Teaching Intercultural Communication through Service Learning

Eunkyong Yook (1)
(1) Department of English, Linguistics, & Communication University of Mary Washington, United States


Interest in service learning has increased in past years because of more accumulated knowledge about its beneficial outcomes to participants and to society. The purpose of this paper is to describe one case of a service learning project with positive outcomes. Service learning was chosen as an assignment for an intercultural course at ___ University. A total of 97 responses were collected from students over two semesters. A content analysis of student reflections was conducted for themes concerning students’ perceptions of learning outcomes of the project. Five major themes emerged. The self-reported themes were in the following order of frequency, from the highest to the lowest level; 1) enhancement of volunteering students’ ability to apply communication concepts, 2) enhancement of volunteering students’ ability to make a difference and to impact others’ lives in a positive way, 3) enhancement of volunteering students’ ability to build bridges with the local community, 4) enhancement of volunteering students’ ability to apply intercultural communication concepts, and 5) enhancement of volunteering students’ ability to understand themselves and the similarities and disparities of the human condition. Sample student comments best illustrating those themes are included. A discussion of the learning outcomes and suggestions for students who wish to take service learning courses follow.

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Eunkyong Yook
eyook@umw.edu (Primary Contact)
Author Biography

Eunkyong Yook, Department of English, Linguistics, & Communication University of Mary Washington

Eunkyong (Esther) Yook received her doctorate from the University of Minnesota's department of Speech Communication with an emphasis on Communication Theory.  She has two Master degrees, one in Simultaneous Language Interpretation (Korean, English, French) and the other in Speech Communication.  Her research interests are on topics related to intercultural and instructional communication, with the latest book being A Guide for ESL Students in the Basic Communication Course,

Yook, E. (2012). Teaching Intercultural Communication through Service Learning. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 12(1), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.36923/jicc.v12i1.593

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