The paper reports on the troublesome knowledge encountered by undergraduate students engaging with a large-scale online intercultural learning project underpinned by cycles of action research: MexCo (Mexico-Coventry), involving staff and students from the Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM) in Mexico and Coventry University (CU) in the UK. It proposes that undergraduate students need to be supported in developing intercultural communicative competence skills for these exchanges. It argues that such rules of online engagement, or “cyberpragmatics”, defined by Yus as the skill in understanding others’ intended meanings in computer-mediated communication (2011) should be integrated into the Higher Education curriculum to support students with developing global citizenship competences.A distinctive feature of this project is that “expert students” are working with staff to analyse the data that is emerging (such as the analysis of the online interactions) and to co-design the new tasks aimed at supporting the development of intercultural communicative online competencies in each iteration of the project, in line with the role-reversal threshold-concept and action-research-informed pedagogical model that emerged from the PhD work carried out by Orsini-Jones in previous curricular interventions. Intercultural Communicative Competence in online exchanges is emerging a threshold concept. (N.B. Parts of this paper have appeared in previously published work).
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