I-Chung Ke 

Yuan Ze University, Taiwan



The popularity of the internet enables people to communicate at a low cost. Moreover, as English continues to spread globally within educational systems in various countries, the language barrier between speakers of a different fist language is gradually fading. People of a different first language now use English as a lingua franca (ELF) to communicate with each other. In the past, most studies on intercultural communication involved native-speakers and non-native speakers of a language (Sharifian, 2009a, p.4). There was insufficient attention to intercultural communication in a lingua franca setting when both sides use a second language to communicate. This paper draws from the findings from five ELF intercultural projects conducted by the author to discuss how cultural frameworks in ELF settings influence students’ online written communication. Students’ email and forum records as well as their reflections of the experience participating in the project were qualitatively analyzed to identify communication gaps. Preconceptions derived from the students’ own culture, stereotypes about their partner’s culture, influence from the students’ L1, and incongruent understanding of certain English words were found to play key roles in ELF intercultural communication. Issues in ELF intercultural communication and its implications for ELT in Taiwan are discussed.


Key Words: ELF, intercultural communication, online communication, EIL








由於網路與英語普及,過去溝通障礙逐漸消失,因此跨文化溝通日益增加。過去跨文化溝通研究大多關注母語和非母語者間的交流(Sharifian, 2009a),研究彼此母語都非英語的情況(以英語為共通語-ELF)並不多。作者於過去三年內,在課堂中共進行了五個ELF線上非同步跨文化溝通交流計畫,而本研究以此為基礎,分析學生電子郵件、線上討論區留言、參與交流之心得,探討此類交流中之溝通現象,發現學生常以自身文化的角度產生特定先入為主的觀念,並對交流對象有文化刻板印象,此外,學生的英語使用的確影響交流,由於交流雙方都受到自己母語的影響,且對英語語言詞意掌握度不佳,在表達及理解上都可能產生問題。最後本研究討論以英語為共通語之跨文化溝通相關議題及對台灣英語教學的啟示。


關鍵字: 英語為共通語、跨文化溝通、線上交流、英語為國際語