Reconsidering Attitude as a Relational, Negotiated Sociocognitive Construct

Understanding Attitude in Intercultural Virtual Communication - Ana Oskoz

Zsuzsanna Abrams [+-]
University of California Santa Cruz
Zsuzsanna I. Abramsis Professor of Applied Linguistics and Multilingualism at the University of California Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on computer-mediated communication, computer-supported collaborative L2 writing, L2 pragmatic development, and language pedagogy. She applies her research to help learners develop the ability to use the L2 in real-world communicative situations by engaging them actively in analyzing authentic materials and interacting in the L2 as it is used by culturally complex communities of practice. Her research has been published in the CALICO Journal, CALL and Language Learning and Technology, among other venues.


Byram’s (1997) seminal work on intercultural communication identified attitude as an essential components of intercultural competence, defined as curiosity and openness towards other cultures and regarding one’s own (Byram, 1997; Lee, 2018; Schenker, 2012). After briefly contextualizing intercultural communication, this conceptual chapter connects research on telecollaboration to scholarship on attitude in L2 learning, specifically examining the role of attitude in yielding successful or unsuccessful telecollaborative projects. Next, informed by sociocognitive theory (Atkinson, 2011; Tóth & Davin, 2016) the discussion turns to a reconsideration of attitude as dynamic and relational, shaped by the participants and the pedagogical context in which they participate (e.g., the use of technology and the specific tasks learners are asked to complete). The chapter concludes with pedagogical guidelines for task design that foster the development of positive attitudes as relational skills contributing to intercultural communicative competence and intercultural citizenship (Byram & Wagner, 2018; Huber & Reynolds, 2014).

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Abrams, Zsuzsanna. Reconsidering Attitude as a Relational, Negotiated Sociocognitive Construct. Understanding Attitude in Intercultural Virtual Communication. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Apr 2020. ISBN 9781781799376. Date accessed: 17 Oct 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.39220. Apr 2020

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