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ERIC Number: EJ891468
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Aug
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1085-4568
Assessing Intercultural Learning through Introspective Accounts
Jackson, Jane
Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, v11 p165-186 Aug 2005
If intercultural awareness is a key area in which sojourners are expected to make progress while abroad, then appropriate methods of assessment should be used to measure the gains they have made. While much attention has focused on the preparation, format, and content of study abroad programs, relatively little has been published about modes of assessment. This is changing, however, as a growing number of sojourns are becoming credit-bearing. A variety of standardized measures and instruments are used to gauge the language learning and intercultural adjustment of student sojourners such as surveys, inventories, proficiency exams and multiple-choice tests. Whereas these traditional forms of assessment try to quantify student learning, many interculturalists recognize that "the experience abroad cannot be fully quantified: the outcome has to be measured in terms of the quality of the experience and of the skills acquired, particularly of transferable skills." Consequently, more attention is now being devoted to the use of introspective, qualitive means of assessment. To gather the sojourners' point of view and encourage self-monitoring, interviews, diaries and other means of self-report are being employed much more frequently by intercultural researchers and other educators charged with the evaluation of study abroad learning. For example, large-scale "year abroad" programs for foreign language students, such as the Interculture Project and the LARA (Learning and Residence Abroad) project, have relied on student diaries and interviews to help determine the impact of the sojourn experience. This article illustrates the benefits of using first-person introspective accounts to investigate and assess the learning processes of short-term sojourners. In particular, it focuses on the application and analysis of the diaries of Hong Kong Chinese students who participated in a five-week sojourn in England.
Frontiers Journal. Dickinson College P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013. Tel: 717-254-8858; Fax: 717-245-1677; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong; United Kingdom (England)