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Exploring the potential of social network sites in relation to intercultural communication

Lang, Anouk (2012) Exploring the potential of social network sites in relation to intercultural communication. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education. ISSN 1474-0222

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This article reports on the results of a project which used a social network site to support students on a year abroad and to foster informal learning, particularly in the area of intercultural communication. The project employed a peer-mentoring structure to solve the problem of role conflict, in which users of these sites may feel some tension as the academic and social dimensions – two contexts usually kept fairly separate – of their lives collide. This article describes how students used the site, reports on the benefits of the project to both students and mentors, and sets out some recommendations for increasing the sustainability of social network sites as pedagogical tools in other educational contexts.