Communication Barriers and Conflicts in Cross-Cultural E-Learning

Communication Barriers and Conflicts in Cross-Cultural E-Learning

Rita Zaltsman (International Center of Modern Education–Prague, Czech Republic)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-166-7.ch019
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Abstract

The present chapter assesses the key questions of communication barriers in distance learning virtual communities. To examine their cultural aspects, a Web-survey for distance learners has been conducted. The principal areas of interest were a cultural dichotomy of West/East; discrepancies in educational cultures (teacher-centered vs. learner-centered); mismatches in communication and educational traditions in different cultures; conflict paradigm and methods of conflict resolution. The findings of the survey are summarized and interpreted and some implications for further research are discussed.
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Background

“Culture is always a collective phenomenon ... it is the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another...it is learned, not inherited” (Hofstede, 1991, p. 5). G. Hofstede’s classical definitions and his comparative cultural analyses remain the benchmark for discussion of national cultures. According to Hofstede, culturally-diverse groups have less similarity than monocultural groups due to different orientations to nature, environment, time, relationships, activities, and so forth. The adaptation of the cross-cultural teams to virtual learning is often accompanied by psychological discomfort, stress, frustration, the feeling of being isolated (Munro, 2002; Suler, 2002). Due to discrepancies in conflict management traditions in different cultures, their inter- and intra-communication sometimes result in intercultural conflicts.

In this chapter, intercultural conflict is defined as the perceived or actual incompatibility of values, norms, processes, or goals between a minimum of two cultural parties over content, identity, relational, and procedural issues. (Ting-Toomey, 1999).

To better understand the nature of communication pitfalls in learning communities, several dimensions for cultural comparison have been offered:

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Foreword
Chao-Han Liu
Chapter 1
Lorna Uden, Nian-Shing Chen, Chun-Wang Wei, Jui-Chu Fan
The implementation of Online Synchronous Learning (OSL) poses many challenges to existing instruction technology theory because of the complexity of... Sample PDF
Online Synchronous English Learning from Activity Theory Perspectives
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Chapter 2
Eva Lindgren, Kirk P.H. Sullivan, Mats Deutschmann, Anders Steinvall
In a case study a University class undertook a translation from Swedish to English in a keystroke logging environment and then replayed their... Sample PDF
Supporting Learner Reflection in the Language Translation Class
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Chapter 3
Katsunori Kotani, Takehiko Yoshimi, Takeshi Kutsumi, Ichiko Sata, Hitoshi Isahara
In this chapter, the authors examined reading evaluation methods for foreign language learners based on learners’ reading processes. The goal of... Sample PDF
A Reading Evaluation Method for English as a Foreign Language Learners Based on Reading Performances
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Chapter 4
Robert Ariew, Jeremy Palmer
Enrollments in Arabic language programs are rapidly growing throughout the United States. Until recently, Arabic has received minimal attention in... Sample PDF
Developing Hypertext Reading Materials for the Teaching of Arabic
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Chapter 5
Bolanle A. Olaniran
This chapter explores computer-mediated communication (CMC) and information communication technology (ICT) use in language learning. More... Sample PDF
Culture and Language Learning in Computer-Enhanced or Assisted Language Learning
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Chapter 6
Indi Marie Williams, Heather N. Warren, Bolanle A. Olaniran
Within a globalized society, foreign language acquisition is essential to promote intercultural global communication. For many, the use of... Sample PDF
Achieving Cultural Acquiescence Through Foreign Language E-Learning
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Chapter 7
Eleonora Pantano, Assunta Tavernise
This chapter aims at illustrating how Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) could be used to exploit and disseminate Cultural Heritage... Sample PDF
Learning Cultural Heritage Through Information and Communication Technologies: A Case Study
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Chapter 8
Wei-Peng Lien, Rita Kuo, Maiga Chang
This project aimed to construct a Blended Learning model with a lecture-review Web site, which would support students’ self-learning at home or in... Sample PDF
Using Blended Learning to Teach Foreign Brides Chinese
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Chapter 9
Terence Murphy
One central task faced by those interested in the corpus analysis of second language writing is how to measure ESL textual sophistication. While... Sample PDF
Exploring the Concept of Emergent Coherence in a Corpus of Korean EFL Texts
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Chapter 10
Giuseppe Conti, Raffaele De Amicis, Gabrio Girardi, Michele Andreolli, Stefano Piffer
In the past years the adoption of computer graphics to improve learning experience has seen a rising success. The wide availability of dedicated... Sample PDF
The Role of Interactive Computer Graphics to Augment the Learning Experience of Cultural Heritage Within Museums and Expositions
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Chapter 11
Yue Ming, Zhenjiang Miao
This chapter was inspired by the work of the designers of a Mandarin language e-learning as they attempted to find the best solution to deal with... Sample PDF
A Mandarin E-Learning System in Pervasive Environment
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Chapter 12
Jiyou Jia
Computer Simulation in Educational Communication (CSIEC), is not only an intelligent Web-based human-computer dialogue system with natural language... Sample PDF
An Intelligent Web-Based Human-Computer Interaction System with Natural Language CSIEC and its Integration into English Instruction
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Chapter 13
Hamdi Erkunt
Can a traditional college course be enhanced with online collaborative learning, with similar attributes to knowledge work in the modern world? Can... Sample PDF
Developing Electronic Portfolios in a Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Environment
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Chapter 14
Min Kang
The goal of this chapter is to explain several experiments carried out by our research group to explore whether synthetic speech can be currently... Sample PDF
Synthetic Speech in Computer-Enhanced Foreign Language Learning
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Chapter 15
Niki Lambropoulos, Martha Christopoulou, Kosmas Vlachos
This chapter presents culture-based language-learning objects (CLLOs) in computer-assisted language learning (CALL), supported by user-centered... Sample PDF
Culture-Based Language Learning Objects: A CALL Approach for a Ubiquitous World
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Chapter 16
Nektaria Palaiologou
Nowadays, it is a common ascertainment that information and communication technologies (ICTs) and networked learning are not easy to access for many... Sample PDF
Intercultural Dimensions in the Information Society: Reflections on Designing and Developing Culturally Oriented Learning
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Chapter 17
Karen L. Murphy, Yakut Gazi, Lauren Cifuentes
This chapter addresses the question, “How can we overcome potential cultural discontinuities in online collaborative project-based learning... Sample PDF
Intercultural Collaborative Project-Based Learning in Online Environments
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Chapter 18
Diane Boehm, Lilianna Aniola-Jedrzejek
This chapter presents seven principles of good practice for conducting virtual international collaborations with students. The authors have... Sample PDF
Seven Principles of Good Practice for Virtual International Collaboration
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Chapter 19
Rita Zaltsman
The present chapter assesses the key questions of communication barriers in distance learning virtual communities. To examine their cultural... Sample PDF
Communication Barriers and Conflicts in Cross-Cultural E-Learning
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About the Contributors