ICC 2018

Sixth International Conference on the Development and Assessment of Intercultural Competence

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Sixth International Conference on the
Development and Assessment of Intercultural Competence

Intercultural Competence and Mobility: Virtual and Physical

January 25-28, 2018 Wyndham Grand Westward Look Resort Tucson, Arizona


Keynote Presentation 
Robert O’Dowd (University of León), Moving from Intercultural Contact to Intercultural Learning in Virtual Exchange

Plenary Presentations 
Alvino Fantini (SIT Graduate Institute), Exploring Intercultural Communicative Competence: Concepts, Components and Assessment (A Multinational Perspective)

Chin-Sook Pak (Ball State University), Stories and Relationships that Awaken Us: Service/Community-Based Learning for Intercultural Competence


As the opportunity and need to move between physical and virtual spaces has increased, more people experience the world as mobile and interconnected (see e.g. Douglas Fir Group, 2016; Kramsch & Whiteside, 2008). On the one hand, this has enabled participation in dispersed communities and markets; on the other hand, as communication, meaning making, and culture have become deterritorialized, interculturality has revealed itself as more complex than the ability to mediate across cultural differences. At the same time, patterns of mass migration and economic globalization have meant local contexts are also shaped by transnational flows of capital, knowledge, practices, and modes of communication. As a result people in today’s world must develop the capacity to negotiate and navigate dynamic demands.

In 2018, CERCLL will host the Sixth International Conference on the Development and Assessment of Intercultural Competence which will focus on Intercultural Competence and Mobility: Virtual and Physical. The conference will feature presentations and workshops that consider intercultural competence in connection with global trends of migration, travel, and digitally-enabled mobility. Of particular interest are contributions that address the changing state of intercultural competence in a mobile world.

CERCLL invites proposals for individual papers, symposia, roundtables, posters, and workshops (half-day/full-day) with preference given to topics related to the conference theme of Intercultural Competence and Mobility: Virtual and Physical.

Please choose from among the following strands:

  • Theory and approaches
  • Curriculum design and instruction
  • Telecollaboration
  • Technology and digital mediation
  • Study and work abroad/away
  • Service learning
  • Teacher training and professional development

Types of Presentations

A. In-person Presentations

Proposals for in-person presentations at the conference may be submitted as one of five types: 1) Paper Presentation; 2) Symposium; 3) Roundtable discussion; 4) Poster; 5) Workshop. Each of these is explained in more detail below.

  • Paper Presentation (30 minutes total: 25 minute presentation plus 5 minutes discussion) are best suited for reports on completed research or scholarly work on a topic related to one of the conference strands. Presenters should not read their papers, but rather present the main points of their work in an engaging manner. Paper sessions will be organized into sessions of four papers by strand. Papers may be presented in English, French, German or Spanish.
  • Symposium (2 hours total: 90 minutes for presentations and 30 minutes for discussion) provide a venue for a group of authors (3-5) to propose a set of papers based on a shared theme or topic related to one of the conference strands. The papers may present complementary aspects or contrasting perspectives. Total presentation time is limited to one hour and thirty minutes. Thirty minutes are allocated at the end to give presenters and symposium participants an opportunity to engage in extended dialogue.
  • Roundtable Discussion (15 minutes total: 8 minutes presentation plus 7 minutes for discussion) present an opportunity for informal, in-depth discussions between presenters and participants on a specific topic or theme. They are particularly well suited for works-in-progress and are not meant to be formal paper presentations. Roundtable sessions allow for engaging conversations and provide networking opportunities among participants on common research interests. Roundtable discussions will be held in a room with several sessions taking place at the same time at different tables. Two presenters will be assigned to a table in each session and each table may seat up to six attendees. To accompany their presentations, roundtable presenters are encouraged to prepare handouts or PowerPoint slides they can display on their laptop.
  • Poster Session (55 minutes) are ideal for presenting preliminary results of work in progress or work that lends itself to visual displays and representations. The maximum area per poster is 4 feet high by 8 feet wide. In these sessions, presenters engage in informal discussion with conference attendees during the assigned period.
  • Workshop Presentation (half day [3 hours] or full day [6 hours]) are best suited for teaching or demonstrating particular procedures or techniques. These sessions should be structured so that some explanatory or introductory information is provided with ample time for audience interaction, participation, and involvement.

