Sessions / Intercultural Communication in Language Education
The rapid development of international education has occurred alongside a growing need for higher education institutions to educate global citizens. Yet, traditional approaches to internationalisation, such as a mobility, have proven to be restricted to a small percentage of students, and Japanese undergraduates often cite financial, safety, and job-hunting concerns as obstacles to studying abroad. Internationalisation-at-home has emerged as a viable alternative to experiences abroad in the quest for global human resources. This session is aimed at presenting cases of two Top Global universities leading internationalisation in Japan and their institutional efforts to foster interculturally competent domestic students through contact with international students on campus. I will discuss results from a longitudinal survey, carried out over one-year, of 164 Japanese students engaged in a range of curricular and extracurricular programmes with both international and domestic students and an intercultural focus, including teacher-led lectures and programmes, a residential programme aimed at first-year students, and regular university circles. Results from 10 follow-up student interviews shed further light on the factors promoting and hindering the development of globally competent graduates on domestic campuses, thus generating a discussion platform from which internationalisation-at-home strategies can be implemented more effectively.
While there have been attempts from Japanese universities to be more international and produce global jinzai (global human resources), guidelines for implementation have remained ambiguous. Therefore, this presentation explains how a global approach was used to design materials for an English discussion class. The approach combines elements from global Englishes, based on suggestions by Galloway (2017) that learners should be aware of world Englishes and English as a lingua franca, as well as elements from intercultural communication, based on suggestions by Yoshida, Yashiro and Suzuki (2013) that learners should develop an understanding of themselves, their own culture and cultural differences. Materials for two lessons are shown. One of them is about English in Singapore, as understanding the role of Singlish is beneficial to understand the connection between varieties of English and cultural identity (Jenkins, 2015). The other is about individualism versus collectivism, which is seen as essential in understanding the difference between western and Asian cultures (Servaes, 2016). The effectiveness of these lessons is discussed, and suggestions are made about how this approach could be used to generate more lessons which will help university students to be ready to successfully communicate with people from all over the world.
Students today are facing an increasingly interconnected global society that demands cross-cultural understanding and communication skills. Thus, fostering global education through online international collaboration and exchange in language classrooms has proven to be beneficial to students (El-Hindi, 1998; Schreiber and Jansz, 2020).
This study examines a school exchange program conducted through live video conferencing between two schools in Japan and Nepal. Through the exchange program, students learned about school life, culture, and society in each other's countries. The impacts of the program on broadening student's understanding of culture and society in each other's countries and their English language ability and motivation were evaluated through the questionnaire survey and observations. Participating students took the pre- and post- session-questionnaires.
Quantitative results show that students' interest and knowledge about the culture and society of each others' countries and motivation to learn English increased significantly after the exchange program. This technique was found to be effective not only to learn the language but also to enhance cross-cultural awareness that fosters global education.
References: El-Hindi, Amelia E. (1998). Beyond Classroom Boundaries: Constructivist Teaching with the Internet (Exploring Literacy on the Internet), Reading Teacher, 51(8), pp. 694-700. Schreiber, Brooke R; Jansz, Mihiri (2020). Reducing distance through online international collaboration, ELT Journal, 74(1), pp. 63–72, https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccz045
In an increasingly interconnected world, our students now need intercultural communication skills for their personal and professional relationships more than ever. What the term intercultural communication comprises, how it can be learned, and how that can be applied to the classroom, however, is not always clear.
This video poster session will begin with some background from a few theorists who have described the nature and relevance of intercultural communication. They include Edward T. Hall, who suggested the pervasive influence of an unconscious aspect of culture, and Michael Byram, who laid out the attributes of an effective intercultural communicator.
Moving onto how these communication skills are acquired, the second part of the session will consider culture through the lens of social psychology. Specifically, there will be a description of implicit knowledge, its role in how we interpret and intuitively respond to ambiguous cues in interpersonal interaction, as well as empirical research on how these implicit interpersonal perceptive skills develop.
Because of this unconscious component of culture, the challenge for us as educators is to bring experiential approaches into our teaching practices. In a foreign language learning environment detached from any large community of speakers, though, this is especially challenging. As a potential solution, an approach to intercultural learning through film and television will be briefly described. Through these visual storytelling media, now accessible internationally via streaming services, learners may be able to develop the beginnings of deep and implicit understandings of cultural practices and perspectives.
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.
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