Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-wzw2p Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-30T08:10:46.946Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Learner autonomy versus guided reflection: How different methodologies affect intercultural development in online intercultural exchange

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 June 2019

Simeon Flowers
Aoyama Gakuin University, Japan (
Brent Kelsen
National Taipei University, Taiwan (
Bob Cvitkovic
Tokai University, Japan (


This paper presents the results of a study exploring the intercultural development of first-year Japanese university students engaged in online intercultural exchange (OIE) using two variations: one implementing guided reflection, and the other relying on the learner autonomy model. Intercultural development was quantitatively measured using the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (Chen & Starosta, 2000) and qualitatively investigated through participants’ written reflections. Results of the OIE using guided reflection showed significant gains in respect for the target culture, whereas the OIE that followed the autonomous learning model yielded significant gains in self-efficacy in relation to intercultural contact. Qualitative analysis of student reflections confirmed these findings and provided insight into the processes involved in achieving these results.

Regular papers
© European Association for Computer Assisted Language Learning 2019 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Aamaas, Å., Duesund, K. & Lauritzen, S. M. (2017) Placements abroad and scaffolding structures. Studies in Higher Education, 44(3): 539553. Advance online publication. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ash, S. L. & Clayton, P. H. (2004) The articulated learning: An approach to guided reflection and assessment. Innovative Higher Education, 29(2): 137154. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bandura, A. (2016) The power of observational learning through social modeling. In Sternberg, R. J., Fiske, S. T. &Foss, D. J. (eds.), Scientists making a difference: One hundred eminent behavioral and brain scientists talk about their most important contributions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 235239. Google Scholar
Bandura, A. & Locke, E. A. (2003) Negative self-efficacy and goal effects revisited. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(1): 8799. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bhattacharjee, S. S. (2014) Legal protection for migrant trainees in Japan: Using international standards to evaluate shifts in Japanese immigration policy. University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, 35(4): 11491173. Google Scholar
Blyth, C. (2018) Immersive technologies and language learning. Foreign Language Annals, 51(1): 225232. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Breen, I., Record, M. & Fuda Daddio, J. (2015) Harnessing the potential of the LMS for faculty development and administrative purposes. In Rutledge, D. & Slykhuis, D. (eds.), Proceedings of the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2015. Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), 13281333. Google Scholar
Bruffee, K. A. (1999) Collaborative learning: Higher education, interdependence, and the authority of knowledge. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
Byram, M. (1997) Teaching and assessing intercultural communicative competence. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
Campbell, C. J. L. & Walta, C. (2015) Maximising intercultural learning in short term international placements: Findings associated with orientation programs, guided reflection and immersion. The Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 40(10): 115. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chen, G.-M. & Starosta, W. J. (2000) The development and validation of the Intercultural Sensitivity Scale. Human Communication, 3(2000): 115. Google Scholar
Cho, S. E. (2010) Cross-cultural comparison of Korean and American social network sites: Exploring cultural differences in social relationships and self-presentation. The State University of New Jersey, unpublished PhD.Google Scholar
Craig, E. M. (2007) Changing paradigms: Managed learning environments and Web 2.0. Campus-Wide Information Systems, 24(3): 152161. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dong, Q., Day, K. D. & Collaço, C. M. (2008) Overcoming ethnocentrism through developing intercultural communication sensitivity and multiculturalism. Human Communication, 11(1): 2738. Google Scholar
EVOLVE. (2018) EVOLVE (Evidence-Validated Online Learning through Virtual Exchange). Google Scholar
Flowers, S. D. (2015) Developing intercultural communication in an ELF program through digital pen pal exchange. The Center for ELF Journal, 1(1): 2539. Google Scholar
Flowers, S. D. & Kelsen, B. A. (2016) Digital sojourn: Empowering learners through English as a lingua franca. In Clements, P., Krause, A. &Brown, H. (eds.), Focus on the learner. Tokyo: JALT. Google Scholar
