High Impacts of Intercultural Service-Learning Program on Taiwanese College Students

61350 Intercultural service-learning has been regarded a high-impact educational practice which can enhance students’ learning and civic engagement. Yet, research investigating into its process and outcome in Asian settings is comparatively rare. This study aims to assess the learning effects…

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61350

Intercultural service-learning has been regarded a high-impact educational practice which can enhance students’ learning and civic engagement. Yet, research investigating into its process and outcome in Asian settings is comparatively rare. This study aims to assess the learning effects of a Tourism English course which integrated intercultural service-learning element into its curriculum to connect students to the real world. Through serving the international tourists in the intercultural context, the students were expected to increase their intercultural communicative competence needed in the international tourism industry, broaden their worldview and increase their global citizenship. The participants were 45 college students enrolled in the course. The main service tasks included providing reception service in a large international convention and tour guiding foreign tourists in Zouying Old Town. The course design employed Fertman et al.’s (1996) PSRC 4-staged model which comprises reparation, service, reflection and celebration. The study used mixed-methods to collect data, including a survey of Common Outcome Measurement Questionnaire, focus group interviews, students’ reflection journals and teacher’s observation. The empirical findings indicated that integrating intercultural USR into Tourism English could produce high impacts and enhance students’ learning in four aspects: professional learning, soft skills and personal growth, intercultural competence, and civic learning. It is suggested English teachers and scholars could adopt intercultural service-learning as a valuable pedagogy to nurture students to become cross-disciplinary English professionals with intercultural citizenship.

I-Jane Janet Weng, Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, Taiwan

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