Session 4B

Renuka Sri, University of Adelaide University, Australia

As more than one billion people now use English as a second or additional language, largely to communicate with other second language users, many Universities around Australia and the world have introduced ‘Global Citizenship Programs’. With globalization, students need to interact effectively with people of different races, nationalities, and religions. They need more innovative and higher-order cognitive skills, intercultural competence, and sophisticated communication and collaboration skills. Fluency in more than one language and culture is no longer an option—it is becoming a prerequisite for career advancement (Suárez-Orozco & Sattin 2007).

As teachers of English it is our responsibility to build students’ intercultural communication skills in order to prepare our students to be effective speakers of English in global contexts. Students need to be able to learn with and from their diverse peers, work collaboratively and communicate effectively in groups (Gardner 2004, cited in Suárez-Orozco & Sattin 2007). Intercultural competence enables them to empathise with peers of different races, religions and of different linguistic and social origins. So this year the ELC introduced a formal structured program to help facilitate the development of these skills for our students. The idea was to implement an ‘across program’ initiative; so PEP with GEAP or a tailored study tour group; and get students working together on a common task no matter what their level of English using ‘English as a lingua franca’.
This workshop will outline the aims and objectives of the program (the why), its implementation (the how), the types of activities used (the what), student responses (evaluation) and consider some recommendations for more effective conduct of the program in the future (the so what now).

Bio data:

Renuka Sri has over 25 years of teaching experience with primary, secondary and adult learners in Australia and abroad. At the University of Adelaide, Renuka is actively involved in the Certificate IV TESOL and the Pre-Enrolment Program. Her qualifications include a Master of Education (TESOL), a Bachelor of Arts in English and Business, a Diploma of English Studies , a Certificate in Specialist Course Curriculum Design and a Certificate in Education. She is also an Assessor for the International Second Language Rating (ISLPR) and the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF).