Intercultural Learning: Critical preparation for international student travel
Peter Jones, James Cook University
Debra Miles, James Cook University
Narayan Gopalkrishnan, James Cook University
Copyright Year: 2018
ISBN 13: 9780994503992
Publisher: UTS ePRESS
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The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and glossary. The text does a great job providing a comprehensive definition of culture. There are multiple examinations of differences and... read more
The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and glossary. The text does a great job providing a comprehensive definition of culture. There are multiple examinations of differences and similarities of defining culture.
The content appears to be accurate, error free and unbiased.
The content is up-to date and will not become obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and arranged so that updates can be made easily.
The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides context for any jargon/terminology used. It was an engaging read!
The text is consistent for the most part in terms of terminology and framework. The text indicates the use of a Critical theory framework which is consistent with all the supportive material. There are references to other frameworks, but only Critical theory seems evident.
Each module helps to examine intercultural learning through a critical lens. Students learn about themselves and other cultures through a reflective process. Pedagogical devices such as embedded videos help the reader understand the intent of the modules. The Key Point features highlight critical ideas the text is explaining which is underscored by an eye-catching graphic.
Each module uses a universal approach to learning by incorporating an introductory video, short discussion topic, key point, embedded videos, graphics and reflection tasks that help students process information. Topics are presented in a logical way that build upon each other. The Learning Resource page lists video links to Ted Talks related to module topics.
The text is free of significant interface issues. The presentation of the material was very clean and straight forward. This is a beautiful looking book!
The text was free of grammatical errors.
The authors have extensive international immersion experience. The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way.It makes use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races. The faculty in the videos were culturally diverse. The students featured in the embedded videos were all Australian there wasn't any representation from the United States. Despite that fact, the text does a great job conducting a critical examination of cultural diversity and privilege. One of the strengths of the text is its application of concepts in terms of interaction with other cultures internationally and locally. The text goes in-depth with examining plurality of cultures avoiding generalizations and challenging intercultural competence. The emphasis of this text is a deep dive self exploration prior to student international travel.
I enjoyed reading this textbook. I will use this book in preparation for taking social work students to Uganda. There are so many essential points made that are critical to preparing students for intercultural travel.
very thorough read more
information is presented well
While this subject matter can frequently change, this book presents material in a way that is relevant in a foundational way.
very easy to understand
good work on terminology
easy to digest
very nicely done
no problems encountered
This book fills a need I didn't even realize I had! I am taking a group of students to Egypt in December 2020 and this will be the perfect text to accompany the classwork we will do before getting on the plane. Well done!
The book gives readers the necessary tools to critically assess their intercultural experiences, navigate different cultural settings, and be aware of their own perspectives and cultural biases. It does not dig particularly deeply into the realm... read more
The book gives readers the necessary tools to critically assess their intercultural experiences, navigate different cultural settings, and be aware of their own perspectives and cultural biases. It does not dig particularly deeply into the realm of intercultural communication, specific cultural attributes, or cultural differences. Instead, it provides a short, introductory overview of multiple themes that inform cross-cultural interaction, and study abroad in particular: culture, imperialism, racism & privilege, and critical reflection. It is well suited as a concise guidebook for student travelers, but less appropriate as a textbook for intercultural learning.
The text represents critical and challenging subjects in a clear, straightforward, and appropriate way. While its treatment of these concepts is relatively superficial, it is accurate. The text is polished and error free.
Due to the broad, introductory nature of the text, together with enduring themes such as (unfortunately) racism, inequality, and neocolonialism, it will continue to be useful and relevant. The media resources - videos, etc. - are also carefully chosen to be relatively timeless and will have enduring significance and relevance. However, it may be difficult to update these resources because they are linked throughout the text.
The book is clearly written and understandable to an undergraduate audience unfamiliar with the subject. Although many of the video resources are narrated by Australian students and faculty, they are relatable and easy for American students to understand.
The book holds together very nicely through well-organized structuring of content, consistent use of images and key terms, and media resources well-spaced throughout the modules. Although the book has multiple authors, the text impressively seems to represent a single voice. At the same time, the presence of multiple authors and perspectives in the linked video resources enhances the book's value and speaks to the theme of intercultural practice.
The book is very clearly divided and well organized. The modules selected make sense for the content, are short and manageable, and nicely incorporate resources, reflection questions, and class activities.
The book is clearly and logically organized. Each module builds on the previous one, beginning with the basic theme of culture and working toward intercultural practice. The progression between modules is smooth and rational.
