Despite the increasing diversification of U.S. higher education, without intentional curricular planning by faculty, international students may not experience intercultural interactions due to varying degrees of disinterest, discomfort, or anxiety—and the interactions they do have may be superficial. These challenges could be potentially mitigated by an intentional curriculum that complements and enhances English language instruction, such as Intercultural Skills in Action.
Although traditional ESL/EFL textbooks have primarily introduced cultural topics at a knowledge level only, this textbook is designed to create meaningful opportunities for students to reflect on and practice intercultural skills in ways that are relatable in their daily lives and that can lead to a more satisfying U.S. academic experience.
Each unit opens with a discovery activity that serves as a springboard for the unit and introduces the topic in an engaging way. Chapters feature academic content that expands knowledge of intercultural skills, plus opportunities for students to pause and reflect on how to apply what they are learning to their own intercultural experiences. The activities ask students to respond with short written reflections and practice oral skills through discussion in pairs and small groups. Each unit closes with an activity that requires students to use higher-order thinking skills to create, evaluate, and/or analyze cultural information gathered from college and university settings in the form of surveys, interviews, observations, or internet research and then report on what they have learned.
The intended audiences for this book are international students studying in IEPs, in university bridge or pathway programs, or at colleges and universities in the United States. It may also be used by new-student orientation programs or by student services offices that provide intercultural training for students, staff, and faculty who work with international students.