Proceedings of the Second International Conference on the Development and Assessment of Intercultural Competence
Beatrice Dupuy & Linda Waugh (Eds.)
Description: This volume includes twenty papers by intercultural competence scholars from Australia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Mexico, and the United States. Through this publication, they share their research, approaches, strategies, materials, and ideas.
For the table of contents, click here.
Table of Content Abstracts & Articles
The publication of the 2010 Proceedings of the International Conference on the Development and Assessment of Intercultural Competence marks the culmination of more than a year long process involving conference planning, the Call for Papers, formal review of presentation proposals, the very successful conference itself in January and, finally, the preparation of the refereed Conference Proceedings. Much of this work happens behind the scenes and all too often goes unacknowledged. We are especially grateful to the conference planning committee, in particular, Kate Mackay, Ladd Keith, M’Balia Thomas and Catherine Botelho, to the readers who provided valuable feedback during the review process, and to Kristin Helland, Assistant Editor of the Conference Proceedings, for her thorough and detailed editing work. The final scholarly product appearing here owes much to their hard work – thank you all!
This year’s 2010 second International Conference on the Development and Assessment of Intercultural Competence: Aiming for the “Third Place” was yet another success, building on our first successful conference in the fall of 2008. In organizing the conference we worked closely with the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT), our Title VI funded sister National Resource Centers at the university, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the Center for Latin American Studies, as well as the Confucius Institute at the University of Arizona.
We are also grateful to the Arizona Humanities Council and the Center for English as a Second Language for providing funding, as aas the College of Humanities for logistical support. In addition to our internationally known keynote speaker (Claire Kramsch, University of California-Berkeley) and our three distinguished plenary speakers (Vicki Galloway, Georgia Institute of Technology; Jun Liu, University of Arizona; R.S. Zaharna, American University), we had 73 very well received presentations from a variety of research and teaching contexts. Our conference theme, “Aiming for the Third Place”, attracted close to 300 participants. These participants were not only able to listen to the stimulating keynote and plenary addresses by leading figures in SLA and Intercultural Communication but also to the important work being done in the field of intercultural competence by presenters from such countries as Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, Slovakia, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. For many of the presenters who shared their research, approaches, strategies, materials, and ideas with participants and peers, the Conference is a platform for getting the initial feedback they need to draft their manuscripts for formal publication. It is a very engaging and important process, and we have taken great pleasure in seeing it through to fruition as Proceedings editors.
For the 2010 Proceedings of the International Conference on the Development and Assessment of Intercultural Competence, we are pleased to present twenty papers. It is the fine work of our contributing presenters and authors on which the quality of the 2010 Proceedings of the Conference on the Development and Assessment of Intercultural Competence depends. We applaud their collective effort, and thank each author for considering these Proceedings as a venue for further sharing their insights on the important topic of intercultural competence. The third International Conference on the Development and Assessment of Intercultural Competence will take place in Tucson on January 26-29, 2012, with a general theme of immersive environments and language learning, including, for example, study abroad, bilingual education, and immersive pedagogies. Further details, including a Call for Papers, will be available on the Center of Educational Resources in Culture, Language, and Literacy (CERCLL) website in Spring 2011.
From Headphones to Hijabs: Cultural and Religious Experiences of Somali Youth in US Schools
Letitia Basford, Hamline University
Using data from a two year qualitative study, this paper examines how East African Muslim immigrant youth experience and become shaped by the environments of U.S. mainstream schools as compared to a culturally specific charter high school. Results from this study reveal that East African Muslim immigrant youth are affected by religious and cultural discrimination in mainstream schools, and that attending a culturally specific charter school actually promotes positive intercultural competence where students are able to build a good self-concept and find comfort in who they are as East African immigrants, as Muslims, and as American citizens. Download the article here.
Language educators argue that foreign language learning in the United States should increase students’ intercultural competence (IC), which will allow them to see relationships among different cultures, mediate across cultures, and critically analyze cultures including their own. Qualitative research investigating students experiences with such cross-cultural conversations in study abroad and Internet collaborations raises questions about how well prepared students are to converse in a manner that is likely to increase their intercultural competence. To begin to explore the quality of cultural content language learners are exposed to, I examined Canadian cultural content of beginning-level French books used in the United States in view of its potential for developing intercultural competence. Findings reveal some examples of potential intercultural competence-building content, particularly pertaining to Quebecois identity and French maintenance in Canada, but also point to missed opportunities. Download the article here.
