About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6150-6160
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain

MULTICULTURAL PERSPECTIVES IN ACADEMIC COMMUNICATION: ACADEMIC MOBILITY AND TEACHING PRACTICES

I. Khoutyz

Kuban State University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
In the context of globalization much is being said about the academic mobility and the role of English as a lingua franca – an important tool of knowledge exchange. However, it is often forgotten that while nations become better informed about each other, “transformations caused by globalization often strengthen local practices which continue to co-exist together with a more unified global organization of reality” (Khoutyz, 2013, p. 10). Naturally, communication practices within academic environment are affected by culture. Methods of teaching, principles of academic writing, understanding of what it means to be a good student vary from culture to culture: as a result, a top student from one country in the oversees setting might gain a painful experience of not coping with an academic program without being aware of why it is happening. The purpose of this research is to examine cultural specifics of academic environment and how they affect students enrolled in academic mobility programs.

First, I am going to discuss the results of the interviews which I conducted with the Russian students, who studied in a foreign university for at least one semester. The students expressed what they mostly liked (for instance, the independence which they were granted at a foreign university) and disliked (a distant student-professor relationship, etc) during their international experience and what academic practices they would want to see in Russian universities (more IT-friendly university libraries, etc.). I intend to support these findings with interviews of American students who have had a similar experience of studying in Russia.

Then I am going to single out cultural dimensions of academic environments these students had to deal with and dwell on the importance of taking into account cultural dimensions when preparing students for study abroad programs. Such dimensions of national cultures as power distance, collectivism and individualism, masculinity and femininity, uncertainty avoidance long- and short-term orientation play an important role in academic setting (Hofstede, Hofstede, 2005). For instance, people ascribe dissimilar roles to education in individualist and collectivist cultures. Depending on a dimension, further differences in communication in academic environment can be revealed. In the large-power-distance cultures the relationship between a student and a teacher is unequal: a student treats a teacher with deference and a teacher is “a guru” (p. 53). In the small-power-distance cultures the teachers are on equal terms with their students, “the educational process is student centered, with a premium on student initiative” (p. 54).

Finally, I make a conclusion that the awareness of intercultural specifics of academic environment is an important part of successful oversees study experience and should be included in communicative competence construction of a modern student.

References:
Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G.J. (2005). Cultures and Organizations. Software of the Mind. McGraw Hill.
Khoutyz, I. (2013). Globalisation and English as a Lingua Franca: does the future promise culturally homogenous or inimitable societies? In Interculturalism, Meaning and Identity. Oxford, 3-13.
@InProceedings{KHOUTYZ2013MUL,
author = {Khoutyz, I.},
title = {MULTICULTURAL PERSPECTIVES IN ACADEMIC COMMUNICATION: ACADEMIC MOBILITY AND TEACHING PRACTICES},
series = {6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2013 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-3847-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {6150-6160}}
TY - CONF
AU - I. Khoutyz
TI - MULTICULTURAL PERSPECTIVES IN ACADEMIC COMMUNICATION: ACADEMIC MOBILITY AND TEACHING PRACTICES
SN - 978-84-616-3847-5/2340-1095
PY - 2013
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2013
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2013 Proceedings
SP - 6150
EP - 6160
ER -
I. Khoutyz (2013) MULTICULTURAL PERSPECTIVES IN ACADEMIC COMMUNICATION: ACADEMIC MOBILITY AND TEACHING PRACTICES, ICERI2013 Proceedings, pp. 6150-6160.
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