December 2006
Volume 10, Number 3

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Nancy Keranen
Benemérita Universidad Autonòma de Puebla, Mexico

Yasemin Bayyurt
Bogazici University, Turkey


This paper reports on the pairing of Spanish-speaking in-service teachers and Turkish-speaking pre-service teachers in a telecollaborative intercultural project in which English was used as a lingua franca. The authors of this paper were the course leaders. Participants' discourses were examined to understand how they communicated their cultures and whether they thought they had gained any cultural understanding from their interchanges. These data came from three sources:

  1. The exchanges on the online cultural rooms in the discussion board area,
  2. The students' final reports, and
  3. The course usage statistics.

As a challenge to O'Dowd's (2003) claim that such interchanges can end up as meaningless and superficial exercises, we demonstrate that they encourage people from different cultural backgrounds to develop and further their understanding of other cultures via such exchanges.

Keywords: ESL, EFL, intercultural communication, CALL, email, discussion, telecollaboration, intercultural understanding

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