Assessment Of Intercultural Learning Joe Van Dalen


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Assessing intercultural language learning
Presentation by Joe van Dalen at AFMLTA conference in Sydney 2009

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Assessment Of Intercultural Learning Joe Van Dalen

  1. 1. ASSESSMENT OF INTERCULTURAL LEARNING A personal view from a Research Project participant AFMLTA Conference, Sydney, July 2009
  2. 2. ASSESSMENT OF INTERCULTURAL LEARNING  Research Centre for Languages & Cultures at UniSA  Eight to ten teachers from primary and secondary schools from across sectors  Chinese, Italian, French, Spanish, ESL
  3. 3. WHAT IS THE “INTERCULTURAL”?  Developing awareness and understanding of:  Linguistic & cultural diversity  Oneself as a language user & cultural being  How language & culture affect communication & relationships  Our behaviour & attitudes  Acting and interacting based on:  Awareness, diversity, engagement, a capacity to learn, multiple interpretations, reciprocity  An ethical issue
  4. 4. Assessing Intercultural Understanding  What is important for our students to learn/know/ understand?  How can the intercultural matter for our students in the classroom?  What are we assessing?  What do we see as the evidence of intercultural understanding?  How do we know that what we are assessing is valid?
  5. 5. A divergence of views  Impossible to assess: deals with growth, socio-cultural development, state of being  Possible to assess: reasonable to take a snapshot along a continuum, albeit an unpredictable one  Curriculum statements increasingly include a notion of the intercultural but its assessment is not always clear
  6. 6. La Cantine The purpose of assessment is for students to recognise  That there is not one way to have lunch and  that ‘lunchtime’ means different things to different people.
  7. 7. Interactions  An initial discussion in English about their understanding of what is a canteen, comparing experiences from Glen Osmond and other schools within Australia and overseas.  Written task in English responding to: Describe how you imagine la cantine in a French school to be.  Spoken responses in French of meal preferences in a French cantine.  Written examples in French of meal preferences taken from a French school menu  Written self reflections about lunchtime in France and Glen Osmond, after working with several French texts.
  8. 8. Interactions continued Written reflections to following questions: n Imagine you are going to spend a week or so with a family in France. You will be going to school with them. What will it be like at lunchtime? n A French student is visiting Glen Osmond for a short time and will be with your class. What do you need to tell them about lunchtime in your school in order for them to feel comfortable? n Where would you prefer to spend your lunchtime? Explain your reasons.
  9. 9. Youth Culture: Pari-Roller Event The purpose of the assessment is three-fold:  To assess the students’ writing ability as a response to a written text (a SACE required task).  To assess the student’s understanding of the cultural context of the text to which s/he must respond.  To assess the student’s appreciation of their own cultural perspective in writing the response.
  10. 10. Re-evaluating the intercultural  Going beyond cultural comparisons  Interpreting similarities & differences  Discussions in English more prevalent  Traditional ways of assessment not adequate  A move towards considering “data points”
  11. 11. DATA POINTS  The trouble is that sometimes you get an insight from a student through spontaneous and unplanned conversation. It is difficult to formally call that a data point for collecting evidence, at least, at a practical level in the classroom, even though, in a sense, it is actually a data point at which some “evidence” emerges. Perhaps “data points” are those moments students believe they have gained some insight, whether planned or unplanned. How to practically capture them is the challenge.
  12. 12. SUMMARY: the experience of identifying data points  Some activities simply elicited points of comprehension of cultural material rather than demonstrating an “intercultural” positioning.
  13. 13. TYPES OF ASSESSMENT  Inherent assessments informal, perhaps non-verbal  Discursive assessments social group discussions, evaluative  Documentary assessments evaluation for a scheme
