University of Tsukuba
For the PanSIG 2020's forum, the ICLE SIG united forces with the Study Abroad SIG and will discuss intercultural communication and mobility. We believe that the challenge of communication with people from different backgrounds is even more enhanced when working or studying with people from different cultures and in various contexts. The majority of students go abroad without sufficient intercultural preparation. How can we, as teachers, prepare students for dealing with this intercultural communication challenge? Some of the topics will include: • Best practices in study abroad • Study abroad risk management • Effectiveness of study abroad • Cultural differences in intercultural communication • Developing intercultural competence We will begin with Roxana Sandu, followed by Najma Janjua and then Bruce Lander and Kaori. We will then do some Q&A and finish with Daniel Velasco's video at https://youtu.be/7rZ6IAU0If0
Cultural awareness has commonly been discussed in the previous literature in relation to comparisons among cultural or national groups. However, Baker (2012) argues that such view should be reconsidered; he brings intercultural awareness into the spotlight defining it as “a conscious understanding of the role culturally based forms, practices, and frames of understanding can have in intercultural communication, and an ability to put these conceptions into practice in a flexible and context specific manner in real time communication.” Based on Baker’s notion of intercultural awareness, this study describes its application in the Japanese EFL context by emphasizing the importance of self-reflection type of assignments and classroom activities. Therefore, this exploratory study aims at examining students’ intercultural awareness development throughout a year, by analyzing their final project titled Our Intercultural Encounters which used Council of Europe’s Autobiography of Intercultural Encounters as resource material. The qualitative analysis of students’ group discussions shows a deeper understanding of themselves, their biases, and their own culture, as well as a higher level of intercultural understanding.