Cornell University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2017 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 972-982
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.0384
Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain
A comprehensive reform program for the CASA-Sevilla immersion study abroad program based on active learning and community engagement was begun in 2014 and continues to the present. The reform began because it has become clear that in a globalized internet-integrated world, mere residence abroad with homestays, direct enrollment in a foreign university, and logistical support from a qualified staff no longer produced automatic intercultural learning. Increasing opportunities to remain in a cultural bubble created by life in English on the internet and the ease of flitting around Europe on low cost airlines led to diminished local cultural contact and to a lack of intercultural initiatives from many of the students. To counter this, an action research project engaging the staff and faculty in Seville and in Cornell Abroad and Penn Abroad restructured the whole program around a model of “student centered” active pedagogy linking homestays, CASA provided support, tutoring, and coursework, direct enrollment on the University of Seville, work in community organizations, and intentionally challenging cultural tours. The aim is to integrate these dimensions in a comprehensive approach to all program elements by placing the student at the center of their own intercultural learning process and providing individualized tutoring and support. To accomplish this, we had to restructure all dimensions of the program. This means keeping track of the individual student's development of the multiple skills needed for intercultural learning, providing supportive individualized mentoring, offering interesting and well structured cultural experiences and solid curricular modules on history, anthropology, and the arts is an organizational challenge. In addition to using a syllabus, Blackboard, and individual mentoring sessions, we are developing a student-centered Common Frame of Reference for Intercultural Learning modeled on the Common European Framework for Language. These frameworks involve the student and mentor in analyzing the student’s skill sets and developing learning plans to improve each skill area through specific learning plans. These learning plans use all the elements in the program as learning opportunities for the students to strengthen the student’s intercultural learning skills. In this presentation, I report on this Common Frame of Reference for Intercultural Learning and show how it is to be deployed in the program. The contents of this presentation are complemented by the papers given by and Eva Infante “Increasing Intercultural Learning in Study Abroad through Active Pedagogy: The Consortium for Advanced Studies Abroad (CASA)-Sevilla Pilot Program” and Juan Muñoz, “Improving Linguistic Progress in Study Abroad by Linking Intercultural Competences and Cultural Immersion: Using the CEFRL (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) as a Learning Tool in CASA-Sevilla".
Intercultural learning, active pedagogy, engaged learning, individualized learning plans.