Beyond “It was Great”? Not so Fast!
This article is a response to “Beyond It Was Great” argument that dominates much of the recent study abroad research literature. This argument is based on assertions: growth in students’ intercultural competence is disappointing, and students’ intercultural competence is best developed when experts intervene and students engage in deliberate reflection. I point to results from large study abroad studies to raise questions about assertions that student growth is “disappointing” and that the interventionist approach is the best approach to developing students’ intercultural competence. I question the term “intervention” and the assumptions it carries about students becoming more interculturally competent. I describe two alternatives to the interventionist approach that have a distinctly different view of how intercultural competence develops and the respective roles of the teacher and students. I conclude that diversity of assessments and instructional approaches is critical for the future of research and practice in the relatively young field of study abroad.
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