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Sojourner Adjustment, Adaptation and Performance and the Study of Inter/Cross-Cultural Communication

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Tony Young, Dr Alina SchartnerORCiD



This is the final published version of a conference proceedings (inc. abstract) that has been published in its final definitive form by British Association for Applied Linguistics, 2014.

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Sojourner Adjustment, Adaptation and Performance and the Study of Intercultural Communication. Tony Young & Alina Schartner, Newcastle University, UK. The increasing provision of cross- and intercultural education for sojourners is not being matched by commensurate research into its effects on participants. Evaluation, where undertaken at all, is still largely confined to expatriate business contexts and has tended to be undertaken pre-sojourn. Crucially, evaluation has not engaged with the adaptation, adjustment and performance of sojourners related to their actual lived experience of adjustment, or with any key outcomes of sojourns. In response, this mixed-method, two-stage study explored the adjustment and adaptation of student sojourners, with a particular focus on those studying Intercultural Communication (ICC). In stage one, analysis of results of ‘international’ taught postgraduate students (N = 680) at a UK university over a five-year period indicated that those doing a degree in ICC tended to perform significantly better over different measures of academic achievement than a closely comparable peer group following a similar programme which lacked a specific focus on CCC. Stage two tracked longitudinally the academic adjustment experiences of 18 students of ICC over the course of their programmes through a series of semi-structured interviews. Findings provided a fine-grained view of the experience of academic adaptation and adjustment, and indications of how and why some kinds of ICC education might ‘work’.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Young TJ, Schartner A

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Annual Seminar of the British Association for Applied Linguistics Special Interest Group in Intercultural Communication

Year of Conference: 2014

Date deposited: 06/06/2014

Publisher: British Association for Applied Linguistics