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Pre-service ESL teachers reflecting on intercultural communication: Raising awareness through the use of portfolios (Émily Marzin & Patricia Houde, Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico)

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2:45 PM, Friday 30 Apr 2021 EDT (30 minutes)
  Virtual session
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Émily Marzin & Patricia Houde, Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico

Title: Pre-service ESL teachers reflecting on intercultural communication: Raising awareness through the use of portfolios

Keywords: Intercultural competence awareness; Intercultural competence skills; Portfolio; Pre-service teaching education


This research project examines how reflection can be employed to raise intercultural awareness during a 50-hour BA course on intercultural communication by analysing portfolio entries. This research explores the impact that this reflective tool had on pre-service teachers’ intercultural communicative awareness and skills.

Portfolios in pre-service education provides opportunities and gives a framework to document and explain the learning process while students acquire new concepts (Deardorff, 2009; Fantini, 2000; Byram, 1997) and reflect on their future practice (Barton & Collins,1993; Smith & Tillema, 2001; Wolf & Dietz, 1998). In addition, authors in educational studies focus on the advantages that portfolios offer for in-service teachers to enhance reflection on action (Hamilton, 2018; Van Der Westhuizen & Smith, 2000). Through self-and co-reflection of pre-service teachers, the present study provides initial thoughts on building intercultural communicative competences in their training and in their future classroom.

The qualitative methodology used journal entries and classroom activities to develop their reflection on intercultural communicative awareness and skills applied to their teaching practice. Fifteen future English as foreign language teachers enrolled in a BA programme in Central Mexico took part in this study.

The findings of this qualitative research show that through a written reflective routine, consisting of 25 entries, pre-service teachers gained intercultural communication awareness and developed skills to endorse cultural practices beneficial for their future students.

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