The Effect of Cross-Cultural Videoconferencing on EFL Learners' English Production
Keywords:Global Education, cross-cultural communication, Internet project
Unlike English as a second language (ESL) learners, English as a foreign language (EFL) learners do not have genuine interaction in English with native English speakers in their daily lives. This environment prevents them from receiving comprehensible input and output, often leading to poor English proficiency among EFL learners. As a way to improve the situation, EFL researchers are eyeing the benefits of videoconferencing as it can bring English speakers into the classroom. However, previous literature on videoconferencing in the EFL context has not investigated the role of information gap as a motivator for students to engage in active English discussion. The present study investigated whether cross-cultural videoconferencing is more effective for EFL learners’ English production than uni-cultural videoconferencing by comparing a cross-cultural videoconferencing discussion between Japanese and Mexican students with a uni-cultural videoconferencing discussion between two groups of Japanese students. The results indicated that the Japanese students’ English production as well as negotiation of meaning increased when they talked with the Mexican students. The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that information gaps between Japanese and Mexican cultures are an important factor for generating active discussion in English, and this study suggests that cross-cultural videoconferencing can be an effective tool for EFL learning.
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