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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Engaging with Foreign Culture During a Study Tour: Taiwanese Learners Perspectives

Miao Shin Yu, Roger Harris.

Travel for education is not a new concept as many world learned citizens, since the beginning of recorded history, have recognized and endorsed travel as a means of education. A study tour with a structured program is one form of travel for education, which provides a chance for participants to explore a chosen site firsthand, and to experience an unfamiliar environment through interaction with qualified instruction without the pressure of formal homework or test requirements. This paper will report on the cultural learning aspects of a study tour by 16 students from Ling Tung College of Taiwan and led by the presenter. The study tour was located in Adelaide, one of Australia?s state capitals, and lasted for one month. During the study tour over this period, students were asked to write about their feelings, perceptions and experiences in their journals. Thus, there were about 448 (16 students x 28 days) journal entries during the study tour that revealed how the students perceived the study tour processes and how their perceptions altered during this time. In general, the journal entries could be categorized into three kinds of learning: culture, English/language and travel.

This paper will present findings on the first category ? cultural learning. The analysis will show how the students viewed, talked about and grappled with 'making meaning' of the western culture. The implications of these findings for developing cross-cultural teaching materials in Ling Tung College and other similar Asian contexts of education will be explored.


Miao Shin Yu  (Australia)
PhD candidate
Division of Education, Arts and Social Science
University of South Australia

Shin-Yu Miao teaches English in the Department of International Trade at Ling Tung College, Taiwan. As part of her work, she leads study tours for the college students to English speaking countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia; she has now led 8 study tours to these destinations. Interested in the students’ impressions during the study tours, she is now pursuing her PhD at the University of South Australia to write about the nature of the students’ English language and cultural learning during the study tours.

Roger Harris  (Australia)
Director, Centre for Research in Education, Equity and Work
Division of Education, Arts and Social Science
University of South Australia

Roger Harris is Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for Research in Education, Equity and Work at the University of South Australia. His research interests lie within adult and vocational education, focusing on Australian training reform in general and workplace learning and professional development in particular. He is an executive member of the Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association, and national editor of the Australian Journal of Adult Learning

  • Cross-Cultural Learning
  • Study Tour

(Virtual Presentation, English)