Global simulation: Experiential learning and preparing students at home for study abroad

Dupuy, Beatrice
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Thompson & Heinle
Every year, increasing numbers of undergraduate students elect to study abroad. For the majority of these students, residing overseas and immersing themselves in the target language and culture will finally allow them, they believe (as do their teachers), to develop the linguistic and cultural proficiency that has eluded them so far. Although many studies have documented the contribution that a study abroad experience can make to language and cultural competence development, a small, but growing, number of research reports indicate that many students are not able to make the most of the study abroad context. It is suggested that the home foreign language (FL) classroom, where elements (e.g., language forms and skills, cultural facts) are introduced and developed sequentially, has not prepared them well for the foreign immersion environment where these elements converge all at once. In view of this misalignment between the home and study abroad contexts, reforming the stateside curriculum is needed and planning immersion-like opportunities for students to experience the demands of real-world communication in the home classroom is imperative. One way to accomplish this goal is by implementing experiential formats such as global simulation. In this chapter, global simulation, a project-based approach, is examined as a possible option to address the changes needed to promote better articulation between learning at home and abroad.The implications of adopting global simulation in the introductory and intermediate language program are discussed and suggestions are made to language program directors (LPDs) regarding implementation with students and TAs.
Dupuy, B. (2006). Global simulation: Experiential learning and preparing students at home for study abroad. The American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators and Directors of Foreign Languages Programs (AAUSC), 134-156.
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