THE IMPACT OF ONLINE LANGUAGE USE ON STUDENTS’ INTERCULTURAL COMPETENCE IN EFL/ESL CONTEXTS

H. Soussi

FLHS Moulay Ismael University Meknes (MOROCCO)
This article aims to describe and analyze the impact of online language use on student's intercultural communicative competence with an emphasis on their critical cultural awareness. It investigates the language pedagogical and organizational preconditions for implementing Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC) into foreign language education, using communication technologies and the social web, as teaching tools for this purpose. In many countries, the learning outcomes of foreign language courses now include intercultural communicative competence, although the precise model for teaching ICC varies even across the world. Internet-mediated approaches are widely used to support intercultural learning. The interplay between computer mediated communication, culture and language is explored by analyzing interactions of a group of Moroccan and American students' in an interactive Word-press blog designed by the researcher for the sake of the study. The results show that the Word-press blog afforded students the opportunity to work independently (e.g., content creation) and reflect upon cross-cultural issues. Critical reflection, however, relied on the teacher’s guidance and feedback, as most of the students were cognitively challenged by not being able to clearly articulate different points of view. The article also outlines elements of the Word-press blog which may enable students to develop successful intercultural relationships with their partners