Transculturation in introductory composition

  • Sims, Rebekah (Principal Investigator)
  • Dilger, Bradley (Research Co-investigator)
  • Banat, Hadi (Principal Investigator)
  • Tran, Phuong (Researcher)
  • Panahi, Parva (Researcher)

Project: Research

Project Details


The Transculturation in Introductory Composition research team seeks to increase undergraduate students’ intercultural competence by designing and implementing first-year writing courses that encourage meaningful intercultural interaction among international and domestic students.

Our innovative model links mainstream and second-language-focused first-year writing sections to expose students to diverse texts, structured intercultural interactions, and sequenced writing assignments supported by team-taught pedagogical interventions.

More about the curricular model, its assessment, and our findings can be found at: Grant funding for the first phase of the project was $34250 USD.

Now, we are in the second phase of this project and have a new data set from implementing the revised curriculum at the University of Massachusetts -- Boston.

Layman's description

Our team wanted to increase the intercultural competence (skills, attitudes, and behaviours required for effective interaction with people of different cultural backgrounds) of undergraduate students. As writing teachers, we saw an opportunity to revise the curriculum of our classes to achieve this end. Because students tend to spend time with people most similar to themselves, we specifically focused on integrating international and domestic student populations at our university.

Key findings

Detailed results can be found here:

1. Reflective writing is an effective way to support the development of intercultural competence as well as to measure the development qualitatively
2. Intercultural development is not linear, but it does respond to specific interventions
3. Our program seems to have a greater impact on the development of domestic students than international students
4. Students who integrate what they are learning in the class with concurrent university experiences make greater gains in intercultural competence
Effective start/end date30/09/16 → …

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


  • Intercultural Competence
  • Curriculum Development
  • assessment


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