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ERIC Number: EJ805422
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
ISSN: ISSN-1094-3501
An Activity Theory Perspective on Student-Reported Contradictions in International Telecollaboration
Basharina, Olga K.
Language Learning & Technology, v11 n2 p82-103 Jun 2007
This process-oriented study focuses on contradictions that emerged in a WebCT bulletin board collaboration among English learners from Japan, Mexico and Russia, and explains them from the perspective of activity theory (Leont'ev, 1978, 1981; Engestrom, 1987, 1999). The study identified a) two "intra-cultural" contradictions--to post or not to post, to sound formal or informal; b) three "inter-cultural" contradictions--unequal contribution, genre clash/plagiarism, clash of topic choice; and c) three "technology-related" contradictions--message overload as hindering community formation, bulletin board as too "slow" when compared to chat, and names and gender confusion. These contradictions were catalyzed by the clash of curricula versus interactive learning paradigms (Lemke, 1998): the outcomes of different cultures-of-use of computer technologies (Thorne, 2003), instructors' mediation, and resources available to learners within their broader socio-cultural contexts. The study concludes with a discussion of whether the learning paradigms can be bridged and cultures-of-use of computer technologies aligned. (Contains 2 figures, 4 tables and 10 notes.)
University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center. 1859 East-West Road #106, Honolulu, HI 96822. Tel: 808-956-9424; Fax: 808-956-5983; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; Japan; Mexico; Russia