Marina Orsini-Jones and Fiona Lee. Intercultural Communicative Competence for Global Citizenship. Identifying cyberpragmatic rules of engagement in telecollaboration. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. Pp. i-xix, 1-135. ISBN 978-1-137-58102-0 ISBN 978-1-137-58103-7 (eBook).
Reviewed by Grigore-Dan Iordăchescu, 1 Decembrie 1918 University of Alba Iulia
The book titled Intercultural Communicative Competence for Global Citizenship. Identifying cyberpragmatic rules of engagement in telecollaboration brings novel approaches to Computer Mediated Communication, based on practical outcomes from a small-scale online international learning (OIL) project, i.e., CoCo, carried out during the academic year 2015–2016, between UK and France. It provides useful insights into the contribution of OIL projects to the internationalisation of the Higher Education (HE) curriculum as well as to the development of global citizenship competences, with a focus on intercultural communicative competence (ICC) in the digital era. The authors structured the book into seven chapters, concentrating on essential pragmatics concepts revisited within the cyberspace and describing the project methodology and findings.
Chapter 1, Introduction provides an overview of the topics presented in the volume, with clear definitions and eloquent examples, i.e., Online International Learning (OIL), Intercultural communicative competence (ICC), Telecollaboration, Internationalisation of the curriculum (IoC), Threshold concept (TC), Global citizenship, and Cyberpragmatics.
Chapter 2, Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC) Revisited brings forth an account of the historical evolution of the concepts of Communicative Competence (CC) and Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC), while at the same time examining the impact of the World Wide Web, coupled with the extensive use of Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) on the re-conceptualisation of ICC and its reassessed characteristics. It emphasises the value of integrating telecollaboration into the Higher Education curriculum with a view to creating global citizenship competences for the digital age in Higher Education.
Chapter 3, Cyberpragmatics advances a comprehensive definition of cyberpragmatics seen as a professional as well as an academic genre-specific online ‘savoir-être’. It explores the theoretical foundations of the term, coined by Yus (2011), and brings forth examples of cyberpragmatic findings from similar research. Moreover, it gives an overview of the politeness theory (Brown, & Levinson 1987) and politeness principle (Leech 1983, 2014). The authors explain the blurring line between oral and written language that may occur in the case of online communication and how this affects students. The chapter also provides a clear-cut definition of the threshold concept (TC) pedagogy, upholding that Intercultural Cyberpragmatic Communicative Competence (ICCC) may be subsumed to TC. The authors advocate curricular scaffolding in HE in order to assist students with reflecting on and practising ICCC. Last but not least, the chapter presents the research question that this study aims to address.
Chapter 4, The ‘CoCo’ Telecollaborative Project: Internationalisation at Home to Foster Global Citizenship Competences presents the CoCo (Coventry Colmar) telecollaborative course, along with the tasks devised and/or adopted for it, e.g., the Cultura Quizzes. It demonstrates the successful integration of CoCo into the curriculum and assessment of the two participating institutions and how students managed to apply critical digital literacies for global citizenship through active learning. The authors make an overview of research instruments and materials, including the frameworks of analysis and their application. Useful figures and tables illustrating the telecollaborative project structure, the politeness frameworks and strategies applied are also included.
The fifth chapter, ‘CoCo’ Research Questions and Answers, delves further into the research questions of this study, at the same time offering a rationale for the analysis decisions taken as part of the asynchronous discussion forums with reference to tasks devised for the CoCo telecollaborative project. It tackles the impact of linguistic politeness theory frameworks on how project participants manage to negotiate politeness online. As for the asynchronous interactions in the CoCo forum, politeness strategies and facework employed by the CoCo interactants are interpreted from a cyberpragmatic standpoint through the application of Brown and Levinson’s and Leech’s politeness frameworks of analysis.
Chapter 6, Emerging Online Politeness Patterns, brings forth a thorough account of the results obtained from the analysis of interactants’ exchanges carried out on the asynchronous discussion forums, with respect to the tasks devised for the telecollaborative CoCo project. In particular, three online exchanges were used in order to highlight patterns of linguistic behaviour, i.e., type and frequency of politeness strategies or maxims.
The final chapter, Conclusion, presents the summary of findings, limitations and further research suggestions as well as pedagogical implications for teachers and students alike. The politeness frameworks of analysis provided by Brown and Levinson (1978) and Leech (1983), applied to cybercommunication are outlined and explained. The results revealed particular problematical areas in the field of cyberpragmatics, underpinning the challenges that students may face in telecollaboration, leading to the conclusion that detailed and structured task scaffolding is necessary in such collaborative activities.
All in all, the book is an extremely useful tool for all stakeholders in the tertiary education landscape. It is a must read for language teachers, teacher trainers, trainees and educators from all educational systems across the globe.
Brown, P., & Levinson, S.C. (1987). Politeness: Some universals in language usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Leech, G. (1983). Principles of politeness. Harlow: Longman.
Leech, G. (2014). The pragmatics of politeness. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Yus, F. (2011). Cyberpragmatics: Internet-mediated communication in context. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
How to cite this article: Iordăchescu, G.-D. (2020). Marina Orsini-Jones and Fiona Lee. Intercultural Communicative Competence for Global Citizenship. Identifying cyberpragmatic rules of engagement in telecollaboration. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. Pp. i-xix, 1-135. ISBN 978-1-137-58102-0 ISBN 978-1-137-58103-7 (eBook). Journal of Linguistic and Intercultural Education – JoLIE, 13, 201-203. DOI: https://doi.org/10.29302/jolie.2020.13.13
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