International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching
Abstract:This study discusses the results of an online intercultural chat task designed to see whether students from different cultural backgrounds, with different English language abilities, with different L1s and who had dif- ferent academic interests would be willing to communicate using English—the target language. Taiwanese university students who were marine science majors (lower prociency) chatted electronically in small groups with Japanese university students who had been studying English intensively for two years (higher prociency). Student comments taken from a questionnaire indicate that both groups were invigorated and willing to communicate becaue of the task; it was considered meaningful because it provided an opportunity to use English in a realistic way, represented the only means to communicate with their overseas partners and helped students to empathize with their new peers. To sum up briey, text-based chat can be useful for EFL and ESL teachers as a tool for language learning students, providing learners with “real” target language opportunities for communication.