Constructing a relationship to otherness in web-based exchanges for language and culture learning

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This study aims at demonstrating the relevance of linguistics for studying learning in online intercultural education. Adopting a critical approach to the ‘intercultural’, the chapter is based on the perceptions of French and American students who participated in Cultura, an online exchange program with a cultural objective. The program was created at the MIT and has been replicated and adapted in many international institutions. During the exchanges, the students were asked to explore the links between culture and communication using a comparative approach. This article examines how linguistic theories (so-called French Discourse Analysis) can reveal the construction of alterity – the link between the self and other – in the students’ discourses while they negotiate and co-construct French and American cultures.


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