About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7239-7247
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.0648

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

INTERCULTURAL AWARENESS THROUGH APPRECIATION AND ENGAGEMENT IN INTENSIVE MAY TERM COURSES ABROAD

D. Flores-Silva, J. Bañuelos-Montes

Roanoke College (UNITED STATES)
Intercultural competence develops students’ cognitive, affective, and behavioral skills that support an effective cultural interaction within diverse cultural contexts and through different sets of dynamics in which students are able to measure themselves before and after traveling abroad. In Roanoke College (Virginia) there is a requirement to study abroad for one semester or a year, as well as to take a May Term course with the Spanish program when students are pursuing a Spanish major. Since our focus is on maximizing student cultural sensitivity and linguistic competence during the May Term period, there is a strong emphasis on helping students to appreciate cultural differences in order to gain a respect for values and cultural practices that can transform language students into a more reflective and globalized citizens. The transformative learning begins by targeting at least four different groups of locals: students' host families, their local classmates, the community, and young people like themselves. Students are motivated to engage with the aforementioned groups in different places such as museums, tourist places, archeological sites, markets, orphanages, or churches and so on in order to reflect upon multiple cultural perspectives and hopefully eliminate any preconceive notions of the target culture. During the time of the immersion, and through all the activities already planned ahead of time on campus, students develop not only a cross-cultural self-awareness while engaging with people from the local culture, but they also learn how to appreciate their stay in a foreign country. The authors of this study have plenty of experience traveling abroad with students and both coincide in their findings on how students tend to see and value these opportunities abroad as if these were a paid vacation trip. Nonetheless they are curious enough about learning new experiences and getting ready to start the adventure, they end up comparing what they find abroad to their own life and country. This is a mistake that prevents them from truly enjoying (or empathizing with) the diversity they can find abroad.

The methodology used in this course stresses the implementation of The 5 C’s: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities in order to address situations in different environments and contexts. A diverse list of intercultural competence questions helps students to delve into another cultural community and to eliminate interpretations and behaviors based on stereotypes (i.e. the conception that their mother culture is better than the one they are experiencing). Through careful assessment and reassessment of their responses to these questions, students encourage themselves to not only explore their new cultural environment, but to also test the limits of their own system of beliefs in order to arrive at more sophisticated and fluent levels of intercultural and linguistic competence.
@InProceedings{FLORESSILVA2016INT,
author = {Flores-Silva, D. and Ba{\~n}uelos-Montes, J.},
title = {INTERCULTURAL AWARENESS THROUGH APPRECIATION AND ENGAGEMENT IN INTENSIVE MAY TERM COURSES ABROAD},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.0648},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.0648},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {7239-7247}}
TY - CONF
AU - D. Flores-Silva AU - J. Bañuelos-Montes
TI - INTERCULTURAL AWARENESS THROUGH APPRECIATION AND ENGAGEMENT IN INTENSIVE MAY TERM COURSES ABROAD
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.0648
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 7239
EP - 7247
ER -
D. Flores-Silva, J. Bañuelos-Montes (2016) INTERCULTURAL AWARENESS THROUGH APPRECIATION AND ENGAGEMENT IN INTENSIVE MAY TERM COURSES ABROAD, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 7239-7247.
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