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Thursday, August 13 • 9:00am - 10:00am
Henderson Plenary: From Local to Global: Virtual Pedagogies for Intercultural Competence Development

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From Local to Global: Virtual Pedagogies for Intercultural Competence Development.  Our increasingly diverse community necessitates intercultural competence development. Broadly defined, intercultural competence refers to the “effective management of interaction between people who, to some degree or another, represent different or divergent affective, cognitive, and behavioral orientations to the world” (Spitzberg & Changnon, 2009, p. 7). Hence, cognizance and implementation of specific linguistic and cultural tools in a variety of contexts are key components of intercultural competence. Lack of intercultural competence has resulted in negative consequences in numerous settings, including health care (Gregg & Saha, 2007; Perry & Southwell, 2011) and legal contexts (Eades, 2008; Hornberger, 1998). Thus, intercultural competence is an essential skill that can be developed as a life-long learning element beginning in the formative years. Both external (e.g., social environment) and internal stimuli (e.g., motivation) influence an individual’s intercultural competence development. Moreover, learners’ attention is affected by external and internal stimuli. Attention can be loosely referred to as a continuous process in the brain that entails interaction between the learner and environment (Schuchert, 2004). Virtual pedagogies that direct learners’ attention to their roles in local and global communities can enhance intercultural competence development.

Accordingly, this presentation addresses the following three primary areas: 1) virtual spaces and the role of attention in intercultural competence development, 2) global examples of virtual pedagogies drawing upon Japan’s utilization of synchronous tools to increase learners’ attention (Jung, 2008), Brazil’s innovative approaches to break the inequitable digital divide using mobile and online platforms (Mota & Scott, 2014), and Zimbabwe’s dual models of distance education (Aina, 2008), and 3) innovative asynchronous and synchronous samples of the author’s undergraduate online introductory language courses with an intercultural competence development framework. A Bring Your Own ideas (BYOi) collaborative activity will allow attendees to co-create an interactive virtual learning space that enhances learners’ intercultural competence skill development.

avatar for Christine E. Poteau

Christine E. Poteau

Assistant Professor of Spanish and Coordinator of the World Languages Program, Alvernia University
Growing up in a multicultural family, my immersive experiences in Brazilian Portuguese and Ukrainian inspired me to pursue graduate studies in Spanish Applied Linguistics at Temple University (Philadelphia, PA). Currently, I am an Assistant Professor of Spanish and the World Languages... Read More →

Thursday August 13, 2015 9:00am - 10:00am EDT
Sanders Theatre