  14. 14. FOCUS FOR SECOND ROUND  “We are moving from an educational practice of assessment where we have defined a priori what we are looking for, to an educational practice where we formulate representations to better understand and transform the world around us. If our purpose is to understand and support learning and knowing and to make inferences about these phenomena, then it seems that the ideas of inquiry – open, critical, dialogic – rather than assessment (as is currently understood) would be more helpful.”  Delandshere 2002
  15. 15. Assessing Intercultural Understanding  How do we move from the cultural to the intercultural?  What exactly do we want students to learn? What language is needed to do so?  Why is it important?  What data or evidence captures the learning?  What are the questions we need to ask students to progress to the intercultural?  What processes will we use to gather this? How can we connect the “data” points?
  16. 16. FOCUS FOR SECOND ROUND  More on new ways of understanding assessment rather than adapting existing tasks  More on the process of thinking than the end product  More on the key questions and what we are trying to elicit  More on the evidence for cultural positioning  More on the real rather than the imagined
  17. 17. FOCUS FOR SECOND ROUND  More on the intercultural capabilities than the content – a de-centred approach  More on the development of individual students  More on the relationship between language & culture rather than on either language or culture  More on the data points than the assessment tasks
  18. 18. FOCUS FOR SECOND ROUND Males Females 1 in year 10 3 in year 10 10 in year 11 13 in year 11 Of which: Of which: 6 African (Congo, Burundi) 2 African (Congo, Kenya) 1 German 3 German 1 Laotian/French 7 Anglo-Australian 1 French school-aged 2 Anglo-Australians 4 Anglo-Australian adults
  19. 19. MULTICULTURALISM to see one’s own culture and that of the other in a different light  Journal writing (French & English)  Audio recordings of interactions (French & English)  Oral reports in French  Comprehension exercises (French & English responses)  The required vocabulary building & grammar work  A final written task in French symbolising the cumulative end-point
  20. 20. ACTIVITY - REFLECTIONS ON THE WORD “CULTURE”  1. Quel est le peuple dont vous vous sentez le plus proche? Pourquoi?  What people/population/tribe/country do you feel closest to? Why?  2. Comment décririez-vous vos compatriots? (qualities et défauts)  How would you describe your compatriots? (qualities and faults)  3. Quels sont les symbols de votre pays?  What are the symbols of your country?  4. Quels sont les particularités de votre langue?  What are the characteristics of your language?  5. Qu’est-ce qui pourrait choquer un étranger?  What could shock a foreigner (in your country)?  6. Comment se passe un marriage traditionnel chez vous?  Describe a traditional wedding in your country.
  21. 21. ACTIVITY - Comic strips on racism & prejudice
  22. 22. ACTIVITY  Vocabulary building related to multiculturalism  Structures, emotions, writing advice to someone caught between two cultures  History of migration in Australia & France  Police harassment of French youth
  23. 23. Laïcité and the wearing of “ostentatious” religious symbols in French schools
  24. 24. ACTIVITIES  An oral response in French on “Do you think Australia is multicultural?”  Journal writing in French and/or English summarising what they had gained from the lessons  Extension work for some responding to article on girl from Cameroon in France lamenting her black skin
  25. 25. Writing assessment  Interpret these pictures and your responses to them
  26. 26. EVIDENCE OF ENGAGEMENT  Whole class engaged  Appreciation of the topic  African students participated less publicly  Australian girls participated most publicly  African & German students thought Australia was multicultural  Australian students, esp. adults, less so
  27. 27. EVIDENCE OF LEARNING  Language development, better ability in articulating views  Year 10 student stated topic an eye opener, changed behaviour and attitude  Yr 11 girl stated she changed her view of Australians, more multicultural than she thought  African girl stated she re-appraised her own culture and appreciated it more
  28. 28. EVIDENCE OF LEARNING  While most other students could articulate an opinion about the other culture, e.g. wearing the scarf, the concept of laïcité, few articulated the reasons for their own cultural viewpoint  The unknown is the internal changes, if any, of students - the greater appreciation of language related to culture
  29. 29. Assessment of the Intercultural  Can the intercultural be easily accounted for in a summative assessment task?  Being articulate versus having an insight.  Explicitly teaching the intercultural.  Intercultural teaching not a recipe.  The art of asking the right questions.