Internationalization in Action

Leveraging Diversity and Inclusion in Globalized Classrooms

by Ching-Ching Lin (Volume editor) M. Cristina Zaccarini (Volume editor)
Textbook XVIII, 180 Pages


Over the past few decades, there have been growing concerns about ways in which diversity and internationalization converge and diverge with one another across different types of educational institutions. This edited volume is one of the first books to investigate meaningful ways of integrating compe-ting goals between internationalization and diversification within the social fabric of campus life and beyond. Each chapter is a call to action that aims to leverage diversity for broader collaboration in higher education institutions in the U.S. and other sociocultural contexts, while providing insights into best practices in navigating diversity through strategic action plans. Each author challenges issues relating to the diversity efforts of internationalization across disciplinary, cultural and national boundaries as well as strategies to strengthen the campus communities’ commitment to diversity and inclusion.
In addition to its theoretical depth, as well as its cultural and disciplinary breadth, this book addresses issues relevant to many different stakeholders, and hence, potential readers in diverse and international settings. This book is of particular importance to those associated with globally mobile popula-tions, which include but are not limited to, academic faculty, higher education professionals as well as those in administrative positions and policy makers who wish to develop a critical perspective on the current practices on inter-nationalization to further their international efforts.

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the editors
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Part I: Negotiating Language Policies in Higher Education
  • 1. Translanguaging as an Act of Ethical Caring in the U.S. International Branch Campus
  • 2. Engaging and Enriching ESL Students through Glocalized Partnerships in Higher Education
  • 3. Linking English and Mother Tongue Writing Courses to Leverage Socio-academic Integration and Translanguaging
  • Part II: Fostering Cross-cultural Interaction
  • 4. Virtual Exchange Task Design for a Globalized Classroom
  • 5. One Classroom, Diverse Goals: Pre-Service Teachers and International Students Learning Together
  • 6. The Role of Intercultural Virtual Exchanges in Developing Pragmatic Awareness
  • Part III: Globalizing the Curriculum
  • 7. Integrating Global Perspectives at Urban Universities from Campus Life to Writing Classrooms
  • 8. Globalizing the American Classroom with Hong Kong and Bollywood Cinemas
  • 9. Mindful Practice and Cross-cultural Dialogue in a College-Level History Class
  • 10. Re-imagining Global Learning: Transcultural Interaction in Higher Education
  • About the Authors

←vi | vii→



It has taken many years for us to reach a point where this book was even possible. The voices included in it are reflective of a cautious optimism about the future of international and foreign language education in colleges and universities both here in the United States and elsewhere. The spirit of innovation, of seeing students as benefiting from learning from others from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and of viewing higher education as a vehicle for greater global understanding and acceptance are all apparent in the chapters that follow. Whether through exchanging ideas within a classroom or across an ocean or international border, the educational experts who have written about their work have helped to illuminate the path we can follow toward what many now term “intercultural communicative competence”—the ability to understand cultures, including one’s own, and use this understanding to communicate with people from other cultures effectively (e.g., Byram, 1997). One would hope that this competence would be embraced by educational, political, philanthropic and corporate leaders as foundational to individual, societal and international development in an increasingly complex world.

The road here involved several divergent paths that reflected our historical tendency at all levels of education to teach the knowledge and skills of a language apart from the more functional, social and pragmatic levels. There is now greater appreciation, reflected in the writings of these contributing writers, to anchor language learning in ways that are meaningful and situated in settings that allow for listening, practicing and connecting prior knowledge with new experience. In part this reflects a paradigm shift in how second-language learning and acquisition is understood, representative of groundbreaking work by researchers such as Stephen Krashen and Jim Cummins, who tackled comprehension of language from the social environment of the learner.

←vii | viii→The pragmatics (or meanings of language in social situations) opened the door to considering the cultural influences of communication, ushering in research that sought to address a more interdisciplinary perspective in the understanding of language, ranging from neuroscience to psychology to linguistics to sociology and anthropology (e.g., Chomsky, 1965; Hynes, 1972).

We have recognized this important aspect of language teaching, learning and experience in the past half-century. It has helped to shed light on the ways in which the cultural elements must be communicated within a language system and the broader implications for language teaching. Several of the chapters address this importance of culture and the point to be made, collectively, is that language learning as an opportunity for cultural exchange and contact with other educational systems allows for rich and deep experience for students—including international study.