The text is remarkably free of interface issues, particularly impressive for a pdf with lots of linked resources. One potential caveat is that, while the book is downloadable, it relies heavily on internet-based media. Students attempting to use it without regular access to high-speed internet would have significant limitations.
I did not notice any grammatical errors. The book seems very polished, professional, and error-free.
On the contrary, the book successfully addresses cultural insensitivity and promotes intercultural understanding. Concepts are presented primarily for a Western audience. Although certain examples remind the reader that the authors are Australian, the book is certainly appropriate and relevant for students from other Western contexts.
This is a great resource! It offers a concise but meaningful guide to intercultural engagement for students studying or traveling abroad. It seems particularly well adapted as a pre-travel assignment in faculty-led study abroad programs, which is how I intend to use it. The content is relatively cursory and introductory, so it is not a sufficient stand-alone textbook for intercultural learning or communication, but it could be successfully paired with other sources. At the same time, the brief, introductory nature of this text makes it a fine addition to a study abroad course, where time for such conceptual reading assignments is often short but also critical and foundational. In addition, the linked media learning resources are excellent, and they greatly enhance the value and engagement of this text.
Intercultural Learning is a great resource for students preparing to study abroad. Focusing on culture, cultural diversity, racism and privilege gives students a foundation to prepare themselves mentally to explore a variety of cultures... read more
Intercultural Learning is a great resource for students preparing to study abroad. Focusing on culture, cultural diversity, racism and privilege gives students a foundation to prepare themselves mentally to explore a variety of cultures throughout the world. The interactive video embedded in the text brings the concepts presented in the text to life to further expand student learning.
The unbiased information presented in the book is accurate and error free.
Culture can be a changing concept. This text presents the concepts of racism, privilege, imperialism and cultural diversity in a way that each can be applied to various cultures regardless of the area's culture.
By using both text and interactive video this book provides students with an easy to read reference option when preparing to study abroad.
The text is consistent in terms of terminology and framework.
Very well organized and easy to navigate.
The three main concepts presented in the book are thoroughly presented and organized in an appropriate manner.
The interactive video embedded in the text is seamless and easy to use.
No grammatical errors noted.
This text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way.
The reflection exercises at the end of each section provide an opportunity for students to apply what they have learned prior to the actual experience of being abroad.
This is a very nice book to cover with students in preparation for any cultural studies, especially those that involve international travels. The book guides the students to develop "critical lens" which will allow the students to practice deeper,... read more
This is a very nice book to cover with students in preparation for any cultural studies, especially those that involve international travels. The book guides the students to develop "critical lens" which will allow the students to practice deeper, and more complex analysis of their cultural experiences. I can imagine using this workbook not only in preparation to travels, but while traveling overseas to keep the reflections and discussions going.
The content is accurate and up to date.
Because of the nature of the subject and intention of this book, the content will be relevant for a long period of time.
The text is well written, clear, and easy to follow. Glossary is provided.
The text is consistently well organized, new ideas and terminologies are introduced and practiced across the modules.
The text is divided into nice length modules that are easy to lead and follow. Each module includes introductions to ideas, outside sources such as videos, and excellent questions to discuss and reflect with students.
Well organized and easy to follow. The clean visuals keep the reader interesting and focused.
No issues were found.
No grammatical errors.
The text is sensitive to all readers.
This book does a great job at challenging readers' cultural awareness and how they may take a part in their intercultural learning experience. I will certainly be keeping this book as one of my resources.
The e-book does a nice job framing the key elements of international student travel. The authors' view is more 30,000-feet and would be paired nicely with a resource that focused on the country/countries of that particular trip read more
The e-book does a nice job framing the key elements of international student travel. The authors' view is more 30,000-feet and would be paired nicely with a resource that focused on the country/countries of that particular trip
Well sourced with diverse input.
Content in the book is well done. The video content might not age as well.
Very readable with good use of key terms glossary.
Well designed and easy to follow
Subdivided into learning modules with easy access to video content and other pop-up images.
Very well organized and designed for seamless learning.
Very logical and easy to use.
As the book's title suggests, the book does a great job addressing various cultures.
As someone that has led student experiential trips for the past 5 years, I am going to add this to our list of resources.
This book on intercultural learning is very comprehensive. The authors have done an excellent job in developing the five modules and providing a useful glossary. read more
This book on intercultural learning is very comprehensive. The authors have done an excellent job in developing the five modules and providing a useful glossary.
This is one of the most balanced book I have read so far in that different points of views were covered.
