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Programme - Internationalisation



Intercultural Learning for Employability: Open-Space, Experiential, Online.
Sophie Reissner-Roubicek with Lynnette Richards and Emily Lim (Centre for Applied Linguistics / International Office)

In 2014 we’ve developed a series of three mini-modules for the International Office using the new ‘video lesson tool’ in Moodle. This course, Study Abroad Pre-departure Online, is one of the pedagogical outcomes of a project IATL funded in 2012-13. The new course features interactive tasks designed around clips from, firstly, interviews with returning Study Abroad students who were lead learners on our IATL project ‘Enhancing intercultural competence through experiential and virtual learning’ and secondly, materials derived from our interdisciplinary collaboration with Engineering lead learners based at Warwick. These students participated in open-space activities with their Engineering counterparts in Belgium and Japan through video conference in the Ramphal Portal, which were taken up in projects by the Belgian students and fed into a ongoing collaboration with Tokyo, in conjunction with Engineering educators at Warwick and Leuven.

We discuss the ways that students learn from the experiential workshops and online materials we have developed, and share their comments. Importantly, we show how the learning design in all the above activities is structured to enhance employability with particular reference to working in mixed nationality groups at university and multicultural ‘global’ teams. Communication issues in such groups are often attributed to language proficiency and/or motivation, because of a gap in understanding the concepts and values underlying cultural differences in interactional style. We’ll conclude with a short video outlining a new development for an intercultural toolkit that aims to promote observation skills, analytical skills and reflective skills to fill this gap.

Attendees will have the opportunity to try out one of the interactive tasks that illustrate cultural concepts introduced in the new mini-modules. If time allows we will discuss an example of how the cultural dimensions of ‘high and low context’ communication style affect not only groupwork but also extend to the written interaction between teachers and students via email and assignment feedback. Examples from a survey and follow-up workshop with a focus group of incoming international students we conducted in 2013 will be presented in support.


Sustainability in an international context
Sam Adelman (Law)

Further information to follow shortly.


Languages@Warwick teaching environmnet
Teresa MacKinnon, Jorg Seifert, Katsuko Nagata, Claude Trégoat, and Monica Martin-Castaño (Language Centre)

According to the UK Employability Skills project report (2008) “new pedagogical approaches include an emphasis on exploration, learning by doing and reflection in authentic contexts. However, these need to be mixed with rather than simply replace existing approaches.”

Languages@Warwick teaching environment was specifically designed to support innovative language teaching and learning experiences whilst reducing the technical learning curve that can be prohibitive for staff due to the necessary time investment. It was developed with support from a Fellowship with Warwick’s Institute for Advanced teaching and Learning.

This series of presentations will show some of the innovation which we have been able to implement since we started delivering blended learning through this enhanced moodle-based environment.

The following aspects of our delivery will be presented:

● Connecting at a distance: the virtual exchange portal EWC used to connect 900 learners at a distance from different institutions for interaction and mutual language learning support. This provided a case study for the INTENT report (2012) and is documented in the website.
● Intercultural engagement: A virtual exchange project between German learners and the Medienhochschule Stuttgart in Germany. Using Google+ students developed linguistic and transcultural communication skills as they worked in bilingual teams to perform a variety of student-led research tasks.
● Supporting our learners: through the regular tutor use of a virtual room our senior tutor for Japanese is able to quickly create weekly class language presentations supporting recap and consolidation for learners.
● Collaboration and co-creation: our senior tutor for French shows how shared google docs have been used to enable language learners to collaborate in writing shared stories at a distance.
● Tailored teaching: In Spanish classes the Socrative app has been used to get feedback on understanding of grammar points during the class, allowing the tutor to tailor the teaching content to the students expressed needs.

The tools and approaches in our demonstration can be easily transferred and replicated in other environments and they provide clear examples of what can be achieved when the content specialists, in this case experienced language teachers, have significant input into technology deployment.