Enhancing internationalisation at home
Date / Time: 28 August 2012 10.30-11.30am
Enhancing internationalisation at home: Overseas graduate students’ evaluation of an induction programme
Prue Holmes is Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at Durham University. She teaches and supervises postgraduate students in areas of intercultural education and communication. Prue has published and researched on international and Chinese students’ learning and intercultural communication experiences, intercultural encounters and intercultural dialogue. Her current projects include an AHRC-funded Researching Multilingually project (www.researchingmultilingually.com) on building research design and practice in multilingual contexts; case studies in intercultural dialogue; the cultural dimensions of foreign language teaching and of English as a lingua franca; and internationalisation. Prue is MA Programme Director and is currently establishing an MA in Intercultural Education and Internationalisation.
Internationalisation at home includes internationalising the curriculum, exploring teaching and learning processes, developing intercultural and global competences, and examining the intersections between the local and the global. However, while some international students may receive brief pre-entry academic preparation, most students, including home students, enter the new academic and cultural environment with little, if any, preparation for learning and intercultural communication with their peers in the classroom and community beyond. Without such preparation, internationalisation risks failure and the goal of developing intercultural citizens remains elusive. This presentation investigates the extent to which a two-week induction programme improves the learning and intercultural communication experiences of overseas students enrolled in a one-year postgraduate degree. The study was funded by the Higher Academy of Education and the United Kingdom Centre for International Affairs (HEA/UKCISA). The findings are drawn from semi-structured interviews with international (primarily East Asian) students conducted towards the end of the academic year. Their evaluations of the programme and its usefulness in preparing them for learning and intercultural engagement are presented. The study also evaluates the effectiveness of intercultural training activities in developing improved student/student and teacher/student intercultural communication both within and outside of the classroom. Findings will inform future induction programmes in terms of objectives, content and delivery to ensure improved learning and intercultural communication experiences for all students in plurilingual/pluricultural classrooms.
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