Volume 4, Issue 1  April 2021, pp. 75–89          Download PDF

Special Issue Articles
Shaping the teaching and learning of intercultural communication through virtual mobility

Theresa Catalano https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7519-030X1, Andrea Muñoz Barriga https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0275-65282

1 University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA tcatalano2@unl.edu
2 Universidad de La Salle, COLOMBIA amunoz@unisalle.edu.co

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29140/ice.v4n1.443


The globally mobile reality of today’s world has made the field of intercultural communication increasingly relevant as people more often find themselves in intercultural situations. As a result, language teachers must be more prepared to work in intercultural contexts, and to teach their own students how to communicate across differences in intercultural situations both physically and virtually. The present paper examines this special issue’s topic of physical and virtual mobility and intercultural competence through the lens of teacher education. Using narrative inquiry, two teacher educators in very different geographic and socio-economic contexts (US and Colombia) explore their own attempts at developing intercultural communication in teacher learners through a WhatsApp pen pal exchange project in their intercultural communication classes before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings reveal different ways in which virtual mobility and other affordances of WhatsApp can be harnessed to achieve various aims of intercultural education, but also how activities such as the pen pal exchange can be improved in order to align more with current theories of intercultural communication.


© Theresa Catalano, Andrea Muñoz Barriga

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Suggested citation

Catalano, T., & Muñoz Barriga, A. (2021). Shaping the teaching and learning of intercultural communication through virtual mobility. Intercultural Communication Education, 4(1), 75–89. https://doi.org/10.29140/ice.v4n1.443

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