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Exploring the complex nature of language and culture through intercultural dialogue

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Abstract

This study examines how participants in Cultura, an online intercultural exchange between French and American students, explore the nature of language and culture in an asynchronous forum. The goal is to determine the influence of Cultura’s instructional design on the participants’ discursive perspectives on language and culture. An analysis of ten discussions on the same topic reveals that participants display an understanding of language and culture in terms of static codes through their frequent linguistic and cultural generalizations. However, on occasion, participants construe language and culture as dynamic and individual through personal anecdotes and explicit acts of identity that challenge monolithic and essentializing representations.

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