Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on Communication and Language in Virtual Spaces, January 2023    Pp.62-74

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Developing the Intercultural Competence of Algerian University Students through Virtual
Intercultural Exchanges

Manal. H. B. Stambouli
DSPM Research Laboratory, Department of English, Faculty of Foreign Languages, Abdelhamid Ibn
Badis University, Mostaganem, Algeria
Corresponding Author:

DSPM Research Laboratory, Department of English, Faculty of Foreign Languages, Abdelhamid Ibn
Badis University, Mostaganem, Algeria



Received:10/10/2022             Accepted: 12/24/2022                    Published: 01/20/2023


Virtual milieus are becoming a setting for a great deal of intercultural contact. Learners engaged in virtual exchanges are likely to encounter users from different nationalities who bring with them their culturally-grounded behaviors, beliefs and expectations as to what is most appropriate for intercultural interactions.  Against this background, learners need specific skills, attitudes and knowledge to establish working relationships and collaborate with distant partners, namely intercultural competence. The present paper explores the effectiveness and relevance of participating in virtual intercultural exchanges to develop Algerian University learners’ intercultural competence(or lack thereof). The particular significance of this study lies in shedding light on the importance of scaling up virtual intercultural exchanges to become an expected activity in Algerian Higher education. We opted for the quasi-experimental design as an appropriate research strategy for the present study. Data were gathered from attitudinal surveys administered to 38 students enrolled at the department of English language of Abou Bakr Belkaid University, Algeria.  Participants were not selected randomly. They were grouped into two groups: a focus group entailing 19 students who participated in a telecollaborative partnership offered in the fall of 2020, and a control group of 19 students who were not involved in intercultural exchange programs. This initiative attempts to present some preliminary findings to show that virtual intercultural exchanges can assist Algerian learners in developing their intercultural competence under the guidance of their instructor.
Keywords: Algerian university students, intercultural competence, intercultural education, telecollaboration,
virtual intercultural exchange

Cite as: Stambouli, M.H.B., &  SARNOU, H. (2023). Developing the Intercultural Competence of Algerian University Students through Virtual Intercultural Exchanges. Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on Communication and Language in Virtual Spaces, January 2023. 62-74.


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Received: 10/10/2022   
Accepted: 12/24/2022  
Published: 01/20/2023 

Manal Horiya BOUDGHENE STAMBOULI is a Ph.D. candidate in Applied Linguistics and New Technologies at Mostaganem University, Algeria. Her research interests turn around: Academic Writing, TEFL issues, culture teaching, intercultural communication and educational technology. Her current research is on the autonomy of learning in virtual interculturality. ORCID ID:

Hanane SARNOU is a Professor of Applied Linguistics at the department of English, at Mostaganem University. Her research areas include applied linguistics and ICTs, sociolinguistics, culture and language, teaching methodology, language and identity, intercultural communication, and educational technology. ORCID ID: -2785