This qualitative study investigated the effectiveness of case-based pedagogy as an instructional tool aimed at increasing cultural awareness and competence in the preparation of 18 pre-service and in-service students enrolled in an Intercultural Education course. Each participant generated a vignette based on an instructional challenge identified and/or a learning challenge experienced in an intercultural educational setting. The instructor-researcher used the case method approach in the analysis of the 18 student-generated vignettes. Using Shulman’s (1986) conceptual framework of teacher expertise as the target for investigating the effectiveness of case-based pedagogy as a teacher preparation tool, the study sought to identify aspects of teacher knowledge and teacher thinking about intercultural education and praxis that were facilitated via the use of case-based pedagogy. Interviews, video-taped discussions, pre and post-case discussion reflection papers, and critical incident reports were coded. The results of the correlation and case study analyses indicate a strong influence of case-based pedagogy on teacher knowledge of the variety of ways in which culture shapes us all; teacher capacity to relate theories to personal and professional intercultural experiences; teacher understanding of how cultural factors impact educational contexts; and teachers’ abilities to design culturally responsive lessons as well as design curricula that promotes intercultural awareness and competence in multicultural educational settings. Download the article here.
The reality of a modern-day expeditionary military force with goals of establishing security and enabling nation-building in some of the most volatile areas of the world means that effective cross-cultural partnership has never been so crucial. Air Force and Department of Defense leadership at the highest levels has long acknowledged the importance of developing cross-cultural competence in its members, and current efforts by the Air Force Culture and Language Center established in 2006 are moving rapidly closer to that goal, developing distributed learning systems and incorporating cross-cultural training into every level of professional military education. With the high rate of deployment, however, the challenge to ensure that each member is adequately and specifically prepared prior to deployment is monumental. In one approach to meet this challenge, the author and associates have developed ENGAGE, a grassroots experiment in cross-cultural predeployment training, featuring an interactive model which invites attendees to participate in their own learning through dialogue, active illustrations, and actual cultural practices which amount to more of an immersion experience than a briefing. As each participant is engaged, stereotypes begin to break down, and a mentality of respectful, discerning, and creative approaches to cross-cultural interaction develops. Download the article here.
In contrast with debates over language pedagogy or aptitude, this paper examines seven societal obstacles which impact the success of classroom language learning and the development of intercultural competence in American language classrooms. These include expectations for teacher preparation, language proficiency and target language use; curricular legitimacy; and school and home language climate. It is argued that these first six obstacles ultimately stem from the seventh: The challenge of sensitizing Americans to the value of seeing the world through the languageculture of another. The paper then discusses implications of this situation and offers potential, preliminary solutions for creating a more effective climate for developing language proficiency and intercultural competence in America’s language classrooms, although it is unlikely that substantive progress can be made without acknowledgment of the role of national linguistic identity. Download the article here.
This paper, drawing upon multidisciplinary studies such as critical and cultural studies, literary criticism, intercultural communication and second language acquisition, suggests a specific literary genre – ‘migratory literature’ – to support intercultural competence for learners of Chinese. We begin by elucidating key terms – ‘migratory,’ ‘discourse,’ and ‘third place’ and then move to an examination of Kramsch’s 1993 view of discourse and narrative, and its uses in teaching ‘orate’ and ‘literate’ modes of writing. We then propose our use of ‘discourse’ as a means of achieving intercultural competence and knowledge in support of the teaching and learning of Chinese. In this paper, we use ‘migratory literature’ to refer to literary works written by Chinese writers who have experience living outside China and by non-Chinese writers with experience living inside China. The term also suggests a habit of mind of writers – and readers – who have not ‘settled’ permanently anywhere but move between worlds. In this way, what we have termed ‘migratory literature’ provides a comparative perspective for viewing Chinese language and culture, and forms a ‘third place’ in which outsiders and insiders are negotiating culture. We introduce a resource list of works in English about China that might be used for this purpose. Download the article here
All cultures are involved in one another; none is single and pure, all are hybrid. (Said, 1993, p. xxix).
This paper presents an intercultural training program that was developed by the Center for Intercultural Learning at the European University Viadrina in cooperation with students. A few of the student-generated activities will be described in detail. The program, aimed at enabling students to acquire intercultural competence, was developed at an international university on the German-Polish border, and with the special situation, needs and experiences of this place in mind. Local students were involved in creating the program by developing methods and exercises based on their own experiences. As the concept of intercultural competence constitutes the theoretical basis of the program, I first introduce the model we worked with. Then, I outline how the students were involved in the program’s development, and I describe some especially innovative methods that arose from the students’ rich experience and creativity. In this context I describe a model for peer assessment of intercultural competence. The methods depicted serve as examples for the methods that were created within the program and as examples for a new approach to classic intercultural methods such as role-plays and Critical Incident Analysis. It is shown that those methods can be used to achieve a holistic learning effect, which corresponds to the complex concept of culture and intercultural competence. Download the article here.
