Publication details [#66554]

Scarino, Angela, Fiona O'Neill and Jonathan Crichton. 2019. Developing intercultural learning capabilities. A case study in higher education. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics 42 (2).
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This paper reports on a semester-long study that explored the experience of a group of local and international students from multiple disciplines, and their teachers, in a core Intercultural Communication undergraduate course of 550 students in which there is an orientation to learning, teaching and assessment that seeks to develop students’ intercultural learning capabilities. To capture the experience of learning, teaching and assessment in a highly diverse Australian university, data were collected over the life cycle of the course. The research design was ethnographic and collaborative, involving the research team, members of the teaching staff, and members of the university’s learning and teaching unit. The data include interviews with students and teachers, students’ written assessments, and observations of weekly teaching staff meetings. The overarching finding of the study is that, to enable students to develop their intercultural learning capabilities, there is a need to rethink notions of experience and engagement, specifically to attend to the central role of language/s and culture/s in all students’ experience of learning, teaching, and assessment. Analysed examples from the data are used to illustrate four specific guiding principles underpinning this (re)orientation to learning. The study was one of two case studies funded by the University of South Australia as part of a larger project: Developing English Language and Intercultural Learning Capabilities.