25 international educators arrive on campus to study Service-Learning techniques for teaching the English language

The IU School of Liberal Arts International Center for Intercultural Communication (ICIC) is proud to welcome 25 English as foreign language teachers and administrators from 24 different countries to IUPUI for a two-week exchange program beginning March 3 to learn the potential of service-learning for promoting both strong 21st century skills (critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity), global awareness, and digital literacy, along with increasing English language skills. The exchange program is sponsored by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Office of English Language Programs through the English Access Microscholarship Program. The program is administered by FHI 360 and hosted by IUPUI.

Faculty from across the IUPUI campus, including the IU School of Liberal Arts, Program for Intensive English, Office of International Affairs, IU School of Education, and the Institute for Engaged Learning are collaborating to teach service-learning academic workshops as part of the “Using Service-Learning to Teach 21st Century Skills to English Language Learners” program.

They will share knowledge and practical suggestions, while encouraging discussions for participants to reflect on how service-learning can be used in their settings with their students. Participants will see how service-learning can not only promote language skills and 21st CS, but how when students work collaboratively with their community and with global partners, via technology, it can go further to address world needs, such as UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“The UN Sustainable Development Goals provide us with an extraordinary framework for understanding that we need to work across boundaries to ensure a more sustainable world for future generations”, said Hilary Kahn, Associate Vice Chancellor for International Affairs, IUPUI and Associate Vice President for International Affairs, Indiana University. “They also draw our attention, and this is especially important for educators, to the importance of navigating local and global contexts in the development of globally responsible citizens.”

Participants will also visit area schools and non-profit organizations that use service-learning approaches to education and will meet students – both K-12 and higher ed – who are growing their skill sets and language competencies, as well as serving their communities, through service-learning. Visits to cultural sites important to Indiana history and culture – the Soldier and Sailors Monument, the World War II Memorial, City Market, and the Indiana Statehouse are also on the agenda.

“It is an honor for ICIC to be chosen by FHI 360 and the Department of State to host this community-engagement / service-learning exchange for our international visitors,” said Ulla Connor, Founding Director, ICIC and Chancellor’s Professor of English. “Throughout our center’s 20+ years of research and teaching of intercultural communication, we have joined with the university to expand our vision from serving primarily local language and cultural needs to those found in wider global contexts.” 

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