Writing and Teaching Interculturally Writing Across the CurriculumThe Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing The Ohio State Universty
Did you know . . . ? The international student population at OSU has increased by over 50% in the past five years! International students now make up 8% of the OSU student body. This growth rate of the international student population outpaces the average rate at U.S. universities.
What YOU can do: Principles for Creating Intercultural Classrooms Be transparent with your students that classrooms are ALWAYS intercultural spaces. Make a point early on in your course to let students give you information about their background in your discipline. Knowledge-making is culturally embedded. Engage in dialogue about the cultural components and assumptions of your discipline. Mistakes in standard edited English are NOT a sign of diminished intellectual capacity. Focus more on meaning and content than on surface error.
What YOU can do: Principles for Creating Intercultural Classrooms Remember that students bring a wide range of linguistic, social, and educational experiences into the classroom. Be committed to cross-cultural understanding. Don’t brush over miscommunication or misunderstanding
But …how? Putting Principles into Practice Throughout the term, encourage students to reflect and share about how their own cultural backgrounds affect how they understand and engage with course material. Scaffold (break up) major assignments so that students can get support in developing their writing and critical thinking skills throughout the writing process. If your class material is founded upon knowledge of U.S. culture, practice flexibility when working with and assessing the work of international students.
But …how? Putting Principles into Practice Help students develop an understanding of the written and rhetorical techniques that they are expected to use by discussing the conventions of your discipline and offering illustrative examples. When grading, look for patterns of mistakes and comment strategically, rather than overwhelming students by correcting every surface error that you see.
But …how? Putting Principles into Practice Incorporate multiple ways for students to participate in your classroom, such as written and spoken activities, and one-on-one, small group, and large group discussions. Model attentive listening by reflecting back to your students what you heard and asking if your understanding is correct. When miscommunication occurs, calmly clarify, rather than avoid.
And Remember . . . Simply showing interest and engagement with themultiple cultures in your classroom opens up a space in which you and your students can dialogue and grow through intercultural exchange!
For more helpful tips, check out our other resources! Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wacosu Webpage: http://cstw.osu.edu/wac WAC Resource Wiki: WAC Wiki