A double blind peer reviewed online publication with in-print supplement since 2010    ISSN: 1949-260X

JTCLT Abstract

Volume 2 Number 2, 2011
Full issue PDF

Jiang, S. (2011). China-USA Culture Exchange Café: Practice and reflections on teaching culture on the web. Journal of Technology and Chinese Language Teaching, 2(2), 23-36.

Full paper


In recent years, the integration of the teaching of culture into the practice of teaching language has received increasing attention. Research on teaching second language and culture has shown that the integration of culture into study of the second language can provide critical support for learners‟ successful completion of communicative tasks in the target language environment. For second language educators, the most challenging aspect of integrating culture in language courses lies in how to effectively overcome culturally based barriers to communication and build communicative bridges spanning the cultural gap between their learners and speakers of the target language. As the Internet comes of age, the capabilities of the traditional classroom are being extended and expanded into the online universe, offering unprecedented possibilities for the teaching of the culture of second languages. This paper offers an overview and analysis of trial results using a web-based platform for intercultural dialogue developed at the University of Hawaii, the “ChinaUSA Business Café.” The Café features a series of online interactive tasks designed to teach culture to Chinese and American business students, including word association, sentence completion, situational response, comparison of and reflection on authentic materials, and free discussion forums. Assessment performed on trial implementation of these tasks shows that this web-based teaching platform can help remove cultural barriers and bridge the cultural gap, while at the same time pointing to needed improvements in the design of the exchange. This paper finds that through completion of culturally focused interactive tasks followed by reflection and discussion in the web-based intercultural exchange described, Chinese and American learners can not only deepen mutual understanding but also enhance their interpretive and expressive abilities in each other‟s target language.

近年来,文化的导入正在成为第二语言教学研究所关注的课 题。有关第二语言文化教学的研究显示第二语言文化的导入对于学习 者在目的语环境中能否成功地完成交际任务起着至关重要的作用。对 于第二语言教育者来说,语言课程上文化导入的最大挑战在于如何为 学习者在母语文化和目的语文化之间建立起沟通的桥梁,如何有效地 突破第二语言交际中存在的文化屏障。网络语言教学的成熟和完善使 传统的课堂得到了前所未有的延伸,也为第二语言的文化教学提供了 新的可能。本文通过对夏威夷大学研发的中美文化网络对话平台“中 美文化交流咖啡室” 的概括介绍和试用结果分析,展示“咖啡室”为文 化教学设计的一系列中美学生网上互动任务,如文化词汇系联、完成 句子、情境应对、真实语言材料的研习和反思,自由论坛等,阐明网 络平台在文化教学中所发挥的搭建桥梁和突破屏障的作用,探讨试用 过程中出现的问题和改进措施。本文认为网络平台上的文化互动不仅 能够使中美英汉两种语言的学习者通过网上任务的完成,分享、反思 和深化对彼此文化的理解,提高目的语的表达与交际能力,而且能够 实现语言及文字能力的共同提高。

This website is supported by
The TCLT Standing Committee
Department of World Languages, Literatrues, and Cultures, Middle Tennessee State University
Department of Chinese Language and Literature, University of Macau
Page last updated: 2016-12-31