This book will remain relevant for a very long time given the subject. The longevity of some of resources referenced (e.g. Jane Elliot’s Blue Eyes-Brown Eyes experiment) is a testament to how intercultural learning must continue to evolve.
The book is very well written.
The authors used consistent terminology as appropriate and the framework was thoughtfully developed.
The five modules were not too long or laborious to read, and majority of the accompanying videos were less than 7 minutes in duration.
The topics are logically organized and well balanced.
The text itself and illustrations have no issues, but there were some broken links to outside resources. The text in some of the comment boxes for definitions were incomplete (e.g. cultural genocide, Module 3).
No grammatical errors noted.
As noted earlier, the book is well balanced. It is culturally sensitive and benefited immensely from testimonials by students of diverse backgrounds who have participated in study-abroad programs.
I would definitely recommend this book to students who plan to travel abroad.
The Welcome Section of this eBook clearly states what the book is and is not. Given these parameters, I feel that this resource is comprehensive in regards to what it sets out to do, "equip students with a ‘critical lens’ through which their... read more
The Welcome Section of this eBook clearly states what the book is and is not. Given these parameters, I feel that this resource is comprehensive in regards to what it sets out to do, "equip students with a ‘critical lens’ through which their preparation process and experience of international travel can be viewed." As such, it is not intended to be the sole resource for intercultural learning but one to be used in conjunction with additional cultural and contextual materials.
The material presented is thoughtfully developed and provides numerous references for concepts shared and further investigation. Each module not only presents the information from a formal perspective but also in simple discussion with the academic team behind the development of the book.
The majority of the concepts presented in this eBook are historically rooted, yet continue to speak to a current audience, whether they are high schoolers, college students, or adult learners eager to embark on the journey of international study opportunities.
The text is clearly presented and easy to understand through accessible language.
There is a common thread that can be identified throughout the text and that scaffolds material from one module to the next.
There are five modules to the eBook. For each module there four learning strategies: engage, discuss, revise and reflect, and step forward. These learning strategies make it easy to divide the module into smaller sections and to tailor the lessons to the needs and interests of diverse learning communities.
The eBook is visually appealing with strong graphics to facilitate ease of learning. Modules use learning icons consistently throughout to visually distinguish key terms, videos, and learning resources.
To go in-between a .pdf and a web browser for videos was painless and quick.
If there are any grammatical errors presented in the text, they are not easy to find and do not detract from the material presented.
The videos presented include a variety of diverse voices and the references cited stem from several different countries.
Having already used this resource in some of my teaching, I find that it works well not only at the undergraduate/graduate level but for intergenerational learning with high schoolers and their parents and/or grandparents. This is a resource worth recommending!
This book succinctly addresses the main points of intercultural preparation. Each topic contains enough information for a basic course, with suggested resources so the student or faculty member can dive deeper into the topicss read more
This book succinctly addresses the main points of intercultural preparation. Each topic contains enough information for a basic course, with suggested resources so the student or faculty member can dive deeper into the topicss
The accompanying videos and resources reflect a deep understanding of what participants need to know before going abroad.
The modules use new content, but also contain resources that have been accepted as fundamental to the various topics.
The explanations are clear and to the point; the text does not ramble.
The modules follow the same pattern; one can also get to the material a variety of ways.
Each module could be used as a supplement on its own for a variety of settings.
The modules are well-organized for the content.
The accompanying graphics and visuals are easy to see and read.
The grammatical structure is appropriate for the collegiate level.
The book addresses difficult topics in a respectful manner, encouraging the reader to examine their own biases and assumptions toward other cultures.
I plan to use portions of this book for my service-learning preparation courses.
Importantly, I could not read the all of the content presented in this textbook (see interface section below for details on navigation problems and other interface issues). These issues should be taken into consideration when reading my review.... read more
Importantly, I could not read the all of the content presented in this textbook (see interface section below for details on navigation problems and other interface issues). These issues should be taken into consideration when reading my review. What text I could read seems to cover appropriate areas of interest for this topic. It is a great primer to intercultural communication.
The content that could be read is accurate, error-free, and unbiased. Additionally, the authors' attitude toward the content and how that informs the writing is respectful of the overarching idea of culture as well as the example cultures described within the text.
The text seems to be up-to-date in terms of content and the use of modern examples -- as well as student insights -- provides great perspective. These examples will serve those who are reading it well for a number of years. I appreciate the interactive components of the text -- which also make it seem more modern than traditional textbooks -- but have some concerns as to the accessibility of this content to all learners (in addition to the interface issues discussed below).
This book is written clearly and concisely. The videos add to the clarity, particularly for users who may enjoy audio as a channel through which learning can happen.
