Videos from Intercultural Competence Conference 2012

May 16th, 2012 | Posted by Sasha Kuchuk in cercll project | icc2012 | professional development | resources | video - (Comments Off on Videos from Intercultural Competence Conference 2012)

Did you miss your chance to attend The Third International Conference on the Development and Assessment of Intercultural Competence this January? Or would like to revisit some of the presentations?

CERCLL has made available the videos of the keynote address, plenary addresses, and some paper presentations. You can either see them on CERCLL’s YouTube Channel or CERCLL’s website, where you can also find and download presentation slides and some other materials.

Now you can watch the complete videos of the keynote presentation “Reconsidering Crosscultural Abilities: The Link to Language Learning and Assessment” by Dr. Heidi Byrnes from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., and all five plenary presenatations:

“Exploring the Intercultural Dimensions of Cross-Border Language Learning” by Dr. Celeste Kinginger, Pennsylvania State University

“Intercultural Competence of Heritage Language Learners: Motivation, Identity, Language Attitudes and the Curriculum” by Dr. Olga Kagan, University of California, Los Angeles

“Targeting the Target Language: Strategies in a Multilingual Environment” by Dr. David Fenner, World Learning

“Intercultural In/competence: The Top Challenge for Guest Chinese Teachers in US Schools” by Dr. Jun Liu, Georgia State University

“Pulsating Galactic Classrooms, Immersion Environments, Individual vs. Group Language Learning at Home and Abroad” by Dr. Judith M. Maxwell, Tulane University

Here is what conference attendees say about some of these presentations:

“[T]he keynote session by Dr. Byrnes called on the making of connections between linguistic ability and cultural ability, an aspect that tends to be overlooked or simplified by researchers in the area of ICC. The call made by Dr. Byrnes has had a strong impact on my own research … [The] type of argument put forth by Dr. Byrnes made the attendance at the conference an extremely valuable learning experience.”
Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, Ph.D. student in Applied Linguistics and Technology, University of Iowa

“I thoroughly enjoyed the plenary session by Olga Kagan. The information was solid, informative and interesting … I found this session particularly interesting because we deal with so many students who have a heritage language, who have cultural affinity, but who are functionally illiterate in that language.  I think this is an important issue for students from Mexico.”
Patricia Hutchinson, Cottonwood Middle School, Cottonwood, AZ

“The plenary that stole the show was “Targeting the Target Language” by David Fenner – he has the experience as a well traveled educator/scholar and the skills to perform and make the audience participate.”
Julio Fajardo, US Middle School Teacher

Presenting at the CERCLL’s Intercultural Competence Conference

April 20th, 2012 | Posted by Sasha Kuchuk in cercll project | culture | icc 2014 | icc2012 | professional development - (Comments Off on Presenting at the CERCLL’s Intercultural Competence Conference)

CERCLL’s biennial International Conference on the Development and Assessment of Intercultural Competence is an excellent opportunity not only to catch up with the recent developments in the field and to learn from experts and peers, but also to present one’s own research. The recently concluded ICC 2012 focused on “Intercultural Competence and Foreign/Second Language Immersive Environments,” and brought together about 270 academic and language professionals from around the globe. Over four days, the conference featured one keynote and five plenary presentations, more than 80 paper presentations, and 7 pre- and post-conference workshops. Attendees generally commented on the welcoming atmosphere of the conference, and presenters have noted that this atmosphere extended to the way their talks were received by the audience.

“It was a privilege and empowering opportunity to present at CERCLL’s Intercultural Competence Conference with my colleagues…Openness, enthusiasm, dedication to research, and a maintained view of the “big picture” – into which our teaching and research and individual (as well as collective) acts of cross-cultural communication fit – defined this international conference experience…The CERCLL staff have been warm, welcoming and consistently communicative as they sought to meet my needs as a conference attendee and presenter. I cannot recommend CERCLL’s Intercultural Competence Conference highly enough to my colleagues.”

—Rebecca Hale, University of Cincinnati

The diversity of attendees and presenters that characterizes ICC makes these conferences a great venue for novice presenters, who are able to reach experts in their own field as well as across disciplinary boundaries:

“This was my first time presenting my research, and I could not have asked for a better conference at which to present. Even though being streamed and presenting right after Dr. Jane Jackson (whom I cite many times in my dissertation) was nerve-wracking, the excellent organization of the conference as well as the quality of the previous talks made for a successful first experience.”

—Anne Dargent-Wallace, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“This conference offered an excellent venue to present one’s own research result as well as to learn from others…[I]t was my first experience in presenting my thesis’ data in front of an expert audience, even though many of the attendees were not experts, but just generally interested in the topic. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a mainly American audience, since my research is based on a European model and theory, but it was greatly appreciated and accepted.”

—Beate Mueller, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

For many presenters, speaking at ICC 2012 sparked ideas for future work and provided opportunities to build relationships that could foster future collaboration:

“[T]he fact that my work prompted a large number of questions and interesting comments will be a great stimulus for further practice.”

—Marta Guarda, University of Padova, Italy

“As a presenter at the ICC conference I was able to make important connections with other researchers in the field. This conference provided me with a platform to meet researchers who are interested in my area of research, and with whom I may be able to engage in future research projects.”

—Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, Iowa State University

The next Intercultural Competence Conference will take place in January of 2014 and will address the topic of “Preparing Teachers to Teach for Intercultural Competence.” Whether you are a seasoned researcher or are taking your first steps as the researcher and practitioner in the field of intercultural competence, ICC 2014 could be the perfect opportunity for you to present your research and engage in a fruitful dialogue with your colleagues. Look for the Call for Papers for CERCLL’s Fourth Intercultural Competence Conference on the CERCLL website and this blog!

A Smattering of Language will Do?

April 17th, 2012 | Posted by C Botelho in critique | culture | SLAT - (Comments Off on A Smattering of Language will Do?)

“I feel very strongly that the ideal shouldn’t be mastery of another language, because that’s an unachievable goal and holding it up as the aim just makes students feel hopeless… We should emphasise the pleasures of languages, rather than the need for complete competence.”

—Marina Warner, “English that’s good enough: The mastery of English is not the intimidating ideal any non-native should seek: a smattering will do.” The Guardian, March 13 2012.

Having attended the Multilingual, 2.0? symposium this past weekend at the University of Arizona, this was a question/topic that came up in several of the talks as it relates to education and language policy planning and ideology. In Deborah Cameron’s talk “The one, the many and the Other: representing mono/multilingualism in post 9/11 verbal hygiene,” one of the more challenging topics she brought was that of ‘standards.’ She argued that linguists don’t want to talk about norms or language standards when examining language policies but until they are willing to have a sensible discussion on “norms” in the establishment of language policy, then the linguists will always lose.

Excerpt from Deborah Cameron’s abstract from Multilingual, 2.0?

Full abstract [PDF]

I begin with one of the questions offered by the organizers of this symposium:  ‘If multilingualism is founded on an assumption that we are shifting away from a monolingual perspective, how sound is that assumption? Can one shift away from that which does not exist in the first place?’… However assiduously academics may seek to criticize or deconstruct them, ‘monolingualism’ and ‘multilingualism’ undoubtedly exist in the world as ideological constructs, and in my view their existence has material and significant consequences; but it is difficult to generalize about the way in which they are constructed or imagined for different languages, nation-states, historical periods and geographical/ social locations.  Representations of monolingualism/ multilingualism are also representations of particular languages (and people) in particular times and places: that inevitably shapes their form and the cultural work they do.

While I found myself generally agreeing with Ms. Warner’s piece and her overall push for not demanding “native speaker proficiency” as a rule for language learning, her discussion glossed over just how complicated this subject area is. The claim that “It is possible to speak another language fluently and yet make continual mistakes in it—mistakes of word order and phrasing, register and weight of terms used, and numerous other pitfalls” reveals that she is applying a popular notion of “fluency” meaning “native-like” or “near-native-like” ability and is not recognizing that a language speaker/learner can have varying levels of proficiency depending on the field (speaking, writing, listening and reading). ACTFL’s proficiency guidelines (for speaking, writing, listening, and reading) include Distinguished, Superior, Advanced, Intermediate, and Low, all of which have sub-categorizations.

I couldn’t agree more with her advocating “for multilingual households, for foreign-born mothers—and fathers—for the benefits of different tongues and their speakers, and for the cultures they originate in. I also see value in making the crossing from one language to another without fear or inhibition, and above all for not minding “making mistakes.” To say that “Languages matter, but smatterings will do,” however, ignores learners’ needs and requirements for successful communicative interaction. I would suggest rather than saying a smattering will do, it would be more helpful to work on an inclusive language policy that actually defines what a “smattering” of language is, for what areas of proficiency, for what group(s) of speakers, and being critical of who is making these determinations and for what purposes.


