Developing language and intercultural skills through an IaH programme at university
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Following up on a project on the impact of study abroad on the language and intercultural skills of university students, this paper focuses on how such skills can be developed through a specific “Internationalisation at Home” (IaH) programme (Beelen & Jones 2015) that combines domestic students’ mentoring of international students (“study buddies”) with weekly language exchanges and an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course focusing on internationalisation and interculturality (Arnó et al. 2013). Based on previous findings that point to certain language and intercultural development as a result of a stay abroad (Cots et al., 2016; Llanes et al. 2016), we aim to find out if there are any changes among domestic students as a result of their participation in the programme. Language proficiency was measured in terms of the general score on a placement test as well as of oral skills measures. On the other hand, intercultural development was measured through closed questions about attitudes, knowledge, and behaviour—components of intercultural competence (Byram 1997)—together with open questions eliciting students’ perceptions of their participation in the programme. All in all, the results of this study can shed light on the provision of intercultural and international skills through EAP courses, based on expanded notions of EAP and ESP (English for Specific Purposes), which go beyond language to cover a wider range of skills.
CitationArno, E.; Aguilar Perez, M. Developing language and intercultural skills through an IaH programme at university. "Studia Universitatis. Philologia", 21 Juny 2019, vol. 64, núm. 2, p. 17-34.