November 2016
Patriann Smith, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA & Natalia Balyasnikova, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Patriann Smith

Natalia Balyasnikova

Hello ICIS Friends!

We are happy to welcome you to the new academic year with this newsletter. The theme for the November issue reflects our interest section’s (IS’s) theme for the year 2016–2017: Cultural Synergy. The idea ofsynergy in intercultural communication points to the importance of cooperation and the mutual effort of everyone in reaching understanding, and we hope that the collection of articles this month really speaks to this theme.

As usual, we are happy to share some updates with you: Maxi-Ann Campell, the chair of our section, writes about the upcoming leadership election, and Jeremy Slagoski, our community manager, gives us an extensive report about the state of the IS’s membership and ways to connect on social media.

The research article section opens with a piece from ICIS Chair-Elect Ramin Yazdanpanah. Drawing on his own experience, Ramin elaborates on six useful tips on how to encourage cultural synergy in the classroom and shares a list of useful resources for future reading. Another article, based on an applied research project, comes from Victoria Surtees, a doctoral candidate at the University of British Columbia. Victoria writes on her experience of using mobile phones to survey language learners about where, with whom, and how they used English in their daily lives. We hope that Victoria’s experiences would encourage more colleagues to try alternative ways of engaging with language learners to gain insight into their complex language issues and cultural experiences.

We are thankful to the renowned international educator Dr. Darla Deardorff, who agreed to give us an interview for this issue. Dr. Deardorff is the executive director of the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA), an international professional organization based at Duke University, where she is a research scholar in the Program of Education. We talked to Dr. Deardorff about her career and her views on the role of intercultural communication in the changing world and challenges it puts before language educators. In this interview, Dr. Deardorff also comments on the theme of our newsletter and gives useful advice to the colleagues who want to continue growing as intercultural educators.

Another wonderful addition to our newsletters is the Book Review section. Mohsen Moghaddam from Simon Fraser University reviews Translanguaging: Language, Bilingualism and Education by García and Wei. Book reviews are a great way to publish academically and to help colleagues stay up-to-date with current developments in the field. This is why we are excited to feature Mohsen’s work and hope it will encourage more submissions!

We hope that these articles will not only enrich your practice, but also inspire you to share your ideas with our readership. What better way to celebrate all the accomplishments of our members!


Patriann and Natalia

ICIS Coeditors 2016–2017

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Fun Facts about Patriann and Natalia

Patriann enjoys hiking and feels rejuvenated when she hikes a great trail! Despite a busy spring 2016 semester, she has hiked three trails so far at the Caprock Canyon State Park in Quitaque, Texas, the Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico, and the Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Canyon, Texas. Twitter:@Patriann_Smith

Natalia has always lived in large cities with a developed public transport system, which is why despite working for multiple car dealerships, she still does not know how to drive. Twitter: @_balyasnikova