Experiential Learning Opportunities: Removing Language Barriers and Maximizing Cultural Immersion

Experiential Learning Opportunities: Removing Language Barriers and Maximizing Cultural Immersion

Ping Yang (Western Sydney University, Australia)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 29
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3814-1.ch009

Abstract

This chapter examines how international students use experiential learning to improve their Chinese language skills through cultural immersion in China. This experiential learning mobilizes them to practice their Chinese communication skills in authentic context and in real use. Furthermore, they immerse themselves in the cultural context, reflecting on language and cultural differences, appreciating cultural diversities, and improving communicative competence. Using a qualitative method, the researcher collected data from various sources about six international students from five countries. The subjects' real-life experiences mirror their daily activities. Using Nvivo 11 as a tool, the researcher critically analyzed data, categorized contents into emerging themes. The project outcomes are useful for international students currently studying in China to reflect on their past experiences and are also beneficial to those who want to join study abroad and mobility programs, better prepare themselves for language learning and cultural immersion in China in the future.
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Introduction

Coming back is not the same as never leaving.

—Terry Pratchett

The past three decades witnesses the amazing social, economic, cultural and educational achievements China has ever scored in its history. This all-around success is appealing more and more to people from different countries and cultures around the world to one of the oldest civilizations. They travel and see China for business, teaching, tourism, and study purposes. Learning Chinese as an L2 and understanding Chinese culture through an in-country experience are two major motivations driving international student mobility.

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Literature Review

Two key points are under review in this section to foreground the theoretical foundations on which the emerging themes to be discussed are analyzed and expounded. One is the theoretical framework of experiential learning and the other smart learner international mobility (SLIM) the research proposed.

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