Connecting to the Future Now: Developing Cultural Competency in an Action-Learning-Based EFL Study Within a Taiwanese University
Encouraging critical thinking skills, team cohesion, intercultural competence and conversational facilities were the foci of a study employing Action Learning theories and methods to two Taiwanese EFL conversation classes. In a year long study three hypotheses formed the foundation: a) Action Learning methods and theories will influence student language acquisition outcomes, b) students will assign value to using English during interviewing conversations with local business people, c) students will find value to cross-cultural training. The curriculum supported classroom activities countering language loss, empowering students to use their language skills within the local community as they practiced the international conversation model and the international interviewing model. Assessment instruments included a situational recall questionnaire, classroom observations, student notes and reflection papers, and exams, as well as reflections from the community business people engaged in the study. Findings indicate that students enjoyed the study, increased their English language acquisition skills, and found value with Action Learning locally and globally as they reflected on the study's impact on their lives.
Keywords: Action Learning, Multiliteracies, Language Acquisition, Student-Centered Learning, Curriculum and Pedagogy, Organizational Change
Educational Therapist, JVS-Cincinnati, National Taiwan Normal University