Study abroad (SA) as a domain of inquiry in the field of Applied Linguistics has been approached from a variety of different perspectives. Although originally focused on measuring the impact of residence abroad on students’ language development, in the last decade the so-called ‘social’ turn in Second Language Acquisition has brought to the fore the importance of socio-cultural aspects of the students’ experiences (such as the amount of contact they have with the local community, their social networks, etc.). This focus on the students’ entire lived experiences in the destination country opened the door to an increased interest in analysing their language encounters in terms of intercultural learning.
This new domain of investigation in SA research, focused on the students’ opportunities for intercultural development while abroad, is varied in terms of perspectives and discourses, as it catalyses the different interests and viewpoints of the various stakeholders, including educational institutions, international political organisations, teachers or the students themselves. This book gathers some of these voices, with contributions on topics such as the features, dynamics, advantages and shortcomings, preparation needs and pedagogical issues relating to student mobility in terms of the participants’ intercultural learning. This book was originally published as a special issue of Language and Intercultural Communication.
Introduction: Interculturality in study abroad1. Difference and awareness in cultural travel: negotiating blocks and threads2. ‘Breathing the smells of native-styled English’: a narrativized account of an L2 sojourn3. Cultural adaptation in different facets of life and the impact of language: a case study of personal adjustment patterns during study abroad4. ‘I am Italian in the world’: a mobile student’s story of language learning and ideological becoming5. Mobile students’ appraisals of keys to a successful stay abroad experience: hints from the IEREST project6. Englishisation at a global space: students and staff making sense of language choices7. Student mobility and internationalisation in higher education: perspectives from practitioners8. English as an academic lingua franca and intercultural awareness: student mobility in the transcultural university9. Interculturality and the study abroad experience: students’ learning from the IEREST materials10. Enhancing student experiences abroad: the potential of dynamic assessment to develop student interculturalityPedagogical forum 11. Intercultural preparation for future mobile students: a pedagogical experience12. Intercultural education in practice: two pedagogical experiences with mobile students