Article

Guided Interaction as Intercultural Learning: Designing Internationalisation into a Mixed Delivery Teacher Education Programme

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

Abstract

In this paper the process of building an international student community is explored. Strategies discussed include guided interaction within a virtual environment between home students studying in their own culture and international students studying at a distance. The context includes both the state and private sector in South East Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. The subject is a Master of Arts in Education for practising in-service teachers of English. Through exchanging teacher narratives, students identify shared concerns and values about their profession and recognise connections with their peers in apparently widely different cultural settings. Student and tutor evaluations suggest that participants developed the competence of recognising connections between their own meanings and behaviours and those of others. They also deconstructed their assumptions and unexamined beliefs through engagement with others. The paper concludes by analysing how these competences impacted on the self-knowledge and practice of the participants, and suggests the generative principles which made this learning effective.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

... This institution, like its counterparts in the UK, has a policy of widening participation and inclusion and has placed a vision of the 'international community' at the centre of its mission statement. The projects have been drawn together in this paper for the purposes of Learning Interconnectedness 71 comparison, since they share student engagement as a principle of design (Spiro, 2010a(Spiro, , 2010b(Spiro, , 2011(Spiro, , 2013. Three of the four projects took place inside formal teaching contexts leading to assessed outcomes. ...
... The UK-based students felt they had learnt a great deal about specific aspects of teaching and learning in other cultures and again these points offered challenging contrasts with their own UK settings. These included aspects of timekeeping, respect for the teacher ('In France it's really regimented, you have real respect for the teacher' (Spiro, 2011)), resources in schools, entrance and examination systems ('I heard about the Chinese school entrance exams-people from Oxford couldn't do them-they set the bar so much higher/the competition is so much higher' (Spiro, 2011)) learner motivation ('in Germany too, the students were really hardworking' (Spiro, 2011); 'in contrast to the system hereyou think if you don't do homework who cares?' (Spiro, 2011)). ...
... The UK-based students felt they had learnt a great deal about specific aspects of teaching and learning in other cultures and again these points offered challenging contrasts with their own UK settings. These included aspects of timekeeping, respect for the teacher ('In France it's really regimented, you have real respect for the teacher' (Spiro, 2011)), resources in schools, entrance and examination systems ('I heard about the Chinese school entrance exams-people from Oxford couldn't do them-they set the bar so much higher/the competition is so much higher' (Spiro, 2011)) learner motivation ('in Germany too, the students were really hardworking' (Spiro, 2011); 'in contrast to the system hereyou think if you don't do homework who cares?' (Spiro, 2011)). ...
Article
This study explores the view that student engagement with one another is critical in the internationalisation mission. Although universities make powerful claims regarding their international mission and goals, international and home students report isolation from one another. Whilst the literature is rich in its discussion of policy, institutional meanings and student voice, it offers us less insight into how internationalisation might be translated into classroom practice. The study shares examples of four small-scale projects in which students engage with one another across cultural boundaries in practical and problem-solving activities. What students value in the approach is explored through interview, focus groups, diary reflections and evaluations. The findings suggest that students who engage with one another across cultural boundaries in practical and pragmatic ways, experience significant change in their assumptions and feel more readily able to view themselves as members of an international learning community. The study arrives at the view that the evolution of communities of practice, based on principles of equality, shared goals and guided reciprocity can bring international and home students together in a process of effective mutual learning that meets some of the goals of the internationalisation.
... The participation of teacher candidates in internship activities abroad and the research related to this situation is an essential topic of discussion in the world (Barton, Hartwig & Cain, 2015;Cushner, 2007;Goodwin, 2010;Larsen, 2016;Mahon, 2010;Nazeer-Ikeda, 2014;Shonia & Stachowski, 2014;Smolcic & Katunich, 2016;Spiro, 2011). According to the results of these researches, candidates who practice teaching abroad can learn how to teach in culturally diverse societies (Goodwin, 2010;Smolcic & Katunich, 2016;Spiro, 2011), carry out a remarkable professional influence in which characteristics such as respect for the perspectives, experiences, and worldviews of different people, develop and contribute to leadership, communication skills, and self-confidence (Barton et al., 2015;Smolcic & Katunich, 2016). ...
