Sarah Guth's (University of Padova, Italy) observations were based on a blended English as a Foreign Language (EFL) course for graduate students in International Communication Studies. The course focuses on the use of Web 2.0 tools to promote language learning, intercultural learning and learner autonomy.
Her main point was that the increased contact with other cultures made possible by digitally networked technologies does not guarantee that intercultural learning happens. She quite rightly reminded us of the fact that it is the educators/tutors' responsibility to raise the students' awareness of cultural differences and similarities, and potential areas of conflict, and to promote discussion and reflection around those both f2f and online.
Sarah also stressed the fact that learners use Web 2.0 tools in their private/social lives does not mean that they are aware of how these tools can be/are used for learning. Again it is the tutors/educators' responsibility to harness the technology in motivating and learner-centred ways so that the students can step-by-step acquire the skills and competences they need to exploit them for lifelong learning.
More interesting stuff to be found here: