The Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education

WhatsApp as a Tool for Sustainable Glocal Linguistic, Social and Cultural Interaction


As a popular social media application, WhatsApp has become an integral part of daily lives of many people on earth. Researchers have investigated the individual, social and pedagogical benefits of the tool. However, the possible contributions of WhatsApp as a platform for cultural interaction in the glocal sense has not been examined yet. To call attention to this dimension of the tool, this case study aims to investigate the role of WhatsApp in maintaining glocal linguistic, social and cultural interaction among a group of foreign learners of Turkish. The participants had a three-week summer school experience in Turkey where they formed a WhatsApp group for communication. After returning back to their home countries, these participants continued their interaction with their friends through the WhatsApp group. The data for this study were collected through open-ended questions. The results of the content analysis revealed that WhatsApp was an effective application to promote the maintenance of glocal cultural interaction among the participants with its personal, social and linguistic contributions. The participants could have the chance to exchange ideas and increase their perspectives and knowledge as global citizens while preserving their cultural and national identities as local citizens. Their interactional experiences through WhatsApp can be said to have helped the participants increase their awareness and expand their intercultural knowledge from the glocal stance.

KEYWORDS: WhatsApp, glocal interaction, cultural interaction, foreign learners of Turkish.

DOI : 10.17718/tojde.598198