... The participation of teacher candidates in internship activities abroad and the research related to this situation is an essential topic of discussion in the world (Barton, Hartwig & Cain, 2015;Cushner, 2007;Goodwin, 2010;Larsen, 2016;Mahon, 2010;Nazeer-Ikeda, 2014;Shonia & Stachowski, 2014;Smolcic & Katunich, 2016;Spiro, 2011). According to the results of these researches, candidates who practice teaching abroad can learn how to teach in culturally diverse societies (Goodwin, 2010;Smolcic & Katunich, 2016;Spiro, 2011), carry out a remarkable professional influence in which characteristics such as respect for the perspectives, experiences, and worldviews of different people, develop and contribute to leadership, communication skills, and self-confidence (Barton et al., 2015;Smolcic & Katunich, 2016). It has a positive impact on the development of second foreign language teaching proficiency, especially in foreign language teachers (Smolcic & Katunich, 2016), it changes worldviews, improves adaptability, self-confidence, empathy, and tolerance to uncertainty (Cushner, 2007;Larsen, 2016;Mahon, 2010). ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper analyzes the effects of internationalization seen through the Erasmus program in teacher education programs. The study's importance is that teacher training is generally funded for local environments by state systems; subsequently teacher candidates have less opportunity for global curricula. One of Turkey's most vital tools for internationalization is the Erasmus exchange program. Thus, this study focuses on interviews with teacher candidates having international exchange experience and teacher educators involved as program coordinators in their own education faculties. Twelve participants from different teacher training areas at diverse universities were interviewed. The research findings reveal that students' social and cultural skills developed more than their academic competencies and professional teaching skills. Although the program makes an essential contribution to internationalization on both individual and institutional bases; we reveal that course selection problems, difficulties in academic recognition processes, foreign language problems, and the lack of possibility of taking the practicum course abroad have adverse effects on the process. This research addresses knowledge gaps in internationalization policy as teacher candidates, and teacher educators' voices are not heard in such initiatives. The study suggests that education faculties need solid foundations for internationalization efforts.
... While COIL had been used in various disciplines, it was not targeted for teacher preparation. Other programs had been used mainly, but not only, in Europe to support preservice teachers' intercultural learning, including developing an approach called telecollaborative teacher education (Ausband & Shultheis, 2010;Dooly & Sadler, 2013;O'Dowd, 2015;Spiro, 2011;Waldman & Harel, 2015;Wang et al., 2008;Wilder & Boer, 2015;Zong, 2009), culminating in an evaluation and training manual (EVALUATE, 2019a(EVALUATE, , 2019b. In 2019, we developed the conceptual and philosophical framing of COLAB, aligning it specifically to facilitate preservice teachers' intercultural experiences, awareness, and understandings. ...
... In fact, unguided or surface level intercultural interactions can lead to reinforced stereotypes and ethnocentrism (Pence & Macgillivray, 2008;Willard-Holt, 2001). Conversely, cultural mentoring and explicit intentional guided instruction, both in the virtual exchange and international field experience formats, have been found to be the most effective way to foster growth and transformation during such experiences (Cushner, 2018;Spiro, 2011). Our research adds to the body of research about the importance and value of instructor-guided and -facilitated virtual exchange and telecollaboration programs embedded with university-based programs (Ausband & Shultheis, 2010;Dooly & Sadler, 2013;EVALUATE, 2019b;Harshman & Augustine, 2013;Merryfield, 2006;O'Dowd, 2015;Waldman & Harel, 2015;Wang et al., 2008;Wilder & Boer, 2015;Zong, 2009). ...
Article
Full-text available
This article introduces the Collaborative Online Learning Across Borders (COLAB) teaching and research program. It outlines the development of the cross-national collaboration, and examines the learning in four teacher education programs in New Zealand and the United States of America. COLAB aims to support teacher candidates, in the US and abroad, to begin their teaching career with insights into the complexities of working with people from diverse social and cultural contexts. This article presents a research study that examined the online intercultural interactions and understandings among undergraduate and graduate preservice (and some inservice) teachers (n = 110) across four universities during a 4-week unit. It details the online teaching techniques involved in COLAB and highlights the development of intercultural understandings through an online learning experience among the preservice teachers. The preservice teachers’ insights and sensitivities to the other, ethnocentrism, and the online learning space are theorized through a framework of cultural otherness and interculturality, which emphasizes the unique potential for cross-cultural experiences in this online format.
