Study Abroad

Monolingual Ideologies and Plurilingual Realities

Monolingual Ideologies and Plurilingual Realities

Two weeks ago, I attended the Integrationists Conference at Penn State University, whose theme was “Integrationism and Philosophies of Language: Emerging Alternative Epistemologies in the Global North and the Global South”

While I had not heard of Integrationism as a linguistic theory until I saw the announcement for this conference, I was interested in learning more about both Integrationism and Southern Theories, as they seemed to align with the direction my own research is taking.  As it turns out, this was an excellent choice! I got to meet up with some of my favorite study abroad colleagues, and also learn from presenters that came from a wide range of disciplines, theoretical backgrounds and geographical locations.  In this post, I’m giving a summary of my own presentation called “Monolingual Ideologies and Plurilingual Realities: U.S. Arabic Learners in Study Abroad and Telecollaboration”.  

The Whiteness of U.S. Study Abroad

The Whiteness of U.S. Study Abroad

This post is a summary of part of my talk where I used photos on a program website to demonstrate how even when we take real steps (such as financial support) to promote and support including underrepresented groups in study abroad, we often still do it in a way that doesn’t really challenge what I called the “default whiteness” of study abroad. That is, we focus on trying to increase the numbers of students of color studying abroad, but don’t really think about some of the problematic ways in which we represent study abroad. To explain what I mean, I’ll look at two pages of a program website.

Ethnographic Projects for Study Abroad

Ethnographic Projects for Study Abroad

In my very first post on this blog, I discussed how despite popular belief, language and intercultural learning are not automatic outcomes of study abroad.  I also mentioned three key components of study abroad programs necessary to promote these outcomes: language and intercultural contact, reflection upon this contact, and connecting the pre, during, and post sojourn experiences.  In this post, I want to focus on one of my favorite interventions for study abroad, that of ethnographic projects for study abroad.  

Does study abroad lead to intercultural learning?

For U.S. students, study abroad has never been more popular—according to the Open Doors data from the U.S. State Department, the number of students studying abroad has more than doubled since the turn of the 21st century, and about 10% of U.S. students will study abroad during their undergraduate career.  As a study abroad researcher, this is both exciting (because more students are getting this opportunity) and disheartening (because there seems to be little attention paid to what happens after students cross that national border and gain the status of a study abroad student).