Despite the growing interest in cultural studies based on critical analysis and reflections in foreign language (FL) curriculum, deep cultural learning is absent in most introductory level courses in the US resulting from students’ limited proficiency in the target language and teachers’ reluctance to use English in a FL course (Garrett-Rucks, 2016). The purpose of this study was to explore the outcomes of deep cultural learning activities based on student presentations and discussions in English in an introductory language course. Nineteen introductory Japanese students from an urban private university in the US participated. The course included seven student presentations on Japanese culture followed by class discussions throughout the semester. At the end of the semester, students wrote a learning reflection essay on Japanese culture, which was used as the main data source. Student essays were qualitatively analyzed with a discovery-oriented approach using NVivo, qualitative analysis software, for consistency. The analysis revealed that deep cultural learning activities increased language learning motivation. It also made the language course feel more relevant to student lives and their educational goals. Furthermore, findings suggest that cultural learning activities engendered transformational learning by facilitating students’ development as global citizens. Student transformations include recognition of interconnectedness of all people despite cultural differences, the wisdom to respect and learn from people of different cultural backgrounds, and a global citizen awareness that they share a responsibility in protecting the Earth. A detailed description of the course design and activities will also be shared.
Mizuki Mazzotta, Emory University, United States
About the Presenter(s)
Dr Mizuki Mazzotta is a University Assistant Professor/Lecturer at Emory University in United States
See this presentation on the full schedule – Saturday Schedule