All terminology was consistently used throughout. Additionally, I appreciated the consistency in design, as well.
I like the division of the text into five modules. The modules make sense and progress the reader through important steps in thinking and learning about culture, culminating in a section on putting knowledge into practice.
The organization of the text into five modules leads to clear understanding of the topic.
This is where the text really falls short for me. After downloading the PDF, I realized that I have limited access to the text due to the pop-up definition/critical reflection boxes. Although an interesting idea, these boxes were all activated when I downloaded the text and I was unable to "X" out of and close them. This resulted in portions or sometimes entire pages of text to be blocked from view. Additionally, although I love the idea of an interactive textbook, I wonder how difficult this would be for someone with a disability to use. For instance, would a screen reader be able to capture all of the intricacies of this text?
The text contains no grammatical errors.
This text provides a critical approach to thinking about cultural learning and does so in a culturally sensitive way.
This e-book gets a 5 not because it is factually comprehensive, but because the authors did an excellent job of prioritizing material. At 51 pages, it is impossible to be "comprehensive" about anything, let alone Intercultural Learning. But the... read more
This e-book gets a 5 not because it is factually comprehensive, but because the authors did an excellent job of prioritizing material. At 51 pages, it is impossible to be "comprehensive" about anything, let alone Intercultural Learning. But the authors are very clear about that. They are clear upfront and at the end that this e-book and any module on intercultural learning is but a way in and the practice is lifelong.
I've taught Intercultural Communication in many contexts for 18 years, so I'm confident that the content is accurate. What is included reflects an approach based on critical awareness of power. So, no, it is not "unbiased" in that it suggests we are not inherently objective thinkers from having been culturally socialized. It doesn't attempt to instill a particular worldview but it teaches that we are taught to value particular worldviews. That itself makes it distinct from "pure" social science approaches to culture (that, for example, might suggest culture is a thing to be learned or cultural knowledge is a thing that can objectively be assessed, check). In short: Content is accurate and the authors' choices of what to include were based on a critical framework.
The content was created for (Australian) students studying abroad. As a US American professor of Intercultural Communication, I also find it relevant not for on-campus coursework on intercultural communication and learning. I would probably skip some of the final student commentary videos (such as the one on Openness in Module 5), but most of the information in the modules is highly relevant to a variety of courses.
Great work on clarifying concepts that can be murky and difficult to explain. The three professors were especially good at communicating ideas. I found the student videos less satisfying (sorry students!) but I understand why they are there. Still, I hoped those videos could be edited somehow to make them shorter.
Helpful links to a glossary. I also appreciated that the authors explained that some terms are utilized differently in different fields. I loved what was to me a new framework of "Minority/Majority" -- very nice.
Compact and easily separable into five major units. The divisions were somewhat different than I have experienced in larger printed works, but they made sense and I prefer what they chose. I'm impressed.
Easy to understand.
The site is attractive and once I had downloaded it I could navigate it (though I had a lot of difficulty when I was trying to read and review it without first having downloaded it). I don't know to what extent the navigation errors were due to my own equipment, but I'll list here what was problematic for me. 1. The definitions that were hyperlinked wouldn't "x" away, so every time I clicked to see a definition that box would remain open. Most of the definition boxes had "X"s on them, but none of them worked. A few definitions didn't have the "X" in the box at all. I had to refresh the page each time. 2. I also could not "X" out of any of the embedded videos without leaving the entire site. So I had to learn the hard way (an unfortunate number of times) only to use the back arrow. 3. The Dass Ted Talk on Beauty of Human Skin in Every Color didn't load right for me, would get interrupted and the audio went out a few places.
Concise and error-free. One exception: typos in definition of cultural genocide ("of" and "approach")
This is a great primer for students learning about how to think about cultural learning.
Thank you for sharing this hard work! I truly appreciate it and will share this with colleagues.
This is a well-thought out eBook which serves as a comprehensive resource covering intercultural topics ranging from basic definitions to complicated terms. No key term is left unattended. The authors present each and every topic in such a... read more
This is a well-thought out eBook which serves as a comprehensive resource covering intercultural topics ranging from basic definitions to complicated terms. No key term is left unattended. The authors present each and every topic in such a manner that some of the most complicated topics becomes easily digestible.
The choice of materials and teaching tools are introduced in an accurate and unbiased manner making this book an invaluable tool not only for “international travelers” but also for instructors and administrators.
