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