What are you going to learn?

In order to ...

  • increase your intercultural awareness and sensitivity,
  • communicate more effectively with international students and other international guests at your univeristy,
  • improve how you manage everyday interactions in the intercultural work environment, including during teaching,
  • help identify and resolve intercultural conflicts,

... you will:

  • learn new concepts and reinforce the ones you already know,
  • compare various meanings and approaches in and to intercultural competence (ICC) development,
  • discover how to include ICC in your teacher's toolbox,
  • consider reflective practice in your teaching.

The intended learning outcomes (ILOs) are that, as a participant, you:

  • gain knowledge about the concepts of culture and intercultural competence and their impact on the didactic work environment;
  • acquire skills to effectively and appropriately communicate with students and other persons from different cultures, to present your knowledge in a culturally diverse environment and to manage intercultural issues related to your work as an academic: teaching, daily interaction, mentorship / supervision and conflict resolution;
  • become more aware of your cultural conditioning; create and maintain long-term relationships in academia; motivate and develop students' potential, as well as build an inclusive space for diverse teachers and learners. As a result, you will develop relevant attitutes.

There are six modules in the course:

Module 1: Culture in Higher Education.

Cultural diversity has a profound effect on the classroom dynamics, learning outcomes attainment and on future employment prospects of graduates. The effect of culture on teaching and learning has been researched for decades. It has been recently acknowledged by the academic teaching community in the face of growing mobility of international students, also virtual.

Intended learning outcomes:

  • You will learn how the concepts of culture, multiculturalism, and diversity are related to internationalisation of higher education, the teaching and learning environment and employability of graduates;
  • You will connect the growing importance of intercultural competence and the concept of a "global citizen" in a globalising world of academic teaching;
  • You will link the importance of the cultural awareness of you as an academic teacher with the quality of education you deliver and the development of global competences of your student.  

Module 2: Intercultural Competence (ICC).

This module begins with a short self-assessment of your own preparedness to teach in an international and intercultural environment. We discuss the concept of ICC from a theoretical and practical standpoints and discover alternatives to its understanding (cultural intelligence, intercultural humility, etc.). We focus on ICC daily application in the work environment.

Intended learning outcomes:

  • You will learn how the continuous development of your ICC affects communication with an international student; 
  • You will develop an understanding of students' needs resulting from their own cultural conditioning and their experience of culture shock, acculturation and enculturation, and influence of these experiences on their well-being and ability to progress in their studies; 
  • You will be able to recognise areas of cultural differences and potentially resulting misunderstandings or conflict. You will understand the role stereotypes play in this dynamic; 
  • You will be able to manage your own expectations in an interaction with a person from a different culture. 

Module 3: Intercultural Management in Relations with Students.

Because academic teachers do not function in a vacuum at the university, we now turn to their interactions with other actors in an intercultural space. Placing theory aside, in this module we look at the practice of managing intercultural relations in diverse groups of students, academic teachers and administrative staff. To do so, we investigate what stages the student goes through while at the university and what are the key moments when to watch out for opportunities and challenges related to cultural diversity to maintain both the quality of education and service. Among other approaches, we will use models by Hofstede and Meyer as examples of applied practice.

Intended learning outcomes:

  • You will be able to use applied research to organise your knowledge around culture and use relevant insights for your own intercultural interactions; 
  • You will learn how to build an inclusive culture of diversity in your classroom or you will further solidify your existing ability to do so.

Module 4: Teaching and Learning in an Intercultural Environment.

Soft skills in the teaching and learning process in an intercultural environment play a key role in assuring knowledge transfer, skill development and attitude building. These skills are first and foremost related to communication. In this module we will focus on communication in didactic work. We will NOT, however, discuss in detail the pedagogies for a multicultural and multilingual learning space.

Intended learning outcomes:

  • You will be able to recognise and use verbal and non-verbal communication skills in didactic work;
  • You will improve your skills related to asking questions, listening and delivering feedback, which will make conducting and facilitating discussions in an intercultural setting easier for you and the students;
  • You will strengthen your ability to select didactic methods and work strategies appropriate for a given group of culturally-diverse students.

Module 5: Interacting with International Students Outside of the Classroom.

The university, being a community of scholars, becomes home for its students. The work of an academic teacher extends beyond the classroom as students need guidance in their academic and, often, also personal development. This module includes practical application of intercultural management in work other than strictly didactic.

Intended learning outcomes:

  • You will learn how to support your daily interaction with your diverse students and their culture-related predicament of sociolinguistics, status orientation, self-understanding of space and recognition of emotions;
  • You will strengthen your ability to communicate via the social media, email, phone with your students (order of channels intended); 
  • You will know how to work toward building long-term relationships with your students and alumni.

Module 6: Intercultural Crisis Management.

What if, despite your best intentions, a crisis situation develops? How do you handle it? Why are there "difficult" students in your class? How do you know that you are not the "difficult" teacher, instead? Who do you involve in conflict resolution? How do you prevent it from reoccurring? 

Intended learning outcomes: 

  • You will learn the concepts and misconceptions related to the various types of intercultural conflict;
  • You will be able to identify the issues related to culture underlying the challenging situations; 
  • You will learn how to install changes to improve cooperation, create sustainable relationships in the work environment and deeper intercultural understanding.

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