Fritz, W., Mollenberg, A. & Chen, G.-M. (2001) Measuring intercultural sensitivity in different cultural context. Proceedings of the Biannual Meeting of the International Association for Intercultural Communication Studies. Hong Kong, 24–29 July. Google Scholar
Gallois, C. (2003) Reconciliation through communication in intercultural encounters: Potential or peril? Journal of Communication, 53(1): 515. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Glaser, B. G. & Strauss, A. L. (1967) The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. New York: Aldine.Google Scholar
Guth, S., Helm, F. & O’Dowd, R. (2012) University language classes collaborating online: Report on the integration of telecollaborative networks in European universities. Google Scholar
Hanna, B. E. & de Nooy, J. (2009) Learning language and culture via public Internet discussion forums. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Helm, F. (2013) A dialogic model for telecollaboration. Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature, 6(2): 2848. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Horwitz, E. K., Horwitz, M. B. & Cope, J. (1986) Foreign language classroom anxiety. The Modern Language Journal, 70(2): 125132. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Houghton, S. (2009) The role of intercultural communicative competence in the development of world Englishes and lingua francas. 3L: The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies, 15(2009): 6995. Google Scholar
Hülmbauer, C., Böhringer, H. & Seidlhofer, B. (2008) Introducing English as a lingua franca (ELF): Precursor and partner in intercultural communication. Synergies Europe, 3(2008): 2536. Google Scholar
Jenkins, J. (2009) English as a lingua franca: Interpretations and attitudes. World Englishes, 28(2): 200207. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ke, I.-C. & Cahyani, H. (2014) Learning to become users of English as a lingua franca (ELF): How ELF online communication affects Taiwanese learners’ beliefs of English. System, 46: 2838. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kirschner, L. L. (2015) Combining Skype with blogging: A chance to stop reinforcement of stereotypes in intercultural exchanges? The EuroCALL Review, 23(1): 2430. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kitano, K. (2001) Anxiety in the college Japanese language classroom. The Modern Language Journal, 85(4): 549566. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kolb, D. A. (1984) Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
Leask, B. (2015) Internationalizing the curriculum. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Lee, L. (2011) Blogging: Promoting learner autonomy and intercultural competence through study abroad. Language Learning & Technology, 15(3): 87109. Google Scholar
Levy, M. & Stockwell, G. (2006) CALL dimensions: Options and issues in computer-assisted language learning. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
Liddicoat, A. J. & Scarino, A. (2013) Intercultural language teaching and learning. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Linacre, J. M. (2002) Optimizing rating scale category effectiveness. Journal of Applied Measurement, 3(1): 85106.Google ScholarPubMed
Linacre, J. M. (2009) A user’s guide to WINSTEPS: Rasch-model computer program. Chicago: MESA.Google Scholar
Little, D. (1996) Freedom to learn and compulsion to interact: Promoting learner autonomy through the use of information systems and information technologies. In Pemberton, R., Li, E. S. L., Or, W. W. F. &Pierson, H. D. (eds.), Taking control: Autonomy in language learning. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 203218.Google Scholar
Little, D. & Thorne, S. L. (2017) From learner autonomy to rewilding: A discussion. In Cappellini, M., Lewis, T. &Mompean, A. R. (eds.), Learner autonomy and Web 2.0. Sheffield: Equinox, 1235.Google Scholar
Luo, H. & Gui, M. (2018) Review of Online Intercultural Exchange: Policy, pedagogy, practice. Language Learning & Technology, 22(1): 5659. Google Scholar
MacIntyre, P. D. & Gardner, R. C. (1994) The subtle effects of language anxiety on cognitive processing in the second language. Language Learning, 44(2): 283305. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
MEXT. (2010, June 21) The concept of global human resource development focusing on the East Asian region. Google Scholar
Morisano, D., Hirsh, J. B., Peterson, J. B., Pihl, R. O. & Shore, B. M. (2010) Setting, elaborating, and reflecting on personal goals improves academic performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95(2): 255264. CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Nicolas, F. (2016) Regional production networks in East Asia– a focus on China, Japan and Korea. In Taylor, R. & Andreosso-O’Callaghan, B. (eds.), Emerging Asian economies and MNCs strategies. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 3658. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
