Canadian Language and Culture and Citizenship Development:: Academic Literacy Interventions using New Technologies for Immigrant and International Youth in Canadian Universities

Colloquium | March 19 | 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. | 223 Moses Hall

 Jia Li, John A. Sproul Fellow, Canadian Studies

 Canadian Studies Program (CAN)), Berkeley Language Center

Canada has a comparatively open immigration policy. On average the country has accepted about 200,000 immigrants and refugees a year over the past decade, one of the highest per capita admission rates in the world. In addition, Canada has been one of the top preferred countries for international students because of a wide selection of programs in top educational institutions, and great potential of job opportunities. As a result, Canada universities accommodate immigrant and international students from countries where the language and the culture of pedagogy may not align with students’ needs to acquire content-based language and culture competence required for their academic success and development of Canadian citizenship critical to Canada's economic growth. This talk reports on my research work for the past few years, focusing on empirical intervention studies using new technologies to engage university English learners who are current or former immigrant and international students. It aimed to enhance their learning of English for Academic Purposes and develop in-depth understanding of Canadian culture. The talk will focus particularly on two research projects by my team: including (1) an intervention study using drama and filmmaking activities based on a Canadian novel, and (2) an intervention study using text messaging to facilitate immigrant and international youth’s learning of the issues of contemporary Canada. Qualitative and quantitative research results will be reported, including the excerpts of interview transcripts and film clips students made. Suggestions will be made for further research and pedagogical practice.

 elliott.smith@berkeley.edu, 510-642-0531