A second path has been followed and illuminated in this collection of innovative and thoughtfully researched studies: international education in higher education. There has been an explosion of research interest in this field over the past two decades, paralleling the expansion of students around the world attending colleges and universities, the movement toward globalization in intellectual capital, and the intensified competition in international markets. While the number of publications on international education has dramatically increased—from 68 in 2002, for example, to 472 a decade later—(Kuzhabekova, Hendel, & Chapman, 2015) the proliferation has largely been by networks within national boundaries and mostly Western countries. There has been a clamoring by U.S. institutions to recruit international students in recent years, accentuating the challenges of internationalizing campuses and curriculum. Apart from the economic benefits, scholars have connected these more global trends of internationalism in higher education to areas such as elitist education (e.g., Maxwell, Deppe, Krüger, & Helsper, 2017) and the tensions that are created in the effort to integrate international students into a host country’s educational system. As has been pointed out, the research literature on international student participation in higher education has tended to focus on their differences rather than their participation, their language competence and culture of origin: a discourse of deficit (Straker, 2016). Using a sociocultural approach, allowing students to participate in the collaborative learning and, often, the research of linguistic and cultural education, can lead to a deeper and richer understanding of the internationalizing of higher education in the United States and elsewhere. That is what this volume clearly attempts to do—with no small measure of success.

Keith Graham and Zohreh Eslami write a very thoughtful and persuasive chapter on International Branch Campuses (IBCs) of higher education ←viii | ix→institutions in the United States in international settings—an increasing phenomenon (77 in 2017 in their research). Their focus on “translanguaging” on these campuses, typically with English in the IBC classrooms, highlights the experience of students in Qatar. They cite their own viewpoint as reflexive researchers and offer some arguments using student narratives, for example, about the benefits of first-language teaching for reasons of content learning and citing the “ethics of care” (Noddings, 2013), lessening the sense of isolation that students from other language backgrounds can often experience. Their work has profound implications for the role of English and other languages on IBCs around the world.

Kathleen Richards and Zeynep Harkness keep the focus on international exchange of students in their institution within the structure of an English as a Second Language (ESL) program and Honors Composition class, having students “research” one another through meetings in pairs and trios to discuss topics of their own choosing, learning about each other’s language and culture. Using a number of concepts in the extant literature on language and cultural exchanges to help to understand the students’ narratives and student work in both classes—concepts used by other authors in this volume, such as “glocalizing” (integration of global and local learning) and “translingualism” (multiple language experiences resulting in new grammars and meanings)—the authors conclude that the students gain cultural knowledge, global awareness, and acceptance.

Andrea Parmegiani seeks to integrate language learning of Spanish and English in a community college setting in linked courses, where students from Spanish and English backgrounds are free to use the resources of their home language to learn and collaboratively create meaning with students in both languages in a “translingual” model. He rightly frames this work as important in terms of its sociopolitical implications for attempting to address the dominance of a single language in a classroom while acknowledging that “linguistic communism” (Bordieux, 1997) does not likely exist. Asserting that this model of coupling writing courses in English and Spanish improves the linguistic ability and engagement of students, Parmegiani focuses here on narratives of students and their experience of academic and social integration, concluding that a more linguistically diverse and inclusive education benefits all.

In an interesting study of telecommunications between two university-level language classrooms in the United States and Mexico, Chesla Lenkaitis uses a task design of information exchange, comparison/analysis of cultural experience, and collaborative projects through their stages of development in synchronous and asynchronous formats. Both U.S. students studying Spanish ←ix | x→and Mexican students studying English benefit from these experiences in learning about language and culture, thereby internationalizing the curriculum. Using both quantitative and qualitative measures, the author provides the reader with a window into the ways that effective and engaging language and culture communications across a national border might happen more frequently in the future.

Returning to research of the co-taught and collaborative-learning classroom, Jan Dormer engages the reader early in the chapter in an authentic scenario of English-speaking students and international students in a course together, then begins to explore the learning about language and culture in a co-designed course. Dormer’s effort is to address the power dynamics that can be at play with both first—and second-language students in a classroom as well as professionals who represent two different backgrounds and areas of expertise in the same institution. The results are sensitively offered, including the reflection that the co-teachers needed to realize that English speakers are continuing learners of English themselves, and that everyone in such a collaborative classroom can be teachers and learners.

