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Designing an international environment in language learning
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Japanese.
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2013 (English)In: EDULEARN13: 5TH International conference on education and new learning technologies, 2013, 5867-5876 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Raising students' intercultural competence has been one of the major issues in language education (Byram 2000, Coste, Moore, Zarate 2009, Kramsch 2010, etc). Byram (2000) defines intercultural competence as: "the ability to see relationships between different cultures - both internal and external to a society - and to mediate, that is, to interpret each in terms of the other, either for themselves or for other people." It also covers the ability "to critically and analytically understand that one's own and the other culture's perspectives are culturally determined rather than natural" (Byram 2000). Kramsch (1993) also claims that language learners need to define and design for themselves their "third place" or "third culture" through language learning. This ability to find/establish/adopt such a third place is at the very core of intercultural competence. The purpose of this presentation is to introduce a joint research project, which was carried out during 2012 and 2013 in collaboration between four universities: Pusan National University (South Korea), Busan University of Foreign Studies (South Korea), Donghua University (China) and Dalarna University (Sweden). This joint research project was established to investigate ways to raise the intercultural competence of students who learn Japanese at each university. The main goal of the project is to design a learning environment where students can actively engage with each other in the target language (Japanese) and develop their intercultural competence through these interactions. Other than developing communicative competence, we aim to support the development of the following student competences: An increased ability for self-reflection. An awareness of the presuppositions they hold and their cultural basis (Byram 2011). The research is based on three studies (carried out in the spring term 2012, the autumn term 2012, and the spring term 2013). Five Japanese language teachers, representing each of the collaborating universities, participated in the project. 17 students participated in the first term, 21 in the second term and 41 in the third term. Students from each university also interacted online outside of the ordinary classes. In this presentation, we outline the challenges we have met and what we have so far learned by organizing this kind of study. Among other things, we describe how the learning environment was prepared, how topics were chosen, the kinds of tools we chose, and our efforts to increase students' abilities for self-reflection. We will also discuss the learning results obtained by students.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. 5867-5876 p.
Keyword [en]
Designing an environment, intercultural competence, international joint research, Japanese teaching
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Education and Learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-18310ISI: 000346798305123ISBN: 978-84-616-3822-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-18310DiVA: diva2:827812
Conference
5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies (EDULEARN), JUL 01-03, 2013, Barcelona, SPAIN
Available from: 2015-06-29 Created: 2015-06-25 Last updated: 2015-12-17Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf