A Japanese Tea House, Hawaii Plantation Life, and a Buddhist Temple: Using Cultural Simulations to Promote First-Year Teacher Candidates' Intercultural Communicative Competencies


Establishing teacher preparation pedagogy that is rooted in Hawaii’s rich cultural fabric is critical given that prospective teachers in Hawaii will be working in public schools with multilingual students who differ from their teachers both culturally and linguistically. For example, in the Hawaii public school system, 31% of students are Native Hawaiian, 24% are Filipino, 16% are Caucasian, 10% are Japanese, 4% are Latin, and 3% are Samoan, Chinese, or African American (Hawaii State Department of Education, 2016). Hawaii's prospective teachers must be equipped to work effectively with students who have different cultural linguistic needs, but little is known about how culture should be taught to candidates in teacher preparation years. Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC) (Byram, 2009) is a critical competent of teacher instructional efficacy, albeit little is known about practices that work best to promote candidates' ICC in teacher preparation. This presentations will describe how we (teacher educators) included three, local cultural simulations into our elementary education seminar course. Our presentation will discuss and show artifacts from our class visits to: (1) a traditional Japanese tea house; (2) Hawaii plantation village; and, (3) Buddhist temple. Drawing from candidates' questionnaires, focus group interviews and assignments, our presentation will share how three local cultural simulations promoted first-year teacher candidates': being, knowledge, and know-how (Byram, 2009) . Findings will reveal that cultural simulations promoted candidates' awareness in all sub-domains and will concludes with recommendations on how teacher preparation programs can use local cultural simulations to explicitly teach about culture for teacher preparation.


Culture, Cultural simulation, Hawaii. Teacher preparation Intercultural Communicative Competence Multicultural


Learner Diversity and Identities


Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


  • Monica Smith
    • Assistant Professor, Teacher Education, University of Hawaii at Manoa
    • Dr. Monica Gonzalez Smith is an Assistant Professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Institure for Teacher Education, Multilingual Learner, Elementary Education Teacher Preparation Program. 
  • Jennifer Padua
    • Instructor, University of Hawaii at Manoa, United States United States