Promoting International Perspectives Through Self-Selected Online Texts


  • Gareth Humphreys Sojo University
  • Rob Hirschel Sojo University



intercultural citizenship, e-learning, intercultural innovation


In the ongoing pandemic context, short-term study abroad opportunities remain limited for many students. As a result, there has been a need for universities to develop educational innovations for home context learning to meet institutional intercultural learning aims. The purpose of this action research paper is to outline how a small-scale e-learning innovation was designed based on characteristics of intercultural citizenship education to encourage connections with, and responsibility towards, communities beyond national borders. The innovation involved critical exploration of a student-selected social issue using online texts, and reflections and blogging on the issue from individual, local, national, and international perspectives. A qualitative content analysis of reflections in blogposts of 49 students showed that the majority expressed connections with intercultural citizenship, though a minority rejected international identifications. The paper offers a timely and systematically designed intercultural e-learning innovation, implementable in other contexts, to support intercultural learning in a context of limited study abroad.

Abstract in Japanese

今なおパンデミック状況下において、短期留学の機会が多くの学生にとって制限されたままである。そのため、大学では、異文化間学習の目的を達成するために、自国において学習のできる教育イノベーションを開発することが求められている。このアクション・リサーチ・ペーパーの目的は、国境を越えたコミュニティとのつながりや それに対する責任を奨励すべく、異文化間の相互理解教育の特徴に基づいた小規模のeラーニングの改革をどのように デザインしたかを概説することである。このプログラムは、学生が選択した社会問題をオンラインテキストを用いて批判的に探求し、個人、地域、国、そして国際的な観点からその問題について考察し、ブログで報告するというものであった。49名の学生のブログ記事における考察の質的内容分析により、大多数は異文化間市民権とのつながりを表明していたが、少数派は国際的なアイデンティティを拒否していたことが示された。この論文は、限定的な学内留学という状況下で異文化学習を支援するために、他の文脈でも実施可能な、時流に合った体系的な異文化間eラーニングのイノベーションを提供するものである。


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Author Biographies

Gareth Humphreys, Sojo University

Gareth Humphreys is an assistant professor at Sojo University, Kumamoto. He recently completed a PhD at the Centre for Global Englishes, University of Southampton. The research focus was on investigating developments in perspectives towards English language use and intercultural communication in relation to short-term study abroad participation. He teaches on English communication and intercultural education programmes and provides student training for study abroad. His research interests include Global Englishes, intercultural communication, study abroad, and e-learning.

Rob Hirschel, Sojo University

Rob Hirschel has worked in international education in both Japan and the US. He currently teaches English communication at Sojo International Learning Center, Sojo University. Recently, he has been involved in the design and course management of a new intercultural education course in the setting, supported by e-learning. His principal research interests are in e-learning and affective factors in the classroom.


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How to Cite

Humphreys, G., & Hirschel, R. (2022). Promoting International Perspectives Through Self-Selected Online Texts. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 34(4), 317–328.



Learning from COVID-19