Blogging: Fostering Intercultural Competence Development in Foreign Language and Study Abroad Contexts

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Abstract: An essential instructional goal in foreign language education is the enhancement of students' intercultural competence. This article reports on a study that examined how intercultural competence developed between study abroad and at home students (in Spain and the United States, respectively) who used blogs as a mediating tool over the course of a semester. The data, blogs and two questionnaires, were analyzed by applying Byram's (2000) assessment guidelines. The results showed that: (1) both study abroad and foreign language learners presented instances of intercultural competence as described in Byram's guidelines, with each group reflecting the unique characteristics of its context, and (2) blog interactions had a positive effect on the development of both groups' intercultural competence.

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