-H., Zhang, Y., & Zheng, B. (2017). The roles of learning strategies and motivation in online language learning: A structural equation modeling analysis. Computers & Education, 113, 75-85. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2017.05.014

Kozlova, I., & Zundel, E. (2013). Synchronous online language teaching: Strategies to support language development. In C. Meskill (Ed.), Online teaching and learning (pp. 99–116). London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic.

Levy, M. (2007). Culture, Culture Learning and New Technologies: Towards a Pedagogical Framework, Language Learning Technology. 11(2), 104-127.

Author 2 & Co-Author (2015)

Morse, K. (2003). Does one size fit all? Exploring asynchronous learning in a multicultural environment. JALN, 7(1), 37-55. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/eea5/06b9cd56b83aedc8e673fbc57a420181c040.pdf.

Neuliep, J. W. (2009). Intercultural Communication: A contextual approach (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Open Doors 2017 Executive Summary. Institute of International Education (IIE). https://www.iie.org/Why-IIE/Announcements/2017-11-13-Open-Doors-2017-Executive-Summary. Accessed January 15, 2018.

O’Dowd, R. (2003). Understanding the "other side": Intercultural learning in a Spanish-English e-mail exchange. Language Learning & Technology, 7(2), 118-144. Retrieved from http://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/bitstream/10125/25202/1/07_02_odowd.pdf.

Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (1999). Building learning communities in cyberspace: Effective strategies for the online classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Patton, M. Q. (2001). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Patton, M. Q. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods. SAGE Publications, inc.

Reinders, H., & White, C. (2016). 20 years of autonomy and technology: How far have we come and where to next? Language Learning & Technology, 20(2), 143– 154. Retrieved from http://llt.msu.edu/issues/june2016/reinderswhite.pdf

Ruey, S. (2010). A case study of constructivist instructional strategies for adult online learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(5), 706-720. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2009.00965.x

[Author 1, & Co-Author] (2009).

[Author 1] (2013).

[Author 1] (2014).

Salmon, G. (2004). E-moderating: The key to teaching and learning online. Psychology Press.

Scollon, R., & Scollon, S. W. (2001). Intercultural communication: A discourse approach. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

Shattuck, K. (2005). Glimpses of the global Coral Gardens: Insights of international adult learners on the interactions of cultures in online distance education (Doctoral Dissertation). Retrieved from PennState Electronic Theses and Dissertations database https://etda.libraries.psu.edu/paper/6685/.

Shea, P., Hayes, S., Smith, S.U., Vickers, J., Bidjerano, T.,Gozza-Cohen, M., Jian, S.-B., Pickett, A., Wilde, J., & Tseng, C.-H. (2013). Online learner self-regulation: Learning presence viewed through quantitative content-and social network analysis. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 14(3), 427-461. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v14i3.1466

Smart, K., & Cappel, J. (2006). Students’ perceptions of online learning: A comparative study. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 5(1), 201-219. Retrieved from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/111541/.

Thorne, S. L. (2003). Artifacts and cultures-of-use in intercultural communication. Language Learning & Technology, 7(2), 38-67. Retrieved from http://llt.msu.edu/vol7num2/thorne/default.html

Uzuner Smith, S. & Mehta, R. (2013). The Educational Value of Student Talk in Online Discussions. In C. Meskill (Ed.), Online teaching and learning (pp. 119-136). London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic.

Vygotsky, L. (1981). The genesis of higher mental functions. In J.V. Wertsch (Ed.). The concept of activity in Soviet psychology (pp.144-188). Armonk, NY: Sharpe.

Wang, M. (2007). Designing online courses that effectively engage learners from diverse cultural backgrounds. British Journal of Educational Technology, 38(2), 294-311. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2006.00626.x

Ware, P. D., & Kramsch, C. (2005). Toward an intercultural stance: Teaching German and English through telecollaboration. The Modern Language Journal, 89(2), 190-205. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4781.2005.00274.x

Warschauer, M. (1998). Online learning in sociocultural context. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 29(1), 68-88. doi: 10.1525/aeq.1998.29.1.68

Warschauer, M. (2002). Networking into academic discourse. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 1(1), 45-58. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S1475-1585(02)00005-X

Zhang, Z., & Kenny, R. F. (2010). Learning in an online distance education course: Experiences of three international students. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 11(1), 17-36. Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/775/1481. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v11i1.775

Zhao, N., & McDougall, D. (2008). Cultural influences on Chinese students' asynchronous online learning in a Canadian university. Journal of Distance Education, 22(2), 59-80. Retrieved from http://www.jofde.ca/index.php/jde/article/view/37/559.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v23i1.1418