This paper is the result of a participative process in which the students of the Master’s Degree “Didactique des Langues” (foreign language didactics) at Université du Maine (Le Mans, France) explored through whole-class activities the field of intercultural dialog and intercultural competence teaching. Our approach to intercultural teaching offers a new point of view: it places intercultural competence in a wider context. We consider it to be beyond encounter and dialog, beyond professional skills, and instead an intercultural action: living, accepting and creating together. As Byram (2008) emphasizes, the development of intercultural competence has to lead to a critical cultural awareness of oneself as a citizen. My thesis is that teachers and students who work with their own cultural biography, who keep the social dimension in their minds, can through intercultural competence cause changes in society. We will try to prove that a culture of a given society does not consist, as Descombes states, of whatever one has to know or believe in order to operate in a manner acceptable to its members (Descombes, 1995), Rather, this acceptable manner takes on a new perspective in language teaching. Culture influences action not by providing the ultimate values toward which action is oriented, but through the construction of habits, viewpoints, and beliefs from which people construct strategies of action. Mill (1990) suggests that it is important when different ways of living exist, just as it is useful when different opinions are expressed, that different characters should be allowed enough latitude, provided that they do not harm one another. Download the article here.
This paper describes an upper level foreign language course designed to enable students to learn about conversation as both a universal and culture-specific form of talk, and to learn to converse at an advanced level and in culturally appropriate ways with speakers of French from France and Francophone countries. Students explore both universal and culture-specific features of social conversation, such as listening behavior, selection and shifting of topic, interruption, and overlap. In order to improve communicative skills in French, students learn the technique of conversational shadowing (Murphey, 2001) and practice various forms of response in conversational interaction. This work in theory and practice culminates in the planning and carrying out of a “real-world” conversation hour (Kaplan, 1997) hosted by students in the course for a variety of native speakers of French in the undergraduate institution and surrounding community. An important objective is to foster students’ critical reflection about cultural aspects of communication in all languages, including their own. In addition, the course aims to provide the practice and interaction which are indispensable to conversational fluency and culturally appropriate communication in a foreign language. Download the article here.
This paper presents a comparative evaluation of didactic and experiential training in Germany carried out on a sample of international university students from Eastern Europe. The long-term evaluation was conducted by using a quasi-experimental design with a control group according to Kirkpatrick’s model including three steps: reaction, learning and behavior. Empirical results on the reaction level indicate that the students prefer the learner centered didactic training. Learning effects, measured by a previously unpresented case study showed that the experiential group differed significantly from the control group in the posttest on culture specific knowledge and empathy. They also performed significantly better on culture specific knowledge than in the pretest. On the other hand the didactically trained subjects achieved significant learning progress in their ability to identify sources of problems in cross-cultural encounters, culture specific knowledge, empathy and problem solving ability. A significant contrast to the control group in the posttest was found only in empathy. However behavioral results evaluating the transfer of achieved knowledge and competencies into “daily work” and encounters with foreigners were rather modest. In addition, no special differences between trained and non-trained individuals on the degree of work performance, adjustment and satisfaction during internships abroad were reported in interviews with superiors and the self reports of the students. Download the article here.
Although the characters speak English, Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall explores interactions among representatives of different speech communities. The protagonist, Helen Graham, moves through communities differing enough from hers to create misunderstandings. Her difficulties can be clarified through Hymes’ model of the speech community and communicative competence, with speakers separated by cultural assumptions rather than linguistic diversity. Helen sometimes fails to perceive conventions that govern other participants and sometimes refuses to submit to those conventions. She compounds her problems through several interaction strategies, judging others by standards derived from her home community, closing off communication when she encounters unexpected responses, preferring solitude to social interaction and communicating through writing rather than face-to-face encounters. These strategies limit Helen’s integration because she remains unaware of her neighbor’s conventions, inadvertently provoking hostility through unconventional conduct and because she uses her own conventions as standards for judging others. Her avoidance of encounters limits her opportunity to improve interaction skills. Helen’s experiences can help readers gain awareness of how differing expectations and lack of empathy can cause misunderstandings and exacerbate cultural differences. L2 readers may recognize parallels between Helen’s experience and their own, leading to greater awareness of issues involved in intercultural competence. Download the article here.
Undergraduate students enrolled in a second language acquisition (SLA) course were required to undertake a service-learning project involving teaching or tutoring second language learners. Connected to the community service project, students kept journals in which they reflected on their experiences and connected them with SLA theories discussed in class. Analysis reveals that those undergraduates whose attention remained most fixed on their tutorees’ SLA processes were also the participants who showed the greatest insights into intercultural communication. This paper argues that the subjects whose service learning project was more successful in the ways described above exemplified the role of a participant in what Palmer (1998) calls a community of truth. While other students who experienced less satisfying service learning experiences generally had similar interests and goals as their more successful peers, intercultural connections and deeper understanding of SLA was hindered by the way those students framed their inquiry and reflection. Download the article here.