Warner’s The Guardian article

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. National Standards for Foreign Language Education, Standards for Foreign Language Learning.

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012: Speaking, Writing, Listening and Reading. [PDF]

Plurilingual Teaching Across the Curriculum

April 17th, 2012 | Posted by C Botelho in critique | professional development | resources | SLAT - (Comments Off on Plurilingual Teaching Across the Curriculum)

For those teaching in a non-language discipline, is it possible to incorporate second language acquisition/pedagogy into the cirriculum?  According to Dr. Julian Hermida, the answer is “yes.”  Dr. Hermida argues that just as writing across the disciplines needed to be addressed in undergraduate courses, so too does the teaching and learning of a second language.

Some of the proposed means to accomplish this endeavor  include:

  • Choose a second language (L2) and connect it to your course.

This selection should be based on students’ preferences as well as the instructor’s. It may also be important to consider what resources are available in your community.

  • Start small and introduce changes gradually.

Dr. Hermida suggests starting slow. The class won’t become an immersion class from day one, but he suggests that simply fostering an awareness of the importance of learning a second (or multiple) language can be the first “round.”  Then, work on more concrete plans and activities that will incorporate specific language learning tasks or experiences.  Additionally, it will be important to consider what level you are teaching; with more second language learning taking place as the student progresses to higher course levels.

  • Educate yourself about theories of second language acquisition.

This is not the same as being familiar with learning theories and effective teaching methods. It will require learning about second language acquisition and methods for teaching second languages.

  • Take them out to the field.
  • Hook them up with other L2 learners and native speakers.

Where things become more problematic or lack more explicit details are suggestions such as:

  • Provide input in L2 and Encourage your students to use L2 in class.
  • Help students experiment with L2.

Without the training and understanding in second language acquisition theory and pedagogy, these tasks may prove overwhelming, if not untenable for an instructor, especially if he/she does not speak the second language.  Something not addressed in this article was the idea of partnering with various departments/having instructors collaborate across disciplines.  While some of the suggestions are somewhat “easier said than done,” with proper research and planning, Dr. Hermida’s primary goal of incorporating multilingual practices across disciplines in an effort to promote future student success in a globalized economy is commendable

Post 966 on the Tomorrow’s Professor℠ Mailing List. Original author: Dr. Julian Hermida, Department of Law and Politics, Algoma University, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

Study Abroad and Internationalizing the Academy

April 11th, 2012 | Posted by peckenpaugh in cercll staff | culture - (Comments Off on Study Abroad and Internationalizing the Academy)

A recent article from the Chronicle of Higher Education (“Business Schools Worldwide Fall Short on Globalization, Report Says”) notes the results of a three-year study on globalization undertaken by an international task force of business school leaders. The report highlights a number of curricular gaps, such as that between overseas experience and curricular content, noting that “most business schools place more emphasis on studying abroad than on developing and integrating global content within the curriculum.” The overall conclusion? According to Dean Robert F. Bruner of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, who led the task force, “The big takeaway from this report is the sobering message that schools can’t hide from globalization.”

It’s hard to hide from the world; where can you go?

The challenges of globalization are—forgive the pun—not localized to business schools. As the academy adapts to an increasingly international world, the study-abroad program landscape has shifted. More than half of the schools participating in the 2010 OpenDoors Report reported an increase in the number of students studying abroad in the 2008-2009 academic year, but the overall number of U.S. students studying abroad declined for the first time on record. Most of the decline came at the expense of short-term (<8 weeks) programs, which remain more popular than long-term study abroad, perhaps because they are accessible to students “whose financial or academic needs preclude a longer stay.”

The OpenDoors Report also found that more students are studying in countries outside Western Europe, including the Middle East, Asia and Oceania. This news offers a glimpse of a more diverse global future, but the value of this increased internationalization will be squandered if business schools and others cannot help students apply their experiences to the creation of useful knowledge. Many students, for example, encounter challenging cultural differences while they are abroad. If the process of reflection and adaptation on such challenges is absent, an individual may fail to make meaning out of such events.

Higher Education cannot simply tout the value of an “internationalized” or “globalized” education without ensuring that pedagogical choices across the curriculum integrate global themes—whether they be the result of a study abroad experiences or the culturally diverse nature of daily life at home.