Cultural imperialism or pluralism? Cross-cultural electronic teaching in the humanities.
Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 2(3) pp. 249–264.
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This article addresses issues of linguistic and cultural diversity among students in international education settings. Can we develop approaches to teaching using computer-mediated communications that acknowledge and accommodate differences of language and culture? Or is an hegemony of the English language inevitable, along with associated cultural values and communicative preferences? These questions are discussed, and the issues illustrated, through analysis of two `global' teaching initiatives. The first is a Masters programme in Open and Distance Education offered partly online by the UK Open University. The other is a three-year research and development project, conducted by academics in five European countries, aimed at enabling students to communicate and debate their perspectives on Europe in a series of `virtual seminars' linked to a resource website. Some practical strategies in support of pluralism in the electronic environment are offered.
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