Using online learning objects to develop intercultural awareness in ELT: a critical examination in a Thai higher education setting , London, GB British Council
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E-learning offers many new pedagogic opportunities as well as challenges but while it has grown in prominence, it is still far from a ‘normalised’ part of English Language Teaching (ELT). Similarly, the significance of the cultural dimension in ELT has also gained in importance. However, the use of English as a global lingua franca, going beyond the traditional ‘native speaker’ English countries, has resulted in a need for a more intercultural approach to ELT that recognises this role for English. This study investigated the development of an online course in intercultural communication and intercultural awareness for a group of English language learners in a setting in which English predominantly functions as a lingua franca. A 15 hour independent study online course was developed and delivered to 31 students and six teachers from a higher education institute in Thailand. The interactive online materials for the course are presented and discussed in this paper as well as student and teacher opinion. The findings demonstrate generally positive responses to both the course contents and the course delivery through e-learning. However, while most of the participants gave the course positive ratings, many still felt they would have preferred a face-to-face course. In relation to the course content the participants had very favourable attitudes and responses to learning about intercultural communication and global Englishes
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