Document Type : Articles


1 Ph.D., Arak University of Iran , The University of Exeter

2 Ph.D. , The University of Exeter


The need for intercultural awareness and skills emerges strongly in both distance learning courses, and in social life in multicultural societies. The study of online language transactions is therefore an important aspect of the emerging culture and sociolinguistics of computer mediated communication. The research reported in this paper concerns perceptions held by students in an Iranian university about intercultural discourse in virtual learning environments. The research is the first phase of a larger project concerned with the nature of online discourse. Results are reported of a questionnaire survey of 200 students’ experiences of, and beliefs about, communication in a virtual learning environment. The results show that, notwithstanding the dangers of miscommunication, students generally view virtual learning environments positively and perceive them to offer possibilities of effective and harmonious communication and productive learning.