On Monday, May 15, 2017, Dr. Nanda Dimitrov and Aisha Haque from Western University's Teaching Support Centre provided two workshops related to intercultural teaching competence. These workshops were very successful and provided an enthusiastic group of attendees with the tools and information to improve their teaching practices to accommodate the shifting cultural landscape of Canadian university classrooms.
Facilitating Group Work and Participation in Intercultural Classrooms
This session introduced participants to a set of learning activities and strategies for teaching across cultures. Participants learned concrete strategies to facilitate group work and participation in the classroom, designed activities to promote local and global engagement across cultures among their students and debriefed case studies that illustrate different communication styles in the classroom.
Integrating Intercultural Learning Activities and Assessments Into Your Course
This session engaged participants in re-designing a learning activity or assessment to better support learning across cultures. Building on the components of intercultural teaching competence in curriculum design introduced during the morning session, participants worked together in small groups to critically analyze and re-design assignments or learning activities in order to (1) create a learning experience that supports and challenges students from diverse cultural and disciplinary backgrounds and/or to (2) engage students in global learning. Strategies for assignment design, scaffolding, and sequencing intercultural learning activities were addressed.
Please feel free to view the group assignment handout used during the workshop demonstrating scaffolding.
Dr. Dimitrov and Aisha have kindly provided additional resources, including:
- A useful overview of cultural difference in faculty-student relationships in the Western Guide to Mentoring Graduate Students Across Cultures.
- An overview of the intercultural teaching competence model, with a detailed description of all competencies in Dr. Dimitrov and Aisha's article, Intercultural teaching competence: a multi-disciplinary model for instructor reflection.
- Quotes from Western University faculty on how they use the intercultural teaching competence model can be found in Dr. Dimitrov and Aisha's article, which is detailed in KPU's Constanza Rojas-Primus' book:
Dimitrov, N. & Haque, A. (2016). Intercultural Teaching Competence in the Disciplines. In Pérez, G. M. G. & Rojas-Primus, C. (Eds.) Promoting Intercultural Communication Competencies in Higher Education. (pp. 89-119). IGI Global: Hershey, PA.
- A book that Dr. Dimitrov and Aisha found most useful in their work:
Carroll, J., & Ryan, J. (Eds.). (2007). Teaching international students: Improving learning for all. Rutledge.
Dr. Nanda Dimitrov is the Acting Director of the Teaching Support Centre and adjunct research scholar in the Centre for Research on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education at Western University. Her work as an educational developer focuses on graduate education, mentorship across cultures, and intercultural education. Her recent publications have explored disciplinary communication competence, the impact of International TA training programs, and intercultural teaching competence.
Aisha Haque is a Language and Communication Instructor at Western University’s Teaching Support Centre and an associated researcher at the Centre for Research on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (Faculty of Education). Drawing on her background in equity pedagogies, she supports the development of intercultural teaching competence among graduate students. Her recent research has explored the benefits of discipline-specific approaches to TA training and the application of intercultural teaching competence across the disciplines.
Nanda and Aisha have facilitated workshops for faculty on learning across cultures at over a dozen colleges and universities in Canada, Europe and Hong Kong.