Interculturality in Online Learning: Instructor and Student Accommodations




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


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.

Author Biographies

Gulnara Sadykova, Kazan Federal University

Gulnara Sadykova is Associate Professor, Department of Germanic Philology, Kazan Federal University (Russia). She has also taught graduate online courses in the Department of Educational Theory and Practice, University at Albany (USA). Her research interests include cross-culture distance education, technology-assisted language teaching/learning, and linguistics.

Carla Meskill, University at Albany, SUNY

Carla Meskill is Professor, Department of Educational Theory and Practice, at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Her research and teaching explores new forms of technology use in language education as well as the influences of new technologies on developing language and literacy practices.


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Cultural and International Perspectives