Enhancing student experiences abroad: The potential of dynamic assessment to develop student interculturality

Claudia Harsch, Matthew E. Poehner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Educational institutions are acknowledging the requirements of a globalized world on students’ mobility, interculturality, and language skills by offering study-abroad programmes. These need to be accompanied by procedures to assess student needs prior to and during their time abroad as well as upon their return. In the exploratory study reported here, we use Dynamic Assessment (DA) to examine international students’ interculturality and learning needs when interpreting Critical Incidents (CIs). DA integrates teaching, learning, and assessment by providing mediation to reveal the cognitive processes behind student performance. Four empirically derived incidents were presented to 13 international students studying in the UK. Students worked in pairs and were asked to interpret the CIs. Appropriate interpretations of the CIs involved identifying the issues from different perspectives; anticipating emotions, behaviour and problems for different participants; and negotiating situations and solutions. Interaction data were qualitatively analysed for instances of relevant (meta-)cognitive processes and emerging learning. Results indicate the potential of DA to provide an empirical diagnosis of student interculturality and learning needs, and thus a starting point for the design of enrichment programmes to optimize students’ development while abroad by meeting students where they are and moving them towards the desired abilities and objectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)470-490
Number of pages21
JournalLanguage and Intercultural Communication
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'Enhancing student experiences abroad: The potential of dynamic assessment to develop student interculturality'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this