Global Literature in Tandem with Study Abroad: Cultivating Intercultural Competence for Preservice Teachers




internationalization of the curriculum, pre-service teacher education, short-term study abroad to Germany, Rosenblatt's transactional theory of reading, cross-cultural literary reading


The purpose of this study was to examine how literature study and study abroad, in combination as methods of internationalization, influence preservice teachers’ (PSTs) intercultural competence and potential future classroom practices. Elementary education PSTs studied abroad in Germany for five weeks. As part of the preparation, they read a German novel identified as global literature. While abroad, they saw the corresponding movie and had conversations with German peers to better understand it within its cultural context. Three sources of data - My Cultural Awareness Profile, a Germany Questionnaire, and a Critical Blueprint novel reflection essay – were analyzed. To better connect experiential learning abroad to future teaching, faculty guided PSTs to critically examine their pre- and post-responses. The findings indicate global literature is effective to begin to shift PSTs cultural perspectives. In combination, literature study and study abroad bring a global perspective to teacher preparation that can cultivate PSTs’ intercultural competence.


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Author Biographies

Adriana Medina, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Adriana L. Medina is an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She teaches courses in language arts, reading comprehension, reading assessment and intervention, content area literacy, teaching reading to English language learners, and multicultural and global education. Adriana’s research interests include students who struggle with literacy, teacher education, global learning, and educational program evaluation. She has published research on the impact of study abroad experiences on preservice teachers.

Karoline Kiefel, The University of Texas at Austin

Karoline Kiefel is a doctoral student at The University of Texas at Austin. She has taught elementary and intermediate German language and culture classes. She has co-led short-term study abroad programs to Berlin. She holds a teaching degree from Ludwig Maximilians Universität in Munich, Germany, with a specialization in English, French and German as a Second Language. Her research interest includes identity in language learning as an aspect of second language development.


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How to Cite

Medina, A., & Kiefel, K. (2021). Global Literature in Tandem with Study Abroad: Cultivating Intercultural Competence for Preservice Teachers. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 33(2), 61–78.



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