Journal of Intercultural Communication, issue 1, 1999

Kaisu Korhonen

Intercultural Communication through Hypermedia


The objective of interculturally-oriented language teaching is intercultural competence. The theory of perspective transformation (Taylor 1994) provides a model for the learning of intercultural communication. When practicing, the cognitive, affective, and behavioral components of competence as well as students' stage of intercultural sensitivity must be paid attention to.

The Culture General Assimilator (Brislin et al. 1986; 1996) is a programmed learning approach based on simulation and consisting of critical incidents with alternative explanations and their rationales. When analyzing reasons for the problems and misunderstandings, students begin to learn about culturally influenced behavior.

The Same but Different hypercourseware developed for Finnish polytechnic students contains 25 modified critical incidents. The incidents have hotwords linked to display further information about the word. The program was implemented using the Asymetrix Multimedia ToolBook 4.0-CBT Edition authoring system. To develop The Same but Different further, the program has been tested with information technology students (n 78). Email:

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