How does this website work?
This website is about learning languages and developing intercultural awareness in THE INTERNATIONAL CLASSROOM (the INTclass), with three main types of contexts where new cultures and languages are encountered: formal instruction (FI), immersion (IM) and study abroad (SA).
An international classroom can be a ‘Formal instruction’ language learning context in which students are expected to improve in their abilities with language as a system, while practicing with their teachers and peers. This is typically the case of second/foreign language classrooms. The ability and motivation to communicate and aptitude in languages will impinge on learning outcomes.
An international classroom can be an ‘Immersion’ learning context in which an additional language, which is often neither the teachers’ nor the students’ first language(s), is used as the medium of instruction and communication in content courses taught at school. In Europe, it is known as Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) in primary and secondary education, and as Integrated Content and Language in Higher Education (ICLHE), or, more specifically, English-Medium Instruction (EMI). The ability and motivation to communicate, academic skills and aptitude in languages will impinge on learning outcomes.
An international classroom may also take place outside of the learner’s home country, in a ‘Study Abroad’ context, typically as part of one’s education, or during professional internships. Study Abroad is seen as a natural learning environment where practice is possible outside the classrooms. The ability and motivation to communicate, academic skills, intercultural awareness and aptitude in languages will impinge on learning outcomes while abroad. The European COMENIUS, LEONARDO or ERASMUS programmes are good examples of SA programmes.
INTclass is a research-based tool for learners, families, researchers and institutions. It includes:
— Updated information around the three key periods or stages in FI, IM and SA:
— Before the experience, the ‘Let’s get ready’ tag.
— During the experience, the ‘Making the most’ tag.
— After the experience, the ‘Now what do we do?’ tag.
— Activities to catch the momentum of gains (self-taught or with instructor’s guidance)
— A presentation of Individual ‘differences’ in language learning and cultural awareness
— Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
— Interesting websites and main references(Further info).
What will you find on this website?
Each page on the website focuses on a key topic relevant to FI, IM or SA, and includes:
— A video featuring students talking about their experiences.
— Written text explaining the main ideas about the topic.
— Activities to help students prepare themselves.
— An expert video explaining the topic in more detail.
While the project focuses on English, the lingua franca, as the target language, much of the website is applicable to the learning of other languages and about other cultures in an international classroom. It is not our intention to provide practical advice about study abroad on issues such as visa requirements and funding; however, links will be provided to books and other websites for further information regarding these issues.
What can this website offer you?
The website aims to provide information for students, as well as teachers and business people, about these three different contexts of language learning, and to support and help people in those situations.
With tasks designed to help you make the most out of your opportunities in an international classroom, and backed up by research insights, we hope to stimulate your autonomous learning in all types of language environments: on study abroad, where there is much learning to be exploited both inside and outside the four walls of the classroom at home, when English in the medium of instruction within the classroom when back in a formal instruction classroom, where there may be an international element to the curriculum.
Please take a look at the practical tasks we have designed for students. We hope they provide you with pause for reflection about the concept of the international classroom, whether for students who are about to experience a period in an international classroom, are currently doing so, or have recently completed a stint in one. To assist you with your role as ‘teacher-mentor’, we have included an exercise that we hope will prompt discussion with other stakeholders.
In this era of globalization, we hope to enhance the perceptions businesses have towards those students who can demonstrate benefits they have gained from participation in an international classroom. To this end, we have proposed interview questions to ask applicants with such an experience.