Language and intercultural enhancement through sojourn fieldwork and online debriefings
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AbstractRecent education abroad research has found that student sojourners often spend much of their free time socializing with co-nationals in their first language (e.g., Coleman, 2013; Jackson, 2012, Kinginger, 2009). As they find it difficult to establish intercultural friendships, many return home disappointed (Montgomery, 2010; Vande Berg, Paige & Lou, 2012). With this in view, a fully online, research-inspired, credit-bearing course has been designed to deepen the second language learning and intercultural immersion of student sojourners. In the first offering of Intercultural communication and engagement abroad, twenty-two semester and year-long international exchange students from a Hong Kong university carried out weekly fieldwork tasks that required intercultural interactions in the host environment. With the help of an eLearning platform, they shared their international experiences in small group fieldwork debriefings, full class Forum discussions, and reflective essays. Guided critical reflection prompted them to reflect more deeply on their language/intercultural attitudes and intercultural interactions in the host environment. After providing an overview of the course, this presentation largely centers on the fieldwork component. As well as offering examples of the weekly tasks, excerpts from the online, hypermedia fieldwork posts and debriefings will be presented to illustrate growth in the participants’ sociopragmatic awareness and intercultural understanding. By way of questionnaire surveys and a post-course interview, the participants offered their assessment of the benefits and limitations of the fieldwork, especially in relation to their language and culture learning in both formal and informal settings. These findings will be summarized along with the lessons learned. While the course was developed in Hong Kong with the second language socialization of Asian students in mind, this approach should be relevant for student sojourners from other parts of the world.
All Author(s) ListJane Jackson, Sin Yu Chan
Name of ConferenceThe 6th International Conference on English, Discourse & Intercultural Communication & 23rd Conference of the International Association for Intercultural Communication Studies (IAICS)
Start Date of Conference06/06/2017
End Date of Conference08/06/2017
Place of ConferenceMacau
Country/Region of ConferenceMacau
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
Keywordsstudy abroad, fieldwork, intercultural communication, elearning, international exchange program

Last updated on 2018-25-06 at 12:04