Comments

Computer Assisted Language Learning is published by Routledge/Taylor and Francis.

Abstract

This study investigates the effect of CMC participation on language learners’ willingness to learn more about the target culture through study abroad. Also, it seeks to discern whether CMCactivities improve language learners’ self-perception that they have learned more about the target culture. An experimental group of 23 U.S. university students engaged in CMC with Mexican university students with a control group of 38 students from the U.S. university. We administered a questionnaire grouped thematically around seven topics. The data suggest that CMC may have a more positive effect on the acquisition of cultural awareness of students that engage in CMC than on those who do not. A conclusion could be drawn that CMC is most effective for increasing awareness about the topic of current events, followed by daily life and educational systems. The most significant increase in the experimental group’s perceived awareness of culture was in the students’ changing point of view about current events, ability to name two possible majors of a Hispanic student, acquisition of first-hand information about daily life in a Hispanic country, and knowledge about what a Hispanic college student does for fun. In addition, the majority of students in both groups agreed that knowing someone personally in a particular country would make them more inclined to study abroad. The conclusions are significant in that they suggest how CMC not only may expand cultural awareness of selected topics, but also likely augments student desire to study abroad.

Disciplines

Anthropological Linguistics and Sociolinguistics | Applied Linguistics | First and Second Language Acquisition | Spanish Linguistics