B. Virtual Presentations

This format is intended for authors who are unable to attend the conference in person. The guidelines above for in-person paper presentations apply to virtual presentations as well. Upon notification that their abstract for a virtual presentation has been accepted, author(s) will have until December 11, 2017, to submit their presentation to CERCLL (instructions for how to do so will be mailed with their proposal acceptance).

Virtual presentations will not be simultaneous, however presentations will be available via the conference website so that all the conference attendees will have access to them during and after the conference. The preferred format for virtual presentations is a video file with audio annotation, no more than 25 minutes long. If there is no audio, it should take a reader no more than 25 minutes to go through the presentation. The video should not be film of the author speaking, but rather a slideshow presentation, perhaps created using PPT and QuickTime Pro. Multimedia and creative modes of presentation are encouraged. For examples of presentations created in this format, see the posters submitted for the 2016 Intercultural Competence Conference and digital presentations for CERCLL’s L2DL symposium (linked at cerclldiglit.wordpress.com).

Submission Guidelines
The submission deadline has now passed. Information below is for informational purposes only.

All proposals must be submitted using the online form. So that you retain a copy of your submission, we advise preparing your title (10 words maximum), abstract (400 words maximum), summary (50 words maximum) and bio (50 words maximum) in Word or another format and pasting it into the submission form. If there are multiple presenters, their information must be included with the initial submission. For symposia, a title, abstract and summary (word count as above) will be required for each paper in the proposal, as well as for the symposium in general. You will see an immediate confirmation message on your screen when you submit your proposal successfully; a subsequent email will be sent from CERCLL within a few days of submission.

Restrictions: No more than two proposals per person may be submitted. A presenter can only be a primary presenter on one proposal. Submitting more than two proposals will eliminate all proposals from consideration. Submissions with similar titles and content will also be eliminated from consideration.

Proposals must include the following:
Paper (in-person and virtual), symposium, poster

  • Title: The title cannot be more than 10 words in length. Be sure that your title matches the content of your presentation.
  • Abstract: The abstract must not exceed 400 words. The online system will not allow you to continue your submission if the abstract exceeds 400 words, including any citations.
  • Summary: The summary must not exceed 50 words. It needs to be in final, publishable format and error-free, and should not include citations. It must clearly align with the content of your abstract. The online system will not allow you to continue your submission if the abstract exceeds 50 words.
  • Short professional biography. Must not exceed 50 words.
  • Contact information for all presenters, even though information regarding the proposal will only be sent (via email) to the first (primary) presenter listed. The primary presenter will be responsible for contacting all co-presenters with details about the conference presentations.


  • Title: The title of the proposed session cannot be more than 10 words in length. Be sure that your title matches the content of your presentation.
  • Workshop length: 3 or 6 hours
  • Abstract: Abstract must not exceed 400 words. It will include: a brief description of what the workshop will entail; target audience, projected participant outcomes, a detailed schedule of activities; and citations (if appropriate).
  • Summary: The summary must not exceed 50 words. It needs to be in final, publishable format and error-free, and should not include citations. The online system will not allow you to continue your submission if the abstract exceeds 50 words.
  • Short professional biography. Must not exceed 50 words.
  • Contact information for all presenters, even though information regarding the proposal will only be sent to the first (primary) presenter listed via email. The primary presenter will be responsible for contacting all co-presenters with details about the conference presentations.

Proposal Review
Paper, symposium and poster session proposals will be evaluated by a team of reviewers using the following criteria:
Scholarly or educational significance: Does this paper’s topic address an important issue directly related to the main theme of the conference? Does it offer the promise of new knowledge or best practice? Is it likely to lead to engaged discussion?
Theoretical orientation: For research-based papers: Is there a clear theoretical framework? Are the hypotheses or research questions significant? Do(es) the author(s) refer appropriately to previous research, theory, or practice? For theory-based papers (those which propose a new framework or reinterpret earlier studies): Does the discussion appear to be substantive? Thought-provoking? Insightful?
For practice papers: Are the practices innovative and are they grounded in existing theory?
Quality of research (if applicable): Is the research design appropriate and adequately outlined? Will the findings be of interest to foreign/second language teachers?
Quality of practice (if applicable): Is the practice described innovative? Is it of potential interest to other foreign/second language teachers? Does the abstract describe clearly what is involved?
Quality of presentation: Is the abstract focused? Clearly organized? Well-written? For symposium proposal: Will multiple, complementary or contrasting perspectives be presented to attendees?

