Joe’s Laundry: Using Critical Incidents to Develop Intercultural and Foreign Language Competence in Study Abroad and Beyond

  • Tama Lea Engelking Cleveland State University
Keywords: Intercultural competence, Language competence, Study abroad, Education abroad, Critical incident method

Abstract

The development of intercultural competence and foreign language skills in study abroad and the FL classroom is often seen as an either/or proposition due to lack of time, training or the availability of materials in the target language. The Critical Incident method (CI) provides an example of an intercultural training tool that can link these competencies in ways that are developmentally appropriate for the FL and IC levels of the students. This method uses authentic intercultural mishaps to develop critical thinking skills as students reflect on the cultural values and attitudes underlying the experience. Drawing on research in study abroad FL pedagogy, this paper describes the CI method, provides a review of best practices in the context of study abroad, and develops an example of a CI from a study abroad program in France to illustrate how cultural incidents can be used to promote both intercultural and foreign language competence.

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Author Biography

Tama Lea Engelking , Cleveland State University

Tama Lea Engelking is a Professor of French in the Department of World Languages, Literatures, & Cultures at Cleveland State University in Ohio where she teaches all levels of French language, French and Francophone literature, and phonetics. She is also a qualified IDI administrator who directs a study abroad program in France and teaches a course on intercultural competence as part of the M.A. program in Global Interactions at Cleveland State University.

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Published
2018-04-26
How to Cite
Engelking , T. L. (2018). Joe’s Laundry: Using Critical Incidents to Develop Intercultural and Foreign Language Competence in Study Abroad and Beyond. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 30(2), 47-62. https://doi.org/10.36366/frontiers.v30i2.411