Sense of Place, Imaginative Mobility, and Intercultural Awareness Through a Map Making Project in a Study Abroad Program
Keywords:Maps, collaboration, sense of place, imaginative mobility, intercultural awareness
This article analyzes the perceptions of two undergraduate learners’ regarding the educational impact of a collaborative map making project in the context of a summer study abroad program in France, focused on language learning. Over the eight-week long program, students created a digital map with textual and visual annotations that helped them to reflect on their prior associations with a location or landmark in the host country, the associations that members of the host country had with this location, and finally their own experience after visiting the location. The objective of this project was to help students to experience a more nuanced sense of place, to articulate imaginative mobility, and, as a result, to develop an increased level of intercultural awareness. The participants’ reflections after the end of the program suggest that through the engagement with the tasks associated with the project students engaged in imaginative mobility and developed a more nuanced sense of place. In particular, the experience of eliciting perspectives from local informants had a positive impact on their development of intercultural awareness.
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