This paper discusses a project involving the use of email exchanges in the Italian program at the Australian National University. Approximately eighty students participated in the project which consisted of two iterations of a one-to-one email conversation. We describe the language and content of the messages constructed by students in terms of the following features:
• the effects of the spatial, temporal and psychological distance inherent in email communication
• the hybrid nature of electronic communication which is situated between written and spoken discourse
• the relationship of the formal and content aspects of electronic communication
• the creative expression of the language produced.