Developing intercultural awareness
Using e-learning to develop intercultural awareness in ELT: a critical evaluation in a Thai higher education setting
The report is now online and can be downloaded from the British Council website.
E-learning offers many new pedagogic opportunities as well as challenges but while it has grown in prominence, it is still far from a normalised part of English Language Teaching (ELT). Similarly, the importance of the cultural dimension in ELT has also gained in importance. However, the use of English as a truly global language, going beyond the traditional 'native speaker' English countries, has raised concerns about how users of English are able to cope with the variety of contexts and interlocutors they may encounter. One approach to answering this challenge has been the inclusion among the goals of ELT of intercultural communication skills and the knowledge and attitudes associated with 'intercultural awareness' (ICA).
Between September 2010 and September 2011 this British Council-funded study investigated and evaluated the benefits of an online course in intercultural communication and ICA for a group of English language learners in a higher education institute in Thailand. The research aimed to produce insights concerning the use of new technologies in online courses to help develop intercultural awareness among English language learners, equipping them for the demands of English as a global language. The research was conducted in partnership with Silpakorn University in Thailand.
The learning environment for the course
A sample learning object from the course