Although intercultural learning has been around for decades, the process of teaching and learning the subject matter is not easy. With modern-day examples supported by texts, videos, podcasts and many more instructional tools, this 2018 eBook turns this very complicated goal into a straightforward task.
The topics are introduced in a well-designed and defined manner. The intercultural literature is dealt with from all angles bringing crystal clarity to one of the most challenging subjects.
One of the strengths of this eBook is its consistent presentation. If used as a course, the book could provide the instructors with a blueprint presented in a systematic manner, making intercultural learning easier to teach. In addition, the consistency would transform the learning process into an effortless task.
The modular presentation of this eBook is carefully planned. The interrelated units turn the complicated nature of intercultural learning into smaller digestible chunks. Because each well-rounded module offers an effective learning platform-- with a myriad of questions, discussion topics, critical reflections, follow up-materials with hyper-links-- it is impossible not to make any progress. As educators, we all know how challenging it could be to keep the instructional momentum going. The make-up of these modules not only aims to tackle the learning process from a myriad of perspectives but also address the learning styles of the new generation learners. In addition, this eBook can be used in both face-to-face teaching settings and as part of online teaching.
The eBook is well-organized with a logical structure, and is presented both as a student and an instructor manual. The five modules--with “distinct goals,” learning strategies and learning tools--all make it easy to follow. The structure and the presentation of the materials including texts, videos or podcasts invite learners to scroll through wanting to find out more. Throughout the book the key terms, videos and learning resources are easily identified and clearly illustrated.
This is a beautifully designed colorful eBook with texts, videos, podcasts—a pleasure to use both as a teaching and learning tool. The carefully-selected images illustrate the effect of intercultural learning and are of high quality. The icons make the book easy to follow. The texts have hyper-links which are easily accessed.
No grammatical errors.
The book itself intends to teach the notion of becoming aware of issues related to cultural sensitivities through a “critical lens.” The materials provide an excellent platform for learners to acquire or expand their knowledge, skills and abilities related to cultural differences.
This eBook is beautifully designed, clearly presented, and does what it intends to do: prepare students to become global citizens. As comprehensive internationalization continues to shape the form and function of higher education, the nature and structure of study abroad/study away programs are required to provide the much-needed competencies that mold the learners as global citizens. This book is an ideal starting point in supporting any study abroad/study away curriculum with intercultural learning outcomes. The book should serve as a required reading for all incoming freshman students.
Table of Contents
- Module 1: Culture
- Module 2: Imperialism & Cultural Diversity
- Module 3: Racism & Privilege
- Module 4: Critical Reflection & Culture
- Module 5: Intercultural Practice
About the Book
Intercultural learning: Critical preparation for international student travel aims to take students beyond practical preparation, to equip them with a critical lens through which to view and understand their international experiences. The book leads students toward a deeper understanding of culture and cultural difference through an exploration of challenging concepts such as imperialism, racism, privilege and intercultural practice.
As an adjunct to traditional approaches, the book adds a significant and valuable dimension to the process of preparing students for international study, increasing the potential for meaningful and transformative learning experiences.
About the Contributors
Dr Peter Jones is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work & Human Services at James Cook University with over 20 years experience in social work education, research and practice. Peter is a multi-award winning educator with a particular interest in the application of transformative learning theory in social work education. He is currently a Fellow of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA). Peter’s research and practice interests include social work education, environmental social work, sustainable community development, international social work, and international student exchange. He has published scholarly work in all of these areas. Over the past six years Peter has also facilitated a number of international student exchanges to both Thailand and India.
Dr Debra Miles is an Associate Professor in Social Work & Human Services at James Cook University. She has worked in the tertiary education sector in Australia since 1995 teaching across a wide array of undergraduate and postgraduate subjects in professional social work and women’s studies courses at JCU and Charles Darwin University. Her teaching foci include human rights and social work practice. Deb’s research has focused on feminist social work practice particularly in child protection, women’s services, and in work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Her current research projects include international student exchange; internationalisation of social work education; and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and their experience in field education.
Dr Narayan Gopalkrishnan holds the position of Senior Lecturer in Social Work & Human Services at James Cook University. Narayan has a thirty-year career in Australia and overseas, working in universities, NGOs and the private sector. This has included major development projects and large corporate entities in India and work in the not-for-profit sector and academia in Australia. Narayan brings extensive experience in international development in Asia and has managed significant research projects in rural development. Narayan has expertise in Participatory Methodologies and has used these in studies at village and district levels in Asia. Narayan has also coordinated and taught in courses in community development, mental health, counselling, health, globalisation, social disadvantage, human rights and social justice, communication and thought, and social policy.