Publication Details

Saito, R. 2006, 'Getting to know others: an experience of students of Japanese through online chat sessions', in A. Vickers & M. Hanlon (eds), Asia Reconstructed: Proceedings of the 16th Biennial Conference of the ASAA, Asian Studies Association of Australia, Inc., Canberra,


When learning a foreign language, online chat can be used to communicate with native speakers of the target language and to obtain information about that country. Interaction through such a medium often offers the only opportunity for learners to communicate with native speakers, particularly in regional areas where the learning environment provides limited access to the cultural activities and resources on offer in more metropolitan areas. This paper presents an experience of students of Japanese in a regional university through online chat. It examines the information students get to know about Japan and the Japanese and analyses how opinions of their counterparts have been formulated from such a distance and how intercultural understanding has been developed as a result of such activities.