Transnational Curriculum Design for Intercultural Learning in Writing Programs

By Parva Panahi Lazarjani1, Rebekah Sims, Hadi Banat, Phuong M Tran, Bradley Dilger2

1. Purdue University 2. purdueuniversity

Book chapter describing development of a transnational composition approach that links mainstream and second-language-focused courses to promote cross-cultural interaction and collaboration among domestic and international first-year undergraduates.

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Version 1.0 - published on 15 Nov 2022

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In practice, most institutional internationalization efforts occur outside classrooms, through study abroad programs, international students and faculty recruitment, student organizations and cultural centers. Despite these efforts, domestic and international students often live in parallel social worlds when curricular interventions are not designed to trigger systematic interaction and create a context which mentors students on effective collaborative work. Knight (2005) notes that classroom and curriculum are key institutional spaces to integrate “international and intercultural dimensions” into teaching and research (as cited in Donahue, 2018, p. 23). Therefore, transnational composition practices can structure a successful process of intercultural collaboration that engages both domestic and international students in acting upon ideas of diversity rather than just reading about them (Sunstein & Chiseri-Strater, 2002). Our chapter explains our experiences designing and implementing a research-based approach to First Year Writing (FYW) that links mainstream and second-language-focused sections to involve students in structured intercultural interactions, multicultural readings, and sequenced writing assignments supported by team-taught pedagogical interventions. 

We offer writing program administrators this model for internationalizing writing programs, emphasizing globally-informed curriculum design. This model provides WPAs inexpensive but effective infrastructure with outcomes tested by well-designed research, and helps fill the gap between recruitment of diversity and programmatic support for students. We focus on: sharing the linked course model and its curricular interventions, articulating the value of this approach to transnational composition for WPAs, and encouraging the implementation and assessment of intercultural-competence-focused approaches to transnational composition. 

Full citation: Panahi, P., Sims, R., Banat, H., Tran, P., & Dilger, B. (2022). Transnational curriculum design for intercultural learning in writing programs. In C. Donahue & B. Horner (Eds.), Teaching and studying transnational composition (pp. 323–342). Modern Language Association.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Lazarjani, P. P., Sims, R., Banat, H., Tran, P. M., Dilger, C. (2022). Transnational Curriculum Design for Intercultural Learning in Writing Programs.

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