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Intercultural Learning – an undergraduate module supporting the development of students’ cultural awareness in international settings

Authors
  • Colaiacomo, Silvia
  • Puntil, Donata
Type
Published Article
Journal
Language Learning in Higher Education
Publisher
De Gruyter
Publication Date
Apr 25, 2018
Volume
8
Issue
1
Pages
187–196
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/cercles-2018-0011
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

This report illustrates the context and development of the Intercultural Learning module, provided by the Modern Language Centre (MLC), King’s College London. The Intercultural Learning Module is a one semester undergraduate course mostly attended by visiting study abroad students. The module aims to enhance students’ intercultural awareness and skills through an interdisciplinary approach comprising Cultural Studies, Applied Linguistics, Anthropology, Psychology and Research Methods. Throughout the course students carry out an ethnographic project on a cultural topic of their choice, for which they are assessed. The principles and tools of ethnography are deeply embedded in the module content as a process of cultural observation and discovery. Over the past three years, students’ feedback has been very positive and participant numbers have increased consistently. Four parallel classes (2 per semester) run per academic year. Resulting from the increasing popularity of the course and from the internationalisation strategy of the College, the MLC is currently offering a number of ad hoc training sessions on intercultural awareness and communication to different departments and members of the public. Training sessions differ from the module in depth and scope, but they are underpinned by the same reflection on intercultural theory and practical examples tailored to the audience.

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