ERIC Number: EJ1051662
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
Developing Intercultural Understanding for Study Abroad: Students' and Teachers' Perspectives on Pre-Departure Intercultural Learning
Holmes, P.; Bavieri, L.; Ganassin, S.
Intercultural Education, v26 n1 p16-30 2015
This study reports on students' and teachers' perspectives on a programme designed to develop Erasmus students' intercultural understanding prior to going abroad. We aimed to understand how students and their teachers perceived pre-departure materials in promoting their awareness of key concepts related to interculturality (e.g., essentialism, stereotyping, otherising) during an intercultural education course for mobile students. Twenty pre-departure Erasmus undergraduate students from an Italian university, four teachers and one observer participated in the study. Seven hours of audio/video recordings of classroom discussions and teachers' retrospective narratives were analysed thematically. Although students initially subverted the goals of one of the tasks, they demonstrated foundations of intercultural thinking; followed by movement from self-interest to intercultural awareness of the other; and finally, developing intercultural awareness, supported through opportunities to express emotions/feelings and discussion and application of key concepts of interculturality. Teachers'/observer's perspectives confirmed the quality and flexibility of the materials in developing students' intercultural awareness. The findings suggest that pre-departure materials can help students to recognise variety and complexity in self and others in intercultural encounters. But students' primary needs for practical information should first be satisfied; interactive spaces for expressing emotion and feelings are important for understanding self and others; and scaffolding activities help students to understand intercultural concepts.
Descriptors: Cultural Awareness, Study Abroad, Student Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes, Student Mobility, International Cooperation, Higher Education, Undergraduate Students, Foreign Countries, Video Technology, Audio Equipment, Personal Narratives, Instructional Materials, Experiential Learning, Intercultural Communication, Teaching Methods, Stereotypes, Observation, Interviews
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Italy