Workshop proposals will be evaluated by a team of reviewers using the following criteria:
Content relevancy: Does the proposal convey new developments and/or innovative instructional techniques? Is the proposed workshop appropriate for the intended audience? Tied to the main theme of the conference? Rigorous in its content?
Learning objectives: Are learning objectives explicit? Practical? Impactful?
Learning environment: Are the delivery methods (what the presenter will do, what the participants will do) appropriate? Is the format/time suitable for the proposed content? Are there opportunities in the schedule for interaction or discussion? Is the described learning environment engaging?
Presenter expertise: Does the presenter have experience in designing and/or presenting similar workshops? Demonstrate knowledge of how to engage participants in a meaningful way?

Proposal deadline: 11:59 pm (Pacific Standard Time) on June 26, 2017. Confirmation of receipt will be sent via email. Presenters will be notified by email of the conference committee’s decision by August 28, 2017. Presenters will need to confirm attendance by September 25, 2017.

Questions? Please contact CERCLL at cercll@email.arizona.edu, (520)626-8071

This conference is organized by the Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language and Literacy (CERCLL), co-organized by the Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT) Program, and co-sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES), Confucius Institute at the University of Arizona (CIUA), College of Humanities, and College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona; and the Center for Advanced Language Proficiency Education and Research (CALPER) at Pennsylvania State University; the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota; the Center for Applied Second Language Studies (CASLS) at the University of Oregon; the Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL) at the University of Texas at Austin; and the National Foreign Language Resource Center (NFLRC) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.


Invited Presentations

Keynote Address

Speaker: Robert O’Dowd, University of León (Spain)
Keynote Title: Moving from Intercultural Contact to Intercultural Learning in Virtual Exchange

Robert O’Dowd is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of León, Spain. He has worked at universities in Ireland, Germany and Spain and has published widely on the application of collaborative online learning in university education. His most recent publication is the co-edited volume with Tim Lewis -Online Intercultural Exchange: Policy, Pedagogy, Practice for Routledge. He recently coordinated INTENT – an award-winning project financed by the European Commission aimed at promoting virtual exchange in European Higher Education and is currently president of the UNICollaboration academic organization for telecollaboration and virtual exchange (www.unicollaboration.org). He also is active in English Medium Instruction (EMI) in university education and has designed the EMI training and certification programme at his home university and has taught various EMI training programmes in universities in Spain, Italy and Austria. His publications are available here: http://unileon.academia.edu/RobertODowdand you can follow him on twitter @robodowd.


‘Virtual Exchange’, also referred to as telecollaboration or COIL, refers to the application of online communication tools to bring together classes of language learners in geographically distant locations with the aim of developing their foreign language skills and intercultural competence through collaborative tasks and project work. Many studies have explored the potential of this activity for supporting collaborative language learning and developing intercultural competence in learners (Dooly & O’Dowd, 2012, Guth & Helm, 2010; Kern, 2015; O’Dowd, 2011, 2013).

However, Virtual Exchange is also an activity which has received its fair share of criticism in the literature, and at times there is a clear scepticism amongst commentators as to its effectiveness in developing intercultural awareness (Kramsch, 2009; Liddicoat & Scarino, 2013) and in relation to its contribution to internationalisation processes at university level (Lawton, 2015). With this in mind, for Virtual Exchange to continue to grow and become an effective tool for university foreign language education, this presentation will explore the main criticisms and concerns which have been expressed in relation to online intercultural exchanges and will then reflect on how both practitioners and researchers can react and learn from these critiques. Critical incidents from recent exchanges will be used to illustrate the difference between merely establishing intercultural contact online and actually bringing about contexts for intercultural learning. The presentation will conclude by looking briefly at the www.uni-collaboration.eu platform which aims to support university lecturers interested in establishing and running telecollaborative exchanges.

Plenary Addresses

Speaker: Alvino E. Fantini, Professor Emeritus, SIT Graduate Institute & Federation of The Experiment in International Living (United States)
Plenary Title: Exploring Intercultural Communicative Competence: Concepts, Components & Assessment (A Multinational Perspective)

Alvino E. Fantini, Ph.D., holds degrees in anthropology and applied linguistics and worked in intercultural communication and language education for 45 years. Professor Emeritus of SIT’s Graduate Institute, he conducted significant research, published widely, and is past president of SIETAR International and recipient of its highest award.



In today’s world, intercultural communicative competence (ICC) is rapidly becoming a fundamental necessity for everyone, both across an ocean and around the block. Its development, however, requires the combined attention of both language educators and interculturalists. Whereas second language ability is fundamental, language educators must also give increased attention to the cultural dimensions of language education. Happily, the National Foreign Language Standards developed some time ago point us in the right direction. However, it is now more clearly recognized that intercultural competence provides the context and purpose of language instruction and that language proficiency alone is inadequate. But what exactly is ICC? Although various concepts have been advanced, the multiple components of ICC are seldom identified or inadequately addressed.

This plenary presents the findings of a multinational research effort, funded by CERCLL, conducted precisely to identify the component parts of ICC as well as to assess the impact of their development during intercultural experiences. The research began with a search of the literature spanning 50 years and conducted in seven languages. A synthesis of these findings provided a comprehensive concept of ICC and, aside from a definition, it identified its multiple components: various characteristics or attributes, three areas, four dimensions, developmental levels, plus it confirmed the importance of host language proficiency as fundamental to successful intercultural contact. This construct was also used to analyze over 140 assessment instruments designed to measure and monitor ICC development in language classrooms and beyond in order to produce a more comprehensive and more reliable tool for use in this project. The tool, translated into seven languages, was tested through two international impact studies conducted in eight countries, validating these components as indicators of intercultural success.

Speaker: Chin-Sook Pak, Ball State University (United States)
Plenary Title: Stories and Relationships that Awaken Us: Service/Community-Based Learning for Intercultural Competence

Chin-Sook Pak (Ph. D., Romance Linguistics, University of Michigan) is an Associate Professor of Spanish at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. For almost 20 years, she has incorporated SL/CBL components to all levels of Spanish language, content and interdisciplinary honors colloquium courses, which has lead to numerous publications, workshops and collaborations that promote diversity learning for students of Spanish, faculty, and community organizations. She is the recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Award and Excellence in Teaching Award (Ball State University) and the Brian Douglas Hiltunen Faculty Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Scholarship of Engagement (Indiana Campus Compact).


The Association of American Colleges and Universities identifies Service-Learning (SL)/Community-Based Learning (CBL) as a “high impact educational practice” for student success (Kuh, 2008). The experiential learning with community partners allows students to apply their classroom learning in real-world contexts, and can prepare them for citizenship, work, and life in our multicultural, pluralistic society. While engaging in activities that address community needs, a high quality SL experience promotes critical reflection, informs us about issues and systemic challenges, brings people together, and creates collaborative power relationships. In particular, reflection and reciprocity, as the fundamental elements of SL (Jacoby, 2015), can serve as catalysts for facilitating a deeper understanding of the other, and of intercultural relationships. As such, SL can support the attitudes, knowledge, and skills goals for intercultural competence (ICC). Indeed, research offers a strong case for SL in promoting cultural awareness and empathy, reducing stereotyped thinking, increasing students’ comfort level and interest in interacting with diverse populations and target languages and cultures, and fostering the development of ICC (Bloom, 2008; Borden, 2007; Deardorff & Edwards, 2012; De Leon, 2014; Fitch, 2004; Dunhap & Webster, 2009; Eyler & Giles, 1999; Yoon, Martin & Murphy, 2012; Wilson, 2011).

This presentation examines the intersection of domestic SL/CBL, especially in places with limited racial/ethnic diversity, and development of a number of dimensions of ICC. After an overview of literature on SL/CBL for ICC and factors that affect the quality of SL experience, the presentation will share sample SL projects for students of Spanish and a pilot study on long-term effects of SL/CBL following interviews with former students. In efforts to build mutually beneficial relationships between campus and community, the paper argues that SL/CBL provides a valuable platform for all stakeholders to ask a deeper question: how are we interconnected?

Invited Workshop

Speaker: Kathy G. Short, University of Arizona (USA)
Workshop Title: Reading Globally: Critical Issues in Global Literature for Children and Adolescents


We live in a world where our lives are interconnected in complex ways across global cultures as well as fractured with tensions that divide us. Global children’s literature provides one means of facilitating intercultural understanding, but issues of availability, access, authenticity, and classroom use must be addressed for this potential to be realized. In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to explore current trends in global literature for children and adolescents, examine critical issues and approaches to analyzing these books, and experience strategies for critically engaging with global literature. We will consider how to invite readers into a critical reading of the word and the world. An additional component will be interactions that pair classic, well-known texts often used in elementary and secondary classrooms with global children’s and adolescent literature to expand the curriculum and include global perspectives.

This workshop is linked to CERCLL’s “Globalizing the Common Core State Standards” project.