Employing telecollaborative exchange to extend intercultural learning after study abroad
In today’s increasingly globalized world, the development of learners’ intercultural communicative competence (ICC) is a vital aim of L2 teaching. ICC encompasses a process of continuous evaluation in developing cultural knowledge, the skills of discovering and interacting with others, open attitudes, and critical awareness (Byram 1997). Common experience suggests that classroom instruction alone is not sufficient and that close interaction with L1 speakers through cultural immersion is indispensable for students to gain adequate first-hand knowledge of the target culture, and effectively develop ICC. Accordingly, many programs have integrated overseas experience into their curriculum as part of degree requirements. Research studies have documented the effect of study abroad on intercultural learning using surveys, written reflections, and ethnographic interviews (e.g., Jackson 2005, 2012; Lee 2012). The results showed that students may increase their language proficiency and intercultural awareness through interaction with the host culture and families during their study abroad programs (e.g., Knight and Schmidt-Rinehart 2010); however, it can be a challenge for them to stay connected with the culture in which they were immersed, and continue their intercultural learning after their return home.
Intercultural Interventions in Study Abroad
Lee, Lina. Employing telecollaborative exchange to extend intercultural learning after study abroad. In Jane Jackson & Susan Oguro (eds.), Intercultural Interventions in Study Abroad. Routledge Publishing, London, UK, 2017.