Title: Pre-service Teacher Training and the Role of Internationalization for Nurturing Intercultural Competencies
Stream: Professional development
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Tina Waldman, Kibbutzim College of Education, Israel
Beverley Topaz, Kibbutzim College of Education, Israel
In this presentation, we claim that internationalization programs in teacher education are essential to provide pre-service teachers with experiences that will develop their intercultural competencies. The development of intercultural communicative competence is crucial, not only for working in a global workplace, but also for teachers in their local context teaching culturally diverse pupil populations. There is a growing consensus among educators of additional languages that the primary goal in teaching English as an International Language (EIL) should be to facilitate intercultural communication, which is a critical skill in the globalized world. We compare interview data collected from participants of two different models of internationalization taking place simultaneously in one department of a teacher training college in Israel. The two models are Virtual Exchange (VE), in which students collaborate synchronously on intercultural online projects with international partners, and a Study Abroad (SA) program, where students study at an overseas institution for a semester or more. Qualitative content analysis of the interview data reveals that the internationalization at home program, through VE, may have led to slightly raised intercultural awareness among students, most likely due to explicit mentoring about critical incidents that arose during the VE, due to cultural or linguistic misunderstandings. The SA students received no such mentoring and showed little intercultural awareness when returning from their sojourn abroad. We propose several models for pre-service education programs, to capitalize on in-depth learning as well as serving as role models for students’ lifelong professional development and development of their intercultural competencies.
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