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Unearthing Caribbean Multilingual Teachers' Intercultural, Literate and Linguistic Experiences in Online Settings

Improving Learning Strategies in Liberal Arts

New Media and Technology

Author Information:

Patriann Smith, PhD
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


multilingual teachers, intercultural, literate, multicultural, online, e-learning ecologies, Caribbean, linguistic diversity, multi-cultural teacher education, William Cope

Presentation Information:

Presentation #: 9
Date: 3rd June, 2015
Time: 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Location: KHAIROON EAST (Room 1)


In this exploratory case study, a qualitative approach is used to examine the linguistic, literate, and intercultural experiences of 50 Creole-speaking multilingual Caribbean English educators, specifically as these were reflected in multicultural online learning contexts. The study attends to the ways in which the affordances of e-learning ecologies served as mediators of these educators? experiences in the online settings in which they interacted. Intercultural learning theory, conceptions of transformative, 21st century learning, the dynamic model of multilingualism and transdisciplinary and transcultural perspectives served as interpretive lenses. Quantitative and qualitative online analytics of teachers? engagement in discussions, development of academic tasks, responses to cultural ?Others,? review of peers? assignments, and metacognitive reflections on their learning processes obtained in the online learning contexts provided insight into the ways in which educators? linguistic, literate, and intercultural experiences intersected to shape their learning interactions. Preliminary findings suggest that the multilingual educators shaped and were shaped by certain e-learning ecologies in ways that allowed them to be more cognizant of their responses to various forms of diversity and to diverse ?Others?. Implications for multicultural teacher education include attention to how e-learning ecologies operate in online learning contexts and enable teachers to develop predispositions that lead them to be more culturally and linguistically responsive to English learners. Overall, the study contributes to transformation in teacher education in higher education by extending the conversation about the ways in which linguistic diversity in multicultural teacher education might be theorized in and for e-learning contexts.