O’Dowd, R. (2010) Issues in the assessment of online interaction and exchange. In Guth, S. & Helm, F. (eds.), Telecollaboration 2.0: Language, literacies and intercultural learning in the 21st century. Bern: Peter Lang, 337358.Google Scholar
O’Dowd, R. (2016) Emerging trends and new directions in telecollaborative learning. CALICO Journal, 33(3): 291310. Google Scholar
O’Dowd, R. (2018) From telecollaboration to virtual exchange: State-of-the-art and the role of UNICollaboration in moving forward. Journal of Virtual Exchange, 1: 123. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pedersen, P. J. (2009) Teaching towards an ethnorelative worldview through psychology study abroad. Intercultural Education, 20(Suppl.1): S73S86. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pedersen, P. J. (2010) Assessing intercultural effectiveness outcomes in a year-long study abroad program. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 34(1): 7080. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Peng, S.-Y. (2006) A comparative perspective of intercultural sensitivity between college students and multinational employees in China. Multicultural Perspectives, 8(3): 3845. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pinkman, K. (2005) Using blogs in the foreign language classroom: Encouraging learner independence. The JALT CALL Journal, 1(1): 1224. Google Scholar
Reiman, A. J. (1999) The evolution of the social roletaking and guided reflection framework in teacher education: Recent theory and quantitative synthesis of research. Teaching and Teacher Education, 15(6): 597612. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Reinders, H. & White, C. (2016) 20 years of autonomy and technology: How far have we come and where to next? Language Learning & Technology, 20(2): 143154. Google Scholar
Sato, K., Shimizu, J., Shrestha, N. & Zhang, S. (2013) Industry-specific real effective exchange rates and export price competitiveness: The cases of Japan, China, and Korea. Asian Economic Policy Review, 8(2): 298321. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Savin-Baden, M. & Major, C. H. (2013) Qualitative research: The essential guide to theory and practice. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Schunk, D. H. (1990) Goal setting and self-efficacy during self-regulated learning. Educational Psychologist, 25(1): 7186. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shatz, I. (2015) The negative impact of goal-oriented instructions. Educational Studies, 41(5): 476480. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sivan, E. (1986) Motivation in social constructivist theory. Educational Psychologist, 21(3): 209233. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sockett, G. & Toffoli, D. (2012) Beyond learner autonomy: A dynamic systems view of the informal learning of English in virtual online communities. ReCALL, 24(2): 138151. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sorrentino, D. M. (2006) The SEEK mentoring program: An application of the goal-setting theory. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, 8(2): 241250. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Steel, C. H. & Levy, M. (2013) Language students and their technologies: Charting the evolution 2006–2011. ReCALL, 25(3): 306320. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Teddlie, C. & Tashakkori, A. (2009) Foundations of mixed methods research: Integrating quantitative and qualitative approaches in the social and behavioral sciences. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
Wang, R., Rechl, F., Bigontina, S., Fang, D., Günthner, W. A. & Fottner, J. (2017) Enhancing intercultural competence of engineering students via GVT (global virtual teams)-based virtual exchanges: An international collaborative course in intralogistics education. International Conference e-Learning 2017. Lisbon, Portugal, 20–22 July. Google Scholar
Williams, K. E. & Andrade, M. R. (2008) Foreign language learning anxiety in Japanese EFL university classes: Causes, coping, and locus of control. Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 5(2): 181191. Google Scholar
Woo, Y. & Reeves, T. C. (2007) Meaningful interaction in web-based learning: A social constructivist interpretation. The Internet and Higher Education, 10(1): 1525. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Yonezawa, A. (2014) Japan’s challenge of fostering “global human resources”: Policy debates and practices. Japan Labour Review, 11(2): 3752. Google Scholar
Young, D. J. (1991) Creating a low-anxiety classroom environment: What does language anxiety research suggest? The Modern Language Journal, 75(4): 426437. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zhang, Y. B., Lin, M.-C., Nonaka, A. & Beom, K. (2005) Harmony, hierarchy and conservatism: A cross-cultural comparison of Confucian values in China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Communication Research Reports, 22(2): 107115. CrossRefGoogle Scholar