Intercultural communicative competence in a social networking site for language learning
Based on the intercultural view of language teaching and the tenets of multimodal social semiotics, I analyze the semiotic design of Livemocha and the students¿ voices, perceptions and experiences with this SNSLL. This is a qualitative case study. The data was gathered during a semester through surveys, learning logs, focus groups, observations and screen recordings of the participants¿ activities on Livemocha. The data consisted of the site¿s documental information and the participants¿ voices. The semiotic design of Livemocha was analyzed by following the principles of multimodal social semiotics. And the students¿ commentaries were analyzed through discourse analysis in order to find indicators of Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC). The results suggest that Livemocha is a SNSLL that has the potential to promote ICC components such as attitudes, knowledge and skills of interpreting and relating and discovery and interaction. Both, the students¿ voices and the semiotic analysis of some learning units indicated that users could experience contact with other cultures through the contents of the site 16 and the possibilities to interact with members of other cultures. The findings of this study report pedagogical implications regarding the need of spaces for intercultural communication, development of critical skills and overcoming the current linguistic imperialism on language teaching practices.