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2020 International Conference on the Development and Assessment of Intercultural Competence

January 23–26, 2020

Tucson, Arizona and online

Symposium: The Role of Study Abroad on Teachers' Professional Identity Development

Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 2:30 PM–4:30 PM MST add to calendar
Catalina Ballroom / Salon K (livestream)
Proposal Type


Language of Presentation



Professional development of faculty and instructors


Symposium Chair: Wenhao Diao (University of Arizona)

This panel presents case reports of in-service teachers who studied abroad in China for four weeks, funded by a Fulbright-Hays grant. Using an auto-ethnographic approach, it documents how this experience impacts their professional identity and teaching practices in diverse K-16 contexts, which include but are not limited to language classes.

Symposium Content Details

Paper 1: Negotiating Nativeness, Authenticity, and Meaningfulness in Foreign Language Instruction, Grant Castner (St. Mary's Ryken High School) and Caroline Pederson (Chandler Unified School District)

Summary: Study abroad prompts reflections on the skills L2 learners need for communicating in authentic scenarios. Yet language textbooks -- often edited by native speakers -- can be misguided in what is essential in these situations. This paper shows how study abroad enables non-native speaking teachers to design engaging and authentic materials and tasks. 


Paper 2: Fostering a Global Perspective in an Elementary School Classroom, Madison Loya (Borton Magnet Elementary School)

Summary: Teachers’ identities are contingent upon their own life experiences. Therefore study abroad allows teachers to bring new identities into the classroom. This paper highlights how an elementary school teacher can encourage multilingualism and incorporate global contexts, thus exposing children to new perspectives and fostering broader worldviews at an early age.


Paper 3:  Bringing Diversity of Perspective to the Middle School Classroom, Sandra Wang (Kearney Public Schools)

Summary: Middle school is a time when valuing diversity is often in danger, with pressure to fit in and normalize to the dominant culture.  In areas where ethnicity is primarily homogenous, it is particularly important to make students aware of multiple perspectives and narratives, and to engage them with authentic global experiences.


Paper 4: Globalizing Your Classroom Starts At Home, Mariah Young (Pima Community College)

Summary: Examining the roles of educator and student in the study-abroad context allows for creativity in curriculum; moreover, it allows opportunities to confront assumptions about the instructor’s position. Study abroad creates space to interrogate the instructor’s role in the classroom and the responsibilities of teaching in a globalized class setting. 


Paper 5: Informing ESL curriculum with a Global Perspective, Amanda Agate and Kate Shea (University of Arizona)

Summary: ESL/EFL instruction carries concerns of inclusion and diversity. As English remains a dominant world language, instructors are often mainstream representations of predominantly English-speaking countries, both domestically and abroad. However, our classrooms are often multicultural or from a cultural heritage different from our own. Language educators must include globally-informed perspectives in their instruction.

Primary Presenter

Wenhao Diao, The University of Arizona


Secondary Presenters

Kate Laura Shea, University of Arizona, Pima Community College


Grant Castner, St. Mary's Ryken High School
Amanda Agate, University of Arizona


Caroline Pederson, Chandler Unified School District


Madison Loya, Borton Magnet Elementary School
Sandra J Wang, Kearney Public Schools
Mariah Young, Pima Community College