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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


International Classroom Dynamics:: The Impact of the Multicultural Academic Community

Magda Stroinska, Vikki Cecchetto.

Most higher education institutions in Europe and throughout the world are becoming forums of international academic exchange, with a growing number of international students and staff members. It is therefore a useful exercise to inquire into the mechanisms of learning and teaching in an international classroom. The proposed workshop identifies some of the notions that are important parameters determining success in that process.

We shall present a number of subject areas that we believe to be particularly relevant to teaching and learning in an international setting. The presentation uses some anecdotal evidence, which is both interesting and amusing. Then, however, the authors look beyond superficial observations in order to avoid falling into the trap of stereotyping about various national and linguistic groups.

The presentation will focus on a number of specific areas of interaction between students' culture and their linguistic behaviour. The following issues will be discussed:

∑ The notion of truth
∑ The notion of intellectual ownership
∑ The notion of face
∑ Degrees of accuracy
∑ The meanings of silence
∑ Getting and keeping the floor in the classroom
∑ Expectations of the teaching process
∑ Expectations of the learning process
∑ Critical thinking.


Magda Stroinska  (Canada)
Professor of German and Linguistics
Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics
McMaster University

Magda Stroi_ska is a professor of German and Linguistics at McMaster University, Canada and a research fellow at Kingston University, UK. Her areas of research include sociolinguistics and cross-cultural communication, in particular cultural stereotyping, language and politics, and propaganda.

Vikki Cecchetto  (Canada)

  • Globalization Of Learning
  • International Students
  • Stereotyping
  • Intellectual Ownership
  • Plagiarism
  • Face
  • Silence
  • Expectations
  • Critical Thinking

(60 min Workshop, English)