ERIC Number: EJ964923
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
Challenges and Rewards of Teaching Intercultural Communication in a Technical Writing Course: A Case Study
Cardenas, Diana L.
Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, v42 n2 p143-158 2012
Community-based projects immerse technical writing students in intercultural communication, addressing local needs and shaping documents in human terms. Students at a South Texas university work to establish communication with clients in a city-county health department to create effective documents and disseminate family health legislation. To prepare students for interactions in multicultural settings, the teacher provides an instructional framework that highlights the concepts and values of intercultural communication and the principles for effective problem-solving. Students engaged in the Baby Moses ("el nino Moises") project encounter misunderstandings, rhetorical challenges within the process of document creation, and cultural tensions that thwart their goal to disseminate information to the community. Students and the teacher learn that the classroom, like the city-county health department, is a fertile site for cultural disequilibrium, tensions, and potential cultural awareness. To insure a viable Technical and Professional Writing Program in a culturally diverse university and surrounding community, the teacher identifies opportunities that help students develop and enhance their identities as culturally-sensitive communicators and effective problem solvers.
Descriptors: Technical Writing, Intercultural Communication, Cultural Awareness, Problem Solving, Counties, Rewards, Universities, Multicultural Education, Discourse Communities, Interpersonal Relationship, Identification, Teaching Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas