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Module: AIC
Syllabus Content
Diary & Portfolio 
Introduction to Cultural Identity
Stereotypes & Intercultural Incidents
Sociolinguistic Awareness & Competence
Expectations, motivation, objectives


Module: Acquiring Intercultural Competence


Syllabus Content Area 1

One session, 2 hours

Diary and Portfolio as Tools for Monitoring one’s Intercultural Learning

This area consists of 2 topics:

Topic one

Diary and Learning Log

ICP diaries

Aims and objectives:

  • to review various formats of Year Abroad diaries and understand their purpose (see 1999 Sheffield report)

  • to define the structure of the Learning Log used for the whole duration of the module

  • to reflect on the need for the "Personal Learning Log" option

  • to clarify the purpose of the analytical account which will be based on the PLL

  • to initially explore ICP diaries and discuss their relevance to the programme

  • to discuss the intercultural learning outcomes expected from exploring ICP diaries

  • to discuss intercultural learning outcomes from undertaking a PLL


Options for Learning Activities

Guided discussion about diaries in general:
  • have you used / are you using a diary?
  • how personal is it?

  • how frequent are the entries?

  • is the content personal / professional?

  • what is its overall purpose?

  • what do you expect to gain? to learn?

Guided discussion about the Year Abroad diary:
  • why use a diary for the Year Abroad? what could / should it include?

  • who should have access to it?

  • to what extent can the content be influenced by a readership?

  • why use a learning log for the whole duration of the PPA module?

  • how personal should it be?

  • why was a private LL deemed to be necessary here?

  • what do you expect to learn about yourself from keeping a PLL during the whole duration of the module?

  • looking at the syllabus content, do you expect many issues to be raised for which a personal diary is preferable?

  • when do you expect to learn the most? what do you expect to learn the most about?

  • how relevant can YA ICP diaries be to your own learning process?

  • what are your comments on the ICP students’ willingness to allow others to read their diaries and use them as learning tools? do you think that their decision influenced the content to some extent? how?

  • make a list of the areas in which you expect to learn the most from the ICP diaries.


ICP diaries and their application:

before / during / after YA
  • hands on session on exploring the SARA and STEFEdatabases.


Topic two


Aims and objectives:

  • to discuss the appropriateness of portfolio based assessment for the period preceding the PRA

  • to broadly define the tasks which might be included in the portfolio (further insight will be gained during subsequent workshops)

  • to explain how to collate the portfolio in relation to the 5 areas of the syllabus

  • to explain the portfolio presentation requirements

  • to discuss priority issues pertaining to the self-evaluation component of the portfolio


Options for Learning Activities

Guided discussion on portfolios:

  • reflect on use of portfolio as learning tool and assessment method

  • what skills are acquired in the use of a portfolio?

  • what does a portfolio normally look like when completed?

  • what is your experience of portfolio work?

  • how prescriptive was the setting of tasks?

  • what is a portfolio for this module expected to contain?

  • looking at the areas covered by the syllabus, suggest possible portfolio components

  • why are the capacity for observing and a willingness to interact with others necessary requisites for the completion of this particular portfolio?


  • on the basis of the areas covered by the syllabus, how will you define the criteria for the self-evaluation part of your portfolio?

Guided discussion on the acquisition of intercultural competence:

  • can you expect to acquire intercultural competence before going abroad ?

  • do your background and your personal and professional experience enable you to say that you are already interculturally competent?

  • if this is the case, discuss what you expect to gain from this module.

Activities which could be undertaken as preparation in students' own time:
  • interact with foreign students; find out whether they have stereotypes about the British

  • search SARA database for stereotyping, for example by searching under "Where was I?": extracts relating to a particular country.

  • search SARA database for adapting to new environment ("How did I react?": adapting to the culture), opportunities for joining new circles ("How did I meet people?": meeting people). 


  • What have you learnt from these workshops?