Using an E-Mail Exchange to Promote Cultural Learning


  • Tammy Jandrey Hertel PhD

    1. Juniata College
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      Tammy Jandrey Hertel (PhD, Pennsylvania State University) is Assistant Professor of Spanish at Juniata College, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.


Abstract: This study describes an intercultural e-mail exchange at the college level. Students in a beginning Spanish class in the United States and an intermediate English as a second language class in Mexico corresponded weekly for one semester. The U.S. students also wrote reflective papers and completed surveys before and after the exchange regarding their attitudes toward their own and Mexican cultures and their perceptions of the exchange itself. Quantitative and qualitative data from these papers and surveys are presented and discussed. Although students recognized the limited amount they were able to learn in one semester, they responded positively to the exchange and felt that their attitudes toward and perceptions about Mexican culture were influenced by the experience. Suggestions for implementing electronic exchanges are offered.