... Nonetheless, international students enhance cultural awareness across American university campuses, bringing diverse cultural, linguistic, religious, curricular, and global perspectives that help prepare American students with skills to be used in their careers and a globalized economy (Luo & Jamieson-Drake, 2013). Moreover, the presence of international students brings opportunities for sharing cross-cultural and global viewpoints with all students, enhancing the overall curricula that allow students to reflect and (re)shape their identities (Altbach & Knight, 2007;Leask & Carroll, 2011;Spiro, 2011). Trice and Yoo (2007) found that higher education curriculum tends to lack an international focus or perspective; changing this absence could significantly improve international students' experiences with program curricula that are more culturally responsive and interculturally sensitive to this student population (Exposito, 2015). ...
Article
Full-text available
Intercultural competence reflects higher education institutions’ commitment to the internationalization of campus, programs, and curricula and results in attracting/retaining international students. Numerous studies explore international students’ challenges adapting to the receiving country; however, limited research investigates their experiences with intercultural competence. Thus, a phenomenological study was conducted to investigate the lived experiences of 12 international students with intercultural competence at a Southwest Florida university. The constant comparison method identified three dimensions of the participants’ lived experiences: institutional, curricular, and interpersonal. The findings indicated a lack of intercultural competence in each dimension, significantly impacting students’ academic and social experiences.
... Education and training providers are facing demands of the industry and labour markets internationally (Starcic, 2012). Although it is possible to achieve some international experience through online learning communities (Hudson, Owen, & Veen, 2006;Hudson, Hudson, & Steel, 2006;Spiro, 2011;Taras et al., 2013), participating in international student mobility seems a much more powerful and comprehensive educational technology. As the number of students enrolled in study abroad programs continues to grow, especially thanks to the Erasmus programme in Europe, it is worth considering the effectiveness of this kind of education. ...
Article
Full-text available
On the basis of a large-scale online survey, we examined the self-reported effects of and satisfaction with international student mobility among Polish tertiary education students who took part in such mobility 5-6 years before the survey. They emphasised the following benefits: improving their foreign language skills, making international friends, enhancing their intercultural understanding, becoming more mobile, independent, self-confident, and feeling more European (an identity effect). More than 2/3 of our respondents indicated the highest possible level of general satisfaction with their international student mobility and more than 90% of the study subjects did not hesitate to recommend such an experience to their friends. Therefore, promoting the participation of university students in study periods abroad seems both an attractive and a valuable educational technology, at least from the Polish perspective.
Article
Full-text available
Pre-service education and in-service teacher professional development (collectively termed teacher professional development or TPD here) can play a pivotal role in raising teaching quality and, therefore, learning outcomes for children and young people in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, TPD opportunities in LMICs are limited, unsustained, and often not informed by recent research evidence, and outcomes are mixed. Educational technologies offer potential to enhance formally provided programmes and informal peer-learning forms of TPD. We present the first systematic review of the literature pertaining to technology-mediated TPD for educators of school-aged learners in LMICs, aiming to characterise appropriate and effective uses of technology along with specific constraints operating in those contexts. An in-depth synthesis of 170 studies was undertaken, considering macro-, meso- and micro-level factors during TPD design and implementation in the 40 LMICs represented. Volume of publications increased dramatically over the review period (2008–2020), indicating that the field is rapidly developing. Results largely showed benefits for teachers, but evidence for sustainability, cost-effectiveness or tangible impacts on classroom practice and student outcomes was thin. Promising, locally-contextualised forms of technology-mediated TPD included virtual coaching, social messaging, blended learning, video-stimulated reflection, and use of subject-specific software/applications. We report on the variable effectiveness of programmes and limited attention to marginalised groups. To maximise effectiveness of technology-enhanced TPD, the role of facilitators or expert peers is paramount – yet often glossed over – and the interpersonal dimension of teacher learning must be maintained. Recommendations are made for researchers, policymakers, teachers and teacher educators.
