Learning Through Sharing: A Case Study on the Effectiveness of Learning Experiences in a Multilingual Setting on Students’ Personal Growth


Internationalization at Home' (IaH) refers to ‘the embedding of international/intercultural perspectives into local educational settings’ (Turner and Robson, 2008:15) to raise the global awareness, cultural understanding and intercultural competence of faculty and students. One of the exemplifications in this regard is the trend that tertiary institutions in non-English speaking countries are increasingly offering courses in English and in multilingual classroom settings in order to prepare their students well for global challenges ahead.
This presentation discusses some of the findings of a case study on students’ learning experiences in a 16-week seminar course on intercultural communication with English as the main medium of instruction in a Japanese university. It aims to observe the effectiveness of a multicultural classroom experience on students’ motivation to learn and use English, their English language proficiency, and their attitude towards interaction with others from diverse linguistic/cultural backgrounds. 22 students from 5 countries or regions were enrolled in the course. Throughout the course, students were encouraged to write intercultural reflection journals through collaborative work, and to share their intercultural experiences and their understandings of the course topics among themselves. At the end of the course, a presentation session and a survey allowed students to summarize and evaluate their experiences during the course. Both the survey results and students’ narratives indicate a rewarding learning experience in terms of motivation to learn, and attitude towards language and interaction with people from other linguistic/cultural backgrounds. Related concerns will be raised and suggestions will be made for discussion.

Author Information
Albert R. Zhou, Musashino University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: SEACE2024
Stream: Learning Experiences

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon