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Social media and language learning: enhancing intercultural communicative competence

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dc.contributor.advisor Chambers, Angela
dc.contributor.advisor Murray, Liam
dc.contributor.author Le Baron-Earle, Florence
dc.date.accessioned 2014-01-14T20:17:58Z
dc.date.available 2014-01-14T20:17:58Z
dc.date.issued 2013
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10344/3589
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract Researchers have established that cultural openness is essential in language teaching. Indeed, it is believed that languages cannot be appropriately understood without appreciating the culture in which they are developed, and empathising with the people who communicate through them. However questions have been raised as to how to enhance awareness of intercultural communicative competence (ICC) most effectively. Teachers have implemented a number of educational methods with the aim to promote best practice in language and culture teaching. In recent years, practitioners have increasingly availed of the advances in social media. Besides their easy access, Internet technologies have been proven to improve users’ learning experience via community building, information exchange, collaborative knowledge creation and negotiation of meaning, all of which are requisite in acquiring an intercultural stance. This doctoral dissertation brings together two areas of research, namely the integration of online tools in an educational setting and the intercultural dimension of foreign language learning and teaching. It investigates the role of social media in the development of intercultural sensitivity of a cohort of students of French as a foreign language. This thesis is composed of two main parts – the first focusing on the research context of the study and the second concentrating on an empirical study. The initial part examines theoretical frameworks in language and culture, and computer-assisted language learning as well as some fundamental concepts in education, i.e. teacher roles, student autonomy and motivation. The empirical study describes the implementation of intercultural-oriented tasks carried out in an online discussion forum, a blog, and a wiki. It also outlines how students reacted to social media, how they interacted through each medium with their peers and tutor, and if the online tools contributed to the development of their ICC. This thesis concludes by outlining the benefits and challenges of using online collaborative tools and provides guidance for researchers and practitioners already using or considering using Web 2.0 technologies in the context of language learning and teaching. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of Limerick en_US
dc.subject social media en_US
dc.subject language learning en_US
dc.subject online tools en_US
dc.title Social media and language learning: enhancing intercultural communicative competence en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/doctoralThesis en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_theses_dissertations en_US
dc.contributor.sponsor HEA en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US


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