Article
Full-text available
One of the goals of foreign language (FL) education is to produce intercultural speakers. Telecollaboration can act as a catalyst for promoting language skills development, intercultural communicative competence (ICC), and multiple literacies. The significance of multimodal communicative competence (MCC) on the success or failure of a telecollaborative project and its interdependence with intercultural communicative competence (ICC) have already been established. The very few systematic reviews on ICC and second language (L2) or FL learningdo not take into account the different modalities through which learners interact and co-construct meaning and intercultural competence. Drawing on ecological linguistics (EL) and semiotics, the present review contributes to the field of applied linguistics by reviewing online intercultural exchanges (OIEs) and ICC development in relation to the modality used for each exchange that is reviewed. Features of the context of each study that was conducted in either a K-12 or a university setting were coded according to a coding scheme and analysed quantitatively using descriptive statistics. The findings of studies conducted in university contexts, were reviewed in-depth inductively in relation to the impact of Web 2.0 tools – and especially multimodality – on learners’ development of ICC. The exclusive focus on university contexts in the in-depth review stems from the frequency at which universities serve as contexts for OIEs, comprising in this case more than two-thirds of the reviewed studies. Analysis of the data suggests that multimodality in Web 2.0 tools and applications affects ICC development in multiple ways but more research on ICC and L2 and FL learners in multimodal environments needs to be conducted.
Article
Internationalization of higher education aims to develop foreign language and intercultural and international competences (IIC). To achieve this, universities worldwide have implemented strategies such as teaching content subjects in English, also known as English mediated instruction (EMI). However, there is scant research on the positive and negative aspects related to EMI implementation in Latin America. For this reason, this case study explores the perceptions of a group of computer science professors, students, and the program administrator in a Colombian university about the use of this approach in learning content and language and the development of IICs. Results revealed that implementing this initiative has benefits but also poses some challenges. Therefore, we offer recommendations related to the institution as a whole, the professors, and the students and suggest including some elements of the CLIL approach to support learning. It is hoped that these findings will contribute to the worldwide EMI/CLIL discussion, especially in Latin American where this practice is relatively new. doi: 10.5294/laclil.2016.9.2.4
Article
Full-text available
While opportunities for online learning are increasing in K-12 education, few teacher education programs include courses on online teaching and learning. Using Garrison and Anderson's (2003) Community of Inquiry framework, this qualitative study explored the educational experiences of pre-service teachers in an experiential online course designed to teach about online teaching. Students explored aspects of online education and created a multi-media teaching module. The study highlighted the need for pre-service teacher education programs to design learning experiences that equip the next generation of teachers with the skills required to teach 21st century students in a variety of media that accommodate a diversity of learning styles.
Article
Full-text available
This study examines profiles of online and face-to-face students in a single information science school: the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies. A questionnaire was administered to 76 students enrolled in online course sections and 72 students enrolled in face-to-face course sections. The questionnaire examined student capabilities in four areas associated with success in distance education. These are: basic communication skills and access to the Internet, motivational styles, preferences for individual vs. group work, time management issues, and attitudes toward online education. Online students were more comfortable than face-to-face students communicating electronically, had better access to the Internet, and reported better typing skills. Face-to-face students reported themselves to be more reliant on class participation to stimulate their interest in a class, and were more favorably disposed to group exercises. Online students were very much more likely than face-to-face students within the same institution and degree program to believe that online education was of comparable quality to face-to-face education.
Article
The Master of Arts in Teaching program at Empire State College, an alternative teacher certification program focused on bringing career-changing adults to high-needs schools, has an important need in its initial pre-service year. These adult students must be prepared to move into complex, high-needs schools without student teaching and often with little direct exposure to best practices in an urban environment. In an attempt to bring more positive and productive “reality” into this pre-service year, urban K12 students were videotaped during a science workshop, then segments of this tape were streamed into the online segment of a pre-service course. Initial findings suggest that these 31 pre-service teachers benefitted from watching these videos that provided a rich, complex, realistic yet visionary scenario for analysis. These soon-to-be teachers then developed their own perspective on high-quality instruction. With minimal instructional prompts, these students were able to dig deeply into the activities ...