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Preparing Modern Languages Students for 'Difference'

Going beyond Graduate Skills


Ruth Whittle and Sandra Salin

This book informs and encourages aspiring lecturers and teaching staff in Modern Languages who prepare students for using their language skills in and out of the classroom. Drawing on pedagogical, psychological and language-specific concepts of learning, the book illustrates how such concepts can enhance students’ experience of transitioning from school to university to residence abroad, and beyond.

A key feature of the study is an investigation of students’ fragility as they transition from school to university and, only two years later, from their home institution to their placements abroad. Interventions intended to «teach» transition are shown to be unsuccessful, as the learning through such interventions tends to remain superficial. First-year students are shown to benefit from trust-building between students and teachers and early networking among their peers to build self-confidence. In contrast, prior to studying abroad students benefit more from intercultural awareness training, including linguistic, cultural, social, academic and/or emotional aspects.

The book serves as a useful basis for discussion in Modern Languages departments about curriculum change and university policy with regard to resourcing the Humanities.


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A Levels 33, 38, 171 new curriculum for Modern Lan- guages 35–37, 206–207 Abroadyssey (website) 148 accommodation 80, 181–184 affective learning affective side of transition 37 and cognitive learning 30 confidentiality and 105 language learning and 177 negative feelings and 108, 110, 122 negative feelings and not reviewing goals 94 role of the personal tutor in 124 analytical skills 101, 104 assessment formative 106–108 for reflection 106 asynchronous discussion 112, 120 Attainment 8 31 ‘belonging’ and learning 38 Bloom, Allan 6–7 Born Global report 101 Brexit see EU Referendum Broadening Horizons report 102 cognitive learning 22 see also affective learning cognitive presence 21 see also Garrison’s Practical Inquiry Model competencies social and emotional competency and intelligence 60–61 see also emotional intelligence; skills competition in Higher Education 9 Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) 6, 205 confidence effective feedback and 121, 123, 124 language learning and 117 self-confidence 177 transition and 173 voicing negative feelings and 95 Cousins, Glynis 23–24 cultural immersion and language 80 cultural intelligence 114–116 deep learning e-Portfolios and 106, 111, 112, 113, 116 emotions and 173 experiential learning and 109 feedback and 120 guidance and 103 reflection and 119 ‘difference’ definition of 2 experience of in the transition process 18 practising ‘difference’ from induction 134 and professionalism 19 Docherty, David 1 Dweck, Carol 31, 97–99 see also growth mindset e-Portfolio(s) 101–127 effective learning, definition of 131 emotional intelligence 22 260 Index e-Portfolios and 106, 111, 112, 113,...

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