There is no systematic cross-cultural study on intercultural online interactions, although some intercultural studies have been carried out in face-to-face contexts. Researches on intercultural communication on the Internet is becoming increasingly ur ...
There is no systematic cross-cultural study on intercultural online interactions, although some intercultural studies have been carried out in face-to-face contexts. Researches on intercultural communication on the Internet is becoming increasingly urgent because we live in one global village (McLuhan 1962), communicating by computer networks, and the Internet is a hub that is becoming more and more important in modern societies. Our study aims to be a foundation and a stimulus for the future researches.
This study shows that we have to revise the theoretical framework on which intercultural studies are based, and to prepare both a theoretical context and an empirical basis for online intercultural communication. The next step for future research is to map out the contextual parameters on the Internet, e.g., formal-informal context, public-private context, male-female context, or the social factors, e.g., solidarity, power and distance.
In addition, this study has immediate application to the teaching of EFL (English as a Foreign Language) in Korea, which is a major strategic priority area in Korean education policy. The model of online intercultural interaction in this study will provide an example for innovative language and culture education. For example, this study will encourage language teachers to use the practical methods used in the study, such as keypal programs and e-mail projects, in their classrooms from primary schools to tertiary educations including schools for adults.
Also, our research on the positive and the negative aspects of Konglish in intercultural communications can contribute to increased emphasis on communicative competence (Hymes 1972). These kinds of research will help EFL learners acknowledge not only grammatical miscommunication but also sociocultural miscommunication. The ESL learners will pay more attention to diverse cultural social norms, different language behaviors, and pragmatic differences in language use.
Finally, we hope that this study can contribute to the training and upgrading of language skills in Korean business people, scientists and public servants in their intercultural contacts, not only with native English speakers, but also with speakers of other languages who use English for international communication.