While another chapter addresses the impact of virtual interchanges—or “telecollaborations”—between students in the United States and Mexico, Shannon Hilliker and Yahya Bouhafa look at the interchanges of students in a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program with Spanish speakers in relation to improvement of the Mexican students’ learning of English and the TESOL students’ understanding of pragmatic moves and mistakes made by second-language learners. A particular emphasis is placed on the correction of mistakes and the impact on the Mexican students, using videotaped interchanges, and interpreting the results with an understanding of pragmatics from the intercultural competence framework developed by Byram (2012). The authors trace the positive impact on teaching strategies, second-language learning and how pragmatics serve as a window into intercultural understanding.

Lubie Alatriste takes the step of reviewing a higher education institution’s apparent commitment and depth in embracing a global or international perspective at multiple levels, ranging from mission to campus events to curriculum, text materials and instruction in his own writing classroom. Using questionnaires, interviews, online searches, and observation field notes, the author reviews the commitment to an international perspective (which she addresses in terms of “diversity”). Her potential framework for researching the impact of this internationalization, drawn from an inventory in the literature, includes cognitive development, intrapersonal development and interpersonal development of students. While she concludes that the institution ←x | xi→has not demonstrated the international focus of its mission, she offers some interesting insights into ways to bring such a perspective to his own classroom—and those of others.

Satish Kolluri and Joseph Tse-Hei Lee argue effectively for a decentering of American culture in their university’s liberal arts offerings in Asian Studies through a multilayered narrative about the creation of a multidisciplinary, team-taught course exploring cinema in Hong Kong and India. In it, students study—indeed, collaboratively research—and reflect on the themes and contexts of film with the authors demonstrating how students are engaged in learning and thinking about their own cultural experiences. Tracing with sensitivity the impact on international Chinese, Indian and American honors students, the authors demonstrate how they sought to “… challenge students to unlearn their instrumental attitude towards education and relearn a new set of intellectual values and behavioral norms on a liberal arts campus.”

Cristina Zaccarini takes the reader through the experience of her and Ching-Ching Lin’s students, described earlier, in a collaboration during her Gender in China course where both Lin’s ESL students and her own students participate with one another in history-related topics. She sensitively distinguishes the discipline of history teaching and bringing multiple cultural understandings to the subject from cultural relativism and references mindful dialogue and learning of the students in their responses to topics in the course. She summarizes areas covered in the course, including the practice of foot-binding, China’s one-child policy, “leftover” women and gender equality and homosexuality. She also gives voice to the Chinese and U.S. students’ views on these topics, framing them as opportunities for the students to question and reflect on values, current cultural perspectives and the appreciation for Chinese history in a fascinating overview of the experience.

Ching-Ching Lin offers a portrayal of the challenges she faces as an ESL educator in a private university, citing current trends in U.S. higher education where students are heavily recruited from “middle-class countries,” often resulting in homogeneity of language and culture in ESL classrooms as well as separation and isolation from content-based curriculum, faculty and domestic students. She describes her efforts to reach out to global-studies faculty in her institution and others in the region and, in a yearlong effort, collaborate with a faculty member at a neighboring university to share topics and support student dialogue in her ESL class and her colleague’s Global Studies course. Through interviews that students undertook to look at international and domestic student experience—along with shared lectures and discussions (sometimes virtual) between the two classes—Lin shares the successes and ←xi | xii→challenges of crossing languages, cultures and, indeed, institutional policies to bring “glocalized,” “situated literacy,” and “critical literacy” studies to life.


XVIII, 180
ISBN (Softcover)
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2020 (May)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2020. XVIII, 180 pp., 1 b/w ill.

Biographical notes

Ching-Ching Lin (Volume editor) M. Cristina Zaccarini (Volume editor)

Ching-Ching Lin, Ed.D. is an instructor and practicum supervisor at Graduate School of Education, Touro College. She is Founder and Managing Director of Virtual Exchange 4 Change as well as co-editor of Inclusion, Diversity, and Intercultural Dialogue in Young People’s Philosophical Inquiry (2018). M. Cristina Zaccarini, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of History and Co-Director of Asian Studies at Adelphi University. She publishes widely in the field of U.S.-intercultural exchange with China and works to bring together interna-tional and domestic students, through shared on-campus events.


Title: Internationalization in Action