This manuscript contributes to the existing body of literature on intercultural communicative competence (ICC) in the context of computer-mediated communication by examining how fourth-semester learners of Spanish (n = 18) display and develop ICC over the course of a semester. Novel to this study are: (1) the use of service-provider virtual exchanges to carry out the videoconferencing conversations between second language (L2) learners and native speakers (NSs) and (2) the use of both Byram's ICC objectives and Bennett's ethnocentric and ethnorelative perspectives to analyze students' written reflection papers following videoconferencing conversations with NSs. The use of these two frameworks allowed us to map how students conceptualize and experience cultural difference during videoconferencing exchanges and show how their interpretations evolve, shaping their attitudes toward and their beliefs about the target cultures and its speakers. Our findings indicate that instead of relying solely on Byram's ICC framework, as is traditional, combining aspects of Bennett's Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity with Byram's assessment guidelines is a fruitful and efficient way for foreign language instructors to accurately identify the developmental stage of their students and design appropriate instructional activities.
- NS-NNS interaction
- Service-provider virtual exchanges
- computer-mediated communication
- intercultural communication