Globalization and networking technologies have transformed the contexts, means, and uses of foreign language learning. The Internet offers a vast array of texts, ?lms, music, news, information, pedagogical resources, sounds, and images from around the world as well as unprecedented opportunities for direct communication with native speakers in real time. However, the very technology that delivers the sematerials and interactions can produce subtle mediational effects that can influence how learners evaluate and interpret them. Focusing first on technological mediation broadly, and then on the specific ccontext of desktop videoconferencing in a telecollaboration project, this article outlines the benefits and the potential pitfalls that computer mediation presents for the learning of languages and cultures. Specific attention is given to the question of what it means to mediate the foreign culture through interfaces that are familiar from one’s home culture. The principal argument is that the dynamics ofonline language learning call for a relational pedagogy that focuses on how medium and context interact with language use. The goal of such an approach is to expose students to a broader scope of symbolic inquiry, to connect present text-making practices with those of the past, and to foster a critical perspective that will prepare young people to understand and shape future language and literacy practices.