Article published in:Study Abroad Research in Second Language Acquisition and International Education
Vol. 3:2 (2018) ► pp. 275–309
Foreign language teachers’ intercultural competence and legitimacy during an international teaching experience
Given the increase in international mobility opportunities for educators, analyzing how the experience of studying and teaching abroad benefits teachers is of utmost importance in a globalized educational system. Using Deardorff’s (2009) model of intercultural competence (IC), this study explores how a group of recently graduated Canadian foreign language teachers benefitted from a four-month international teaching experience (ITE). The following questions guided this investigation: In which ways did the ITE contribute to the participants’ IC development? How did the ITE affect the participants’ professional identity and sense of legitimacy? Data were collected, triangulated, and interpreted using thematic content data analysis. This study provides illustrations of the participants’ IC development across all components on Deardorff’s IC model, showing that properly scaffolded ITEs afforded the participants opportunities to develop their IC. The findings also show that the ITE of living and teaching abroad positively impacted their professional identity and feeling of legitimacy.
Keywords: intercultural competence development, international teaching experience, professional teacher identity, professional legitimacy, reflective practice
Published online: 12 October 2018
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