This paper reports on MexCo (Mexico-Coventry), an ongoing online intercultural learning project underpinned by action research. Its aim is to embed internationalisation into the curriculum of the institutions involved in order to promote citizenship competences, online intercultural communicative competence in particular, among both students and staff.
The integration of telecollaboration into the curriculum has highlighted problematic aspects of the development of intercultural communicative competence (ICC), such as cyberpragmatics (Yus, 2011). Cyberpragmatics is intended here as the skill of understanding others’ intended meanings in computer-mediated communication.
It is suggested that cyberpragmatics in online intercultural learning exchanges is a ‘Threshold Concept’ (TC) (Meyer & Land, 2005, p. 375), i.e. a key concept that is troublesome to understand as it is challenging to the identity of the learner, but which could open new learning horizons to the students who do manage to grasp it. It is proposed that cyberpragmatics is an integral components of ICC and that staff in Higher Education should support students to develop their global citizenship competences, including effective communication online in settings where English is used as the shared mean of online communication
- Global Citizenship
- Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC)
- Threshold Concept
- Action Research
- Online Intercultural Learning