Technology for Engaging Learners in Online Intercultural Exchange
The medium and mode of communication used for Online Intercultural Exchange (OIE) can play an important role in engaging partners with each other across time. 23 Japanese university learners were given guidance on and a free choice of technology to use for the iron line interaction with American partners during a four-week exchange program. Survey findings showed that the most engaging technology used was a messaging application called 'Whatsapp'. Reasons reported for this preference included familiarity and ease of use, lower stress levels with a written mode of communication, and ease of setting up online groups. Implications for these findings, as well as recommendations for improving learner engagement in OIE are summarized.
Keywords - Engagement, Language Learning, Online Intercultural Exchange, Technology