The opportunity to study English in Hawai’i is an appealing option for many international students seeking to improve their English language skills. However, by choosing to live abroad, these same students could possibly face pragmatic communication difficulties and encounter acculturative stress, which has the potential to negatively impact their English studies. This online course hopes to address these issues by familiarizing English language learners about culture shock and the different issues they may have living abroad before departing from their home country.
The target audience for this course are English learners with a High Basic to Low Intermediate level of English proficiency currently enrolled in a 4-year college within their respective home country. The technological tools for the course are Canvas as the LMS, various Google Apps (e.g., Google Docs, Google Slides), and Kahoot. In addition to Zoom as the main video application for the course, other video applications such as Flipgrid and VoiceThread may be used.
The course takes a constructivist approach to the content by having the students collaborate and build upon their existing knowledge of Hawai’i and English. Course topics include the issues of living abroad and culture shock, as well as Hawai’i’s history, traditions, and pop culture. There will be two summative assessments at the end of the course: a reflection essay and a project-based final presentation video. One component of interest will be a synchronous, community-building activity called interchange, which provides international students the opportunity to interact and communicate with authentic UH student interchangers.