BLOGGING AND INTERCULTURALITY: INVESTIGATING THE APPROPRIATENESS OF A BLOG TO SUPPORT A COHORT OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

Tony Reeves

Abstract


Blogs are a ‘Web 2.0’ technology that have demonstrated their potential to improve writing and reflective practice in academic contexts (Burgess, 2006; Farmer, Yue, & Brooks, 2008; Williams & Jacobs, 2004). Informed by this research, English language tutors at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) set up a blog on the university’s Virtual Learning Environment as a means to help international students develop their writing skills. When designing a learning environment around an online tool such as a blog there is a need for educators to be mindful of “hidden dimensions in their pedagogical activity” (Bélisle, 2008, p.1) if a fully intercultural learning experience is to occur.

This case study investigated the appropriateness of the blog to support a cohort of English language students at UCA, and revealed that while students found the blog to be beneficial to their learning the failure to identify and address intercultural issues reduced the potential effectiveness of the blogging activity.


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