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This chapter examines incremental transformational learning, as evidenced by the intercultural growth of advanced learners of Russian in the Russian Overseas Language Flagship (ROF); a year-long overseas immersion program. With hybrid structured and open architecture, the ROF utilizes a scaffolded environment of individualized tutorials, small-group work, direct enrollment courses, professional internships, homestays and structured reflections. The study examines IDI- and ILR data, reporting on group-level statistical comparisons of pre/post program intercultural development and language proficiency to document measureable intercultural and linguistic outcomes. The study includes student reports of disorienting dilemmas, reflections on the dilemmas, and proposed “action plans” for dealing with challenges. IDI scores indicate a shift from a mono-cultural mindset toward greater awareness of the mindsets of others and the specifics of one's own cultural lens. The analysis indicates a positive relationship between proficiency levels and the learner's intercultural development as they are better positioned to respond and behave effectively and appropriately as global professionals.
Transformative learning has been widely used in the field of adult education for over twenty years, but until recently has received little attention in the field of world languages. Drawing on best practices and the research of distinguished international world language experts, this volume provides theoretical and classroom-tested models of transformative education in world languages at major university, state and governmental programs. Chapters outline theoretical frameworks and detail successful models from cutting-edge programs in a wide range of languages, with plenty of examples included to make the theory accessible to readers not yet familiar with the concepts. Classroom teachers, program administrators and faculty developers at every level of instruction will find support for their courses. With its innovative approach to the teaching and learning of languages, this volume is a seminal text in transformative language learning that will stimulate discussions and innovation in the language field for years to come.
Drawing from the work of Miller and Seller, this chapter traces the roots and flowering of the transformative movement and its relationship to the educational philosophies of transmission and transaction, essentially but not exclusively predecessors to the educational philosophy of transformation. The shaping of the ways in which teachers and students have gone about the language acquisition process for centuries is examined within a paradigmatic history of foreign language teaching methods. The influence of Vygotsky, Rogers, and Mezirow has been markedly noticeable in classroom methodologies heading toward such transformative aspects as learner-centered learning (zone of proximal development, understanding the whole student, adapting for learner differences, assisting learners in self-identification and learning adaptation), student-directed instruction, student contracts, open architecture curricular design, reframing in the development of biculturalism, interactive immersion, diagnostically oriented instruction, and formative assessment.