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Title: English as a lingua franca for online intercultural communication among Thai international students in the UK
Author: Sangiamchit, Chittima
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 4011
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2017
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The use of English as the language of online intercultural communication among users of different first languages and cultures is an established phenomenon. However, there has been little research into the extensive use of English as a lingua franca (ELF) in more recent developments such as online and social network sites (SNSs) in particular. With regard to the myriad of linguistic and cultural resources that ELF users have brought into their online intercultural communication and the multimodality of online mediums, this thesis is concerned with complexity in the use of English for online intercultural communication. This thesis aims to explicate the roles of cultures and essential intercultural communicative competence (ICC) for successful online intercultural communication. It also investigates the perceptions of online English users towards English in the dynamic, fluid and emergent field of online intercultural communication. This thesis is predominantly qualitative in order to probe the investigated phenomenon. The fieldwork took place over eight months at the selected UK university and also on Facebook, as this was the most popular SNS among the research participants. The participants in this thesis are Thai international students living and studying in the UK. Five of them formed the core of this study, as they were English users who had experienced using English online with people with different first languages and cultures. Drawing data from multi-research methods (online questionnaires, observation of online conversations, interviews and a focus group), the findings of this thesis demonstrate that communicative meanings are not represented and constructed only through languages but also with the support of the multimodal features of the online medium. The findings further suggest that the participants contain different levels of intercultural awareness in online intercultural communication through ELF and, as such, cultures and English language in this context are dynamic, fluid and emergent in each instance of online intercultural communication. Further, English language and cultures are not tied to native English norms for the former or nation based cultures for the latter; rather there are variations of English use online and cultures through English language are shuttled around within individual, local, national and global frames of reference. As a result, the role of intercultural communicative competence (ICC) has become clear in terms of its manipulation and negotiation of communicative meanings for successful online intercultural communication. The essential ICCs needed for communicating with multilingual and multicultural users successfully are knowledge, skills of interpreting and relating, skills of discovery and interaction, critical cultural awareness, attitudes and multimodal symbolism. Online intercultural communicative competence provides the knowledge for online English users to be aware of English variations and help them to improve their ability to communicate in English efficiently in a real world and currently popular context.
Supervisor: Baker, William ; Jenkins, Jennifer Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available